Saturday, September 13, 2014

The One Where I Try To Be Honest About Blogging And Life

Ho hum...where to start. Brain dump coming at you.

I've been reading a lot, and hearing a lot about goals, setting goals, reaching goals, good goals vs. bad goals, and how if you don't have goals you're not likely to get anything you actually want to go. Heck I spend all day at work either writing goals, thinking of goals, or trying to get students to reach their goals. Lots of thinking about goals lately.

I didn't really want to write a whole post about this, because I feel like I would just be beating a dead horse, but I did recently quit facebook. There were lots of reasons, but mostly I was just sick of the time I was wasting on it, becoming absorbed in acquaintances lives, getting jealous/envious of others, wondering if my posts were making others envious/jealous and feeling bad about that possibility, and in all honestly I was friends with too many people who have passed away on facebook. I couldn't get myself to unfriend them, but then I'd look at their pictures and just get very sad and miss them. Or facebook would remind me it was their birthday and I would burst out crying over my breakfast. So I quit. And I feel much better. The only downside (or maybe not) is that my blog updated on facebook which is how 95% of the people who read it got here. My posts used to have about 50-70 people read them, and now only have about 8  (hi Dad!) Part of me feels upset about this; would I keep this blog if absolutely no one read it? Probably not. The other part of me is kind of happy about it. I miss the days when I would grumble on about my annoying neighbors, or the time I fell in a mud puddle, or giving up cable. I was funny back then, when no one read my blog and I didn't have to worry about being politically correct. But then I wonder, do I really want to go back to who I was in 2009?  A "stressed out" grad student with no money and nothing but humor and vegetarian meals to live off of? Not really. I can't go back to being her, and I don't want to.

 I also don't want to be a naive 23 year old who posts her early morning solo running loops, tells everyone when she's going on vacation (i.e. "please rob me I'm not home") and shares details about fights with her boyfriend. The internet is both wonderful and scary, you can literally find out almost anything about a person online, if it's been posted. And those things are permanent. I have stopped following bloggers who I felt shared too much detail about their lives, and especially their children's lives. I unfriended people who posted to many personal details on facebook because it made me feel creepy knowing that stuff about the, When the time comes that we have a baby I don't want to be the person sharing every detail, every picture, every embarrassing story about our kid.

Having 8 readers instead of 60 has made me think about what I really want from this blog, what's my blogging goal? I don't want to be a "famous blogger" with thousands of readers. I don't even want to quit my day job to be a blogger, which seems to be a lot of bloggers goal. I don't ever see myself designing a fabric line, or making up sewing patterns like the other bloggers I follow. I kind of just want to tell you 8 people about things I've sewed, home improvement projects, share funny stories, tell you about running and the dogs. There are so many posts about random stuff that I have never published because I think the posts are just too random. Then I think, well your interests are pretty random Lauren so if all you want to do is post about things you like or funny things that have happened to you then keep doing it. I also have some unpublished posts that are for lack of a better word "dark", and I don't publish them because I'm too scared of how people will react. One of my main complains about facebook was that it was all fake; that you could choose only the good stuff to share. Only the best picture (out of 100), only the most exciting thing you did over the weekend; not that you emptied the dishwasher and cleaned the shower drain, only a happy update when something good happened, not an update about how mundane your life is. I feel like the past few years I've been doing that here. I only blog about clothes or projects that turn out perfectly (or close enough by my standards); I have tons of failed projects, or butt ugly clothing I've sewed, but that never makes it here, it only makes it to the scrap pile. I take 50 pictures of myself in an outfit and only 3 make it to the blog. I don't blog about the hard stuff in life, because for one it's hard to talk about, I also don't want to depress people. When my friend was sick she said she reading my blog made her laugh even when she was having a really crappy day so I never talked about anything sad or not perfect because I wanted her to be happy reading it. I felt I had nothing to complain about when I put my life into perspective; she was dying of cancer and I had tons of free time to sew and live my life so I started putting up a perfect/happy front and stopped writing about the hard stuff. Then last year a friend committed suicide. I started writing several posts about this topic over the last year, but never got over the first sentence or two. I'll never know exactly what contributed to her decision, but part of me can't help but feel that the "happy front" we all (I have) put up could have had something to do with it.

After my brain spins for 20 minutes on blogging goals I usually then inadvertently move on to what my life goals are. Is being a good wife and friend, becoming a mom, working hard at a job that I like and being happy enough of a life goal? Isn't that essentially everyones goal? Do I need to be different? If my goals are the same as everyone else's doesn't that just make me another cog in the wheel. I'm happy with my job and there really is no "moving up" in it. I'll never be a CEO or a principal, I don't even want to get my Ph. D like I used to think I did/would. I never want to be in charge of a lot of people, and I don't want to wear a suit to work. I like cardigans too much. I love our home and would be (I think) happy to live here for 30 years (or longer). I'm so very happy being married to Charlie, I think to myself at least once a week "how'd I get so lucky that he not only likes me but loves and tolerates me?" I am realizing slowly that friendships take work in order to maintain them, but I have never felt more solid in knowing exactly who my friends are. I feel like I am a good friend to them. It's taken me a while to realize that having 1,000 friends is not what I want. I want 10 really good friends, so that I have more time and energy to spend with those people who really matter.

Is that enough? I could think of a thousand things I'd like to do, goals I'd like to accomplish (have grass in our yard instead of dirt, figure out what the heck is wrong with my garden, knit a sweater, write a memoir, go to Iceland, have a perfectly clean house all the time, learn to cook, lose 3 pounds) but in all honesty those have been things I've kind of wanted to do for a while and they never actually get done, so that must mean they're not the most important things to me.

In summary, I am happy that you 8 people find me interesting enough to read my blog. I am going to be more deliberate and honest/real in my blogging. Life is sometimes really hard, I do not have the perfect life, and I never intended to make anyone feel like I did. I want my blog to be a place where I can not only share my sewing projects, but other random stuff (which I am told by my dad is more interesting than my sewing projects anyways). I am working on not caring if lots of people read what I have to say, if anything the blog serves as a good reminder to me of stories, projects, and pictures from my life. Blogging is pretty selfish and egocentric to begin with (sometimes I count the number of times I say "I" in a post and am stunned), people blog because they think they have something important to say that others should or would like to hear about. Truth is I'd probably still write here even if my only reader was Charlie (who I force to read my blog.)

This is usually the part where I hit "save" and never actually publish what I just spent an hour writing. But here goes.



  1. Lauren, loved reading your thoughts here. Just wanted to let you know (from a totally random person who found your blog) that I've got lots of the same things running through my head some times. We can be our hardest critics... just need to remember to treat ourselves with a bit of grace.

  2. As a follower from the beginning - I love when you update and reading your thoughts - no matter how mundane. It's nice having someone else out there that finds it important to document the trivial parts of life that someday we may have otherwise forgotten. Now, should I have read this 9 months pregnant, 15 minutes before going to discuss my baby's birth with the dr, and while in my own head I've been thinking about what our "new" goals in life will be … probably not. But, I'm glad I did… and I'm glad you shared with "us". xoxoxo

  3. I left Facebook behind about two days after you told me you had. Since then I've had phone calls and texts and emails with all the people that really matter and it's been much more natural and meaningful thank commenting on a public wall. You're an incredible friend.

  4. What a wodefully written piece, Lauren. I can relate on many levels. Putting an honest front to your blog is inspiring. So many of us are victims of the need for "perfection".

  5. Lauren, I love reading your blog posts! I really enjoyed reading this one. I have been feeling the same way about my blog that i don't know what I want to do with it and that's why I haven't posted since April. You should post those ugly outfits and those project failures! It shows that nobody's perfect and that we should be able to deal with the failures in our life, and stand up strong and get past them. Laugh about them even. I think you are doing a good thing with this blog and I look forward to seeing your new posts :)


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