Wednesday, 18 April 2012

How are you? Well, actually...

During the night when I was up with the boy I was flicking through Twitter. I happened upon this blog post on Maria Shriver's blog and wowsers, it summed up exactly what blogging has given me, what I have tried hard to explain to people and haven't quite got there.

Go and read it, go on. Even if you just scan it it.

Basically, the post says, that we as humans all share the same experiences and failings, yet we hide it from each other. We isolate ourselves because we think everyone else is succeeding so we put on a front of success ourselves.

Through blogging I have read honest, raw stories from everyday people and thought: "Yes! I feel like that too." It's allowed me to be honest on my blog, admit that I'm not perfect. Admit that being a mother can be hard, boring and exhausting at times. That I struggle with things – weight, self-esteem, shyness. That life is not like it is in a catalogue. Discovering blogs was like an antidote to the Facebook world of: "Look at me and my perfect life" that often gets projected. What you don't see on those Facebook photos that people post (you know the ones of a perfect family holidaying in an exotic location)  are those dark secrets: 'I really stuffed up at work'; 'I cry every time I hear my child cry'; 'My credit card is maxed out and I don't know how I'm going to pay it'; 'I can't believe I just yelled at my baby'; 'I'm lonely'; 'I'm scared'. You don't often see those as Facebook statuses.

Opening up has taken a huge weight off my shoulders. It's given me a sense of freedom in my life that I never imagined. By admitting vulneralbilty I've become stronger and happier.

A lot has been mentioned online about the recent Sunday Life articles about mummy blogging. It was inferred in the article that bloggers reveal too much of themselves and blog at the expense of their families and friends. In my experience this hasn't been true, quite the reverse. My relationships are stronger because I think those close to me have seen another side of me. Friends have said to me: "Yes! I so get that." or "I understand what you're going through better now."

Not everything single thing is revealed on blogs, I keep things for myself and my family. I am open and honest, though, and now I realise that I don't have to feel ashamed or embarrassed about simply being human. I'm human, I stuff up, make mistakes am not always who I'd like to be. My life is not perfect but it's good. I also now know that when I am going through a bad time, I'm not alone and that there are people who will support and help. I don't have to pretend.

Trying to be what you think others are is exhausting and unfulfilling.

So next time someone asks: "How are you?" why don't you speak up. Go on, I dare you.

20 comments:

  1. I really appreciate you opening up your life and have loved getting to know what goes on inside you. For some people, they blurt their vulnerabilities verbally (that would be...me), for others it will be blogging for others it may take another form (and I guess others don't have a way). It's funny with facebook...that it is set up to present a snapshot of the glossy side of people's lives. I often try to remind myself that the only people who I think are perfect are the ones that I don't know well. As soon as I get to know someone, I realise that we are all insecure, struggling with stuff, and just all trying to find our place and way in the best way we know how. Your blog has not only been great for you, but has touched a lot of other people too.

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    1. Thanks Lanie, very kind words. Yep, we're all flawed. X

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  2. I really hated that about FB, the whole showoffy part, and the 'look at me' part. It was a big bragfest, often. It felt like nothing was sacred! People werren't living in the moment anymore. They were just too busy documenting all the good bits for the world to see. Strange. I had to close my account down as a result. I will blog about it one day perhaps.

    As for blogs, yep, my fave ones just tell it like it is. They're raw. But I do think there are a bunch out there that also suffer from that FB syndrome too ... 'Look at my perfectly stylised so and so!' It's all a bit perfect and ... well, not very authentic to me. It's like some people spend half the time at a party documenting how fab it was by taking pictures for their blog.

    Maxabella did a great post about this topic a little while back, actually.

    Aaaaanyway, sorry if I sound completely cynical. Thanks for always being honest. x Keep it real, lady!

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    1. Yep - we saw a perfect example of that when we were away. There were 3 young girls who were on a day trip to an island with great snorkelling. They took photos of each other in their bikinis for (seriously) a full hour. They then took photos of themselves with snorkels on (in their bikinis), then went up to the wi-fi area to upload the pics onto facebook. Now what is missing here....they didn't actually go snorkelling! They missed out on the best bit!!

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    2. You're right P23. I think you sense pretty quickly if something isn't authentic and I try to avoid those places. TBH it just doesn't interest me.

      I'd love to read your FB post. I have a love/hate relationship myself. I wrote a post about it once. X

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  3. Love this Corinne, I'm a shy person, but my friends know me so much more now than before I blogged. I can share things that I simply couldn't articulate the same in "real life". I don't care how they get my messages as long as they do. And as a blogger I am very protective about what I share and if in doubt, a little "are you sure?" alarm bell rings. If it rings, then it's not going in any post.

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    1. True, if your friends get the message that's the most important thing.

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  4. Brilliant post.
    I have loved what I've found out here.

    Blogging has even made me more self aware - as well as being a place to open up.
    I initially freaked that my in-laws read, but now I think that it might be good thing.
    I don't have anything to hide - I just don't always open up or articulate as easily off paper/screen.
    xxx

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    1. I freaked about people reading too, but it's worked out for the best.

      It seems a lot of bloggers are better writers than talkers! X

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  5. I love this Corinne. Not a day goes by where I don't think how lucky I am to have found blogging. I think things would have been so much harder and lonelier without it. Until 18 months ago, things kind of were. Then I started the blog (after reading BabyMac for a good year or so beforehand and trying to pluck up the courage to give it a go myself!) Beth's was the only blog I'd ever read and I only read it because she was a friend from work and we got on great, so I enjoyed reading all about her family etc...
    I agree that people don't often depict the truth in their lives through facebook or conversations. They're more inclined to only show the light, fluffy, pretty stuff... not the day to day shit that tends to happen to all of us.
    I withhold things from my blog also, as some things need to remain personal. But everything I put on there is true and I am not ashamed to admit at times, things are just well... crappy.
    Awesome post Corinne xo

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    1. Wow I didn't know you worked with Beth, Julie.

      I feel the same way, life would definitely be lonelier and harder without blogging x

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    2. Yes, we worked together in the same team, about 10 years ago. Beth left for a few years and then we ended up working together again (at the same company) right up until Beth left for the tree change. Beth and I were like the tag team baby-makers... she had Harper, then I had Felix. At one stage we were job-sharing with another girl who was also on mat leave. Definitely something in the water at that company xo

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  6. Another fantastic and honest post Corinne.
    Blogging allows us to feel a sense of community and camraderie that we often don't get on facebook or in real life because we're trying to put up a good front.
    It also helps me personally reflect on what I'm doing as a parent and think about how I am coping and I've also got some great ideas to help make the days run easier, smoother or just happier because I know I'm not alone.

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    1. It's a brilliant community, isn't it?
      Thanks for being part of it, Nat. X

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  7. Corinne, this is brilliant.

    You are brilliant.

    This was exactly what I wanted portrayed in that Sunday Life article. But they opted for a different angle. And I just thought the angle they chose was an injustice to what I personally get out of blogging. And I know so many others get so much out of it too.

    And yes, it is NOT at the expense of their families.

    This post is perfect :)

    x

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    1. Thanks Cherie, very kind words indeed.
      Why is it when a mum does anything it's at the expense of her family? Xx

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  8. I love this post Corinne! Blogging has given me so much more than I ever expected. And you are right, next time someone asks how I am, I plan to be completely honest.

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  9. Wow. Thanks for linking to that post Corinne and thanks for your honest sharing. I've been a lurker for a while but am now blogging and learning so much more about myself. And I agree, there is a sense of freedom that comes with it, unfurling little buds of myself that I've hidden from view. Couldn't agree more about FB, it presents a highly coloured version of life without any of the dark bits, especially for teenagers who may not be "popular" and are reminded of it every time they see the "fabulous" lives others are supposedly leading. Great post.

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  10. A wonderful post and as always beautifully written. x

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  11. A wonderful post and as always beautifully written. x

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Thank you so much for your comments! I'm always thrilled to hear from you.

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