This post isn’t going to be pretty. Some of you might roll your eyes or be like “dude TMI…get back to the books” but I’ve always believed in and practiced honesty on this blog so..you know..here we go.
I have not been myself in the past few months — part of it was this but the other part was just life stuff not even remotely related to blogging. It wasn’t even every day. I wasn’t TOTALLY unhappy. I truly have had really amazing days but it was just this overall cloud of feeling LOST…something that’s maybe a conversation for another day.
And honestly… sometimes blogging is really hard to do when you aren’t feeling like yourself. On one hand, it’s really easy to sit behind the shiny exterior of your blog and your Twitter account and dish out great blog posts and witty tweets. Nobody could ever know there’s anything wrong. It’s part of our culture I’m sure — carefully assembling our lives so we look constantly happy and perfect and always having a damn good time with a smile plastered on our faces.
But on the complete other hand, it’s really, really hard to maintain a blog when you don’t feel like yourself. It takes up all my energy and I end up preferring to binge watch shows or mindlessly play games on my phone. I think it’s also hard because I don’t have a separate blogging identity — I am 100% unabashedly myself and it’s all out there. I can’t separate it. My twitter account isn’t strictly “business” but rather I share my life with you all — as a lot of you do too.
The 4 biggest things that are affected blogging wise when I don’t feel like myself:
– Writing posts: I don’t even have the energy and I feel so uninspired and uncreative.
– Commenting: I am so enthused when I see comments on my blog and I seriously APPRECIATE every single one. Like flaily hands excited and thankful. I feel like I’ve made connections with my regular readers. I also love getting off my blog and visiting the blogs I love. But when I don’t feel like myself? I literally can’t even muster up the motivation to comment and then that makes me even sadder because I feel so disconnected.
– Twitter: When I don’t feel like myself it’s in my nature to want to retreat — even though I know I shouldn’t. I find myself not even wanting to participate much on Twitter and then THAT makes me feel bad because the community is my favorite thing. I feel like I lost connections in my times of inactivity but I really felt like I had nothing positive to contribute because I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me and who wants to hear me whine and ask vague existential questions.
– Reading: Sometimes I do just get lost in books when I’m not feeling myself but often times it feels like too much effort to read.
And the thing is…the whole time I wasn’t feeling myself? I was SO worried about how how it made me look as a blogger. I was afraid my friends who I had been chatting with daily would be like “what is wrong with her?/she sucks as a friend” or that people would think I was a selfish blogger because I wasn’t on my commenting game. I was afraid people would forget me or just think badly of me because I wasn’t replying to tweets fast enough (and sometimes not at all) or answering emails.
I think sometimes I feel like we (not everyone obviously) forget there is a person behind each and every blog. Someone who might be having a bad day (or week or year) or who might be taking care of a sick loved one or is working 3 jobs to barely pay the bills. I’ve seen it happen…people expect prompt responses, write people off because they aren’t in touch with them all the time, made assumptions about people who might not have responded back on a post or tweeted them back. So I got scared of all that even though I knew that, probably, if I was honest about it that most people would be gracious, kind and understanding.
Part of my insecurities about this stem from the fact I had a group of friends who really weren’t very empathetic in college. My mom was really sick with brain cancer then and I would get a lot of crap about “not being happy enough” or..and my favorite one…that I was moody. After that experience, I’ve been so careful about always putting a smile on my face and playing into that “everything is just fine” mentality.
But I don’t want to do that. Because you know what? It’s ok that sometimes we don’t feel like ourselves. It’s life. In my experience, I’ve always found myself again but it takes time and patience and people who will stand by you. It takes action, hope, people to talk to and perspective. But that’s just how I’ve operated in the past — not saying that’s how it works for everyone.
And now here I am at the end of this post a) in a place where I feel like I’m finally getting out of whatever FUNK I’ve been in and b) really worried about how you will all take this post — too much info about me? excuses? feeling like I’ve been faking my enthusiasm in the past months? Dramatic?
Know this, I love the hell out of you guys. Your comments lift me up. Your friendship means a lot. Your love for reading is infectious and kept me excited. I mustered up all the energy I could find during this time to keep this blog running because I love talking books with you all. I really do.
How do you guys deal with blogging when you don’t feel like yourself or you are going through a hard or stressful time? Even if you aren’t a blogger I’d love to know how you handle things when you aren’t feeling yourself!