It’s bank holiday and after a week of sunshine, the grim and grey English skies have returned. I’m sat on my matching grey couch with Walt and Jesse curled up next to me and watching season one of Twin Peaks. I’m trying to decide if this show is intentionally awful and kitsch or if it’s accidental? I’m not sure yet.
There’s a quietness in the house as Matt sits upstairs, studying for his accountancy qualification. Every so often he scrapes his chair, letting me know that he’s still here. I feel like I should be doing something more than watching Twin Peaks, and trying to write. Like I should be cleaning, gardening, cycling or running around, being busy for the sake of it. Instead I’m here, trying to embrace being quiet and blowing back the cobwebs to write again for the pleasure of it.
I’ve been trying to write for weeks now but the words won’t come. Like a rusty engine, writing feels creaky, uncomfortable and painful. My rhythm feels off and I berate myself because every sentence I manage to put down feels trite, like it’s been said before time and time again. I feel pressure too. The pressure of perfection, of feeling like I have everything together. It’s struck me more this year of how much I don’t have it together but the need to appear like I do is overwhelming. I feel like at this point in my life I’m supposed to have my career sussed, be planning our wedding and acting like I have a clue as to where I’m going both professionally and personally. The reality is that I really don’t. Some career mistakes in the last year have left me with a crippling case of self-doubt, and despite spending time evaluating this blog and developing a content schedule, I’m plagued by the fear that it’s not quite good enough.
Facebook reminded me last week that I joined the community ten years ago. I’ve spent my teenage years and twenties documenting my life on social media, and truthfully I’m now tired of it. Tired of the over-exposure, projected images of perfection and advertising messages being rammed down my throat. Quite the quandary for someone who works in marketing and creates some of those very messages. I like to think how perhaps how my life would be without the compulsive need to check my phone for the latest updates, or pressure to take perfect pictures or share my life. More peaceful perhaps, less intense with more room for contentment.
It strikes me too how pressured and anxious making the twenties are. It feels like a never-ending rat race of both trying to figure out just who you are, while broadcasting the successes, but never the lows, on social media. In the last few months, I’ve found myself hungry for authenticity and realness amongst my peers. To feel less alone in feeling like I’ve not got it together. As a self-confessed communicator, the need to express myself and to connect is innate, but lately I’ve felt like I’ve been speaking into a vacuum. Being open is something I value in myself, but these days I feel like it’s a slight on my character to be so open about growing uncomfortable with the mask of perfection. The mask wears heavy.
And so I come back to this blog, not to demonstrate the highs, but to be grounded once again. I’ve spent some time really thinking about what it is that I want to say here because despite my frustration with social media and the blogging world, writing is what brings me joy and I can’t let it go. In this space, I want to celebrate realness, flaws, scars, joy, laughter and life. Life in its rawness. Here I want to share the words that are on my heart, and the sights before my eyes, however big or small. To be the online space that I’ve been looking for all of these months because I know I’m not alone in feeling a little lost and daunted by life.
So here’s to being a little more raw, with less expectation of perfection. Instead let’s accept that perfection does not come in moments captured with just the right filter, and is not dependent on the amount of likes. Instead, for me, it comes in the form of sunshine spilling across my garden, even if it’s just for an hour. Or in the joy of finally learning to ride a bike at twenty-seven, and celebrating the bike rides where I don’t fall off into a pile of brambles. It’s even in the moments when I’m curled up on my couch, with my cats and Matt, watching the rain pour as I sigh about the dreadful British weather.
Here’s to living more of these moments offline.