I've been questioning my spot in the blogging world for a long time. Not whether I should stay or go, because even though I have questioned if I want to drop this thing all together, I really don't plan on going anywhere. Like I said, I like it here. Are there cookie cutter niches in this online world? I sometimes think so. Do I fit in them? I'm not sure. Sometimes yes, sometimes not at all. Okay, I'm a mom. Check. But I don't blog a whole lot about my kid, not specifically anyway. I post food, sure. But I'm not a food blogger. I like nice clothes, Marlowe LOVES nice clothes, but fashion posts? Not so much, I'm rarely even in a picture around here. I like things like yoga, mostly healthy eating, making my own deodorant, I tried no poo, and if and when possible, I only buy organic products for my home (screw you, monsanto) .....but.... I'm not exactly "crunchy" enough to fit in the crunchy blog category. (I know, it seems like all my dreams are crumbling in front of me too). I craft. a lot. I love making things, stupid things, nice things, whatever things I can do to keep my hands busy, but me being a craft blogger? Laughable. What else is there? I'm sure there's lots. I'm a non-photographer picture taker. Someone direct, to the point, likes no bullshit, and keeping it short, but someone who rambles on and on and on, putting, one, too, many, grammar mistakes in every single post. It's in my bio, I'm a terrible writer. I write how I speak, and it's well, interesting, I guess. Why not. At one point I could (or I did without caring) write about mediation issues, my lack of help issues, and whatever kind of single parenting problems would come about. People in similar situations could relate. Now, life is pie. Mostly, I mean, of course we still have struggles... we'd like money to be less of a concern (wouldn't we all?), I'd love to afford some health insurance, I'd like to have a better plan for Marlowe's soonish schooling years, I'd prefer the terrible threes to skip over us completely--- but the signs are showing otherwise, and I have zero to no time with my now husband. Regardless, life is significantly better than it's ever been before. We like it here. Life is pie.
this is long.
This thing I have in front of me is scary, amazing, and powerful. It is without a doubt a beast in itself, to have a space to come and release your thoughts (without any take backs), knowing full and well that the people you love, know, and will never come to know will read your introspections. Nobody starts a public blog without knowing that someone is going to read it. It's pretty clear that here on the internet, that if you put it out there, someone will find it. Whether its one person, thousands, or millions, well that depends on what you do, how you do it, who finds it, who loves it, hates it, and what you do with all of that once you realize it. Me? Well, I kind of backed away from a lot of it.... or maybe I never fully walked into any of it. I'm the kind of person where once I realize I can really make something, I back away. I don't want the pressure and I don't want the responsibility. I don't want people to expect anything. I like things on my own, carefree terms. I don't like to feel committed to much-- to anything really. Marlowe has been my biggest commitment yet. And now, marriage, but that doesn't feel like a new commitment, we've loved each for too long anyway ;) I have thought from time to time that maybe I should set aside more time for this place, put more of a focus into expanding it, creating more of a business from it to hopefully offer more to my family. It's a nice idea, but I've struggled with how much I would or wouldn't want to commit to it.
When I started this space (if you weren't here from the beginning, most of you weren't, except maybe you, mom. hi mom!) I had my section of "diet water" where I could share, rant, and share some more about issues, health ideas, better living tips, and healthy recipes. That's out the window now. Much of it was time consuming--- because you can't say 'GMO's are bad', without having multiple proper links to back your claims. And two, no matter what I said, or how I said it, I would offend someone. It gets emotional tiring to accidentally, without wanting to offend people. You can only phrase "breastfeeding is a better option for mothers who can do it" so many ways to make sure not to hurt people. Someone who either chose not to, felt they couldn't, actually physically couldn't, or adopted is always bound to get hurt. I'm not confrontational and eventually I just said "screw it, I'm not talking about breast-feeding anymore." Yes, breast-feeding is a healthier and more natural option for a baby--- but no, it's not ideal or a possibility for everyone. I digress. My point: what I say or do, is never, ever intended to hurt or offend anyone. I live my life how I live my life, and I don't think less of other who live they're life differently. Now I mostly skip over those topics completely.
I got a fair amount, not a lot, but enough shit, when I ran an ig exorcist program on my instagram account (a program that deletes followers who haven't been active on your account--- or any account in general---- basically removing spam, lurkers, and making the occasional mistake of deleting people who do follow along, but aren't as active in the IG world). One or two told me I was doing "bad business."--- this made me start thinking. On one hand it was awesome, that people from the outside viewed me as a business type person, but on the other hand, I was bummed to realize that some people genuinely thought that I looked at my instagram (blog/social media) primarily as a business--- where I cared only about numbers. I don't. Yes, I check my page views just like anyone else would, but I would always, 100% of the time, rather have good, genuine readers and stronger connections then maybe readers I'm not even sure exist in this place. Because really, are personal blogs about numbers or are they about people? (It's people).
I also started to question my stance on and in this blog world when I began opening up, speaking to, and connecting with others bloggers. The two-headed look I get when I tell people about my ideas of this blog, is usually amusing--- I got this a few times from Chris, we he came to visit. If you haven't heard of Chris Wiegand (I'm sure you have) and his documentary project, it's really, a clever idea. A journey up and down and across America, filming bloggers and they're lives. He's also husband to the amazing Casey Wiegand---- pretty much one of the nicest people in the universe. Many points throughout our day of filming we chatted, on and off camera. I spilled most of all my guts off camera, and (not at all surprisingly) tensed up every time the camera was on me. Hook me up to a mic, I'm good. Stick a camera in my face? I'll die not sparkling in the spotlight. But hey, I'm happy over here, without it all in my face, I sparkle just fine without it ;) With his project and each day of connecting with other women, it's confirmed, I'm not like a lot of the other bloggers. Not the ones in Chris' project, not any that I've heard of, and even not the ones that I love and follow now. I mean, we're all not exactly the same anyway--- there is no box we all fit into. Yes, I blog. No, I have no idea where I'm going. No, I don't worry about what people have to say. Yes, I moderate comments, but really just for spam (there is SO much), and at one point for one person who never, ever had anything constructive to say. No, I've never been to a blogging convention--- the only time I considered it was when I was asked to speak at one (until I grow out of this nervous in the spotlight thing, that won't be happening). Yes, I actually have no idea what even really takes place at a convention, other than listening to a few speakers. No, I'm not here to make it anywhere, I'm just here, sharing things and helping provide for my family through the occasional sponsored post and project. Hi guys, here I am.
I've never tried to fairy-tale my life. I'll admit, things look usually pretty good on the screen--- because they usually are, but also, because I ('d like to think I) have a knack for making things look good. I've always been that person--- that child even, who liked to make things look nice. My family and my mom's friends would enlist me--- not to clean they're homes, but to clean up, organize, and simplify their space, closets, rooms, or whatever, when I was growing up. I'm good at it--- making the modest things shine.
I'm feeling like I should be coming to the end of this post, but in reality, I have no closing. From where I started and to this end, there is no concrete point, just rambles. I've debated a few times, and probably (definitely) even mentioned it, whether or not I would make this place less personal--- keep it simple, more recipes, more pictures of simple, yet enjoyable things. But through opening up and having people open up in return, I've learned, I don't want to change that part of me. I connect with and love people once I get to know them. No one is going to connect with me and this space, if no one knows anything about me. Yes, pictures here and there, a few paragraphs, stories, they can create an image and idea, and people can enjoy or like that--- but the real relationship that I enjoy and that I've gained with so many is missing. Sure, the business side of it is important, but I can't expect the more important part-- the connection if I don't let others know at least a little more about the (nonsensical) nonsense that goes on in my head. I guess, maybe, right?
Thank you! Really.
Thank you for those of you who have opened up your lives to me and shared your thoughts and stories! It's awesome :)
Speaking of social media things, a friend of mine sent me a link to this story. It's a good read for any one of us in the social media world--- whether you share your story or just read others. I think the biggest thing we can take from it is that there's not any limited amount of success or happiness in this world. Success and happiness are never-ending, we just have to grab ours and take it and be happy for others who have it too, cause they aren't stealing ours!
Also, since I'm so amazing with posting things on time--- below are photos from our documentary time with Chris filming the ohdeardrea blog and family. It was a bit of a trip being filmed--- a good trip of course. Marlowe still from time to time asks if we can take my friend Chris back to beach, maybe one day, kid. You can also check out Casey's blog for updates on the project (or just a good general read, inspiration, and some pretty freaking cute kids). Or follow hashtag american blogger on instagram for daily updates (#americanblogger)
Also also, if you like this place, maybe consider supporting us by following along on bloglovin, the ohdeardrea Facebook, pinterest, instagram, or checking out the etsy. Also, if you really like mindgrape babbles and junk, there's incredibly not business-like twitter too. Thank you for also supporting our sponsors, they are all shops, sites, companies, and other blogs close to my heart, that help out this family. Support to them is appreciated all around.
And if you made it to the end of the post, I'll assume its raining there too... and we're making biscuits and gravy here, you're welcomed to join us.