Hi! I have been out of town for about a week, and actually tomorrow is my son's last day of school for the summer, so I am not sure how much I will be online this summer really. I sold a few more collections over the past week, I think there are only like two or three left so I am going to ship those final items out tomorrow, along with anything else that might sell today (*wink* *wink* last chance, make an offer) then the etsy shop will be empty and potentially closed for a while, or until I am in desperate need of money in the sometime future (who knows what the future holds). I have a whole bunch of fun family plans this summer, playing at the lake, camping, hiking, biking, stuff like that. I also plan to establish stronger relationships with my local friends, do some DIY projects that have been sitting on the back burner for a while, and drink some beers on my hammock. Not that any of this is super important or anything, but I guess what I am basically saying is that I will be out for a while. I don't really even think I'll be back to this space in any real way again. I have LOVED blogging, for what it was, over the past year and a half or so and have learned and grown so much from it. I have met some really incredible people, seen some amazing things, and enjoyed some great opportunities. I have been fundamentally changed by this blogging experience. For the better. I have never felt more confident, at peace and accepting of myself than I do right now. I really think that the blogging community helped to grow that in me. Meeting people I feel a kinship with through words is a very powerful thing.
I was going to just end this right there, but you know what, I think I am just going to go all out and throw all of the shit I think about blogging out there. Why not right. It's the end and all. Of course, I'll throw in a little disclaimer since I only know Myself and my own experience and understand that it is likely wildly different from anyone else's and I would never want to pretend that I know someone else's story anyway, SO this is a summary of my blogging experience:
Ahem: When I started blogging I was a very insecure girl. I had just broken up with a girlfriend that basically told me I was a terrible person (who I disagreed with at the time but still felt like shit about) and didn't really have any other friends. I live in a small town and had a huge gate around my heart for various reasons and thought that a good way to fill my time and make money would be to blog, sell vintage and try to make friends on the internet. I was nervous about clothes. I liked strange things and felt like a weirdo when I wore what I liked in real life. When I posted pictures of myself on the internet at places like chictopia and Weardrobe, people seemed very supportive and made me feel less strange. eventually I got some followers on my blog. I could not believe that ANYONE was interested in my shit let alone people in New York or HOLY SHIT!! AUSTRALIA, CANADA, GREAT BRITAIN!! WHOA! I checked my analytics program daily and freaked and gasped at every new reader in every new country.
By January 2010 I was being offered free stuff from people and companies!! People were being so nice to me! I was commenting back on just about every comment I got, following back, favoriting back and blogging daily to keep up momentum (on the blog, Chictopia and Weardrobe). I was staying up till past midnight and up at 5:00 am reading blogs to keep up and return the niceness. I couldn't believe that so many people liked me. I had never been popular AT ALL. I was in fact covered with acne, mousy and a bit plumper and totally uncomfortable my whole life until about the middle of 2009 when I was finally treated for Hypothyroidism and magically thinned out, cleared up and came into my own. All of this attention was unbelievable and completely addictive. At 30 years old, a mother and a wife, living in a little western Nevada town, I was being called chic by awesome people all over the world. I started paying close attention the the numbers. My ego started to get stronger for the first time. My mood started to be affected by how many comments I got on a given post. If I got less one day or fewer votes on an outfit on chictopia I analyzed everything and tried to see what I had done wrong. My findings : shorter skirts, pretty hair, hats, higher shoes, over the knee socks and cool prints got better ratings. Also awesome makeup and a great sense of humor helped. I began to cater to blogworld. I lost myself for a little while.
Then I started getting sick. I was losing sleep thinking about my blog, my outfits, people I had failed to comment back to, my reputation. I was totally self obsessed. A rift began to grow between my family and me. I am not sure when all of this was taking place. I want to say December - like May or June of last year. I tried to scale back. I felt like a bitch for getting attention but not returning it. The summer brought some pretty major personal problems for me. I was dealing with some heavy things family wise, that put all of the blogging into perspective. I started focusing less on commenting and stopped checking my numbers so much. I stopped reading other blogs except for the ones that were linked to people I actually knew or felt a kinship with. I began to REALLY enjoy blogging in a whole new way. I had less pressure I was putting on myself. I stopped associating my self worth with the attention I was receiving. (Please note, when I began blogging, my personal self worth resembled a ritz cracker. Blogging and attention inflated that cracker to Guinness Book of World Record proportions. It felt great, at first, but I saw the danger in letting my self worth be related to a freaking computer, and clothes, and words.) I finally began to allow some separation and feeling my worth away from all the blog stuff. I knew the blog couldn't have any power over the way I thought about myself because if it could make me feel good it could also make me feel bad.
In the end of November I had an epiphany. I tried to blog about it, but I don't really think blogging was the best forum for all of that. It was more of a personal discovery and I thought that if I shared it with people reading my blog that maybe it would help others. I thought maybe I had a purpose and a reason for throwing all of my thoughts out into oblivion. . . and maybe I did. I just typed right out of my heart. I had been doing that anyway all along, but I think I was a little bit more guarded before. Ever since then it has all been different for me. For a while I thought that maybe I had a responsibility to blog and share my thoughts, but I realize that was just residual ego left over from being the oldest child in a family of four. "Be a good example" "Be a role model." "Lead by example." All the things I was raised hearing. That is just ridiculous. I don't need to feel that responsibility. That feels so . . . egotistical that I even thought that. I guess I waiver between feeling like I am just fine on my own in my simple little life, to feeling like I have a responsibility to be a part of the larger world, to do something bigger, but through BLOGGING? Really? That is the way I will reach and influence people for the better? A part of me says yes. maybe. But why?
I tired to do more in my local community but it feels a little like starting at square one. A part of me is lazy. and quiet. and introverted. and a total homebody. OK a huge majority of me. I guess we all want to feel important. We all want to be heard. Like those little Who's in Horton hears a Who or whatever that shit is: WE ARE HERE! WE ARE HERE! WE ARE HERE!! But if I get to the meat and bones of that, it just feels silly to me. I feel silly. The more distance I get from blogging, the more at peace I feel on my own, the more time I have with the people in my direct life and the more my mind can just be present and see what is right in front of me.
This is just how I feel. I may be a weird bird but whatever. Maybe I am just totally normal and boring and just not very extraordinary . That is totally fine. I shouldn't need people to tell me what I am. And people telling me things is what got me to this point so maybe I do need that, but I don't want to need that. So VROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM . . . there goes my dive bomb. . . crash and burn. I am sure anyone reading this is not totally surprised. Please just know that I am fully aware that your reasons and experiences for blogging are probably completely different from mine. I don't judge anyone based on my own shit. I just thought I would give one last blabla bla. There. I am done. :)
Thank you for reading my thoughts these past months and for leaving your comments. It's had a profound effect on me. :)