The blogging world is a funny, twisted kind of place--this of my own discovery, of course, and therefore my own opinion, so take it for what it's worth. It's become a game of who's who and who-do-you-know; a good ole boys club, if you will. If I can say I know so-and-so, then I will boost my own blog posts and get more readers. And, hey, more readers ultimately means two things: more money and more popularity. And those two things equal identity, it would seem. Of course, this isn't so different from the disappointing reality of actual, dirt-grown real life, where in certain circles, who you know is much more important that who you are. And those circles seem a lot wider and deeper than the circles I try to surround myself with, which are 1) let me do me and you do you and 2) living in a drama-free, simplicity-driven zone of life. This means, obviously, that I cannot care about how many readers I get or how many likes I get or how many Friday night invites I get (but sometimes deep down I really, really do care, which does not correlate with what I want to care about, and drives me to internal, soulful tears some sad days), because I am not thirteen. But I have noticed that lots of grown-ups still pretend like they are thirteen, which makes my head spin and also makes me, in my most uncouth and hotheaded moments, want to call (POTTY ALERT) bullshit on the popularity contesters who still brag about what they did last night and who they know and name-drop (I'm talking to church people, too) and talk about how much they drank. Or even worse, what they did eighteen years ago and how much they drank then. (But I also want friends and this may not be the best way to date them.)
Maybe this in itself is a hotheaded moment and should be carefully edited for content before published.
It's just that I'm frustrated, y'all. I have struggles, and I'm not talking about "I can't get my hair to do right, so #thestruggleisreal". I'm talking about real-life, I'm-fed-up-with-this struggles, but it seems like all anybody wants to talk about it how they USED to have struggles (and this is what I did to fix it all with many exclamation points because now life is perfect). Or avoiding the struggle and subbing in humor, or giving a blanket this-answer-will-fix-it-all statement. Instagram and FB and social media are full of edited, Life Is Grand pictures and funny, see-how-many-likes-I-can-get posts, and when you DO post a real-life, MAN-I'm-needing-support-on-this post, people DO NOT LIKE IT. As in, they will tell you, in so many words, I DO NOT LIKE THIS AND HERE IS WHY. This is slightly hurtful, because instead of the support a person may have gone looking for, you find you are being chastised in public instead. (I've had it happen before, via comment--this is why I'm just about ready to renounce all social media, especially my nemesis, FACEBOOK. I do not have time for this nonsense. And yes, maybe I have thrown people I love under the bus in the heat of the moment, which is a mistake, and why social media is dangerous in the first place. Everything you post is instant and permanent.)
But it would seem that a majority of people want a place to go that does not shove real-life problems in their face, but gets them out of real life for a while.
We are all going to make mistakes. This is an unavoidable fact of life that I hate but accept as my reality. We can't all be The Most or The Best at everything, but we can all love our neighbors, which includes the people in your circle, not just your next door. We can, through love, work on building relationships and building each other up, supporting each other in the struggle and afterwards, too, instead of interacting with insincerity and pretentiousness. There is a climb-the-social-ladder aspect to life that I don't appreciate and often don't have patience for. I just want to be real and be honest and be open and have a circle around me that supports the occasional potty mouth (oops see above), the biased opinion, the wayward attitude, and gently suggests an alternative without bashing my head in or abandoning the relationship altogether.
I need a circle that, when I say in a mopey voice "I'm having an ugly day", will say "GIRL, you are not ugly, the world is so much bigger than you having an ugly day" so I can say thanks and move on. Ugly days are going to happen, and I know it sounds cheap and cliche and self-centered and like I don't recognize that there are 99 other (bigger) problems that other people have. I do. Which is part of the reason I'm over the Who's Who of Bloggers in 2016.
It doesn't matter how many posts go viral, or how many likes or how many readers. At the end of the day, a girl still has to live with herself and all the things she has said and done and thought and felt, and while I don't necessarily agree with a total verbal-vomit-fest, I also don't want to be plastic. I want love and I want to love back and I want BIG EMOTIONS and I want to learn how to deal without covering everything up with a pile of dirt and trying to stick a pink plastic flower on the top. And I want people around me who I can help do that, and who will help me do the same.
#thestruggleisreal and it's called life.