Shifting Focus: Changes for Fig and Thistle

I’m about to use the world’s most snobbish word in relation to my blog: curate. I say snobbish, because the word curate is often found in contemporary society outside of the realm of museums. It is tangled up in a mish-mash of other words that conveys more of what isn’t present than what is. Rather than meaning a well-researched and cohesive presentation of items or ideas by experts, we find the verb curate around social media, make-up monthly subscriptions, and artisan cheeses. Hello, pretension.

I’ve felt great pride in Fig and Thistle having authenticity. There’s a feeling of purpose in knowing that when I write about the tough stuff (mental health, motherhood, professional woes, marriage) folks find inspiration, empathy, and companionship through their own rough patches. I sleep easy at night know that I’m not pretending my life is rosy golden all the time. I don’t edit out the messiness. There is no striving for mommy/body/marriage/mental health perfection.

But, I’m tired.

I’m going to start “curating” Fig and Thistle.

It isn’t really that my readership has grown slightly. I’m perfectly okay with a reader in California – a stranger – reading about breakdowns and struggles. Weirdly enough, I’m more concerned with the people who know me and my family knowing so much about my personal struggles. My boss, student-employees, co-workers, friends of friends, people who only know me as a parent in the school system, etc… read my blog. They know my marriage issues, the self-harm, the eating disorder, the mental illness… they know all of it. And in my day to day transactions I have to pretend my heart isn’t ripped out of me and exposed. I feel vulnerable.

Then there is the ever present question of where to draw the line? Once I blogged about marriage issues that got better, then way worse, and then better again. Do I update every time? Do I stay vague? Leave my husband completely out of everything? I do the same thing with weight loss: dieting, then not dieting, then watching my food for health, then eating disorder issues, then fat acceptance, then dieting. To be authentic I feel like I need to talk about all of it at each change in feeling to maintain “keeping it real.”

All of it comes down to this: I’m human. My plans, ideas, feelings, and perspectives change, shift, and sometimes grow. I’ve found that the balls-to-the-wall authenticity I crave belongs in my journal and in creative writing, which I don’t share on the blog as a post. I am writing quite a bit and my hope is that some day I’ll share some of the things I’ve written, but now is not the right time and a blog is not the correct place.

So, what do I mean by “curating” Fig and Thistle?

For starters, I’m not deleting any past posts. This decision reflects from here on out. I’m going to be talking about the same topics, more or less, with a few exceptions. I’m no longer discussing my marriage. Sure, I’ll post date updates and Sam will certainly figure into some posts, but I’m not discusses marriage issues. There will be less posts featuring rants, complaining, parenting woes, etc… (not that there was really much of that before). Most significantly, I’m going to step back from talking about Bipolar 2 disorder, self-harm, and disordered eating.

What I’ve written above represents what I’m leaving out, but I plan on enriching this blog in other ways. More writing about books, clothes, coffee, the stuff that makes me tick.

Think of it this way. Instead of spilling my guts like you all are some sort of collective therapist, I’m going to chat like we’re friends meeting up for coffee. Maybe not besties, but pretty darn close to best friends. Food, music, books, general day- to-day chit chat. We’ll keep it light. We’ll keep it positive.

I’d be interested to know if any of you bloggers have experienced a similar desire to retract from sharing. Readers, let me know what you think. Really, I mean it. Will this make me fake? Will it be annoying to know that my blog is free from despair and trilling on lightly about autumn leaves, library books, and riddled with pictures of coffee and adorable kids? Let’s talk.

 

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10 comments

  1. Will this make me fake? – No. Not at all. It makes you human trying to balance your online presence with your real-world life. Real world trumps online every time.

    Will it be annoying to know that my blog is free from despair and trilling on lightly about autumn leaves, library books, and riddled with pictures of coffee and adorable kids? – Nope. ALL of us are selective in what we post, whether it is in a blog post or a picture on Instagram.

    I do have a similar process. I was burned in the past by some generic work complaints that a coworker read and then complained to HR about my “negative portrayal of the company.” The fact that I never mentioned the name of the company nor where it was located or any other identifying features was ignored by HR and the CEO. I got away with warnings, but it taught me a valuable lesson about how people who know me in person have a completely different perspective on what I write than someone with whom I have only interacted online. I am also reminded of this every time my parents, with whom I am not close and rarely talk to, comment on something I wrote. While I love sharing everything with all of you, I am more reticent to share the same information with them. Every time I slip up and get a bit too personal, I get a jolt from an acquaintance commenting to me on it. Unfortunately, we can’t have it both ways. As such, I am much more likely to keep quiet on the very personal things now than I was even a few months ago. I also have been journallng more often too as a balance.

  2. Oh my goodness–will this make you fake? In no way, shape, or form!!! You do not owe us anything! I’ve always admired your courage in talking about the tough stuff, but I respect and understand 110% why you want to take some topics off the table!!! Your blog will be as awesome, as totally badass, as it’s always been because it’s a reflection of you!

  3. Fake?!? Not a bit. This is YOUR blog for you to express whatever you want to share whenever you want to share and change your content whenever you feel like it. As a reader, I come because through the years I feel like I’ve come to know you – at least a little. I’ve definitely come to appreciate you, respect your opinions, and hopefully give you a little encouragement now and then. (Although lately, I’m having a hard time getting to blog commenting – I blame my phone. 😒)
    So that’s my two cents. You do you!

  4. I’m with the other commenters so far. Definitely not fake. I don’t have people who know me from work read my blog, at least not as far as I know. However, I rarely mention work except tangentially, just in case. I work at a small town library and that’s usually all I say about it, except for the books, always the books.

  5. I only periodically share anything personal on my blog because I’m just not sure where that line would be for me between comfort and oversharing. I definitely think that the line is different for every single blogger and that it can be moved at any time. You do whatever you want and we’ll be here to support it!

  6. I have been reading your blog for a while but I don’t think I have ever commented before. I just wanted to agree with all the others who have said that in no way does this make you fake. Each of us, in every part of our lives, has to decide what we do or don’t share with others. Just because we don’t talk about it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening and we are under no obligation to share everything. I hope you write only what makes you feel comfortable. I will always be happy to read about autumn leaves and library books and look at photos of coffee and cute kids.

  7. Chit-chat over coffee sounds good to me! Your decision to keep some personal things private is just as valid as your decision to share them. Does that make you fake? Absolutely not! In real life, we don’t tell everyone everything either.

  8. Oh gosh I have the best blog friends ever. I think I felt such a sense of purpose when I was diagnosed and decided to share. It made being ill not so bad if I could help others. But it is just too much! Y’all are so understanding and encouraging! *group hug*

  9. This doesn’t make you fake at all! We all curate, every day we are in conversation with others. Blogging is just another face of that. (((hugs)))

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