Thursday, May 8, 2014

Temperature Check Time

I'm taking it back, way back to the blog beginning, when I wrote about my consumption patterns.  Over the year and a half of very active blogging, I've been uncovering things about myself.  Not all of them are very pleasant.
The thing about a blog like this one is I can fashion an image or sense of who I am by choosing a particular selection of beauty products to show and appear a certain way by the pictures of myself I reveal.  I might also create an illusion of happiness or prosperity.  After all, blog is almost fully a one way expression.

At the end of the day, I may choose to portray myself as a happy and educated consumer, but actually, all this dwelling on makeup for happiness shows me that I am looking for love in all the wrong places.  As so well sung by Eddie Murphy in vintage SNL days:

Not that I don't have plenty of other important aspects of my life going on, but increasingly I realize that buying makeup is truly just an ineffective coping mechanism that I've been leaning on to bring a jolt of teh happy.  It is also my lazy way to achieve life fulfillment (because spending is easy) versus putting my efforts to more fulfilling things.

To some extent, filling my head with makeup facts, makeup looks, makeup buying plans did (does) give me a lot of pleasure.  But when I see my vanity cluttered with things, which used to be all coveted and desired with ardor look and feel like too much junk.  The physical clutter and the financial clutter is some of the price to pay for easy fulfillment.

I've cut purchases way way back.  Summer collections are generally easy to ix-nay for me.  The real test of my control in spending will really be for Fall.

Used to be that beauty buying was my big outlet for teh happiness, now it's a mixture of that plus blogging itself.  I do love many aspects of it.  But in the same way beauty consumption has its own pitfalls and doesn't fulfill a real human void in me, blogging fails in that regard as well.

I'm proud people read this blog.  I'm grateful I get to interact with such passionate, goofy and fun lot of you!  But on the other hand (I have many hands. :) ), it doesn't act as a very good substitute for real human to human interaction.  Because I am so introverted in real life, interacting with hoomins on the blog feels so comfortable.  Wonder if this also resonates with other introverts out there?  And because it feels so comfortable, I find it a really seductive medium for which to fall deeper and deeper.  I fall so deeply in it, that I worry it fills too big a role in my need for hoomin/hoomin bonding.

Even though I've said before how (using mocking falsetto tone) I've learned my product preferences and what I really like so that I buy smarter, at the crux of it for me is that buying stuff does not fulfill a real need.  There, I'm saying that all the gorgeous makeup I fixate on doesn't really make me happy. 

Even though I just stated how much I enjoy running this little blog, it's a social crutch.  There, I said that, too.  Blogging is my social crutch and doesn't help challenge my social status quo and likely sets it back.

What does this all mean?  BELLY, YOU QUITTIN' ON US AGAIN?  I think like many of you, I'm just looking for fulfillment and balance.  I've just reached a milestone, now at age 41, realizing what doesn't fulfill me or balance me.  What this means for the blog is probably very minimal maybe, since this journey is my own and internal and private.  I still have makeup to share!  Maybe more fried chicken, too.  Know that in the background, I am working on finding what truly makes me happy.  If I do disappear into the aether, that means I found something to make me really happy!

Happiness and fulfillment for all of you!

53 comments :

  1. Oh you Belly you - we'll get you some hoomin to hoomin blogger interaction next month :) I think Liz from Beauty Reductionista once observed that most of us bloggers are a pretty introvert bunch, and prone to self-reflection and deep thoughts. I understand what you mean by purchasing make-up not being able to substitute the real 'void', or blogging not being able to substitute real socializing - and I agree. But for me personally, it's more than just a substitute for other things I don't have enough of: it also helps me to harbor the creative side of my personality, and hones my skills as a writer and uhm, photographer (that sounds very lofty... but you know what I mean). It has also brought me a lot of opportunities for real life interactions, and I've met lots of amazing people because of it. Since I'm generally very critical of fellow humans, knowing that there are people out there who are amazingly kind, funny and talented brings me real joy. Ekh. Something to think about for sure.

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    1. :) LOVE ME SOME HOOMIN/HOOMIN bonding time. You guys will just need to excuse me when I crawl under the table and then peek out once in a while to give you guys the eye ball. I only creep around with affection though. So don't be freaked out.

      Obviously a lot of bloggers out there get enough positives to keep blogging. I didn't mean to focus on the negatives in the post above, but wanted to share something I'm discovering for myself. I do also love crafting a good post & getting to practice my photography (non) skills. :D

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    2. to both: Blogger interaction next month, haha!!! I'm such an introvert IRL too, a complete wallflower...
      I completely agree with Monika - I wouldn't be able to meet many of the bloggers if not for my blog - it may come out as being an aid rather than a crutch, depending on the groups of people we're talking about :-) the blog does help me mingle with like-minded people like you guys, but it can be a crutch at some occasions (it doesn't help at all when seeing fashion bloggers IRL)!!

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    3. heehee: likeminded bloggers. hehe. *grabs all your knees under the table in not that creepy a fashion*

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  2. As usual, I really liked reading this piece of thoughts very well written. I think we all think about these things, I do at least and more often than you think. Only it is you who gots ballz to share it here, which I truly appreciate. I also found out that I was delaying to write to my very good friends and instead emailing with some of my blogging friends. I don't find it so bad though, I don't know why a person who I got to know through internet should be inferior to one I got to know in real life. For me real and cyber may from time to time switch places and I don't complain about it that much. I do find my spending on makeup excessive though and I don't know why I am doing it. You have been an Inspration to me though, by the way you were cutting your consumption and I am hoping you go on being my muse. *hugs*

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    1. Do you mean balls or BALLZ? I love me some BALLZ! Sparkly gorgeous skin for errrrrr-one! :) I don't mean to imply that internet friends are not real friends in any way. I should have clarified to say that for me (and just me, I don't know how other people feel) that interaction between me and readers in the comment section are not completely fulfilling in terms of a well-rounded friendship or relationship. Afterall, I'm providing a topic (beauty), they comment and I respond back. Not to say those comments are not a fun way to interact with the wider world, it's just not very meaningful when this is the only basis of a relationship.

      *hugs* I don't know why other people are the way they are. I just know why I buy things in excess. And I know how I feel when I deal with the excess AFTER the purchase and it's generally not very good. Thank you for your amazing and honest thoughts you share with me, too, Sara!

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  3. Oh belly, what a wonderful post. I do wonder if your beautiful brain is casting some of these processes in a darker light than they necessarily deserve -- the goal is to fail better, not achieve perfection, no? As A Faithful Reader, I at least have noticed changes in your consumption habits / approach to them since the beginning of the blog, even -- I know that self-awareness can often be a greater source of frustration than fulfilment, but I feel you're judging yourself too harshly and minimising your genuine achievements for falling short of an impossible ideal of RASHUNAL KONSUMERIZM.
    As for blog/internet socialising being inferior / detrimental to offline, I've read too many contradictory studies and now have 0 opinions on the matter :P But you've definitely made me wonder whether blogging is just fuelling my (extravert) love of feedback and inability to just be/do/think/far without telling EVERYONE IN DETAIL BECAUSE SOOOOOO INTERESTINGS.

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    1. I'm sensing from the comments that people think I am being glum-like..mebbe? I feel pretty good actually! I am far from perfect and definitely not on any road to it. I think what I'm realizing is that I need to figure out the things that make me truly full of the happeh! And realizing that makeup isn't eet. Newp newp newp newp! I don't mind the extra brain noise I hear everything I have hazy lemmings or want to make a hasty or impulsive purchase since it slows me down and make me understand: "not happeh."

      Meanwhile, ms Kate, people wouldn't adore your driveling so much and read them if they didn't really truly love all the wee leetle widdle details. Because YES! It is so fun and interesting. I don't think internet socializing is inferior, but in the context of pure blog interaction where the relationship is blogger to reader (comments, really), the interaction can only exist at a certain superficial level. I'm speaking really to the beauty blog of course, since there are many other types of less superficial topics on which to have a blog! That's just not mine. Mine is full of glitter and the pinks!

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    2. Whoops! I see I jumped in too enthusiastically with the petting! Things are much clearer now :D THAT old peril of internet interaction = much loss of tone. Huzzah for belly and her journey, wheresoever it may take her. (And if that direction turns out to be baconwards, I would totes welcome a blog on that, btw. And it would be v deep.)

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    3. NAW! I love the Drivel Pets. :) I am deep in therapy at the mo' understanding happiness so this is greatly on my mind. More bacon, more onward!

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  4. Oh Belly! Anonymous Nutcase here with a heartfelt gut understanding of what you have revealed. I am not surprised you are an introvert....in one beauty forum I was in it turned out that more than 50%, including myself, were INTJ personality types (Myers-Briggs). All self reported, of course, but startling, nevertheless.

    I feel most at ease writing my thoughts and I often feel that I should be more out in the real world with real people. But that is hard for me unless I find other other people I can truly connect...which is not as often as I think I would like. My husband, on the other hand, connects with everyone and is invited everywhere as he is kind, funny, and easy to be around. Me? Not so much...serious, analytical...my best traits are brains, loyalty, hard worker ...yeah, good employee type.

    Like you, I know buying does not buy happiness, but I sense that you do have a fulfilling family life and have much more to share than you care to publicly reveal. I understand and respect why you don't show your family...I would do the same. Beauty blogging is something easy to talk about, so impersonal and frivolous, and fun, too. Makeup is fun, writing is fun, getting feedback is fun. I don't think you will fall deeper into the hole because you are aware of it. Although I appreciate seeing new stuff, I don't think you personally need to constantly need to buy new things...showing how you use stuff or organize stuff or doing what you did with Liz of So Lonely in Gorgeous was a brilliant way to showcase how different applications can work for different people. So creative and I learned a lot with those two posts. Your posts are always thoughtful as well as good reads, and I get something get something real out of them.

    I think your search for fulfillment and balance will never end. I am 20+ years older than you and am still searching. We constantly evolve as we age, different body, different circumstances, different perspectives and it means endless adjustment. That you think about these things is good. Sharing a certain image of yourself is not a bad thing, either. I took great pains to look good at a recent event, a funeral, of all things. Why, because I wanted to look happy, well, etc. to people I hadn't seen since I retired. But I appreciate these posts also, where you are brave enough to reveal your deeper thoughts that few bloggers dare to venture. You share your fears and insecurities and in that way, your human-ness, in a dignified and intelligent way.

    Be kind to yourself, Belly. Forgive yourself that you are not perfect. You are more than you think you are.

    p.s. And one last thought. I think searching for happiness is a crock. There is no one place or state of mind that we have to FIND. Happiness is everywhere and in small bits and pieces and moments...the lovely photo, the zany things your children do, the smell of fried chicken, the feeling of satisfaction on a well written post and in kind comments you receive via this blog. Savor the moment and enjoy.

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    1. Dear lovely AN,
      your comment, when I was reading it yesterday, made my eyes fill up. Truly did. Thank you for your empathy, and your wonderfully kind comment. :)
      I took the Myers Briggs administered at work a long time ago, and I think I was something else and not INTJ! Yes on the MUB, we are full of introverts there, too! I like this medium actually (if not perfect for hoomin hoomin mixing) for self expression. Monika mentioned a creative vehicle, which that for me, too, but also for me to exercise perfectly controlled expression (even though they can be off the wall, have bad grammar, etc). Maybe I'm just a control freak. :)

      I agree on the nature of the search. Happiness is not the destination, it is in the everyday living. A very small part of that happiness is makeup, and the greater part, the many other things in life.

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  5. Another INTJ here (how funny!) to thank you for your Deep Thursday Thoughts. Selfishly, I hope you go on blogging (about anything! bacon, as you've mentioned in the past, would be fine--even tho I'm a vegan!) forever and ever amen. But mostly I wish you alllll the happiness you seek...may you find it right there waiting for you in a lipstick, an online interaction, a giggle with one of your kids, a book...everywhere and always. You've brought so much delight to my life through your smart, funny blog posts; I hope that delight returns to you one million-fold.

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    1. :))) Thank you for all the lovely sentiment here!!!

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  6. Belly, I could've wrote this blog myself! I have a feeling a lot of us beauty 'addicts', makeup lovers, whatever you want to call us, feel the same way a lot of the time. Seriously, how many lipsticks, or eyeshadows, or blushes does one person need?! I say that to myself all the time. I know, I know people can spend their money on anything they want whether it's makeup, perfume or ceramic figurines, that's your choice, but I feel good about myself because I've cut waaaaaay back on my buying because when I see something I think I need, I look through the items I already have and sure enough, I can duplicate it easily, almost perfectly.

    For me, it's all about receiving something in the mail/ups/whatever, that makes me happy, gives me something to look forward to during the day, which I think is just sad. I'm home 5 days/week by myself for at least 7+ hours each day, unable to leave the house due to my health, and my routine never ever changes. It's depressing really so a little something in the mail perks me up. But I'm finding a way to cope with that by buying small items - like a 6 pak sample of a Korean BB cream for $5 - just to give me something to look forward to during the day. Something small that doesn't duplicate what I already have (hopefully, since they're samples) or cost a whole lot.

    I read several blogs during the day because I truly like seeing all the pretty colors that are out there. :) The bloggers that I do read are amazing women and so talented that it brings a much needed smile to my face. Although when I read Kate's blog I always feel a bit inadequate when I'm done, LOL, but I still go back daily. I don't think it's fair that one woman can have that much talent! LOL But all of you bloggers put so much into your blogs and I want to let you know that your readers really do appreciate it. Some of you are so funny (Belly!) that you make it a fun read; thank you for that.

    I hope you find your happiness, I really do. It's springtime, so maybe turning over a new leaf is a good thing. :)

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    1. Dawn, I look forward to YOUR comments each and every day. Thank you for sharing a part of you publicly and enriching my day and my blog interaction in a meaningful way. Though I've said (in above comment responses) that comment interactions are limited, I am so touched that you go beyond the makeup topic and choose to share a bit of yourself. That truly inspires me to be open and honest on the blog because I feel openness and honesty is what is given in return. I'm having a little moment of the happiness right now thanks to you. <33

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  7. We in da same boat, Belly. I'm glad when you're around and when you're not because then I know you're preoccupied with something that probably makes you happy. :) I've been redirecting my thoughts on to other things now, too, and while makeup does make me happy, I have to consider the other things that do, too. Love and happiness to you, always. :)

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    1. Hi Carina,
      I've been reading your recent posts and I love the idea of thoughtful spending that you are doing! :)
      Good luck on your low (and reasonable) buy and saving up for your more important future plans!! :DD

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  8. The blog is really smart and funny, yes it's on a bit of a superficial topic but it's really enjoyable to read! I hope you don't give up on writing completely.

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    1. And this may not be helpful, but maybe there's a hobby out there that uses the same parts of your brain/emotions as makeup, but in a more rewarding and less materialistic way? Not sure how to put that but, for example, a few years ago I was obsessed with fashion and was always looking for new clothes. After a while I started sewing and it killed a lot of the consumerist urges. More recently I got into makeup, which started as wanting to buy everything, but over time is changing into more of an interest in skincare and overall healthy living. I still get swept up in wanting new colours, new things, whatever, but then I make myself go for a walk or do some painting. As a result I've done a ton of painting lately... it's a more productive way to channel the urges for pretty visual things.

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    2. Thanks Kat for your comments! I wish I were more talented in other ways (in craft making, sewing/knitting, etc), but those are definitely not where my skills lie. I actually think that writing is what gives me one of life's greatest pleasure, so whether writing about beauty or something else, I think that is something that I will continue to do.
      Also a splurge every once in a while for a pretty makeup item is all fine, too. :)

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  9. Makeup buying is my easy quick fix. Have a bad day? Upset about a fight? Head online or to Sephora on my way to the subway. Voila, instant gratification! But just like they say that finding a partner won't make you happy if you're not happy with yourself to begin with, buying makeup won't make me happy in the long term if I'm just not happy with myself. This doesn't mean I want to stop buying things (would I even be able to?!?!). But I do need to focus on other things and real ways to make myself happy. (This probably means actually doing things instead of coming home every day and working on my blog...)

    So, yeah. I feel you!!

    Shani x
    She Dreams in Perfect French

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    1. Cold break from buying ALL makeup is one sure fire way of feeling very deprived--- at least for me! I think the instant gratification part is so short lived that it is one reason that I am looking for something more meaningful for myself. While makeup is not particularly a meaningful or weighty subject, I think we both find lots of simple pleasure in it, and I still think that's really good, right?

      Blogging is a big time suck, unfortunately. Let's both find ways to remember to focus often on other things.

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  10. Well, basically, everything Driveller Kate said. :)

    But I'll add to this as an X-TreM3z introvert: I think the first step to happiness/peace of mind is self-acceptance/love, the next step up from self-awareness. I totally understand your anxiety about using your blog or MUB as a social crutch--I moved to this country to be with an awesome human being, but it's been an extremely solitary life as I work from home while he has an office to go to, so I seek solace in MUB + a couple of other forums. It's honestly a very comfortable existence, but I am very worried that I will lose all powers of speech and withdraw from society entirely, developing premature dementia as a result. :P

    Of course I ought to "get out more" and socialize with real humans, but at the same time, I've learned to be okay with the fact that I really like interacting with a bunch of 0s and 1s in the Matrix! (I laik werds.) If anything, my life has been absolutely enriched by my interactions with screen names--I met a couple of my (now IRL) good friends online, and my partner through a mutual friend's blog. :) IME, being online friends first often makes it for me to befriend those people, for I'm usually catatonic from awkwardness. I feel like if I don't accept my inclinations and preferences, I'm denying truths about myself and it is far more detrimental to me (and my loved ones) if I get trapped in a cycle of self-loathing. It is a struggle, but there are rare moments where I'm not caught up in my own head and it is just blissful, whether I'm commenting here, reading a book, playing with my pup, or reswatching all my lipsticks. Guilt and self-hatred ruin everything!

    I hope you will see that your writing and the bits of your personality that trickle out have brought considerable joy and amusement to your readers, and that you are much beloved in this little corner in the cyberspace. At least consider Wondegondigo a creative outlet--you can always publish your poetry! XP

    "I have but two lips
    But menny, menny lippies
    Oh my god send help."

    I'm sure you'll do better. :P



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    1. Oh lord. Having read your responses above, as a textbook awkward and anxious creature, I am thoroughly embarrassed by how overblown my response was. *crawls into a hole to decompose*

      Sigh, I'm just happy you exist on the internetz, let's just say. :)

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    2. Golly! I am totally embarrassed at how lovely everyone's responses were!!! I think my post sounded much more serious than I meant it to be. Or that I sounded unhappy! It was a serious post, but just about how buying SOOOOO much makeup isn't the key to my happiness.
      *brings you back from the dead* *applies anti-aging creams to the decomposed bits*

      Hmm... thinking this further. I think you and others reading and commenting are maybe more perceptive to where I am in my head than I myself know.

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  11. Amen to you, Belly, and amen to all the sisterhood up there who had replied. I would like to echo the Anonymous (not a) Nutcase up there that happiness is really a state of mind. It is in all of us all along. We just need to recognize it, and acknowledge it, no matter how fleeting it is. It does not matter if you only feel it a millisecond, but it is always there. Not for once I thought that what you shared on the blog is the WHOLE Belly. Unconsciously, yes, but I'm sure all of us realizes that we are all human with many facets and blogging/makeup buying is just part of it. Sure, we cherry pick on things we share on the blogs, fo' SURE! It would be a boring post if I keep talking about how many times I have to clean up pee accident for today -- and I do WANT to talk about it so I share it with a different audience, not in the blog. But, I think I can speak for everyone here that we keep coming back because the character behind the post: your humor, wit, candor, honesty, thoughtfulness. You bring those, every single time you write your posts. Those are also part of who you are, you don't write them verbatim but they show anyway.

    I think those of us who blog must have felt deep down we have things to say and things to share. The world is a richer place because of it. Richer for us readers who read your reviews/posts, etc. richer for you that you discover something about yourself while writing. Isn't it a reason enough to keep on blogging (if blogging is what you choose to do)?

    To close, I think online interaction is certainly not a substitute to hoomin2x interaction, but it is AS real. Just like a wheel has many spokes, online interaction, or blogging, or bacon/makeup consumption, or else is just one of the facet of what you experience in life. But they are spokes that make up the wheel that is the whole-you. I wouldn't discount any of that if I were you, each of them brings different gifts at different time. I hope you'll keep coming back to share part of yourself here, Belly... I hope it won't be long until your next post (hopefully about things you love & want to share).

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    1. You are SO RIGHT ON, Claire! If I wrote every little detail of my life (even my makeup life) this would be the most mind-numbingly boring blog in the face of the whole series of connected tubes ever! I think makeup has been a happy vehicle really to get me in the mode of writing and I am very grateful for that. It easily could have been about diaper changes, too, if I had the gumption to start a blog some years back. :)

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments... here and everywhere!

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  12. <3

    Just know that your voice is valuable, and that you will be missed if you go... but the most important thing is that you're happy.

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  13. I share the sentiments of all the other amazing people here. Only you can do such deep hitting, thought provoking posts about something most, if not all, beauty/consumerism addicts face/are in denial of. You are being honest with yourself (and us) and I'd say thats half the job done in seeking to fill voids. If the journey through life is about finding fulfillment, then that implies there will always be voids to fill. I believe even the most fulfilled person finds themselves wanting more. Online personas may reflect only one small fraction of who we are, but I feel we're able to be more honest and raw because of the physical detachment, and it definitely helps RL introverts like me to be online extroverts by skipping the dreaded stranga hoomin interactionz!

    I'll take whatever slice of life you'll give us! Moar chickenz!!

    www.noodlesdoodleswithpretties.blogspot.com

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    1. You know! It's super super easy to be honest & brave and talk about uncomfortable stuff when one is just a internet persona! It's not like I go around in real life telling people I buy too much makeup! :)

      But stil, I really appreciate your sentiment, too! Chiken forever!

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  14. LOVE that you wrote about this -- every once in a while when I turn down a brunch invite to edit a vlog, I do a double take and wonder if I should be going out. Then you look over at your limited edition bronzers and you're like, ...but how could I leave you?

    I do hope you keep writing, but I'm so glad to hear that you're taking control and focusing on what makes you happy!

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    1. LOL! Sometimes, I do see a new pretty and want to just stay home and play with it. I just tend to be more motivated by the fact that groups of people, even people I know really well, freak me out!

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  15. Hhmmm... words that ring true. In the end, I guess it depends on how we treat our own blog. Some bloggers really strive to be famous and good for them, but a lot of us blog as a hobby. And as a hobby, it's only enjoyable when it feels good, when we're happy doing it. I'm also for happiness and fulfillment, and I hope you find it in many places, Belly!

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    1. Thank you, lovely Lily! :)
      I blog for the fun. I blog for getting to use my writing muscle. I blog because I get to practice my photography. Plus many other reasons.

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  16. Oh Belly!!! So much truth in your words and so much insight to it too! reading this post oddly rings a bell (a hidden one) in me - you've nailed it - buying seems easy and make us happy but it really is a false illusion. I've always been on a quest to look for happiness - i can't say i've found that yet, but one might never find it when entering the grave! So realizing what doesn't/will not really make you happy in real terms at 41 isn't so bad IMO. To this date, I did not realize this rang true for me until i read this line in your post - now it's time for more self-discovery and self-reflection!! I'd love to read more if you've gathered more insights to our beauty hoarding habits/passions/obsessions - it's like looking at myself in a mirror *bams*

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  17. Brilliant, compelling post! I never thought a beauty blog post could take my breath away, but this one did. Belly, a while back I believe your tag line was "let me show you the deep, dark underbelly of make up consumption"? Or something to that effect. You've made good on that. You've bravely exposed the "deep" with insight and unflinching honesty. I take issue with the "dark" though, because this post is luminous in its soulfulness and humanity.

    Tipping my hat to you for somehow turning a beauty blog into a vehicle for personal growth! Your words resonate in me. For some people makeup is vanity, but I have found that sometimes the search for the perfect concealer can turn morph into a journey to self-acceptance and self-appreciation instead.

    You must do what's best for you, but if you decide to continue to blog I'll be right here reading. (Joy)

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  18. oh Belly! i'm glad youve done this temp check! i think this sort of thing is necessary and i often do it for my own life. sort of a re-calibration period to set yourself straight again.
    i get what you mean by clutter. i've only been blogging for one year and more and more i notice all the crap i ahve. yesterday i did a massive clean and have set aside so much to give away.
    i can see what you're saying about a crutch. i make a point to actually see friends and do non blog stuff on the weekends. its so easy for me to just stay at home and blog through the weekend since producing a post can take so much time. but i value the time i actually spend with people more :)
    Jenn

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  19. ah Jane I understand what you are saying, I think I buy/obsess for close to the same reasons and then I give my head a shake and ignore blogs and MUA for a month but I come back again with resolve that quickly diminishes. If I had close friends who shared my passion they would replace my lovely MUA and blog folks but I don't. Mostly these women judge and I'm passed the age of feeling obliged to explain myself to them so I just don't do it. I would understand if you stopped blogging but I will miss you but really what I'd like to do is share a bottle of wine and talk to you in person. I think that is some of the reason I continue with MUA and my fav blogs, it's more than looking at pics and reviews for me but it is kind of unsettling that bonds of any kind can form with just reading your posts and learning bits of who you are through them. Perhaps I haven't given the medium it's props afterall.

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  20. Oh Darling! Happiness and fullfilment is what we all want and deserve (well some of us at least I got a few people in mind...lol). For me my blog has been a godsend and as you know it's enabled me to "meet" so many lovely beautiful web friends who where there for me. This past year I know I've been compensating a lot but so far my purchases have been justified (I think!) and so I won't make myself guilty about them.

    I'm not in it to be famous or to get free stuff and have barely the time these days to write, I mean really write ykwim? Ok I didn't even know I could do that in the first place but I continue blogging for those illuminated moments, the ones when I get proud of just one phrase well put together. Now this one sucked it should have read "a well put together phrase"... I think!

    I don't have to answer to anyone and at the moment it makes me happy and a few weeks ago my daughter told me she was proud of me! Proud on my dedication to my blog, proud of the fact that I really invest myself (and my "cough" money) in it and take the time to try and make it better. I'm good with that!

    From one introvert to another, I so get what you mean. Isn't it weird to pur ourselves out there in this way? Now I haven't had the courage to actually put my face out and the reason is I'm older than all of you but eventually I will, maybe as my Swan Song I just dunno!

    If you need a break take it! If you need to go get a hummingbird feeder, go an get it! Now don't you dare stop! You can slow down but I need my fix of your wit! xoxo H

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  21. I have been reading your blog for about six to nine months now, and I enjoy it very much. This post is one of the most honest things I have read in a long time. I am sorry that there is something missing in your life, in spite of the love of your family and your other interests. Have you considered that it isn't a what that's missing from your life, but a Who? I do not know if you are a religious person or not, but you are right that there seems to be a black hole into which we try to stuff things. The Who that is missing from our lives is God. Our relationship with Him was broken in the Garden of Eden, and we constantly look for ways to make up for that lack. Jesus the Christ's excruciating death on the cross paid for all our sins and restored the possibility of a relationship with Him. I say "possibility" because that relationship remains broken until we confess that we are sinners and believe that Jesus died for our own personal sins and resurrected from the dead. Once we do that, the relationship is no longer broken, and we have personal access to God.

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    1. Hmmm, can't tell if earnest or full of delicious canned ham and pork shoulder meat. *___<

      Our father, who art in a colander, draining be your noodles.
      They noodle come, Thy sauce be yum, on top some grated Parmesan.
      Give us this day, our garlic bread, and forgive us our trespasses,
      as we forgive those who trample on our blogs.
      And lead us not into vegetarianism, but deliver us some pizza,
      for Thine is the meatball, and the noodle, and the sauce, forever and ever.

      R'Amen.

      You know how when you are at a dinner party and the prevailing etiquette is to not discuss politics and religion? I think that might hold even MORE troooo on a beauty blog.

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    2. see girl? you just crack me up and I really want you to stay

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    3. Hahaha Did this actually happen?

      Your food prose is amazing!

      -- Vanessa

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    4. DOOOODS! Those are not my words!! That is the Pastafarian Prayer. Hope you get to google it as well as Flying Spaghetti Monster. Which amuses me and makes me think to no end.

      :DD

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  22. (Warning: Victorian-novel-length comment ahead.)

    As a hardcore introvert myself (INFJ represent!), I understand exactly what you mean. Here's how I see the role of beauty blogging in my own life: I'd buy and obsess over this stuff anyway, but I'd be doing it in a void, because no one in my real life cares about makeup as deeply and geekily as I do. With blogging, I get to interact with the very people who sparked my deep and geeky interest in the first place (that includes you). Blogging isn't actually a social cruch for me, because I'm introverted in internet-land, too: sometimes I feel shy about commenting on other people's posts or responding to comments on my own blog. But it's certainly easier than mingling at a cocktail party where I know absolutely no one.

    I do make an effort to keep my blog secondary to my real-life pursuits, because of my natural competitive streak. It's hard for me to have a hobby without wanting to be The Best at it, and I'd like blogging to be the exception to that rule: a low-key creative outlet. I remember your recent post about how easy it is to check your pageviews 34589304 times a day. I've certainly fallen into that trap, and it makes me feel like I'm commodifying my readers, collecting them just as I collect lipsticks. It's a terrible feeling! I don't want to buy stuff specifically to review on the blog; I don't want to write certain kinds of posts because I know they'll get the most pageviews. Which is why creative, thoughtful, genuine blogs like yours are the ones I always return to for inspiration.

    I think there must be a way for you to keep blogging without feeling like it's your social crutch or your primary source of fulfillment. There's nothing wrong with devoting energy to something that doesn't fill all your emotional voids! Frankly, I'd be kind of frightened if makeup did that for you. And I agree with Claire: online interaction is different from hoomin-to-hoomin interaction, but no less real. Just because something is easy doesn't mean it's not real. Look how many people you've touched with this post! You have a true gift. Step away from the blog if that's what you need to do, but know that we're all wishing you well. <3

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    1. Ugh, how did I misspell "crutch" in the first paragraph, and why won't blogspot let us edit our damn comments? D:

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  23. Oh WoW, I feel like many parts of this just read out like my own post I just did last week or so. I get you, more then you will ever understand. Even though you and I come from very different lifestyles I feel we are one in the same. Thank you for writing this :)

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  24. Now don't go picking on yourself! There aren't any rules out there on how we have to interact socially to be a perfect hoomin. Remember- no rules. You're just fine. Hey- I love your pictures of Japanese makeup and fried chicken. And seeing NYC through your makeup loving eyes. Just a few minutes ago I was marveling at how you could just walk past a brick and mortar Bergdorf. You bring your experiences to people all over. Very cool for this country chick who literally lives across the street from a cornfield. (Or soybeans- depends on the year. LOL)

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  25. I'm an introvert to the core. Though my jobs have weirdly always been in some sort of customer service and have forced me to acquire and maintain a few social skills and has made it a little bit easier to talk to people in real life, to be honest I'm not super comfortable talking to people outside of my job setting. Of course in my head I'm quite genial and am super funny and can have conversations with anyone!!! So I totally know what you mean about this blogging biz and the internet in general being a social crutch...in this space I can meet anyone and talk to anyone, BUT it's on my terms and at my own speed - I generally rely on the non-instant conversations that allow me to 'talk' to people where I can put forth whatever I choose, whenever I choose. Not to say I fake it or anything like that (I think you know what I mean)...what I'm trying to say is who I am in my head and put out there online (I talk/write how I think) vs. how I appear in real life - well I'm pretty sure they are vastly different. And actually, that's why I don't like to really put pics of myself out there...my secret fear is that someone will recognize me and be sorely disappointed in my real life persona and think yikes she doesn't seem anything like the online gummy!

    As far as finding what you love and what makes you happy...OMG I'm trying to do that too...have been trying to find it for a long time. While I enjoy blogging, and there are some aspects to it I kind of love but I don't know that's it's necessarily a passion of mine. Like social media, pinterest, makeupalley and such I somewhat feel blogging is a time filler...something I'm doing in the meantime. And really I don't think I have any passions. Is that weird? Seems like everyone around me has something they LOVE, or things they LOVE and feel like they HAVE to do. My Husband loves to snowboard and mountain bike and has all sorts of other things he loves to do and feels yuck when he doesn't do those things...well...I just don't have anything like that. I've been having a weird feeling for several years now that is only exacerbated by the fact that we've decided not to have children...it's this feeling of whoa what am I going to do with all this TIME????? Most people fill it with kids and all the things associated with having them but yikes I'm not going to have all that time automatically filled in so what do I do??? Add to that the non-passion for anything and eh...I don't know...it's just eh. So yeah...blogging is a time filler for now, though there are times I have a lot of fun with it and almost love it. I do love beauty though and being creative and the blogging community so that's what keeps me going!!! All that seems different from the passion I'm trying to find in me though. But blogging itself isn't a complete love so that's why I periodically take breaks - I just don't have it in me right now to blog everyday or keep to a regular schedule and stick to the structure of it all and all the other million and one things that go along with keeping a blog (you know things like stats, keeping content fresh and different, follows, unfollows, social pressure of the blogosphere, etc, etc, etc). Maybe that will change I don't know.

    I've taken some time off from blogging and stuff and have started doing some crafty projects I've found on Pinterest. Those have been really fun! But I also can't seem to quiet my mind enough to do them consistently...you know that whole attention span thing I talked about in one of my posts. But it's been really nice to do something different and creative :-) So we'll see.

    Anyway!!! I read your post the other day, so please don't feel like you need to reply to this comment :-) Mainly I just wanted to pour my soul out to someone who so bravely wrote what I'm feeling (or so I interpreted it that way ha ha!). Love you Belly, mama!!! I hope you find your happy place!!! xoxoxoxo HUUUUUGS!!!!!

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    1. p.s. Sorry if any of this sounds incoherent!! I actually wrote a lot more but had to cut a bunch out because of the character count :-(

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