The Value of Privacy

 

It’s February 6th and this is the second (maybe?) time I’ve written here in the New Year. Why?

I’ve documented pretty closely some of my recent struggles. My most recent post outlined my word of the year, and how, even so early into the year it’s been extremely influential. After I wrote that post, I started to analyze my choices and why I was making them. What was my intentions? What motivated me? And, as always, what did I really want in life?

It’s sort of frustrating to always question what you want in life. Some people know from an early age what they’re talented at. Mark has always wanted to be a teacher- something he fought for in a difficult economy. He has always wanted to share his love of music with as many people who will listen- and, if you go to just one of his concerts you’ll see how his passion lights those kids souls on fire. 

When I was young, I wanted to be a writer. I loved reading, I loved telling stories, and I loved the seclusion writing includes. Despite that,  I never felt a particular “pull” to anything. I was good at sports, had great grades, and just sort of floated along on my own path. When I went to college, I was mostly influenced by my family to pursue business. It was there I learned my love of event planning, and, where I learned that photography could be a real “thing”. At night, I would navigate my way through the Art building (a benefit of being an RA was the ability to get into any building, anytime) where I would admire the work that hung on the walls. I envied their ability to express themselves freely and without judgement. 

I joke now that the first few years of my twenties were my lost years. I didn’t know what I wanted so I came to the internet to pretend I had it all together. When I started this blog, my intentions were to showcase a life I didn’t really have. Deep in a miserable relationship (which, in all fairness, has equal faults) I felt like if I blogged, I could showcase the life I wanted. As if, I could crowdsource my happiness by making ‘blog” friends, receive comments, get famous- the whole pyramid scheme.

A different name, a different platform, a different zip code brought me here. Inspired by a drunk evening with my aunt and brother, I loved the idea of a funny place where “I just can’t even.” I would say those were my highlight years of blogging. It was carefree, humorous, outlined my day to day with zero repercussions; it was unedited, raw… frankly, it was like walking down the street naked and giving ZERO fucks who saw. 

Life changed, which it should as you get older, and the balance shifted more towards work. Fast forward through a wedding, and a terrible mortgage process, we bought a house. Suddenly, and, without understanding, this deep sense of urgency filled me. “We’re too young to own a house”, or “What if we can’t afford a repair?” or “what if we can’t afford our mortgage” haunted me. 

My anxiety was so bad that I just stopped answering text messages all together. If I didn’t text friends back, they couldn’t be upset if I didn’t go to dinner with them. I would stay wide awake at night trying to figure out a way to make more money, and fast. Which brought me back to here. After all, over the last 6 years I’ve watched perfectly ordinary people “get rich” on their blog. Why couldn’t that be me?

I wrote recipes (which, I swear by!) I staged photos, I carefully curated my instagram- I did everything that these bloggers were telling me to do. I OBSESSED over the amount of likes a picture received, I studied my analytics- I mean, I was 100% devoted to this idea. 

And, then one day I went to share a picture of Emmett when I stopped, looked at my “grid” and thought “I just shared a picture of him, this won’t get a lot of likes.” In that moment, everything hit me. 

I searched all the bloggers I had followed over the last 6 years, and noticed how they all changed. All sponsored posts, all outfit links to “liketoknow”, all perfectly curated instagrams. All doing everything they can for the “likes”. In that moment I realized there wasn’t a chance I could match them, because there wasn’t a chance I could live my life 100% on the grid like that.  This isn’t what I truly want. 

I have what I truly want– I have a great job that, even at its’ lowest points, still makes me so happy. I have a decent amount of referrals and requests for photography- which is more than I could ever hope for. My writings on other websites are gaining a lot of followers. And, the difference? I can do all that without exposing too much of my life. 

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve put value on different aspects of my life. I value my little world at home- I am proud of this home- and, you know what? Today we needed a $1,500 repair on our boiler- and, we paid it. Something broke and we could fix it after all. I am proud of the man I married; even if we disagree, fight, or bicker, our friendship makes our relationship stronger and we always manage to talk through literally anything. I am proud of myself- for finally doing what I love- even if it makes zero sense to anyone else. Yes, I love photography, event planning, writing- I don’t have to choose one! I can do it all as long as I have the balance. 

I have loved documenting my life here, but, as my goals become more clear,  I can no longer feel guilt over ignoring this little page of mine. I will still renew it, I will still write on here, I will still share recipes. But, instead of spending a whole morning trying to perfectly capture a picture of my oreo cheesecake, I’ll take a quick snap on my phone and share it. Instead of trying to curate my pinterest, I’m just going to pin whatever I like. Instead of checking my grid before sharing an instagram, I’m just going to share the things that make me happy. I’m going to live for me without fear of analytics, likes, shares- it all. 

Once again, choosing the things that fill my soul. 

P.S- it’s taken me 2 hours to hit publish on this because of my deep rooted fear of sharing too much of my life (“will mark be mad if I write that we fight?!”- obviously, not.) so ignore any typos or issues because if I don’t hit publish now this will go right back into my drafts where its’ resided for the last week and a half.