At work, I always tell the kids that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it all; and I've tried to follow that as much as I can as an adult. So when I first heard of Get Off My Internets, I was angry that there would be a website where people write hateful things about bloggers, some of whom are my friends. But as of late, I've been spending a little more time than I'd like to admit on that site reading the forums and I also hate to admit it, but I actually agree with a lot of what they say there. I think one of the reasons I just haven't been motivated to blog as passionately as I once did is because of how much blogging has changed since I started in 2009. Clicking on an affiliate link to a product via a blogger's tweet recently made me feel a little used as a follower, and all the more compelled to write this post that has been haunting my mind.
Almost two years ago, Chictopia invited me to speak at their conference about social media and a little about the blogger-business relationship. I still stand by what I said that day that the blogger-business relationship should be transparent, fair, and honest. However, I feel that sponsorships have become even more apparent on blogs since then, and that the shift in purpose of blogs has shifted from expressing creativity to getting free things. The fantasies of fame and glamor have created so many formulaic bloggers who lack real originality and personality. I can find countless girls wearing a floral dress with doc martens; girls wearing an oversized sweater with cut off denim shorts; etc. while scrolling through my Tumblr dashboard. Who were once relatable, genuine girls trying to find their personal style within their closets and budgets are now basically live mannequins for companies. Free stuff is always nice, but is it still "free" when it's at the expense of your originality and personality? It just wasn't, and still isn't, worth it to me. I'm not saying that I'm overflowing with originality and creativity, because what's so hard about putting a striped top with a skirt? All I'm saying is that I think we need to go back to our roots and the real reason why we started blogging. What happened to that loving community that fostered friendships, creativity, and personal style? I feel like almost every comment, tweet, and blog post have become PR attempts to build relationships with companies rather than with fellow bloggers and their readers. I have honestly made the best friends from blogging who I wouldn't trade for anything and who have thankfully remained true to themselves through all of this, and I will be forever grateful for all the opportunities I received through blogging. I just hope that other people can still find friendships and equal opportunities even among all the greed that has littered the blogging world.
GOMI also criticized bloggers for not being real on their blogs, and I admit to putting up a happy facade, but let's be real for a little while. From throwing up on the flight to last year's NYFW to creepy men starting conversations with me while I take self portraits, I think I just might have the most un-glamarous blogging life. For me, most mornings of getting dressed on "picture days" are neither effortless nor are they fun. Sometimes they result in a cute outfit and then a blog post; sometimes they result in mini-breakdowns over hating my closet and my body; and sometimes, probably the worst of all, they result in an impulsive need to buy something new. That last one is something I'm getting better at--dressing for me and not for my blog. I know it's stupid and ignorant of me to have breakdowns over having too many non-cute clothes, but it happens and that's something I've been working on too (especially now that I'm going to be unemployed soon, I have to love every single thing in my closet). Honestly, I think if I didn't have my blog anymore, I'd probably just live in basic t-shirts with a skirt, shorts, or jeans; and on non-picture days, I do. But that's the great thing about having this blog right? It pushes me to be creative with my closet, but sometimes, I worry that the creativity is too forced and not genuine. At the same time, I think I have to stop worrying about creating and just start being...myself.
I'm currently on the cusp of a new chapter of my life. I'm excited, and I'm terrified. I'm scared that maybe I'm not all that great with kids as I thought I was. I'm scared that since the classroom setting is so different from the daycare setting, I might not even like teaching. Now that I'm single and Robert's leaving for Hawaii soon, I'm scared that we made the wrong choice and that I'm going to be forever alone. I'm scared of not finding a job when I graduate. Sometimes I think I'm scared more of success than I am of failure. I'm also scared of spiders and clowns, if you didn't already know. At the same time, I'm excited to meet new people who I can talk to about teaching and kids. I'm excited to learn about a subject that I'm interested in and that I can apply to my life for once. I'm excited to being on the last chapter of being a student, and to beginning a career.
All these feelings, coupled with the fact that sometimes I feel like my blog has outlived its purpose since I have found my own style, have made me want to quit blogging altogether. And I think if the blogging world continues towards this direction, I just might one day soon. Until that day comes though, I mean to stick to my New Year's Blogging Resolution of not forcing the posts/outfits but to let them come naturally. I'm going to try to be a little more real too if I didn't scare you off already.
Until next post,