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Thursday, February 21, 2013

On being my real self

Sandpoint Idaho winter streets || Chestnut Mocha Blog
*it started snowing last night and it doesn't stop*
Sandpoint Idaho winter streets || Chestnut Mocha Blog
*the streets are turning white again*
Mindy Kaling Book The Office
*a very entertaining book: light and funny*

I've been feeling very weird recently and I finally decided to address it here. I don't feel like myself and I'm not even sure what myself is anymore. There were so many changes in my life in last 6 months and it seemed like I was going through just fine.. till now. I blame it on the end of winter, I finally exhausted my energy and motivation to keep myself up and running all the time. It's like I'm questioning everything now trying to see whether I'm sincere or not. And I can't find the answers. 

For example, with the blog.  Ben and I started it back in 2011 when we finally got together after doing a year of long-distance relationship. We both loved photography and wanted to document all the little moments of spending time with each other. It was all fun and exciting, Ben's parents were happy about it, too, because they got to see all the photos and read about us more often. Last year when we made our grand move across the continents I was mostly blogging for my parents. I was trying to take a camera with me everywhere and show my family how and what I was doing here. Right after I clicked "Publish" I would immediately email the link to my parents and brother. We used to Skype a lot, too. It really helped me not to feel too homesick and lonely. I also got to know more and more fellow bloggers online, read their stories and see how the blogging community develops. Of course my blog and I started absorbing ideas and "rules" from the new-to-me world. And it was a fun and interesting adventure. 

But recently I've started feeling more and more down about everything I do and about myself. Now I'm not sure where it is me and where it's some ideas from outside. It's pretty hard for me recently to be as excited as before about blogging. I still like it a lot, and I'll never stop taking photos (I fell in love with photography loooong before I started posting anything here), but I want to figure out how to find my voice again. I want this blog to be what it was meant to be at first: a place to share our creativity and document all the moments we spend together. This is why I feel bad when I catch myself planning to go to some specific place wearing a specific outfit to take photos for the post. I feel insincere when I do it... Maybe I'm wrong but I'm having a mental battle with myself about it right now. I like dressing up and I like taking photos but when I do it I want to be doing it because I like it, not because I am planning a blog post, you know? And it's not just about the outfits, it's about everything. I question every single thing I do right now, trying to figure out what comes first when I consider doing something: blog or life. I want my blog be about my life, not my life developing around the blog. I hope I didn't bore you too much, but I feel like this is a big part of me right now and I had to share it here.   

Katie

15 comments:

Allie said...

that mindy kaling book made me CRY laughing. shes the best.

aandrp.com said...

I've never commented here, but I've read your blog for a while. I totally agree with you. While I've just recently started blogging, I think it's pretty easy to tell if someone's writing for money and popularity or for enjoyment.

That said, I've always found your posts authentic. But I see your point: what's the point of documenting your life if it's just staged? I'll keep that in mind as I continue blogging.

aandrp.com said...

I've never commented here, but I've read your blog for a while. I totally agree with you. While I've just recently started blogging, I think it's pretty easy to tell if someone's writing for money and popularity or for enjoyment.

That said, I've always found your posts authentic. But I see your point: what's the point of documenting your life if it's just staged? I'll keep that in mind as I continue blogging.

Allison Lizer said...

I don't know that I've commented before either. I'm a very recent follower (the past month or so) but your posts have all felt real to me. Of course, your feelings are more valid than anyone else's on the matter and if you want to re-evaluate what you want from the blog do that!

I think aandrp said it well already, life shouldn't be staged and following all these beautiful blogs can make it hard not to plan life a little too much. I wish you the best with your self reflection. Winter's almost over and spring will be here to bring us a little more joy. Happy Friday.

Amy said...

I completely understand what you're saying. I think a lot of the time we start something with a certain intention and expectations and some where along the way it shifts slightly, maybe even a little more than slightly.
I think it is fantastic that you're getting back to the roots to make sure you're blogging what YOU want to blog, not what you think others expect you to blog! <3

Gypsy in Jasper said...

I think this is always the challenge with blogging. We start out with one objective and then we start reading more and more blogs and feel like our objective isn't the right one. So, we change to follow the pack and then we burn out and realize everything we do is for the wrong reason.

I went through that phase as well. I was pretty quick to turn back to things I enjoy, though. I mean, sure I do outfit posts, but only once every two weeks and most of the time those outfit posts are an opportunity for Ian and I to have a goofy moment with each other. Whether that means, taking pictures of me eating an ice cream sandwich or singing into a mirror, those photos are a reflection of me, and us and our relationship.

To be honest, lately, I'm feeling a bit jaded as well. Not with what I'm posting, but with what all of the blogs I follow are posting. I feel like people are quickly losing their authenticity and trading it in for sponsored posts. It bums me out a bit.

I love your blog and I love when you write truthfully and use your authentic voice. If that means blogging less and only blogging when you feel inspired to write something, then make that change. This is your space. Make it what you want.

I hope you start to feel better soon.

JellyBones said...

Oh boy..... nicely said here. Since I started blogging I sometimes feel the same way. Am I doing things because it would look good on the blog, or because it's something that I WANT to do? I've even found myself not finishing something because it didn't look pretty enough for photos. WHAT? Crazy talk! It's natural to get caught up in what others want to read, but really you gotta do what you feel best about, post what inspires you and I know your followers will still read. Good luck to you! Hold your head up!
Trish

www.jellybonesblog.blogspot.com

Missy said...

Hmmm... I have been thinking of this since i read it. I sometimes think that writing our blog makes us take time to do things that we enjoy doing and to report on them. Our blog is made for our families to read because we live far away, too, but I feel it has made us do some great events, concerts, and travel because we want to blog about them! So not only do we have the experience of the event, but we have the blog entry, too.I don't feel staged about it, though, just telling about what we do.

Well... said...

Wow, these are some seriously deep thoughts. As a new reader, I don't know much about your blog, but I appreciate your honesty in addressing the attitude of how too much of blogging is done. We all know about planning an outfit and getting wrapped up in shooting the perfect outfits with a perfect background. It does seem rather unnatural, doesn't it?
You're making me question a lot now too.
Which I do appreciate!
Thank you for taking time to write this all down. I'm sure you'll find your voice again and take this blog back to what it is you want it to be <3

Trendy Teal

Shell KittyAndBuck said...

Just a minor note relating to what you've said, I find when those thoughts creep in, it helps to have a lovely outing, in a beautiful place, get dressed up and have an awesome time and don't blog about it! It helps remove that feeling of only doing things to blog about, if you make a point of doing 'bloggable' things and not blogging. Does that make sense? I hope so! Loving you blog, the most important thing is to stay true to yourself.
xo

Lauren @tear stained said...

I'm so glad you shared this and that so many can relate! I have an incredibly small blog and have had times where I go months without posting because it doesn't feel authentic. It may effect how many followers I get, but I remember why I'm doing it, and it's for me. I think just acknowledging how you're feeling will help you start to rediscover yourself again.
best wishes!!

Betty said...

Well written post! And I struggle with this as well...it's so easy to get caught up in the 'blog' competition rather than using it for its original purposes. Personally, I think your blog is great...and I'm so happy I've stumbled upon it. And try to remember that February and March in the inland northwest are rough. They are gray and depressing...so I try not to make any major life decisions during this time. :) That being said, thank you for this reminder on what's important! BTW...I love that Mindy Kaling book--it's nice for this time of year.

Chestnut Mocha said...

Thank you all so very much for such great, thoughtful and supportive comments! I tried to reply to everyone via your emails, I hope I didn't miss any comments. Love!

Olithée said...

Incredibly good one.

I somehow feel the same, large part of my life is dedicated to my blog, it somehow runs my life too, the way I cook, get dressed or am but in the end its not far from who I am, just a little bit romanced. But thats makes me happy for the time being, I am being more challenging with myself and more creative and innovative and this is incredibly rewarding.

The day I start to think the same, I either stop or slow it down or would post more sincere ones with no intention to be greeted. Be what you want to post, who cares !

Hope you keep blogging tough, no matter what spirit you decide to share !

Brooke said...

"I want my blog be about my life, not my life developing around the blog. "

Holy smokes. You said it.

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