Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Finding a place

I dislike uncertainty.

And even though 2012 was officially the Year of Wankness which saw far more uncertainty than I ever would have thought imaginable, all I learned was that I can cope with it. I will never learn to like it.

Oh I know. Nothing in life is certain but what can I say? I like to have things in order and I like to be nested and I like to have somewhere I feel comfortable.

"Comfortable" is not my life at the moment. It's not about space - when I say I live in a box room I mean I live in a box room - I tried to take photos of it to show you but it's so frigging tiny I couldn't even find an angle to capture the bloody thing. But I don't need a lot of space.

What I need is my space.

I find myself betwixt and between homes. Most of my clothes live in Preston. With me here I have my work clothes and a pair of jeans and a couple of jumpers and that's it. It makes packing for a weekend in Preston incredibly light, but it doesn't help to make me feel settled (especially when I'm about to go away for a weekend with real, honest to god, fashion bloggers). I have pyjamas here and pyjamas there, I have about three toothbrushes in various places, two cans of deoderant, the list goes on and on.

I live in my sister's box-room. When I go to Preston I go back to The Person's flat*. When I go to Hull I go to my Mum's house.

I am rootless and I'm a person that needs her roots.

I know I'm incredibly lucky to have family that have been willing to take me in and a lovely boyfriend who is trying to find a way for us to live together. But I have no space to call my own and that makes me a very unsettled and nervous chappy.

This blog is my space though and that's been nice. But lately I feel like it's under attack. I'm starting to feel I don't belong in the blogosphere either. How could that even be possible? There must be a corner of the interwebs where I can settle myself down and feel at home, but at the moment I'm struggling to find that spot.

Blogging is not for the faint-hearted and if I'm honest probably isn't the best place for a person like me who likes to be liked. It's hard for me to read blogs and not start driving myself demented thinking - "Is this something I should be doing? Should I own more clothes than I do? Should I be wearing 2 different mascaras at the same time? Should I be worried that there is no-one out there reading what I'm saying? Should I be tougher? Sunnier? Funnier? Should I be less controversial and stick to posting pictures of cats?" and so on and so forth. It's probably not a good place for me. As my last post showed - I do have a tendency to compare myself to others and get wound up about it.

I find myself feeling more and more adrift in a blogging world which has become weirdly Stepford-ish and monetized. The seconds I read the words "When so-and-so asked me to do such-and-such" I groan and hit the X. When I see yet another post about just how wonderful and sunshiny their lives are, I view their photos with suspicion and wonder how many failed Cookie Monster cupcakes lie behind their glossy exterior. I feel bored, so very very bored and yet I sometimes feel total and utter confusion as to why these blogs are so popular.

I see the people who post every. single. day. and wonder where on earth they find the words, let alone the time. Is it that people worry that if they don't post people will stop reading? Is it more important to have followers than write something that you're proud of? Whilst I'm hardly writing the greatest social commentary ever, I would rather have a two week hiatus and spend hours writing one post than just roll out a load of old tut just to keep the blog stats rolling.

*whispers* I don't even really know where you find blog stats.

Should I be treating my blog like a business? Maybe I'm just not taking it seriously enough. Do I need to make a decision - either stick to posting about cats and dogs or try and write serious posts about the life, the universe and everything?

I lose track of the times people say "Blog for yourself". I also lose track of how often I scream "BOLLOCKS" when the person who's saying it - very few of us here are seriously here to blog for ourselves, we are all partaking in a popularity contest of some kind, although I wonder how many would admit it.

So I will sit in my place that isn't a home and ponder about my virtual place that isn't like a home either and wait for it all to resolve itself.

(Credit it to Hayles for inspiring this post)

EDIT: This isn't one of those terribly dramatic "I'm quitting blogging" posts. I've no intention of quitting, merely stating the blogging world is one I am finding bewildering at the moment.

*The Person's flat was his flat for 3 years until I moved in. Although he was more than happy for me to cover it in all my crap (and believe me I did), it never really felt like mine, and now that I don't live there it just feels like I did back in the day when he lived in Preston and I lived in Hull and I went to visit him in his flat.


  1. Please don't ever stop blogging, I love reading your posts. I'm a dedicated lurker ;)

  2. Hi there - I've read your blog for the past few years and never commented before but just want to say don't stop what your doing - you do have a place here - I find your blog so refreshing and real so stop doubting yourself!!!! x

  3. If you stop blogging I will get on a train and come kick yo butt.

  4. and more seriously, I hope that you don't mean me in any of those comments! I do blog for myself but I like getting comments too. I have just had some offers for sponsored shit which I have turned down because I don't want to be part of any of that stuff.

    I hope you keep blogging. i hope you continue to be my friend (spreadsheet of friendship points notwithstanding.) I hope that you find your roots. You always have a place as my friend. You're one cool lady. xxxx

  5. oh and I do most of my blogging on a Sunday evening when TTB is in bed. I save them all up and post them during the week. Sometimes I have nothing to say, so I don't blog. Also, while I do work very hard I don't actually go to work now so I have time to snap some pics of the (dying, actually) flowers on my windowsill in the daylight.

    But I tell you what.

    I bet you didn't go out twice yesterday to get milk only to forget your purse both times, and then get caught in a freak blizzard both times as well. Yesterday was shit.

  6. not that the milk/purse/snow thing was a comment to try to make you bloody grateful for your life or whatevs, I'm just a stupid purseforgetting moron.

  7. I'm sleeping between three different rooms, none of which are my own, meaning permanent suitcase action. I've got guns to reckon with!

    Don't worry, you're a fucking intelligent girl who writes wonderfully and shouldn't stop blogging. I know what you mean about audience, so grab a big piece of paper and a pen and brainstorm but in the meantime, that doesn't mean you should stop.

    Like you said, we'll have to wait for it all to resolve itself and

    A) It fucking better
    B) You're not alone
    C) Sorry I swore twice

    :) Lots of love, xxx

  8. Hi, I'm also a lurker. I've been having the exact same blogging worries at the moment. I started to get a bit freaked out over everything - over updating, maintaining an "online presence", wondering whether I should accept some opportunities coming my way or whether I'd be selling out by doing so, worrying whether I appear two dimensional because all I post is pretty cakes and crockery when I'm also a cynical arse who listen to heavy rock music. Stats also absolutely scare the sh*t out of me.So I took the ostrich approach and shoved my head in a bucket of sand for a month.

    I really enjoy reading your blog - I like your humourous, matter-of-fact style (and I like cats). Keep posting things which you feel are "you", who cares if it's every Tuesday or once every three months.

    (Sorry for the long, waffling comment)

  9. If you're asking yourself whether you want to keep blogging or not, then just take a break from it for a little while, but please don't give up on it altogether. I've taken a couple of breaks over the last year due to things happening in my life that I didn't feel like sharing. I didn't want to try and think of interesting/entertaining/none boring stuff for my blog readers when my heart and mind just weren't in it. I only have a few readers/followers and that's fine by me. It feels more like I'm communicating with friends. It is nice to be liked and popular, but don't compare yourself to other bloggers, just be true to yourself and keep writing about what's important and interesting to you.
    With regard to turning 30. Don't sweat that either. I divorced when I was 30. Lived with another guy for a couple of years, that didn't work out. Got together with Violet's dad when I was 33 and didn't have Violet till I was nearly 35. I'll be 41 in June and still want more children.
    I know I talk utter rubbish - so please disregard/delete this comment if you wish.
    Take care
    Jill x
    ps - thanks for popping over to my blog and leaving your well wishes for the wedding.

  10. Another lurker de-lurking. I love reading your blog whether it's about cats, dogs, crafts, the stuff life throws at you or anything random. Keep writing please on all topics. :)

    You have a warm, engaging writing style and I very much enjoy the fact your blog isn't a permanant advertorial! In fact, I was ranting about this very topic only yesterday and took the decision to stop reading a couple of blogs purely because they no longer seem like blogs, just an opportunity to promote and I don't enjoy reading them anymore.

    I tend to write my posts on weekends only, when my brain has more capacity for free-thinking instead of being in work mode.


  11. There's definitely a lot of disillusionment in the blogging world at the moment. Yours is one of my favourite blogs to read and also one of the most genuine, which is why it's one of only 2 non-food blogs that I actually follow. I feel massive pressure just blogging about cakes so I can't imagine how bigger the pressure gets when you're blogging about your actual self/life. I know I prefer reading posts about people's actual real lives and they are getting harder and harder to come by (or believe) - and I'd rather read a well though out, witty post every 2 months than a bland one every day!

  12. I have realised that the blogs I love reading the most aren't going to be the ones that get the book deals. Because the blogs I enjoy the most are written by intelligent, amusing, interesting women who are engaged in a whole range of activities and ideas. They're not one-dimensional cupcake-making machines. Well, when they do get the book deals it won't be 100 New Cupcakes, it'll be because they've written the defining novel of the 21st century.

    I'm waffling again. I mean, keep doing what you're doing and I for one am keeping everything crossed that life keeps getting better and better for you.

  13. Hello, just came by to check if the email I received today was from you, as I know your blog and pop in sometimes to see how you are. But it wasn't you, there is another 'The girl' out there....I don't have a flowery blog and that's ok, I don't compare myself to others or I would go insane, I just plod along and blog when I do and say what I do.....and that's all I do :)
    xx Sandi

  14. There is actually a lot interesting debate loitering around the blogs I read at the moment, about exactly this sort of thing. I think that there *is* debate, means you are not alone. Most of the blogs I read are crafting blogs initially and real people blogs secondly. I usually find them because they craft, and stay because they are interesting and real people who have real and interesting things to say.

    I am finding myself leaving bigger gaps in between posts at the moment. I am not feeling to well as my tablets are being changed and because of it I don't have the energy to blog. I've decided not to beat myself up about it, because I'm pretty sure that no one will notice. I hope that when I come back with a post every now and again it will interest people. I'm going to try and blog, only when I have something to say, even if it is only about some nice yarn I bought, because sometimes we need pretty in the world and sometimes we need interesting.

  15. I am yet another "lurker" :) I enjoy you because You Are Real! I understand very much your rootless feelings. Hang in there, things work them selves out in there own time... Have a good day. A fan from Alabama.

  16. I know what you mean about popular blogs. My blog reading list has changed significantly since I first started a few years ago. This has often been because the bloggers' lives/posts seem so contrived, yet some of these blogs are extremely popular and quoted all around the blogosphere. I also object to any blog that has the phrase 'my lovlies' in it.

    Blog how you want to, when you want to. Accept a snazzy book deal if you want it, and tell 'em to fonk off if you don't (sorry, swear words no longer allowed due to toddler learning to talk...). The beauty of the blogosphere is that you can do what you want and if people want to share that part of your life, they'll join in. You write about whatever you want to write about - cats, ankles, boyfriends, work, cross stitch - and we'll read it because you write well and have opinions, and we like that!

  17. I enjoy your blog, it's real and funny and refreshing and honest, sometimes one at a time, sometimes all in one go. And just look at the lurkers you've enticed out of hiding!
    Hope you feel more settled soon x

  18. I can relate to a lot of this (not least the packing-for-the-weekend anxiety!!), I think there's a lot of ... inertia ... around at the moment around blogging, I'm not sure why. I do know this though, that I enjoy reading and commenting far more on blogs like this which are genuine (and good), than on the increasing number of "Yesterday I went to xxx event" and "xxx sent me these dresses to try on" ones.

    Can't wait to meet you on Saturday!! xxxx

  19. Ha, I wrote that last bit and then though, D'oh we've already met! But actually we haven't which is a weird thought.

    Hope that didn't come out creepy.

  20. Waves
    I know exactly what you mean. But. I read and I love your writing. Don't stop.
    I also have no idea why some blogs, or people, are popular.

  21. Sounding like tough times at the moment. I hope you are able to sort things out and feel more rooted somewhere. I hate when everything feels scattered (which it kind of does at the moment even though we have a single home).

    Also in terms of blogging I think there is room for all sorts of blogs and styles because if we were all the same it would be a bit dull. I don't read fashion blogs but read a lot of lifestyle blogs because I find them inspiring. I don't compare myself but think, wouldn't that be a fun thing to make/bake/do. But I also like more "real" blogs and increasingly only now make time to read blogs of people I have got around to meeting in real life (with exceptions obviously).

    The great thing is this space is yours, all yours, and therefore you can make it what you want and we get to come read it.

  22. Hmm...not sure what to say to this one. I do just blog because I find writing a way to sort through my troubled thoughts. I´ve kept a diary since I was a child and I´ve painted forever too and I now recognise that I do these things instinctively to help me cope with things in my life.

    I try not to air my dirty laundry too much (because I really could go on and on and asriston if I didn´t keep myself in check) so I try and put a positive spin on what I write - don´t really want my colleagues who read my blog and who see me everyday to see too much...though i think you can always catch a glimpse of what lies beneath as I don´t hide it totally. There are signs within my writing -just the topics indicate that...

    I could just write a personal journal but I choose to write publically so I might examine my style and scrutinise my punctuation etc and also because well...it is nice to think someone might read what you say and take something from it. I can´t deny that the Internet and social networking haven´t reeled me in and had some sort of effect...though I´m thinking about this more and more these days and warily too...

    Anyway...I don´t know...I´m sure you´ll work it all out. I know what you mean about all these blogs and the things you describe but I guess looking at it in a positive light...perhaps a lot of these people are writing to also connect...to feel valued...to shine in a small little way...We can take what we want from it - we can choose to read or not but that is down to us.

    And I´m waffling now with no real point so I´ll duck out now. xxx

  23. Yeah, it's hard not to compare yourself to other people, isn't it? It's probably human instinct or something. For instance, I get jealous of how many many comments you get every time you post. I mean, you totally deserve them obviously, please do believe that you are beloved! I hope the blog goes back to feeling like your comfortable safe place.

  24. I think a lot of us are bemused by why some blogs are very popular and get so many comments. Although their lives cannot be as perfect as the images they portray.
    A couple of blogs I read, but no longer comment on as they get literally dozens if not hundreds of comments, show perfect, colourful, happy lives - but their photos are so obviously staged (I wouldn't have the time).
    Maybe people like the escapism of looking at such pretty pictures, but I don't think we should compare ourselves to them as they aren't being completely honest. I love your honest, witty style of writing. Don't stop.

  25. It’s nothing wrong with posting cute cats, but I think you should stick to being you. It’s good enough. I’ve just found my way here all the way from Sweden and I like what I found.


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