I try not to worry but sometimes in the early hours of the morning when the rest of the house is asleep; I find myself stuck in that never-ending tunnel of night-time, morning still a long way off and all hope of sleep vanished. It is always in the stillness of the night that my mind starts running. Those worries that you keep a tight lid on during the day have a habit of creeping out at night. The other night I was thinking about my online profile and what it says about me as a person.
I hope that all of you lovely readers enjoy my musings, photos and videos because it has occurred to me that this blog is like an autobiography. I am storing my memories and putting them out there for all of you to read, and whilst on the whole it has been a positive process, there has also been some negativity. I have been open about how this blog has changed my life for the better, and how it has made me more open as a person. However, when the stillness of night has crept into my room, I find myself thinking about those Daily Mail headlines, the ones where they have trawled the person’s online presence to find out about the person behind the name. Being the Daily Mail they will often find photos on their Facebook page and taken out of context they don’t tell a pretty story. I wonder what Island Living 365 says about me, Emma, when taken out of context. What quotes would the Daily Mail pilfer from my story?
This blog sees me sharing almost everything. I blog about my passions, my anger and my pride. I share my struggles and I share my pain. I don’t hide much. My voice is shouting to be heard. A voice that for a while became muffled. Shouting for the world to listen can be scary. You have to not think about who is reading you and who might be judging you. Who knows if the next door neighbour is aware that I am a blogger, the receptionist at the doctor’s surgery, my hairdresser and the mums on the school run? Do they read me and if so what do they think? You can’t think about it otherwise you wouldn’t write. I started this blog because I realised that you can’t take anything for granted, and that life can change in a blink of the eye. I am grateful that this blog enables me to record my life, to question and to analyse it. I know that I am not the best blogger and nor will I ever be. I am blogging in a field that has a plethora of talent.
I didn’t blog to be the best, I blogged to be me.
In the past I have tried to research my own family tree and I have only managed to get so far back before the trail ran cold. I am painfully aware that I don’t really know enough about my family’s history. I know that one of my grandad’s fought at the D-Day landings in World War 2, and that is how he lost his arm, but that is all I know. I don’t know how he felt or what he saw. I don’t have any photos of him. Through my blog I am able to leave something for the future generations. I am able to leave photos, my feelings and my thoughts online. Through my blog I am tracking my life and that is an amazing thing to be able to do.
There are many arguments for not living your life online –
- That you are living your life hiding behind a platform.
- Arguments that living our life digitally means that we aren’t living in the now.
However, that has not been the case for me. By writing my blog online it has made me appreciate my life offline even more. Through this blog I am open about my challenges and my thoughts. Blogging has made me feel more connected. We shouldn’t underestimate the power of blogs. Blogs are changing our online world, they are changing the way we read the news and they are changing where we go for our parental advice.
Blogs are written by people like us for people like us.
I started my blog because I missed writing. However, when I really think about it I realise that this is blog is deeply personal. Hidden under the layers of photos and writing are my attempts to come to terms with living on Jersey. I am using this blog as a way to communicate, deconstruct, rebuild and question my ideals about my role as a stay-at-home mum. I sometimes think that I am laying myself bare and vulnerable to attack. Should I be keeping more back. In those twilight hours I mull it over. I think about the time I went to Edinburgh to see Tracey Emin’s ‘The Bed’. A work of art that left me feeling raw and fragile. It was also an exhibit that left me feeling confused and angry. For days afterwards I couldn’t stop thinking about it. This is why Tracey is so successful, ‘The Bed’ had worked in what it set it out to do, it had left me with a very strong, emotional reaction. It meant that I connected with Emin. I felt her pain. A blog post also has the power to do this. We share our deeply personal posts and they have the power to connect with whoever reads them. Whilst I am not comparing blogging to art, like Emin, I am opening myself up, I am putting myself out there. Blogs offer us a chance to connect with someone on a personal level, a chance to read their heartfelt stories. These are stories that wouldn’t be in a newspaper because they aren’t considered newsworthy but they are important stories all the same. I can’t worry about how people see my blog, I can only hope that they understand it and if they don’t? Well any reaction is better than no reaction. In the words of Oscar Wilde
“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”
As the sun rises and a new day breaks I realise that there is nothing to be afraid of. We can’t please everyone and neither should we try. Instead we should just concentrate on being happy. Now that is a quote I would be happy for the Daily Mail to take out of context 😉