“Looking at people’s blogs and Instagram photos can be intimidating at times, can’t it? (I’d say on a good day it’s inspiring and on a bad day it’s intimidating.) Because here are all these people seemingly doing it all and having it all in a beautiful, perfect way. It’s hard to tell if that’s reality or if we’re only privy to seeing things from one angle. Because no one wants to post pictures of their incompetence or that time when they felt truly unlovable. I know I don’t. But I can tell you right now that I can’t do it all, and I don’t have it all. There are times when I feel lost and filled with worry, and I don’t feel like I’m enough.”-Jenny Gordy (Wiksten)
These words really jumped out at me this week. I can definitely relate to this feeling, when I read the beautiful words of this blogger or that blogger, and see the inspiring images of this one or that one…I wonder: How do they do what they do? How can I do it too? Why is it so seemingly easy for them, yet so hard for me?
I know that I personally have a blog that shares my daily life, but also distills it. I seek to create a space here that is free from my hangups and insecurities. A space that breeds creativity, and gives me the opportunity to seek out, as Barefoot Mama would say, “the magic in the ‘ordinary’ day”. This is important to me. It is crucial in my pursuit of happiness and fulfillment, to avoid lamenting about that which is going wrong, and instead celebrate and reflect on what is going right. My blog is a wonderful tool for me to do so, because when I sit down to write every day I can seize the opportunity to focus in on that which I have to be grateful for, and the things which makes my days feel whole.
There is the human tendency to compare and contrast ourselves with others. To look at their lives and measure ours up to it and find ourselves lacking. It is a challenge not to do this. I have to remind myself all the time. It is hard sometimes to even consider seizing a day, when you are barely able to accept it for what it is. But I do believe it is important to embrace your own life, and not to feel pressured to live anyone else’s.
In thirty years I have learned a lot about myself and what brings me joy. I also have a lot of learning still to do. This is one of my works in progress: loving my own life for what it is. Yes, I can make changes, and yes I have the ability to explore what my path should be. But I need to also take the time to enjoy the path as I am traveling it. I am learning to look around me, and instead of becoming overwhelmed by the things I wish were different, to instead enjoy the day I am in, and the surroundings and circumstances that I have right now.
My blog is not an exact reflection of all that I am, but rather a place for me to focus on what really matters, and what parts of myself I wish to extend out and make connections with. We all struggle, and we all have insecurities. This is perfectly normal, yet difficult to realize. It is learning not to dwell there that can make every day better. I would rather dwell in the place of creativity and hope, and share that with you each day. When I begin a new post I might be dealing with any mix of emotions: frustration, sadness, excitement, stress, exhaustion, impatience…but writing and composing something to share with you here, even if it be only a photograph and a few sentences, always lifts me up and gives me a chance to connect with you. I sincerely hope that I never come across as snobby or false in any way.
I want to write about motherhood, art, creation, food, love…not about anger, animosity, presumption, or envy. I want to be real, but also to use blogging as a kind of meditation and source of positivity.
“But a snapshot is never complete or ‘whole’ of anything. I’ve never thought of my blog as a journal – this isn’t the locked up diary at my bedside. Of course there are days when I’m just trying to get through. Of course. The thought that anyone could think/say that what I’ve got going on here isn’t real or honest, or that what I write makes them feel inadequate – well, that just about breaks my heart. Because that’s the last thing I’ve ever wanted from this space. My goodness…quite the opposite, my friends. I write for me, but I hit “publish” each day in the hopes that somehow – someway – these little ramblings of mine could inspire you to look for, to follow, to perhaps even create a moment of joy and beauty in your own day.” -Amanda Blake Soule (SouleMama)