|Ashley Ludaescher Photography 2013|
As bloggers, we tend to only show the best sides of ourselves. We're really good at shooting love and rainbows straight through your computer screen, making you think we haven't a care in the world, our marriages are perfect, and that our hair is always tame & shiny (hint: it's not). Sometimes I feel like blogs are joy ninjas…karate chopping a chunk of happiness away from everyone who clicks through. Bloggers don't mean to be that way (I sure as heck don't mean to be that way), it's just easier to write about the rainbows and puppy dogs…less easy to write about the boogers and bruises. Human nature, if you will. If you're anything like me, sometimes I leave a blog reading session feeling a little less awesome about myself than when I started. Comparison is the devil. I read about people getting job promotions, having clean kitchens, and being offered cool sponsorship campaigns and all of a sudden the green monster starts rearing its ugly head. WHY NOT ME?! WHY AM I NOT GOOD ENOUGH?! WHY DON'T MY PHOTOS TURN OUT THAT PERFECT? I WANT THAT ANTHROPOLOGIE DEER HEAD, TOO! Gross, gross things can happen to your brain from blog reading, it's true. Someone else's rainbows often make my rainbows seem insignificant.
The truth is, I'm guilty of mostly sharing the good stuff, too. Why? Well, would you read everyday if I constantly complained about how I love my landlords, but can't stand that they've been showing our apartment to potential buyers multiple times a week for MONTHS now and still haven't gotten a bite? How dare they ask me to keep my house clean and wear real clothes everyday so as to help them sell their house! It's a perpetual frustration in our household currently (and as I'm typing this, they're standing in my guest room, judging my curtain choices). Or would you like to hear me ramble on about how I'm fighting a losing battle with mold in our sunroom windows and I'm terrified of getting sick from it? T-E-R-R-I-F-I-E-D. Or how about the fact that I'm insanely puppy-sick and missing my Tucker-dog so much that I've cried myself to sleep at night more times than I'd like to admit here lately. I know that stuff's real life…and should be part of my online story…but who am I kidding? Writing about our travel adventures is so much more fun! This year, though, times are a changin'…and I'm going to have to take a leap of blogging faith.
Lots of changes are coming for me this summer and that inevitably means some changes for this blog. The direction I so happily went in with this space won't make sense for much longer. One can't continue to focus all their writing on happy travel when happy travel isn't as prevalent anymore. If I want to keep this space alive, I'll be forced to write more about me, more about everyday life, more about the military…and that's scary. I have many more thoughts about these changes and irrational fears I'm saving to spill in a future post, but today, I just wanted to share that I'm human. I put my pants on one leg at a time just like you do. I drop french fries in between my car seats just like you do (or at least I hope you do). For all the happy events and travels on this blog, there are just as many failures, disappointments, and worries. That adorable photo of me above? What you don't see is the giant wedgie I'm trying to hide (static cling plagues me…it's a problem). I hope to continue sharing more realness like that in the coming days. Maybe not all wedgie relate, but you get the idea. Don't be fooled, blog world. While I love to share my rainbows, I've got a long "don't" list, too. Allow me to explain…
+ I don't meal plan. I can't even pretend I do. But I do know my way around a take-out menu on those nights when cooking just isn't happening.
+ I don't think I'm the best at any one particular thing. But I do think I'm kind of sort of decent at a variety of things. Sometimes I'm not sure if that's better or settling?
+ I don't get dressed in clothes I'd allow people to see me in (on most days). But I do feel more productive when I wear something other than pajamas. Working from home is weird.
+ I don't view patience as a virtue I'm in possession of. But living in Europe has helped to cultivate a more relaxed way of life for me. Just kidding. Hurry up, everyone.
+ I don't like talking on the phone. Even more so now that we live abroad and I'm the one that has to call everyone back home so as to avoid fees. But I enjoy snail mail, text messages, and emails. Just don't call me.
+ I don't love the thought of moving and starting over every 3 years. It's annoying. But I'm really good at making friends and blooming where I'm planted. Three cheers for adaptability!
+ I don't read my bible or spend enough time in prayer as I should. But I'm really trying hard to fix this one. My faith is important to me.
+ I don't love that the majority of my life is controlled by the military and it makes me feel rebellious. But I'd do anything, give up everything, if it meant D was happy and I could be with him forever.
+ I don't like confrontation. It often makes me cry. But I'm still not afraid to speak my mind. Just prepare for me to cry the whole way through it. It's involuntary, I swear.
+ I don't write
+ I don't have a plan for what I'll do career-wise when we move back to the states. But I'm excited to explore my options. I think.
+ I don't have fond memories of middle school. In fact, I like to pretend grade 8 never happened. Some parts of high school I block out, too. But, I'm glad I went to school. That's something, right?
+ I don't go to the gym everyday…or even every other day. It's my biggest daily mental battle (I'm going to the gym, no wait, not going. But I should go. UGH!). But I do eat fairly healthfully and take my (gummy) vitamins…most days. Progress?
+ I don't understand people who don't use calculators. I hate mental math (and am horrible at it). But because of my bad math skills, I'm usually an excellent tipper. ;)
+ I don't love being alone for long periods of time. Deployments are pure torture. But I'm always surprised at the things I'm able to do on my own when D's gone.
+ I don't know how to draw, or paint, write calligraphy, or style food & outfits. But I can make a mean list and plan a heck of a vacation.
+ I don't really like hosting parties or get-togethers. Party planning makes me crazy. But I love attending them. Invite me! Invite me!
+ I don't know if I'll ever really feel ready to have children. But it doesn't mean I won't be happy when they come.
+ I don't feel completely comfortable in my own skin. But I do have favorite features...like my eyes and my hair.
+ I don't like reading period books or watching history movies…or really watching anything that might be relatively educational. Sometimes I feel like people look down on me for that. But I do love dystopian books, food documentaries, romantic comedies, and Step Brothers. Can we still be friends?
+ I don't buy the cheapest bottle of wine on the wine list. But I will eat a salad or order an appetizer as a meal to make up for it. Life's too short to drink bad wine.
+ I don't have everything figured out. But I get out of bed every morning, I give thanks, and I try.
Does blogger comparison ever get the best of you?
What are some things on your "don't" list?