Can I open my heart to you?
A while ago, I shared some of the reasons why I blog. These were the positive, motivational forces that have kept me going for almost three years now. There are some aspects of blogging that I didn't delve into. These things have been on my mind more and more, and I think it's healthy to express both the good as well as the difficult (I won't go far enough to say "bad" or "ugly") in this world of blogging.
I do hesitate to address this topic. Sharing these feelings and frustrations of mine might come across in a negative light. Overall, I've wanted this space to be portioned glimpses of my personal life and inner thoughts, my family and home day- to- day living, a little corner of the world where one might find inspiration and peace. I wanted my readers to come away feeling uplifted. But in all of that, I've always wanted to honestly portray the real Emily. I consider myself an open person. I try to keep it real with those who know me. What you see or feel from me, is basically what you get.
I'll be honest. There are parts to me that you don't see, parts that I care not to portray and that I won't share here. And that's okay. I've never shown you the piles and piles of "dirty laundry", the stacks of dirty dishes sitting in the sink, the weedy, neglected flower beds, the cluttered corners. Most of you don't know the details of family and personal struggles, worries, and inadequacies.
Lately, blogging has become a chore. It isn't nourishing me joyfully like it was when it was fresh and new. I'm finding it hard to share, to pull things out of me. I'm seriously questioning if all these emotional, time, and effort investments are really worth it. Especially lately. In my already state of feeling very inadequate in some important facets of my life, finding myself questioning and re-thinking, doubting some things about myself and my life, I find it even more discouraging when I see (from my limited point of view) not a whole lot of interest and dialogue in what I have to say in this space. I know that having more numbers on my "stats", whether it's the number of followers I have, or in your comments or thoughtful feedback, or Abide With Me's "popularity" and readership -all of this shouldn't and wouldn't have to matter if I was in a different emotional place. In all truthfulness, I'm finding all this just a little hard on my self- esteem. That's alarming. And disheartening.
With all this, I will frankly tell you that I find myself often "lurking" in my own personal blog reading. I have faithfully followed lots of blogs over the years and seldom make comments. It's only recently, and with very few blogs, that I've decided to make the effort (and I do understand that it takes valuable time, especially on hosts like Blogger.) and extend myself this way.
When one is feeling inadequate or down, it's a hard thing to see the images of perfection inadvertently portrayed of happy, loving families, creative energies put into all those fun sewing and craft projects, wonderful offerings lovingly and freshly made from the kitchen, clean and tidy homes, and talented, beautiful, organized women and mothers who seem to get it all right. It can often lead to feelings of dissatisfaction, envy, and frustration:
"She seems to have it all together."
"If only I was a better photographer."
"Or had a nicer (more expensive) camera."
"I wish I could write better. Or maybe express myself better."
"Maybe my blog isn't as "informational" and "purposeful" as so many other are for my readers. Maybe it's just not worth people's time."
"My life is so normal. No one would be interested or care about the things I have to say."
"Is this moment/thing 'blog worthy'?"
"Why is the blog preoccupying my thoughts so much?"
"Am I showing a balanced portrayal of my life?" (to as not to create feelings of discontent in myself and others.)
These are some of the things that have filled my mind. This is where I'm at. I'm sincerely sorry for the definitely negative tone that today's theme has been conveyed. My goal is not to host a pity party. Striving to prove myself with perfection, fighting for approval and acceptance, and then dealing with the subsequent disappointment of imperfection seem to be one of the biggest challenges and themes of my life. I'm seeing that more and more in myself.
I'll be pulling back from this space for a while. I've not determined, at this point, if I'll continue this blog. But whether I do or I don't make it back here, I'm still me. And I'm still here (well, maybe not at the Abide With Me blog, but in my real, live blue house in my real life town, at my real life email address, too.) Real, genuine conversation, mutual sharing, and interest in relationships and friendships is what I'm after.
Thank you to all who've taken the time to follow this aspect of me. Your presence, your interest, your comments, the outpouring of love and friendship have meant so much to me. I've appreciated each and every one of you...
Wherever you are in the world.