If you’re reading this, it’s Wednesday morning and I am currently in Reading, PA receiving training from BlueStar – yes, the appliance manufacturer. (Obviously, I’ve scheduled this post in advance.) I’m excited and nervous, as I’ve never been to one of these trainings before and I’ll be the only person representing my company there. As far as I can gather, they’re meant to be fun and informative, so I can expect to have a good time all around.
Anyway, today I want to muse about the purpose of this blog.
I started it as a way to explore my passions. A way to “find” myself again. But having set certain goals for myself (posting every day of the week, which evolved into 3 days a week), I am finding that my personal life has begun to fit around my blog. When I hike, I take photos just for this blog. Otherwise, I’d leave my small point-and-shoot at home to collect dust. When I cook, I take photos just for the recipes I post here. Otherwise I’d digest the food, clean the pans, and for lack of better phrasing – destroy any evidence of ever having made such a (hopefully) delicious edible, physical thing. And I have mixed feelings about it.
The other day, as I looked back at some of my older posts, my boyfriend perked up and mentioned that thanks to my blog he realizes how many fun things we do every week. It’s easy to forget sometimes, especially if you don’t journal the old fashioned way or obsessively take photos for family and friends, which neither of us do. And it’s true.. as we flipped back through the weeks, I felt happy at the things we had done. But that experience has fostered other feelings after having sat in my stomach for a while.
I realized I started to feel about blogging as I do about Facebook.
Now, let me be perfectly frank with you. I don’t hate Facebook, but I certainly don’t like it. It over-glorifies isolated sections of the past, so that we’re constantly staring at others’ happiest seeming moments and trying to one up them with wittier, sweeter, or more “real” statements (or monologues), sometimes without fully realizing it. It’s too easy to encourage your “friend” with a “like.” And it makes it easier to fawn over yourself – your most flattering photos, your most gregarious moments caught on camera, and the 135 birthday messages you got last year from people who clearly love and adore you. If you use Facebook regularly, I’m sorry if I’ve offended you. But if you disagree on any of these points, please convince me. I love a good debate.
I have a love-hate relationship with the internet and with all of my mobile devices. I love that they are incredibly powerful and useful. I love that they can enable me to make genuine connections with people hundreds or thousands of miles away. I love that I can research and learn about anything under the sun. But the fact of the matter is, all of my mobile devices often force me to live in the past, or to stop breathing as deeply, or sometimes to be jealous of others. None of those are so great for a balanced, happy life. And I don’t want to be a part of the problem.
When I look at my blog posts, I see isolated snippets of who I am – like badges of accomplishment. A little too processed, and a little too distanced. I’m not yet sure exactly what I’ll do to change that, but I know I want to be present in the moment and to be honest with myself and with you about who I am and who I want to be.
Yours with full disclosure,