Part of what drives my passion for blogging (and songwriting, actually) is a striving towards vulnerability. This is because so much of what is prevalent in the media at the moment is contrived and emotionless. And I would like to see more people taking an openhearted and radically honest approach to content creation and self-expression.
So much of what is revered on social media at the moment can be contained in this concept of visual perfection. Whether that’s aesthetics as it relates to interior design, photography and performance art; or the curation of a “perfect” selfie, outfit or makeup look. Posts that are aesthetically pleasing typically have higher engagement than ones which aren’t. Do we all really think that if we attain this unattainable ideal of visual perfection that we’ll finally be happy?
And I understand the tendency towards “beauty”. Making beauty a priority in our lives has the potential to be an honourable exploit; it’s just that our society’s concept of beauty has become a bit bastardised.
I sometimes feel stuck between a rock and a hard place because of course I contribute to this culture of affected perfection on my Instagram page sometimes. A selfie can feel like a necessary evil in order to get people to tune in to what it is I’m trying to say. And it feels good when I get likes – I’m sure I read somewhere that social media notifications release a burst of dopamine. But what is the cost of these repeated attempts at looking and coming across as perfect, beautiful and engaging?
With every selfie I post, and with the dopamine that comes from every new like, I feel like there’s an empty hole being dug deeper inside my soul. Similar to when I give in to an urge to binge eat; physically, I am filling a hole and it can feel good for a while but there’s a residual emptiness which grows after every episode.
So, being aware of this and the way that I contribute to the evil side of social media – blogging is a space for me to be more authentic. And to contribute to the world and the creative space more positively. But I make myself very vulnerable in this way. I’ve written about enmeshment, codependency, the capacity for parent-child relationships to be sexually charged, addiction, self-harm, depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety…
Sometimes when I stop to think that all this information is available for anyone to see, it feels overwhelming. I feel embarrassed and anxious. I worry that people could use this information against me. I worry that people might think there is something wrong with me – that I’m a fuck-up. And maybe even worse than that, I worry that people could think I’m a “broken doll”.
More specifically, broken toys can refer to women who are fragile or easily manipulated. Some men aim only for broken toys, whether out of sadistic glee, the ease with which they’ll jump into bed with somebody, or a foolish and altruistic desire to fix them.” – Urban Dictionary
My worst nightmare – or one of them – is some guy taking pity on me or being opportunistic and thinking that I’d be an easy lay because I’m open about the fact that I’m emotional. I’ve had a couple of situations recently where I’ve wondered if people are acting different around me or judging me because of what I write about online. Someone was pursuing me fairly persistently – a guy that I knew was reading my blog – and I think my blog might’ve had something to do with it.
This could be blatant projection (although more realistically, it’s probably a degree of that mixed with a degree of truth and common sense) but I got the sense that my radical honesty about my emotional landscape led him to believe that he could have access to me physically, too.
I don’t ever want my literary content to be construed as my having a lack of boundaries. I don’t write for men to take pity on me. My writing is not an invitation for someone to “save me”. I’m not a manic pixie dream girl. At all. I’m not easily manipulated. I’m intelligent. I’m self-sufficient.
I write first and foremost to straighten things out in my own head. I share it in the hopes that it has a ripple effect on others and that it could encourage others to open their heart, too. My writing is an aspiration that we all might live in a world where people are more honest about their emotional aches and pains – that we all might make the choice to look inside ourselves honestly and set the intention to heal. It’s an aspiration for myself and others to grow in emotional intelligence. And, as I mentioned before, it’s an attempted antidote to the culture of curated selfies and Facetune.
It’s me saying: “No, I’m not fucking perfect. Don’t let my Instagram fool you. I have my daily battles and I’m sure you do, too. Let’s talk about them.” It’s opening up conversation with acquaintances I have online and morphing it into friendship. It’s letting people know they can talk to me.
But naturally, this kind of open honesty does have consequences. That’s just the reality. I’m aware that some people could have a negative reaction to what I write about. Some guys are gonna get the wrong impression. Whatever, that shit happens regardless. Some people might think I’m ruminating and dwelling on the past too much or that I have a victim complex. This doesn’t bother me too much, though – all that communicates to me is that these people are afraid to look within in their own lives.
Some of the most important work we can do, in my opinion, is shadow work. This requires us specifically to look into the past and find the origin of self-limiting beliefs and painful emotions. Something I’ve started to do very recently is track where my strong feelings and overwhelm have originated from – if that feels possible in the moment – and soothe and comfort my inner child with affection and the words I wish I’d heard back then. It feels nice, actually. None of that would be possible without opening myself up.
I might not have comprehensive, marketable “how-to’s” on my page or something cohesive that I can sell. But I don’t necessarily need to make myself into a brand to have positive impact. I think the world needs more people just being people – and writing about it. That’s all I’m doing.
Thanks for reading. 🙂 I think my next blog post is going to be about attraction and wound-based chemistry or Gabor Maté and addiction.
– SMUT. ❤ xxxx