I read a lot of blogs. Thank God for Bloglovin’—before, I would fanatically, religiously check in on my ever increasing list of bookmarks, stopping by no less than three or four times a day, especially if it was a slow day at work. It became a sort of tic, a compulsion to see what was going on in other’s lives, these beautiful vintage photo-filled lives. I’ve tried several times to become a faithful blogger, but there’s a laundry list of reasons why I haven’t. I’m lazy, so I don’t always want to write out my feelings. I’m forgetful—so any cool projects I do manage to complete don’t have any “process” photos to do cool tutorials (which is what blogs are for, it seems). I’m organized, but not to the point where I can sit down and fill a planner with scheduled posts—or rather, I’m not creative OR disciplined enough to have “regular feature”. Most of my writing is spontaneous—I share what I’m feeling or experiencing at the moment.
I think some of my hesitation, though, stems from being hung up on the thought that the only legitimate blogs are written by slender, beautiful, vintage-dressed moms who home-school their beautiful children, create photo-worthy family dinners, and are able to supplement family income with a sponsored blog. And if not them, then just-as-beautiful, just-as-thin and just-as-vintage are the farmer blogs, ones that showcase bountiful gardens, adorable piglets, cuddly lambs, and muddy wellies. There are photo blogs of long-haired girl-next-door beauties shot in the setting sun that make me ache, videos set to some indie band of a wedding of gorgeous people in gorgeous settings, and interior design blogs that turn me a (complementary) shade of green.
The thing about that though, is that it absolutely isn’t true. One of my very favorite blogs—the one I jump to read first every morning–is written by a woman who isn’t slender or vintage or ethereal: Jenna Woginrich from Cold Antler Farm. She is like a Morgan pony (or if you ask her, a Fell), rather than a Thoroughbred—small and stocky but she’ll work her heart out and get the job done. She has a beautiful Washington County farm that she has worked and worked for. She recently quit her full-time job as a web designer to pursue a life based on her dreams and desires, and she’s stubborn enough to do it, too.
Yesterday, as I spent several hours surfing the internet (sllloooowww day at work), finding some amazing stuff, I realized that I have so much time I could be devoting to this blog, and there are so many cool things I could be sharing with my friends. For example: Joanna Goddard of Cup of Jo (another insanely popular blog I follow) linked to a website that had me entranced for hours called Old Love. It’s a tumblr devoted to photos of old flames and flings. I would find a photo of Gilda Radner and Bill Murray, and immediately had to Wikipedia Gilda to see who she was, which led me to Gene Wilder. I learned so much about Steve McQueen, Barbra Streisand, Clark Gable, Richard Pryor, Tim Burton, Lisa Marie, Liza Minnelli, Laurence Olivier, and Charlie Chaplin, to name a few. Most of those photos lead to sad tales of quick marriages, affairs, and divorce. But occasionally, there was a love story tucked in there that was so inspiring, like Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes, who were together for 35 years until he passed away. Or Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward—married for fifty years and still madly in love at the end (“Why go out for a hamburger when you have steak at home?”).
I’m finding and experiencing and learning so much these days, and I will freely admit that it has much to to do with the blogs I frequent, the links my friends share. I find myself quietly rebelling at times—‘No, I will not be a social media person. I will keep my life private and beautiful and sacred to myself’. And then I started using an old iPhone just for Instagram, I keep up with family on Facebook, and Pinterest truly has my heart, although I HAVE managed to hold out against Twitter. I have a few different blogs floating around out there, although I would like to combine my Tumblr photoblog with this one to feel more consolidated and less chaotic.
I guess that’s part of the duality of man (as jon would put it)—wanting simultaneously to not be a part of this imaginary world that is the internet and yet still wanting the validation that comes with sharing your life with others. Back “when”, people got this validation from actually interacting with people, with making food together, quilting, raising barns, raising children, worshipping together, dancing and singing. I know that still happens today, but now it’s all documented, and it sometimes it makes me feel inferior that I don’t have a wildly exciting canning session, or that I cannot make the mess on my table seem romantic (especially when most of it is covered in gray cat hair).
Or maybe all of this is a matter of perspective. Sometimes I think maybe my life would look that glamorous and beautiful from someone else’s viewpoint, but because it is my life and I’m too close, I can’t see it.
Whatever. This is starting to ramble, and I don’t think professional bloggers do that. They probably have it all laid out like all my school essays: opening, three points, conclusion. I’ve just been spilling my guts here–I don’t even know what this post is about anymore. But I DO know that my dear friend Kellye is going to have a baby any moment and there is nothing in this world that is more beautiful or sacred or valid than that. And tonight when I go home, I will finish a homemade doll, clean up my kitchen, maybe make some butter. I probably won’t remember to snap any pictures, but that’s my life, and it’s still a pretty good one.