Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Blogging vs real life

I went out on Friday night and had a lovely evening. Not only did I get to see some familiar faces, but I met another blogger (hello Kate), which brought home even more that real life interaction is so much nicer. You get to see a person's eyes and hear them laugh, and you can comment on things that you wouldn't be able to online, such as a striking skirt they might be wearing. It's real and the conversation flows and you open up to things that you wouldn't ordinarily confess to (please Kate, don't tell anyone what I do on trains), because the connection is different. A better different.

I know these are camping pictures but bear with me.

I was introduced to someone else that evening, someone I could have talked and giggled with all night. We had lots in common: we both have two children, we both like gin and we both agree that it's perfectly acceptable to answer the door in our nightwear in the late afternoon and jump up and down when it's a case of wine being delivered. Not sure what else we share, but I'm sure that's enough for a friendship to begin.

Anyway, she found my blog afterwards and wrote to me saying she was glad she met me before she read it, otherwise she would have been all 'oh god, she cooks and has pretty children and makes things and I don't do anything near as creative and her garden actually grows things'. (Hope you don't me quoting you, S.)

Which really got me thinking. How much of the real me comes across in this blog? Do people turn away because they think life here is beautiful moments from the minute we wake up to the minute we close our eyes at night? Surely not?

Yes, I cook, but Kian doesn't eat any of it. ANY of it. He would rather eat cream cheese on toast than the quinoa and roast pumpkin I presented him last night. Yes, I cook, but I don't clean up after myself, and so I only see my kitchen benches when someone comes to visit (the same approach I use for cleaning the house as a whole, actually). 

I grow a lot of food because it's something I believe in, but I have days when I'm so exhausted I don't want to do any of it. The cooking, the gardening, playing shopkeeper or pushing them on the swing.

It doesn't mean what I post here on my blog is any less authentic for it. Everything I write about and every picture I take is real and it comes from the heart. These are largely our best moments, much like a child's photo album or a collection of wedding pictures. 

It's focusing on the good bits so I keep striving forward and not end up on a heap somewhere all tired and miserable. It's remembering the good feelings so that it keeps inspiring me to do more, and hopefully inspire you who comes to read my words.

Like our camping trip, for example (you knew I'd get there eventually). If I wrote about the boys running through an old fire pit and walking the ash all over our beds, I'd probably not do it again. If I took pictures of the filth, oh dear god, the filth that comes with sticky hands and dirty bodies... If I gave any thought to those bloody flies that had me yelling at Graeme that we were mad to go... If I was reminded about how much hard work it was pack it all up and pitch the tent and find a clean plate amidst the filth in the tent and get any sleep on filthy sheets and find any shade in 37 degree heat and get through the washing when we got back...

No, instead, I'm going to look at that beautiful shot of Kian standing by the river playing with his fingers. I'm going to remember the sticks we collected together for the camp fire that got the boys so excited every night. The moment that we all sat down and toasted the marshmallows that Graeme made before we left... The time we spent cooling off in the water beside our tent and the hour that we spent on the canoe drifting down the river with Sydney splashing next to us...

If I just focus on these, it will mean the boys get to go camping again. Because that's what matters.


  1. it is what matters. beautifully expressed. xo

  2. Hi Vanessa, beautiful blog :-). your photography is always so amazing.
    Kian looks like he growing up, i miss his smiling little face at wiggles.

  3. What do you do on trains? Come on, tell!

    1. Now how did I know you'd be the one to ask? Promise I'll tell you when we meet.

  4. Such wise words and thoughts. I too often wonder whether the life I portray about accurately reflects my real life one, but as you say, blogging is about remembering those positive, wonderful memories to inspire us at times when we're unmotivated :) Keep blogging how you blog xx

  5. You're totally right on all accounts. I sometimes write about the less positive sides of my life too to keep it real and some of it has quite a humoristic feel to it but in the end it's all about the things we want to remember so you're so right about that. Also about meeting another blogger in real life. I love that. When I started out blogging I never expected to gain so many new friends. Both virtual and in person!

  6. oh i'm so sad i missed friday night, and you and Kate! (thanks tummy bug) perhaps another time? i am so glas you wrote this, because even though i *know* that all my favourite bloggers are real humans with dishes on the sink, sometimes it's hard to remember that with all the awesomeness going on! have a fabulously real day :)sarah

  7. Here here I like to try and focus on the positive things as much as I can because seriously it's what gets me through the day sometimes. But I know that for all of us we all have bad days so even if you don't want to share I get why you don't want to. There are all types of blogs out there and if people want it to be more of a happy place then I'm happy to come and visit a happy place. I love these happy photo moments you've shared with us. xx

  8. I often wonder how I come across on my blog too and if I am keeping it real enough...sometimes the odd comment from someone makes you think...I get the impression I come across as fairly prim and proper which is why people are completely surprised (and delighted) if I drop the 'f' word, on occasion ;-)

  9. Beautifully written, Vanessa.
    Appreciating the beauty in our every day helps us to be thankful and to keep on going...
    Ronnie xo

  10. Oh man, I love this post! I've been so busy of late, remiss in catching up with blogs and I've missed them! I often blog of the crap - because I don't want people to think we are some hippy, sunshiny family - because we're not. But I love the good too. I think blogs are the new scrapbooks - beautiful pics, recording beautiful times. Glad you do it :-)

  11. What a wonderfully written post.. I guess this is the risk of blogging, people will always have an opinion and perception of you, and it might not be the same as you had intended. It's important to remember than most bloggers write about what inspires them, and what gives them energy to focus on... a blog is personal yes, but it is only a small part of someones life.
    I have just found your blog (thank you for visiting ours!) and I feel inspired by your photography and views!

  12. Vanessa, I found lots of answers in yr post... Actually, I am enjoying reading every single post (just hope I have the time)... I cant tell you what comes on my mind about our memories together when I am reading your post.. specially this one that I like a lot, and the one about contrasts.. they say a lot about you.. wow Vanessa.. yalla, I will send u a mail real soon xx Mayada


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