Monday, February 24, 2014

Adventures in Blogland...

In a little over a month, 
it will be the one year anniversary of my blog,
Suburban Charm.

I knew I would enjoy blogging,
and the reason I started blogging was to make blog friends.
I didn't realize I would enjoy it as MUCH as I do, 
and I did not expect to make so MANY blog friends.
And I mean it when I say friends.
I have followers and readers,
and I love all of my readers...
but several of my followers have reached out to me
"beyond the blog"
and email me or send me pins on Pintrest that they know I will love...
some alert me when something I posted about is on sale...
and some have shared with me their own personal struggles,
when I share mine on my blog.

Which leads me to my point...

I LOVE reading blogs and I follow many.
I was recently stalking one of my favorites...
(I am choosing not to name this blogger)
An adorable mom with two equally adorable daughters...
preppy, blonde, beautiful, travels, incredible wardrobe,
beyond gorgeous home, adoring husband, active in community...
looking like she has the perfect life.
I randomly decided to click on her "about me"
and it hit me like a ton of bricks...
She had a disclaimer....
"My life is not perfect"
She went on to explain that her blog is her "happy place"
and that she suffered from the same trials and tribulations that we all do,
she just chooses not to blog about them.

Now I know NO ONE has a perfect life.
But sometimes I forget that when I am peeking into the lives of many of the blogs I follow.
Let's be serious....who wants to follow a blog full of bitterness and sorrow?
So many of the blogs I follow are full of beautiful photos of
 incredibly gorgeous homes
beautiful families
gourmet dinners
lavish celebrations
fabulous outfits
exotic vacations...
the list goes on.
Don't get me wrong, I love reading these blogs.
But being the recovering insecure control freak that I am,
I sometimes find myself envious.
What are these bloggers doing that I am not to have this perfect life?
Shame on me.

Clearly many blogs are subject-specific...
so you're not going have a peek into the personal lives of those
who are specifically blogging about fashion, design, cooking, etc.
and I wouldn't expect those bloggers to share life as it happens.
I need to remind myself of this...some of these are the blogger's profession!

When I first started Suburban Charm,
I was SO proud of myself and loved my blog and its layout.
It took me months...
and I mean months,
just to come up with a name for my blog...
then MANY MORE months just to figure out how to actually design
(if you can call it that)
my blog and launch it...I am not a computer person and I learn as I go.

Here I am almost a year later,
and I find myself comparing my blog to others.
My pictures are not as clear...
My title is not centered...
I have no other "pages" to my blog...
I don't have a professionally done template...
I can't figure out how to put social media buttons on my blog...
What am I thinking?
What I am thinking is that I am falling back into bad habits.
How did something I was so proud of 
turn into something that was not enough?

My friend Nancy from Always in a Southern State of Mind
really made me smile when she left a comment
on my post about how I am doing with my New Year's Resolutions...
she said "thanks for keeping it real..."
and that is what Suburban Charm is all about.
My blog is exactly what I wanted it to be and I need to remember that.
I am not blogging to show off a perfect life (which I don't have)...I am blogging to connect with others.
Some connections will be deeper and more meaningful, but I appreciate every single person
who pauses and gives me a precious moment of their day to read what I have written.

Of course I post lots of happy pictures too...
but I also try to post from my heart...using my own words.
Some people may not like me or what I have to say...
I can't please everyone.
(even thought I still find myself trying on occasion)
I have had my share of a few snarky comments and emails....but that's ok.
And while most of my posts are silly meaningless posts about shopping or decorating,
some of my posts are about my own struggles
and about personal growth...
or falling back into old bad habits.

My point is this...
if you ever find yourself starting to feel like you are the only one without a perfect life,
and remember that every person that walks this earth has pain and suffering in their life.
Some chose to share, others are private about it.
Whether it is infertility, the death of a spouse, child, or parent, abuse, addiction, depression,
chronic illness, job loss, divorce, eating disorders, suicide, cancer ...the list can go on forever...
we all have have experienced pain and suffering in our lives.
So the next time I find myself having a pity party
because someone seems to "have it all"
I am going to remind myself of ALL that I do have
and be both grateful and thankful
and remember that my life is already perfect....perfectly mine.

So my friends....and you are ALL my friends...
Here's to keeping it real!

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Simply LKJ said...

Beautiful post Christine. That is why I love your blog and YOU!!! I can relate to everything. I always have to remember that what I see on other blogs is not always the "big" picture, only what they have chosen to post. Sometimes we see that beautifully decorated room, but we don't see what is just outside the camera's view (sometimes a complete disaster).

slip4 said...

Keeping it real is important to me and so I have enjoyed reading your blog (I am also a fellow RVA girl). This post is so true!

Anonymous said...

Good reminder, Christine, from your fans at The Gracious Posse.

Katie Clooney said...

Christine... what a thoughtful post. I, too, can't believe how much I get out of blogging. It has allowed me to make friends and peek into their lives. It also has helped me through two very serious health crisis' with my #2. I plan to write about it some day. This post has got me thinking. Thanks for that.

Nancy said...

I LOVE THIS POST (and not just because you gave me a shout out) :) Once again I thank you for keeping it real. None of our lives are all pretty and tied up with a bow, our homes are not always styled to perfection like in photographs (as much as my OCD tries to get there)...some people may try to pretend their lives are perfect, God love 'em, and that's all great and dandy for them but I prefer people I can relate to, people that are trying their best every day, sometimes reaching goals, other times not. Its not the destination, its the journey. And I am so thankful that you blog to allow us to follow yours :) {{{HUGS}}}

Carrie @ Cosy Carolina Interiors said...

I am so glad you are blogging and keeping it real! Elizabeth Edwards told a great story once about the impossibility of finding someone who hasn't experienced pain or loss. I think it was called the mustard seed. Happy to have connected with you, Christine! Keep it up!! :)

Lobster Meets Peach said...

Thank you for keeping it real! It is all too easy to get caught up in other's "perfect lives" and not be grateful for my life.

Girl with the Curlz said...

What a wonderful post. I think we all have gotten caught up in others lifestyle and have to remind ourselves daily how blessed our own lives truly are. I Love your blog and that you are keeping it real :)

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