I haven’t posted on this blog, my personal blog, in quite sometime.  Since the holidays, in fact.  There was an actual reason I abandoned it and I considered spelling it all out in a blog post but ultimately didn’t feel like sharing. Instead, I chose to just stop posting.

I am back. Well, sorta.  This blog is a personal outlet for myself.  A space to explore. A space to practice. A space to consider and yes, I suppose, also a space to share. But, it’s that last part that became the issue for me last time I used this space with regularity.

Sharing.  How much does one need to share?  Better question though, is how much do I need to share?  Which leads to a whole slew of additional questions: Why do I need to share that?  What are the repercussions of sharing that? How much of that do I share? Who else is impacted by my sharing that? Should I share that?

Real questions. Real considerations.  Quite a modern conundrum.

A very large part of me doesn’t want to share anything. That part of me wants to be on my own journey figuring it all out on my own and in my own way, somewhere in the disconnected shadows. Feeling compelled to share/update/post etc. along with being exposed to everyone else’s sharing, I’ve come to realize does not make me feel good.  In fact, it often actually makes me feel bad.  All that sharing becomes another obligation, more jones’, more comparisons, a magnetic pull towards devices, a disconnection from things that used to matter more to me.  Car rides with my husband spent in my Instagram feed and not in conversation with him.

That is the part of me that has recently cut my facebook visits to 3 times per WEEK not day and certainly not, hour.  That is the same part of me, that checks and/or posts Instagram once daily (if that) and Pinterest a few times a week, not throughout the day.   (thankfully one can post blogs to FB and twitter without ever logging on to either, creepy as that may be it’s helpful here.)

Cutting back on ALL social media across the board is something new to me. Less than 2 weeks old in fact…but I feel a lot lighter. significantly lighter, in fact.

It’s 2014. I am no fool. I’m an entrepreneur. I need social media. It’s a totally useful (AND FREE!!!) tool towards sharing news of upcoming events, communicating your brand, and connecting with people etc. That is why I haven’t quit any of these modes of social media or have any intentions of doing so.  There is plenty to like about them and I am on my own journey here cutting down on them, no judgements.

But, FOR ME, I didn’t like that they were getting in the way of my creating (or maintaining) healthier habits and routines.  There was a level of anxiety I didn’t recognize in myself that disappeared when I slowed down. An anxiety that I didn’t even realize was there until the silence it’s absence provided allowed me a clarity of mind I was having trouble accessing previously.  These shifts were almost instantaneous. Try it. Give up your phone or facebook or all social media for just one day and see if it doesn’t create some much needed space in your mind (and heart).

So, back to this blog…

Last time around on this blog, I found that I couldn’t even really share my gratitude anymore.  Some things were just private to me. Some things I, like anyone, go through are private.  And sometimes those things, those private things, impact every single area of your life and it’s difficult to find your honest voice when you’re holding back so much.

So, I just stopped.

I haven’t found the solution to that problem. I have thought about it a lot and further, and didn’t really get too much farther.

My posts were made up of gratitude (which I used to do on Wednesdays), the scenic imagery from my runs, personal development, books I read and pics from fun weekends with my husband and friends.

Considering the normal-to-life negative things I was going through simultaneously that never made it to the blog, I started to feel like I was painting a dishonest picture.  Like I was bragging about my perfect life.  ‘look at all I have to be grateful for!’ ‘look how amazing my husband is!’ ‘look how healthy and athletic i am!’ ‘ look how much fun all my free time is’ ‘look how much fun my job is!’ ‘look how perfectly together my home, clothes, life, etc.. is!’….

All the things I posted were honest.  They happened. I was grateful. I did do those runs and drink those smoothies and have that date with my husband….but my life is much more multi-faceted than just those things.

But, I am not a debby-downer (or a danielle-downer, as it were) and have no interest in sharing the flip side, the negative stuff.  Not because I don’t want you to know my life isn’t perfect (because, duh!), but rather, I simply don’t like to post negative stuff ever, really. I can’t really find the point, for me anyhow.

This is not a diary for me.  It is a space to keep special memories, for myself. A space to inspire and motivate myself. A space to consider and explore topics of interest to myself and a space for me to practice graphic design and writing for my own self-improvement. It’s a space to find and/or hold onto my own happiness, not to analyze or indulge the opposite.

So, if it’s all for myself then WHY post it on an online blog and not create a scrapbook or diary instead?

Simply, I like this format. I am naturally a connector. I like connecting with other people.  Perhaps there are people who could find inspiration in some of these posts. If a post I share validates or inspires or motivates one person than, that is one more person than my private scrapbook or diary might. In short, I’m a sharer, but even sharer’s have their limits.

Speaking of limits, I’ve not set any rules for myself in terms of how much I will or won’t share about my personal life as I come back to utilizing this personal blog.  Just trust my gut.

I will use this space to ask questions and try to find their answers. I will use to celebrate special experiences.  I will still share some of what I am learning in terms of cooking/recipes/books/running/self improvement etc.. and some of that will be through the use of photos of my runs, my home, my adventures, my family, my life.  But, I want it to be known, to be stated, that this is an exploratory space. A space to accept that neither life, nor myself are perfect.  But, even though I accept imperfection,  I would like to be kinder to myself and others in the context of it.

Here are two quotes I’ve recently noted on Pinterest that feel relevant:

Comparison is the thief of joy.  In this age of technology, we have unlimited access to how other people are living their lives and what everyone else does with their time. And with the barrage of images both sought out and stumbled upon, it’s very easy to find yourself, an otherwise totally self-confident person, wondering what is ‘wrong’ with your life that you don’t have this or that.

But what I am finding is that, if I step back and really look at what I actually want. A lot of these other things fall off my radar. They don’t register as things that are genuinely important to me.  It’s just easy to get caught up and suddenly find yourself feeling less than or badly because of it all.  I’m looking to shovel away all the crap and find not what others want, but what I want.

Be Kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. I know this one to be true, first hand. I don’t share all of me. Sometimes I don’t want to be pleasant to anyone. And sometimes…i’m not.  But, I can’t go around explaining to everyone around me why I wasn’t smiling that day or why I had to miss that meeting.

Sometimes you just have to accept being misunderstood.

Knowing that feeling, I try (operative word being “TRY”) my best, to consider this truth when I take too much personally. An attempt at remembering this helps. My hope is that remembering it often will help turn not taking things personally into a habit.

I know I am not alone in some of these thoughts. Maybe that is why I share?  To find validation.  Whatever the reason, it’s been an interesting journey so far. Thanks for joining me and please, stick around!

Comments are welcome here.