Reflection: Turning 37 in the Digital Age

me37It’s my birthday today. I have had a cold for a week. My husband has a sore throat. Noah threw up last night. And AJ has had diarrhea since Friday. Such is life.

The universe doesn’t care that it’s my birthday, so I have to do things today to remind myself that it is. Like writing this post. Like getting a pedicure. Like drinking a vanilla spice latte. Moments we cling to when our lives scream chaos and craziness.

I follow many blogs — mostly written by females, who like me are in their 30s with children. One of my favorites is by a friend who recently wrote about the world we project via our blogs, our Instagram photos, our Facebook statuses. If all we do is follow each other online, an inaccurate life emerges. It’s not false, but it’s not completely true. And how could it be?

What’s at stake are our own esteems and ideas of what motherhood and our 30s are supposed to look like. I feel this way almost every day. Imperfect. Blogs, online photos, and statuses are the new Cosmopolitan. But instead of paging through a magazine full of models once a month, we’re haunted by each other’s images daily. We click “like”; we share links with our friends. But deep down we feel a bit insecure or depressed or jealous that our pictures aren’t as good or our day wasn’t as beautiful or our life isn’t as fulfilling and rich as everyone around us.

This is not to say that I will stop reading these blogs or deactivate my Facebook account because there are so many positives, too. But I have to constantly remind myself to stop overanalyzing the online world we all project. Because it’s just that — a world we project.

That’s one reason I chose to tell my story backward from this moment instead of forward. I wrote my journals — in the moment — not for an audience. They, too, will only tell a partial truth, but I hope this blog reveals more of who I am because I often write when I’m unhappy or reflective, which are characteristics I don’t always project in my everyday life, especially my digital one.

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8 thoughts on “Reflection: Turning 37 in the Digital Age

  1. Yes and Yes. And this is also why I needed to back away from social media. I am still here and there. But my kids got to the point that I didn’t feel comfortable writing about them. And blogging changed for me. And I got rid of 2/3rds of my facebook friends and just left the ones that don’t make me crazy. I needed some space between myself and that pressure you described. Now I write just for me. And I don’t spend time on those things that make me feel like I am less than. Because by the time I got to 39 (yesterday, we are almost birthday twins!) I have come to a place were I am happy with who and what I am. And that is enough. And what I did on my birthday? It included laundry, because that is my life right now. And it is good.

    • Thank you for this, and Happy Birthday! The part about your kids and not writing about them, that’s another reason I’m going backward, too. In a few short months, the journal entries about my kids will stop. I’m sure Noah will be grateful for that, even if he never wants to read about his mom in college.

  2. Nod. Now maybe you understand why I am not on Facebook much, knowing who I am as a person and how deeply I feel things. But I constantly set goals of reading more, and yes, this includes reading people’s blogs and websites. My favorite right now is my friend and farmer Harry Carr’s http://mintcreekfarm.com/blog/; he doesn’t write a ton, but when he does it’s well worth the read. E, check out the post called “Finding a Home”:
    “While my soul was there, my body was housed in the shadow of the old me… To change, the old must die off; but sometimes the old has a mind of its own and does not want to give up without a fight.
    Souls have a way of winning out however. Bodies have a way of dying off, albeit too slowly and painfully. To be reborn anew, that is our quest.”

    • Thanks for reading, Jo. It’s tough for me: the space between the online world and the real world. I will check out this blog.

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