Thursday, January 26, 2012

in which i ramble about Oblio, jealousy and grace...

 It has been my experience that people can only (mostly) relate to others through the context of their own experiences. If you can remember this, you might extend your grace to others who appear foolish, ignorant, stupid and/or hateful. Though, there are extremely foolish, ignorant, stupid and/or hateful folk out there that may have had oodles of experiences but lack empathy so they will always remain foolish, ignorant, stupid and/or hateful.

I write this because of all the people bashing I read about on facebook posts, pinterest quotes, blog posts and the like. My first reaction is to roll my eyes, mumble something about the poster and then feel angry for a while but I need to let that go, turn it away from myself and reign in my thoughts on cultural relativism and how it can apply to any type of culture, not just ethnicity and geography. Recently a fb friend posted a comment I found super offensive, ignorant and hateful on their personal page. Being that it was their personal page, I did not jump into the fray to share my opinion though it made me sadder than sad. Mostly because this person will probably not see that their comment (and the ensuing comments after) were so hateful in their context. I also wanted to drop this person as a contact but felt that would be running away and burying my head in the sand. I can only be me and continue with my stories of my experiences and hope that those who can relate will share theirs with me as well. Think of it as working from the inside out. Model by example and don't point fingers or lecture. No person enjoys a lecture. That's not to say I don't ranty-rant away in the safety of my own home to the people in my (lovely) bubble. I do. It's all about processing and engaging in a conversation and if you are lucky, you will have friends and family who do not always agree with you, who poke sticks in yer spokes so you go flying off your happy bike, landing hard with a new perspective. The view from the ground is a little different from up on your cushy bike seat.

I had more in my head that seemed organized on this thought but it has kinda slipped a little. The nice queue that originally formed got tired of waiting and now all the points are partying at the coffee maker making me feel anxious and jittery. I've been having some sad-raccoon days for a few weeks because I have foolishly been viewing myself through the filter of comparison. I was holding myself up to all these successful bloggers and seeing all the ways I don't and will never compare and I felt a bit like Oblio with no point upon my noggin. And if I had no point, what was I worth? I know, NOT a good idea...bad raccoon! Bad raccoon! But this is the way my crazy chemical works and so I had to muck through it all and wallow in the bits of pity that followed and then write things down because I have been having horrible allergies as well and wondered if they all went hand in hand...chemicals, hormones and all that jazz. I began to think really poorly of myself and my lack of accomplishments (in comparison to the super bloggers out there) until I began to think of the things I did before this internet savvy world. I've been blogging in one way or another since 2002 friends. That is TEN years! I've been blogging for ten years. Yikes! I stated out on Diaryland and the LJ and blogged Dear Diary style...it wasn't until 2006 that I began with the DIYs and other bits. I've seen my projects fall flat back then but picked up now with success (not by me though, I'm always a bit too early to the party) I've seen trends go full circle, hitting hard, fading out, only to return. I've seen colors become Prom Queen and supermodels then get ostracized only to be rediscovered with a new name and nose job. I've seen a lot, and through it all and before I have lived my life. It's not any life anyone would aspire too and I think that's what my whole problem was. I was jealous. Am jealous of those pretty bloggers out there who are the prom queens and most populars. The ones who people emulate and want to be. The ones who own homes and have beautiful babies...all those things I will never have or ever be and I slipped into a downward spiral wondering what my place was in the scheme of things. Wishing I had some sort of flash and fabulousness that would make people remember me in some way.

How's that for sorry thinking? Seriously, I shake my head in embarrassment at my needy self. I was trying to relate and compare to all these truly awesome internet folk through my experiences and when I found they didn't mesh I felt like I was pointless. I have had to pull up from my middle-aged brain story-worthy moments to remember that I have had some amazing experiences. I may not have ever traveled Europe on my own or purchased anything designer-ish. I may have battled with stupid credit card debt and have nothing to show for it (why oh why did I not buy art when I had the chance?) I may not own a home or ever be a mother but I do have stories, crazy stories; super silly and ridiculous stories. I may have had a disadvantaged childhood and lacked many things but goodness, I had a most loving and creative mother. I may have lost my mother when I needed her most but I had grandma and while it was one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life, I tell you, the opportunity to be with her and care for her and show her grace and love like she had never had before is something I hold in my heart and wish upon others. I may not be able to pull of fashion and cute clothes but if given a chance, I can style you up like there is no tomorrow. I may lack the lung power to ride my bike as often as I like but I can still stretch and lift and dance it up with my mister and speaking of my mister, I have him. Now THAT is something super special. I have him, I have us and we may both lack pointy noggins and have oodles of regrets and moments of melancholy that last far too long but we really do have a good beat that you can dance to. It might seem slow or outdated but if given the chance you might find us amusing.

I'm sharing all this because I think we're all looking for something here on the internet and in our lives. We may want to be noticed or appreciated. We may want to simply share in a conversation or just share ourselves. We want to relate to others and we will, just not everybody and that is okay. We don't have to. We do however need to relate to ourselves. We need to grow and we need to be accepting, faults and all. We need to know that the world and others hold so much more and that variety is a good thing. We need to know that unless we share, we won't know we can relate. Share a little, share a lot, it is up to you but try and remember that we all need a little hug now and then. A wee pat on the back ain't so bad either. Something that shows the other person that you connected in some way, whether it is a smile to a stranger, holding the door open, engaging in conversation, purchasing something handmade, writing a thank you letter, leaving a comment or giving someone a poke, you'll be amazed at how much that little something can carry a person to cheerfulness. On the flip side, it's okay to wallow and feel sad but don't let it take you away. Think of the wallow as a gift of self reflection. Of mastering your feelings and what you need in your life. It is a moment to focus on yourself but in a kind voice full of good things and maybe even a little self-mockery. Humor after-all is one of our greatest gifts.

On that note, I thank you. I thank you for sticking by me and reading my rants. I thank those of you who do comment and email me. I have had some wonderful conversations with you. I thank you for shopping my etsy shop and for enjoying my photos and I thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement. Thank you.

19 comments:

  1. this is great. and especially so as i somehow came upon it after just spending a saccharine 10 minutes in the company of one of the "popular" bloggers - or at least her self-absorbed flickr page. and it's such a relief to read this, because it feels so real in comparison.

    weirdly, i'm not sure i've really read your blog before, but i've long been a fan of your bright, cheerful, creative photos of flickr.

    if this is the first post i read, i came at the right time.

    keep keeping it real. that's what matters. not the pouty face for the camera.

    xox,
    /julie

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  2. Jessica, thank you for putting this together and publishing it. <3

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  3. "Wishing I had some sort of flash and fabulousness that would make people remember me in some way."

    Oh sweet raccoon! You don't even know how flasy and fabulous you are! Lemme repeat... YOU ARE! Say it with me! :)

    air hug!

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  5. Anonymous12:47 PM

    An excellent moment of insight in a sea of loud Internet braying, touching and honest and true.

    This world needs more bloggers and journalers like you, Jek.

    So says this old woman with no web presence whatsoever, who has never had a Facebook friend but knows a good Pinterest board when she sees one, who rarely travels in the real world but enjoys looking at the road through your eyes.

    Be your tearful self, your colorful self, your sad self, your brave self, but never doubt your real self. Some of us aren't as polished and dazzling as the other diamonds, but we shine all the same in our quiet, brilliant ways.

    Peace and hugs and big grins and glittering confetti and ten miles of cheerful bunting to you, dear Jek. And thank YOU for saying out loud the things that other people rarely express.

    Kim

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  6. as with most of your posts, i want to sit and read this again when my music isn't playing and the world isn't spinning by. your writing is beautiful

    i wish i lived closer cause i'd love to sit and have coffee or tea with you.

    so you know, i think you are awesome.

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  7. you're awesome. i wish the internet world was filled with more people like you and posts like this.

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  8. "if you are lucky, you will have friends and family who do not always agree with you, who poke sticks in yer spokes so you go flying off your happy bike, landing hard with a new perspective. The view from the ground is a little different from up on your cushy bike seat. "

    YES!

    we are lucky, you and i, because when we spoke-stop each other (with a lovely yarn-covered chopstick) we make ree-dic-yew-luss Juliet-Childs-ian sounds as we fall, and then we snort-laugh at each other until we weep onto the paint-spattered concrete.

    The view from down here, with you? LOVEly.

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  9. love this post.
    and if you only knew how many bloggers & peeps look at you & wish to emulate your world.
    you are always inspirational miss jessica.
    a hug, a high-five & booty bump to ya
    ---Nikki

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  10. Iv been following you for a couple years now anonymously and I think you are a lovely blogger and are extremely eloquent in your manner of speaking. Not to mention pretty darn niffty :-)

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  11. I feel exactly as you have described...I have a love/hate relationship with the blogosphere.at my age it is so easy to feel extremely inferior to all the many and much younger successful people out there.i constantly question myself and what I have to offer.some days I feel inspired but generally it's inadequate or annoyed with so many cookie cutter neo trads, hipsters,artsy, or whatever they consider themselves. So many of the same.....but .... You are different and unique. You are entertaining , maybe it's a rant, a craft, a meal, a run down of your day. Whatever it is I can always relate and that's why I lays come back. It's a comfort food for my soul. That's what you are. I feel like who I am is okay, normal, not posing as someone else. Thank you for your rawness, and or being so relate able! Xoxo

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  12. Anonymous5:28 AM

    Dude. I love your blog and your Etsy shop. I can't stand bloggers who have it "perfect" or whatever...and I don't read them. I have no money and am super stressed out. Seriously, I can relate to a lot of what you post here. And I love seeing the creative things you make with no money. It makes me happy :)I don't have time for a creative outlet, as it were, at this point in my life, so I enjoy looking at your work.
    xoxo,
    Sara

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  13. Jessica, you and your blog are great. I've loved your honesty and style ever since I found you online years ago.
    A big hug from a little house in LA.

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  14. Well.... I read from begining to end.. No mean feat for one with the attention span of a goldfish...oh the vision of riding off on my happy bike, I love it. A great read, regards from a fellow ranter....

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  15. Amazing post, lady. You are awesome xxx

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  16. I have a total girl crush on you. I always love your blog, I may get overwhelmed, but day late & dollar short though I always seem to be, I save your posts & read them. where as there are many other blogs I delete or debate about following as I am overwhelmed by all the awesomeness out in blog land. But yours, you are something special. You not only put out lots of cool fun stuff, you put YOU out there too. I treasure the realness of your blog posts & relate oh so well to the feelings. You are wonderful & I love you.

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  17. I have been reading and loving you since 2004 - no doubt not commenting enough, but I think you are a babe and an inspiration and your photography is incredible and you have way more style and chutzpah than most of those bloggers you are comparing yourself to because you are unique! You can't buy unique. You are funny and you are real. I heart you and your style big time. x Helen

    PS - Practical tip: I also reccommend swtiching to wordpress - it is heaps easier to get more readers on wordpress.

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  18. but jek, you ARE one of those princesses! you are uber memorable and quirkey and wonderful and lovely, and i compare myself to you and think, wow, my blog could be so much better!! so see? and i'm always afraid to rant a bit on my blog, but when i read yours i feel much better about it, because people really do appreciate the fact that you are real. you're really awesome, jek <3

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