(While I am writing a paper for finals)
“Mike, you could come in here and write this essay for me.”
“So, as a clinician, what would you consider to be the four most important markers of adulthood and how do they affect emerging adults who struggle through the transition?”
“That’s easy, Kara. It’s bitches, bitches, bitches and money.”
(He can always make me laugh)
(Sidenote– he doesn’t really think that. And he doesn’t write my papers.)
Blogger’s lives appear to be so very glamorous. Many have the occasional (or frequent, depending on the blog’s orientation) LOTD posts (which means “Look of the Day” not “Lord of the Dance.” A common blunder I myself have made.) Pictures of them with their friends and families in a restaurant or nicely decorated home adorn their updates of what they have been up to lately. They look so happy- like they should be in an Olive Garden commercial. People want to know what they thought of the previous night’s episode of the Bachelor or the latest video game or a movie that just hit the theater or if they use essential oils.
Seeing all these wonderful aspects of people’s lives highlighted right before me, I can begin to feel a bit “less-than.” I mean, don’t quarantine me or anything, but more than once I have been stricken with the ever common malady of the digital age and I wonder “WHY ISN’T MY LIFE LIKE THIS?! WHY AM I NOT THIS STYLISH/COOL/FUN?!” I then turn inward and judge myself (“Kara, get your shit together and accessorize or something! LOTD, dammit!”) Or, I get critical of the blogger. “How can so-and-so be so full of herself as to think people would CARE about her pregnancy style?!”
Though this post may appear to be the rant of someone who ACTUALLY hates blogs, bloggers and self-confidence, I will take a pause to say, “Au contraire, darling.” The truth of the matter is… I care about so-and-so’s pregnancy and she is sharing what is important to her. Some people are cataloging their lives for loved ones far away or strangers with similar interests. Other people use a personal blog as a platform for their story or a cause they feel passionate about. Is it voyeuristic? Maybe. Is it wrong, no. The rampant envy the “selfie” age has exacerbated is not solved by fewer blogs (if I truly thought that, I wouldn’t have started a blog, friends). It is caused by people taking a step back and thinking critically about their view of themselves and others. When I get all hot and bothered about yet another “LOTD,” if I take a step back, it’s not because they are too full of themselves. It is probably because I feel a little bit schlocky that day. All of the baby pictures I see on new mom’s blogs make me happy. And when they don’t it isn’t because mom blogger’s are jerks who only care about their babies and being a mother (“how DARE they, amiright?!”). It is usually because I am not a mom yet and someday want to be. Or it’s completely unrelated and I’m having a bad day. My point is this: I am generally a bad person. Kidding. It’s that we all have the right to feel like our lives are awesome and embody that however we want to.
Particularly as women, this is hard to do. We have been spoon-fed the idea since we were little that there is ONE Cinderella. Sometimes it feels like another happy, smart, funny, interesting, beautiful woman anywhere is a threat to women everywhere. WRONG. That’s not true. We gotta encourage each other and fall in love with our own lives. If we do not have a life worth being in love with, we have the power to change it. I would hope other people would help with that, not feel superior. (NOTE: I know there are an incredible number of societal pressures and misogynistic undercurrents in our culture that do greatly affect how much we love ourselves as women and our lives…more on this subject later. I just wanted to note that if you can’t just feel like “I LOVE MY LIFE!” everyday that’s normal and everyone is there with you. Sometimes it is hard to even just be yourself.) If we do not have a life we can love and do not have the power to change it or are being abused, reach out for help. There is no shame. The only thing that is a shame is blaming others or the world for our own perceptions. As Anais Nin quoted from the Talmud: “We do not see things are they are. We see them as we are.” May you see beauty, friends.
P.s. I do realize there are many other kinds of blogs. Not all blogs are lifestyle or beauty blogs written by women. I am simply commenting on the portion of the blog world I know (and love…to hate…to love).