I don't even know how to really say this, so let me direct you to my internet-friend Joseph's blog post, which does a fantastic job putting words to how I feel about blogging, most of the time: The Flip Side. Go ahead! I'll wait.
*Jeopardy theme music*
Back? Okay! Isn't he a great writer? He seems like a cool dude.
Anyway, here are some truths about why I blog, in the form of bullet points:
- I love writing down how I feel.
- I like being a part of a community of bloggers.
- Of course I like the attention and the validation...
- But I also like the affirmations and support I've gotten from people who are, essentially, strangers.
- I kind of want free stuff sometimes (i.e., "I'll send you this [insert product] if you'll blog about your experience!"). Hasn't happened yet, but one can hope.
- I like being real, open and honest.
The only mom who struggled with nursing.
The only mom who ever felt exhausted and decidedly unhappy in the first couple of weeks.
The only mom who felt terrible guilt about...well...anything.
The only mom who has postpartum depression/anxiety.
The only mom who still wears clothes she got four years ago on clearance.
The only mom who wears the same pair of jeans/pants/shoes 3 times in one week.
The only mom who buys cheap, drugstore makeup.
The only mom who picks up takeout because everything is just too hard to cook.
The only mom who falls asleep on the couch instead of spending precious evening hours with her husband sometimes.
The only mom who cries into her pillow (or on the way to work) because she feels like she can't be good at EVERYTHING (wife, mom, employee, etc.) and so one or more always falls short.
And so on and so forth.
My blog also keeps me accountable, as I've said in my Outfit of the Day posts. Knowing that a handful of internet strangers might wanna see what outfit I was able to throw together so that I'd look (and therefore feel) a bit more put together even after a frantic morning trying to wrangle a newborn out the door.
But man, I struggle with people thinking I'm just vain. I mean, I am vain. Sometimes more than others. Even what I just said above about my OOTD posts is selfish: it helps ME feel more put together when I know I'm going to post my outfit online. I'd like to think it also helps other women know that they don't have to be wealthy or buy a bunch of new clothes in order to look nice at work, but I'll admit that's not always my reason for posting.
I don't know...I guess part of this slight feeling of discomfort comes from feeling like I'm defined by my blog, my Twitter, my Instagram, my Facebook account...but the truth is that we do live in a world that is pretty much run by social media. I don't think that has to be a terrible thing, though. I think that being honest and REAL about it is the best way to handle a social media society.
I just want to be genuine. I want to be liked for every part of who I am -- even the not-so-glamorous or put together parts. I want to be honest in my joys and in my struggles. I want to never ever paint a picture of a perfect life on social media, because the reality of my life is that it's a hectic, crazy mess sometimes.
But it's honest. And it's real. And it's messy. And it's wonderful.
I may never find the balance between vain and genuine. But I think the fact that I try has to count for something.