Wednesday, 19 February 2014

It's not all sunshine and roses



It strikes me that whenever I read a blog, I'm always awed and envious of how idyllic the blogger's life seems to be.  I know that's not necessarily the case and not everyone chooses to share personal insights into the complexities of their world, but I'm often left thinking how perfect they seem and find myself longing for such a carefree, easy and effortless life, all viewed through the soft focus of an Instagram filter.  

These lives, or the bits of it the blogger chooses to share, give an impression of perfection that is false and unattainable.  In the same way magazines and the media portray unachievable ideals of 'beauty', I can't help but think that these online Perfecto Worlds could also have a negative impact.  I love reading these blogs and find escapism in them, but I always want more - to know more about the person and what actually goes on in their lives, not just the sugar-coated cutesy stuff.  Often they may briefly mention a bad day in a blog post, but follow it with yet another twee bakery shot (cup of coffee and a sprinkle covered cupcake) and peppy, positive spin.  The blogger themselves becomes almost an effigy, an online celebrity of sorts, who is relatable, yet still untouchable.  Now not only are we bombarded with images of what we should look like, but now also what our lives should look like.  The corporate, capitalist greed of more, more, MORE, which seems inherent in today's fast-living society now extends beyond fashion to every aspect of our lives.  

I understand wanting to portray one's best self to the world and many of us are guilty of creating an online version of ourselves that perhaps isn't quite representative of reality; I for one am guilty of ordering an unflattering candid photo to be deleted from social media, whereas I'll happily post carefully composed selfies.  Is that just the world we live in nowadays?

I've been very open about my cancer diagnosis and treatment, mostly through my personal Twitter account.  I just didn't see the point of hiding it or telling it any other way than the truth.  I've always hated lies and deception of any kind and I guess in a way that's how I feel some bloggers are - not in any way maliciously or intentionally, but somehow deceiving us into thinking and wanting a life that just doesn't exist.  I'm all for beauty and dreaming and escapism, but at what cost?  I don't want to be left feeling lacking, or wanting, or that my life isn't good/pretty/fun/dreamy/pastel coloured enough.  Which is why I will strive to keep things real here.  Sure, I'm still going to post my Friday Favourites - there's no harm in window shopping! - but I'll try my best to be honest, open and truthful about the good, the bad and the downright ugly.  

That is my blog pledge.

With that in mind, this evening I'm off to the hospital for a full body CT scan.  I've been having various pains and nausea and my oncologist thought it best to check it out.  I am naturally terrified that the scan will show that the cancer has returned and spread.  If it has spread anywhere else in my body, it is extremely bad news.  It will mean I can no longer be cured and it would just be a matter of time.  There are treatments that could be tried, in an attempt to keep it under control, but with the type of cancer I had the treatments are fewer and less successful.  

So yes; perhaps despite appearances, it most definitely isn't all sunshine and roses.  Besides, as Outkast rightly proclaimed, "Roses really smell like poo poo pooo".  Word.

Most beautiful gardens grow better with some horse shit thrown on them and it takes a balance of good and bad to make up this thing we call life.  

So c'mon, I challenge you - take off the rose-tinted glasses and dare to share your shit.

xx

EDIT:  To be clear, I'm not asking you to divulge anything in the comments below, I'm asking you to think about the way you blog and how you can be more honest in your posts and portrayal of yourself. 


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4 comments:

  1. I was molested by and forced to molest my older half-sister when I was 11. I had a stranger masturbate while looking at me changing at a swimming pool age 13. I have recurring self doubts as to my appearance, my dress, my personality - how I am perceived by others. I have a need to feel wanted. I have mild aspergers and BPD. I have a fear of failure that often means not trying or stopping/self-sabotaging part way through something. I fear I am not nor ever will be good enough for other people. I am my harshest and most vocal critic. I fear I am constantly misunderstood. I hurt when other people make jokes at my expense. I fear I am the butt of others jokes and generalised comments.

    I try to maintain a happy appearance, because that's how I want to be, how I feel I am most liked and least of a burden on other people.

    I don't blog. Apologies for soiling yours.

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    1. That's perhaps a little more than I thought people would share in the comments, but I did ask to share your shit. I'm so sorry for all the horrific things you have been through. I hope that writing them and your feelings out helped a little. I share some of your fears and worries. Know that you never need to apologise for how you feel, or what you've been through. Sending lots of love to you, whoever you are x

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  2. I think that showing vulnerability every now and then is a good thing - it's what makes us all human. I have been the victim of domestic violence and I am open about it, I am not ashamed to tell that to people when it's relevant. I do leave it out of the blog because until now I've never felt it would be relevant to mention it. In the end of the day, just as long as you are honest and true to yourself that shines through. I agree that so many people have an edited life - like there's no grain of dust in their homes or a knick knack out of place and it can look too artificial, maybe because it is.
    I hope all goes well at the hospital.

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    1. That's precisely it - the idea of a perfect life, which just isn't real. I don't mean everyone needs to share a warts-and-all account of their lives, especially sensitive or very personal things, but to portray oneself as Mary Poppins (practically perfect in every way!) just comes across as saccharine and fake. Personalities become lost in translation and it becomes boring. I'd much rather get to know the person better, than see yet another picture-perfect photoset.
      Thanks for your comment :) x

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