Last weekend in a barn in Pennsylvania, I realized some very important things about myself as a blogger. And about myself as a person.
Anyone who has met me knows that I am very much a “what you see is what you get” kind of gal. I don’t hold much back in real life and I wear my heart on my sleeve, for better or for worse. I like to think that that realness/”me-ness” comes across on this blog. Yet when Shauna was speaking to us at BSP2 about authenticity, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I actually hold back quite a lot here.
I am not perfect. My life isn’t perfect. Not even close. But I’ve been afraid to show the not perfect stuff here on my blog.
The photos I post here may suggest that everything in my life is flawless but the reality is that my house is generally a mess of dog hair. And there are frequently mouse guts on the rug, because that’s what happens when you live in the country and you have four cats. My garden is, quite frankly, a weedy disaster right now. But it feeds us, so I try not to care. My chicken coop kinda smells. And I get really bad PMS.
And while I am at it in the disclosing department:
My kids like Family Guy. And so do I.
I love candy. Swedish fish are my favorite. I like the red ones best. But I like the yellow ones, too.
I am not really sure why I’ve been afraid to share stuff like this. After all I don’t publish this blog because I am trying to impress you.
I publish this blog because I like to share what I am up to, and because I want to inspire you to put healthy foods in your body as often as possible, to cook delicious, from scratch food for yourself and your family, and to be eco-conscious.
But doing these things isn’t always easy. Life can be hard. It gets busy. And messy. And sometimes there’s candy. It’s definitely not perfect.
In the world of food blogging, it is very easy to get caught up in trying to have things look perfect from the outside. It’s also easy to start feeling “not good enough” when you compare yourself to other blogs/bloggers. I am prone to feeling insecure. It’s something that’s plagued me my whole life. Since I became a blogger, I’ve often worried that my blog doesn’t measure up. That my photos aren’t good enough. That my recipes aren’t good enough. That my writing isn’t good enough. That my traffic isn’t good enough.
If you’re not a blogger, this all might seem nuts. Heck it might seem nuts even if you are a blogger. But it’s really no different than anything else in life: trying to be perfect is a trap that’s there…and it’s so easy to fall in. But trying to be perfect is extremely time consuming. And exhausting. And let’s face it: being perfect is impossible.
It’s fine to be inspired by other blogs/bloggers but when inspiration turns to jealousy and feeling bad about yourself, there’s a problem. When these feelings creep up for me, I need to take note of them. And re-focus on my blogging purpose. And on just being me.
I’ve shared these feelings with blogger and non-blogger friends before and I shared them in front of the group at BSP2. I am sharing them now here in a much more public way because…well…because I just have to. And now that the words are down, I feel better. I am pretty sure I am not the only one who struggles with this crap. I also know that there are way more important things out there in the world to worry about.
Yesterday, my kids, husband, and I went for a hike to a swimming hole not far from our house. I’d never been there before and it was insanely beautiful. It was the first time all four of us had been together in almost 3 weeks- my husband’s been traveling for work and my son’s been at sleepaway camp- and it was pretty great (though my daughter had to pee the whole time and did complain incessantly about that).
My son is kind of a daredevil. He does stuff I wish I had the guts to do. My husband took this iPhone photo of him jumping off the cliff into the water…
…and I think it’s a great photo for this post, because when it comes to being fearless, my kid is my inspiration.
I want to be less afraid. I don’t want to hold parts of me back because of what others will think. I just want to be.