Musings of an Ex-Blogger

>> Wednesday, July 11, 2018

I just can't relate to Instagram moms. Nobody is forcing me to. But with social media having such a central spot in daily life (again, my own fault in many ways) . . . I find myself musing on "fitting in" often. So, as I approach my 35th birthday, I've decided to just shed the layer of myself that still cares. It's been a process over many years. I have retreated more and more into my real life versus the one I used to mostly lead online, and -- oh -- how the line gets blurred.

Have you ever been in a conversation and said "well, my friend so-and-so's child does this or that". . . only to realize your friend is an online friend who lives across the country, and you've never actually met? I mean, that sounds ridiculous, but it has happened to me. I've been online in one way or another since like 2007. So, there's both good and bad in that. The extra support can be helpful when you're having trouble relating to people around you and can connect with someone on something specific. But then there's the comparison trap. Like, it gets bad with parenting and kids.

For example: My kid isn't taking accelerated math and reading Shakespeare yet, guys. Should I be worried?

I joke. But, yes, even I'm not immune to feeling a bit behind.

Ok. Where does the title of this post come in?

Well, I have taken to considering myself as more of an ex-blogger. (Can you tell? I've written all of, what, twice in the last two months!) The days of my recipes, DIYs, and writing making a splash on bigger sites or Pinterest feeds is way behind me. I used to get tens of thousands of hits a day on my site from a frozen banana bites post. That's hilarious to me. I mean, I made it BIG, friends.

Anyway, I've pecked along for the last several years and have almost entirely come to a stop this year. I have so many drafts in my blogger feed where I've written for half an hour . . . and when it comes time to post, I simply shut my computer and say to myself:

"Who cares!?"

As I've shared before, I don't live somewhere terribly interesting. There aren't gorgeous vistas or ocean views at every street corner. There isn't some lively city just bustling with activity or entertainment. I don't have unlimited time or funds to shop at farmers markets each day and choose fresh ingredients for nightly home-cooked gourmet meals. You get the idea.

Bloggers -- at least the ones people bother reading -- are INTERESTING for better or worse.

I, on the other hand, am an ordinary person.

Like, completely ordinary.

(That's cool with me, for the record.)

Where I live in an everyday sort of place. There are mostly tract homes that were built in the 1960s . . . many of them look alike and many of them, like ours, are modest. Because we have modest jobs and modest living wages. Our downtown area has made tremendous strides in the last 10 years that we've lived here, which is awesome -- it used to be tumbleweeds with interspersed gang violence -- but we don't go out all that much or feel like sharing too many details with strangers online. We cook fun meals on occasion, but I've been too tired lately to take photos or share recipes and -- let's be honest -- too busy feeding my face.

There's many more reasons I could list, but I am an ex-blogger with a neglected blog. And you'd think I'd just shut the darned thing down instead of stringing myself and those readers I have left along. I've threatened to do it many times, but I've resisted.

I mean, it feels good. It feels good to admit that I've taken myself out of the game. I will admit that I used to care what strangers thought about me, my lifestyle, my house, my running PRs, my kids, and my parenting. I really did. Instagram killed blogging for me. It used to be getting up in the wee hours of the morning and checking my blog reader for new updates. And now it's this ever-present photos and stories and constant visual reminders that people are living way more interesting lives than I am. Or that they have the energy to at least stage their lives in such a way that people fawn all over them.

This is turning into a rant. LOL. So, ex-blogging. It feels good and it feels . . . confusing? I still have this inner need to share. Maybe I need more friends? Maybe not. For an introvert, I've got plenty of good friends and am satisfied with my circle, however decentralized it may be. Just this week alone I'm having four mom-dates or play-dates, etc. (That's a lot for me! But I'm not lonely, so that's not why I retreat online, is what I'm saying.)

There is something I've enjoyed all these years about writing and then putting it out there to live on your screen. So, maybe it's habit that is hard giving up? Or maybe I'm lacking inspiration? Or maybe my life really is this ordinary that it's not worth sharing because, like I've thought many times, nobody cares.

AND THEN THAT'S THE HEART OF IT. I actually DO care about normal lives. I've found myself unsubscribing and rolling my eyes at those aspirational bloggers. Even the ones that profess that they're "down" with reality and us common-folk. I've just been clicking unsubscribe like mad in favor of connecting with everyday people, smaller bloggers who write about plain life lessons, and yadda, yadda, yadda.

It has given me some motivation to stop trying so hard to write something that people want to read. And, instead, to focus on sharing what I want to share with other ordinary people I'm not trying to impress or make envious. This is a long way of saying that, yes. I'm an ex-blogger who's trying to get back into the rhythm (ugh, this year's buzzword) of writing again. And I think I'll do what I did not too long ago where I simply share short snippets (microblogging) of whatever the hell I feel like, whenever I feel like it. But hopefully more regularly.

To those of you still reading, thank you.

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