One of the things that’s deterred me from “lifestyle blogging” is that need for perfection. Whenever I do make posts from my house or of my things, I typically shove all the clutter into one corner and fake myself a house that looks like the houses all the bloggers have. Since we’ve done renos and continued to live life between the renos, there have been fewer and fewer spots wherein I can fake that perfection.
I often wonder how many bloggers live that way.
I don’t know any millennials in my day to day life who own perfection. Some of them have good jobs, nice houses, pretty things. Part of it is about effort. Part of it is money. Part of it is the lifestyle they were raised in. Growing up, my parents were not well-off. They were, however, incredibly frugal, and buying a house was a lot easier back when they bought the house I grew up in in the early 90’s. They paid it off in 10 years. That being said, my mom bought most of the decor from thrift stores, and we definitely had a lot of clutter. There was rarely a bare spot of wall with nothing against it, and I’m sure that’s a feature of homes that many people have.
It’s always been my dream to have my own house with bare patches of all. But with life is clutter, and unless you’re the kind of person (and I do know a tiny handful of them) who is constantly purging items and keeping them organized, then your clutter will end up tucked into a box against a bare wall in your house. When Jon and I first bought our place, our mass selection of clutter ended up in the unfinished basement, which was nice because it was out of the way. Then we started renovating the basement into a full suite for my sister and her husband to move in, and we condensed said clutter and moved it all into our two spare bedrooms. Then Jon’s brother stayed with us for a couple of months for a practicum he was doing for pharmacy school, and we condensed the mess even further into our one spare room. Then we had Maggie and we moved the clutter back into the guest room. Now whenever we have guests over we try to put the clutter as tightly into the guest room closet as we possibly can, and then whenever I try to do crafts or have to decorate for Halloween or Christmas or whatever, I have to dig through that clutter to get what I need, and the guestroom turns into a total Shit Room and it stays like that until it gets bad enough and I throw a total housewife tantrum about WHY MY HOUSE IS A DISASTER AND DOESN’T LOOK LIKE ALL THE HOUSES ON THE INTERNET AND I’M ALMOST THIRTY AND IT’S LITERALLY INSANE THAT I CAN’T KEEP A NICE HOUSE.
It’s nice to have something to strive for, but every so often, when I browse the internet for pretty living rooms, and I find out that a living room is owned by some 28 year-old woman with perfect hair and three kids who left her body all Carls Jr. poster girl perfect, it’s hard not to feel disheartened. Because the Internet is full of real people who most likely live better lives than you. And you can’t Snopes bloggers to see if they’re being fake with their Lououtin shoe collection and their Eames chairs and their marble kitchen counters.
Not that it matters, right?
There’s a bunch of other bloggers who tell you that, but they also have really pretty houses and somehow have the time to learn how to use their $800 Canon DSLR camera with which they use to take that happy “content mom” photo of her and their kids on their stupidly-nice patio that overlooks a well-manicured backyard with pretty garden statues and roses that stay blooming all summer long.
Back in my teens I blogged everyday, but that was in the early 2000’s when blogging was more about words than it was about pictures of pretty things. Now, every blog is a magazine of one person’s life. I’ve always Macgyvered my content on Instagram to take a box of the nice parts…but the rest, well, it’s pretty normal. It’s cluttered and it’s lethargic and tiring, and lately I’ve been thinking that I need to be more honest about that. Since becoming a mother and releasing a book of stories that people praise for being raw and honest, I’ve realized that being raw and honest is really all I want to be.
Often times I’ll take photos of Maggie and I cringe a little before sharing it on Facebook because there will be a stack of laundry in the corner or a bunch of papers falling off the coffee table or dishes on the kitchen counter that have been there for a couple of days. There are times that I think about Photoshopping them out before posting them, but that’s just getting a bit crazy. Today I took the photos of my living room that are scattered throughout this post, and sharing them here is a bit unnerving, but I’m doing it because it’s honest. If this were still the 50’s and other housewives would come into my house, they’d see it all, and I’m sure even back then women were under the same pressure that they are now. They just gave into it, because the judgment meant that they were failures in every retrospect.
These days, you can either hide the clutter behind your cell phone camera and pretend it doesn’t exist. Most women (specifically parents) interact via the Internet, where judgment is everywhere, but it’s also incredibly easy to hide the flaws. Nevertheless, with the whole body positive movement that’s flooding the internet, I figure that we might as well expand that to “house and home positivity” as well.
So this is pretty much my starting point. Please don’t judge me. You can consider this my low. We’ll see how much better I can be.