Wednesday, September 30, 2015

On Not Losing My Voice and Blogging Like It's 2008 (or more accurately, blogging like it's Doogie Housers diary)

I always have this cache of unwritten posts in my head that I want to write about, but really I don't actually write about any of that until the mood strikes me. And then I gotta take to the keyboard to release the pressure valve in heart/head/fingers/soul. Hehe.

I've realized over the last few months (I guess years if you consider the great Facebook deactivation of 2012) is that I get TOO overwhelmed or bombarded by the massive amounts of info I can take in by reading blogs or instagram (also The Great Facebook Deactivation---best decision I ever made!!! Well, internet presence wise).  I've been convicted lately that I need to set a time for it and then be done with it, instead of randomly grasping at my phone like it's literally oxygen. Especially now that my life circumstances have changed for the time being and I really could waste (and yes, at some point it's definitely a waste) a TON of time perusing. Especially when I choose it over quiet time, accomplishing actual things, or getting in the way of my goal to write everyday. (Hint--not going well, need to be more motivated AND disciplined. And probably lock up my iPhone).

But something that bothers me almost even more than the time suck I allow blogs/instagram is that sometimes I worry I will lose my voice because it's become too influenced by OTHER voices!!!! I hate how everyone adopts the same cadence of speech, "little original sayings", and pretty much just general points to harp over. Maybe because I follow almost exclusively hipster mommy bloggers, most with pseudo Christian overtones? But no, even the lifestyle/fashion/home accounts tend to be the same way (all in their own different ways of course).

Here are some examples of everyone's individual and unique "voice" becoming one and the same:

1. Right now, everyone is talking bout being "wild and free" and "adventurous" and being part of a "tribe". "So thankful to have found my tribe". "My number one goal is that these people get to be WILD and FREE!"  We get it. You're so global and warrior like it your crazy lifestyle of wife and mom. (Both amazing things, don't get me wrong)  It's all fine in and of itself but why is EVERYONE talking about that??? I miss 2008, when bloggers talked about their actual lives and showed you what they did on the weekend or what they ate (pre gluten free or paleo times, actual food). There were still lots of pictures of feet in 2008, could have done without that.  Everyone in 2008 was more open with the fact they were just procrastinating work by reading and writing blogs. I liked the honesty.

PS. You know what I want my kids to be? Instead of wild and free lets try well mannered and able to occupy themselves when necessary in a safe environment. LOL. But seriously.

I'm pretty sure everyone on instagram wants you to think they are in a Sonoma jeans add circa 1995. Desert. Aztec. Moody vibes (also everyone stop saying vibes about everything!!! Unless you are me or Christen doing it in an ironic snapchat) Kids looking on into the future with misty but all knowing wise eyes, while wearing gender neutral clothing that was more expensive than your own wardrobe.  Instagrammers---You know you and your husband watch netflix wearing old navy yoga pants and gym shorts, instead of skinny jeans and flannel. WE SEE THROUGH YOU).  ---disclaimer---I do love aztec sweaters and have a problem. I keep buying them. So, see?  I'm not above being influenced!

A guideline to life and trends: Everything ever is always a reaction to something that preceded it. Ok? As long as you're aware of that in the next big trend in lifestyle/fashion/way of eating. Just know in the next 3-5 years it will passé you will have to transform your life into something else. We cool? I love when people just own it. "I'm enjoying this wanna be outdoorsy vibe (oh NO see, now I'm doing it!!!) while it lasts but I'm excited to see what I will pretend to be into when the next trend comes around!!!"

2. Grown ladies stop calling your friends "babe". "So glad to be spending time with this gorgeous babe" (posts picture where the actual poster looks gorgeous and prepared for coffee selfies while innocent friend grimaces and regrets not being dolled up).  WE GET IT, you're trying to let the world know you're giving other women compliments!  You're mindful and thankful and STOPPING TO SMELL THE ROSES. You're little, but strong, boyish, yet feminine!!! With your long lashes and perfect hair but mannish shirt all to suggest what a capable cog in this brilliant world of adorable women you're part of! Again, it's not the actual phrases/outfits/mindsets/whathaveyou's that get to me, it's how UBIQUITOUS they have become!!!!!

"/yoo-bikwedes/ adjective : present, appearing, or found EVERYWHERE".

I try and remind myself that for every coffee I buy there is a mom or lady out there working her fingers to the bone for a better life for herself and her own. And while I'm blessed enough to be able to have enough time to literally photograph a coffee in attractive lighting someone else is drinking gross coffee at work trying to get through another day of crushing expectations and responsibilities. Not sure why I came in with that random guilt trip, but I DON'T KNOW, I just did. I think it's more to encourage myself to quit frittering away time online and DO THINGS. Lol? If I say LOL will you not think I'm a psycho lunatic? Hehe???

(I'm sorry if this post sounds angry--I promise, it's not! I just have to make sense of the things I observe. Maybe others don't care that their voices are one in the same with others in a very carefully curated box they created? It's ok if they don't. I care.  About my voice. And I get scared. That my voice will become drowned out due to my own doing by exposing myself to so much, quantity voices over quality voices)

3. Heart eye emoji's. I can't anymore! I know, I've been an offender of this too. But now I can't stand the heart eye emoji's. "All the heart eye emoji's for this _______________". "I'm so silly and have grandma tastes even though the thing I have heart eye emoji for is super popular within my demographic!!! Aren't I so twee?!?"

"Twee: /twe/ Adjective:

Excessively or affectedly quaint, pretty, or sentimental"

Can I just give a scoop of reality to all of us (myself included) that when it comes to online presence a little twee goes a long way. I am a huge fan of Wes Anderson, and for those of you who know me irl KNOW I do love my fair share of all things twee. To the point that if my kids want to wear anything but cords and chuck taylors I know I'll be all kinds of disapointed, haha. (Just kidding??)  But I'm reminding myself that in most circumstances, a little truly does go a long way.


So, how does this fit into all my fears and writing and general well being so on and so forth???

I want to write things that when people read they will definitely hear me and not some fabricated wanna-be trying to BRAND MYSELF into something "sellable". It is seriously what 99.9% of social media has become. Sponsors! Partnerships! Giveaways (these things are not bad at all, but I love getting to know the real person "behind the brand"). Hence, when it comes to my blog, my motto is to "blog like it's 2008". When people were just figuring it out and posting unfiltered (for the most part) pictures of their life and SHARING and making sense of their life with words. This blog is 100% for my own rumination and ramblings, but I do so appreciate when my friends read it!!!!

I want to write books (children books, young adult fiction, ect) that are clearly MY VOICE. While of course it's normal to be influenced by other authors, people you admire, I want to maintain what God made me---ME! Don't you love coming across someone that you can tell is your kindred spirit just by reading something they wrote??? L.M.Montgomery, Laura Ingalls, JK Rowling...

Bottom line: I'm going to work real hard to be balanced about input/output when it comes to being creative. I'm going to work real hard on finding my voice and making sure I keep it. (I think I pretty much have found it, but it a little soul searching and effort couldn't hurt).

More honesty:
I struggle between resenting and mocking the affected and the twee and loving it. Because I am a lover of beauty and really enjoy style. Not like, I only like super models or velvet curtains. I do love to arrange things beautifully, dress my house in a way I find pleasing, find clothes that I enjoy and so on. I do love the take pretty pictures and post them. I like the dynamic. But I still want it to be me. To do things because I enjoy them not because I want to be putting of a certain "vibe" (I cannot stop with this now, it's become a real part of my vocabulary which is the exact reason I'M MAKING THIS POST!!!!)

If you read this from beginning to end, hats off! There were no pictures, reveals, dramatic announcements, or giveaways.  You basically can say you read an entire book now. Go tell your friends. They might ask what a book is. You can tell them, a really long string of words sans pictures. And there is no like button even!!!!  And they'll say: "Ohhh, did it give you all kinds of nerd vibes?" and you'll say: "Yes. Yes it did. Nerd vibes."

all the heart eye emoji's for this post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Old Westbury Gardens and Phipps Mansion

Like I've said before, we had many opportunities during our time at the Women's Therapy Center to go do fun things, and we were very thankful not only for the opportunity to GO in the first place but to make the two weeks a fun time we will NEVER forget.  My post today is about our time at the Old Westbury Gardens and Phipps Mansion. Aka, the place at the end of HITCH where Albert and Allegra got married, and they did that amazing dance off.  Because that's the kind of history that is important! J/k. The roaring 20's are also very important.

The north shore of Long Island, (more specifically the towns of North Hempstead, Oyster Bay, and Huntington,) is noteworthy for it's affluent homes of some family names you might recognize- Vanderbilt, Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, Woolworth, ect. Seriously, go to gold coast mansions and CHECK IT OUT. Think Gatsby and Downton Abbey, Old Sport. Bring your cameras and your walking shoes!

We had such a good time tooling around the gardens and touring the house. I seriously love gardens, especially ones I'm not in charge of maintaining! And the house was just lovely as you an tell by bucket-tons of photos I took.  We spent about half a day here, you could definitely spend more or less depending on your interest in gardens and houses. Just walking the gardens was so soothing!!!! Good luck getting this to all download on your screen....

Of course, I had even more pictures...but I know that was quite enough. We hope to go back one day and visit some of the other mansions--especially a few that are right on the water so I can pretend to be Daisy Buchanan! Next time on the New York memorabilia tour is "That Time I Met Zach Braff". 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

the seasons change and I do not (and other morose and dramatic comments)

I was trying to explain to Ted the other day why the end of seasons, the approach of holidays, birthdays, and other milestones make me cringe inside and begin that dreaaaadddddddddd, the kind that just weighs you down and it's hard to put your finger on exactly what you are dreading.

I know in my head I have made so much personal growth over the last few years. I know that. But as each month passes that we still haven't began our family I get that feeling of being locked in the box, not being able to progress or move forward, and the feeling of being STUCK. And it makes me crazy. CRAZY. Claustrophobic. Frantic! I have nightmares about suffocating, about being paralyzed while everyone else is moving forward. Just blissfully ignorant to the idea that their desires might not be met--because why wouldn't they? I know I'm not the only person who is working towards a goal that has become very long term--everyone has things they want to be different!  I know there is so much more to life than this one thing I'm working towards. In a perfect world, I would just be filling my life with a million other things and just making magic happen in other areas of my life. Hah. Reality check--this roller coaster pretty much dominates my life and distracts me from doing other things. I resent other people sometimes, just in the sense that their lives just seem to effortlessly move along at a normal pace. Long waiting periods are just months, not years (not just about having kids but any "issue" they are working on).  Is there something wrong with me that I just simply can't "make" things happen the way it seems that other people do?

I remember one time (before I quit Facebook) someone was writing about a situation in their lives that had resolved (I know, vague, but the situation isn't really the factor in why I remember it) . Everyone was just so excited for them (I was too, it was a good thing).  People kept exclaiming "YOUR LONG PERIOD IN THE DESERT IS OVER!!! YOU WENT THROUGH SO MUCH!!!! ALL THAT WAITING AND YOU DESERVE IT!!!" I struggled SO much with this. At the time I was still very much in my own desert, not telling anyone about vaginismus, not knowing what was going on with me, and just having so much doubt and hurt and my life.  There was literally no end in sight. I was annoyed (and still get annoyed) by people who cannot tolerate their lives being slightly less than perfect for two minutes. I know this is mean. Because we all have different struggles and you never know what someone is really going through and to judge it harshly is just good for no one.

I say this also knowing full well there are people out there who have lost multiple children, tried to conceive for decades and spent thousands of dollars and still have no children, to these people maybe I'm the person who "cannot tolerate their lives being slightly less than perfect for two minutes".

Maybe I'm someone who wouldn't be able to survive recurring miscarriage. Maybe I would resent my children and husband had I gotten pregnant early on in our marriage--not know what I had and not taken it seriously enough. There is a reason my story is this and not someone else's.  I KNOW THAT.

It doesn't mean I still don't mourn the summer packing it's suitcase and yet another season on the way and I am still here at the station, the same.