It's not always easy to be the big mouth. Most the time it is :) but not always.
After writing the blog about the fish I second-guessed posting it about 40 times...even flinching a little bit when I hit "publish," then immediately getting in my car and making my rounds to pick up the kids. Purposely publishing at that time so I would be away from my computer for at least an hour.
All of this for a couple of reasons.
Number one: I was pretty sure it was going to make me public enemy number one for the Jewel Box. And I like the Jewel Box, I really do. I don't like the decisions they made but I understood the very real possibility of never being able to shoot there again.
And for another reason: I knew how I felt about the situation. I knew I was angry, I knew I was passionate about it, but I didn't know if other people would feel the same way. I hoped they would, but I prepared for the backlash.
I wanted to do cartwheels when saw the support start pouring in. Within 12 hours of the story being posted, it was shared 523 times on Facebook alone. My blog stats are still growing and the story is still making its way around the internet.
I knew that my story would kick up a little dust and possibly get some folks in big trouble. But I also knew what they did was very, very wrong.
Unfortunately for the Jewel Box, it's just not my nature to lay down and be quiet. I will always be loud and boisterous. Especially for those who have little or no voice: the animals, the children, and the elderly.
As the dust starts to settle, I still have to believe that the world is filled with good people who have good intentions. But mistakes are still made, and the way we pick ourselves back up makes us human. I truly hope that big changes are made from this mess.
For a detailed wrap-up you can check out these links from the media outlets who covered the story. I want to personally thank The St. Louis Post Dispatch, KMOV Channel 4 and KSDK Channel 5. Without your caring reporters who thought this story needed to be told, our voices would not have been heard.
I haven't had a time to get back to all the "Thank You" messages I've received. There were literally hundreds. To you I say "You're welcome," and I turn right around and thank you back. I started the engine, you guys hit the accelerator. If I posted the blog and nobody cared, it would have went nowhere. It would have done nothing. I am so happy you guys care as much as I do.
To the 4,665 first-time visitors to my website yesterday, WELCOME :) My blog usually isn't this controversial. It's usually quite boring with a lot of fun pictures and some cute stories about my kids, but I hope you stick around and check back often.
To the Jewel Box: Thank you for admitting your mistakes and showing concern to fix the situation. I meant what I said that I love your establishment. I don't believe this was done with malicious intentions, I think it was honestly a mistake. We will have a lot of eyes on that pond in the coming years. I fully trust that you will take every precaution for it not to happen again. But if it does, you haven't seen loud yet ;)
"You can't make the same mistake twice. The second time you make it, it's no longer a mistake, it's a choice."