Some of you may have noticed that Sparkles & Stretchmarks disappeared over the weekend.
I didn't make any announcements because I didn't want any attention drawn to it....I simply wanted to disappear.
However, somewhat to my surprise, I did receive some tweets and facebook messages asking why it was down.
It seemed a little strange to come back without explaining, so I thought I'd do just that today....
Blogging has been a hobby that I have always enjoyed immensely...
I love to write....I always have. I find so much comfort in being able to express myself through the written word.
And blogging has been the perfect outlet for me....
That is, until recently.
You see....lately, I have found myself becoming more and more depressed by blogging.
I know that a lot of bloggers who have been on the scene for a while often complain about new bloggers only wanting to get involved for the "freebies" and the paid work....but of course, we do all enjoy those perks of this hobby.
But that's all they should be...perks.
Lately I have found myself comparing the "perks" I am lucky enough to get to the perks that other bloggers get, and feeling inferior.
It may sound silly to many people, but it's hard sometimes not to compare yourself to others and feel that you must be doing something wrong....
That in itself is bad enough, but my main issue has been that there seems to have been a shift toward image in blogging.
Sometimes I can't help but feel that people aren't as interested anymore in writing talent, and that it's become more about putting forward the right image or having the right look.
Lately I have discussed the health issues I'm having, and a direct result of those is basically that I feel massively uncomfortable in my own skin right now....
I feel completely out of control of my weight and my appearance at the moment, and it's getting me down to the extent that I don't want to go outside most days because I don't want anybody to look at me....
I stay in the car whenever I can and send Jon in to pick up groceries, or run errands - I keep the curtains drawn all day so that nobody can look in and see me sitting in the living room.
It is a truly horrible feeling to hate how you look, and hate your body but not have the power to do anything about it until medical professionals decide to figure out what the problem is and how they're going to address it.
And my blog should be a place that I can go to, to share my feelings about that and not feel judged...
But lately that hasn't been the case.
Instead everytime I have logged on, It's only confirmed my belief that I will never be as successful as those who are thin and beautiful...
It confirms my belief that I could spend hours writing an interesting post, but a simple photo that shows a perfect and coveted home lived in by a perfect smiling family will be much better received.
And it all just serves as a reminder that I'm not good enough.
No matter how eloquent I am, it's elegance that sells....
But I don't want to feel this way and I don't want to lose passion for my blog, which I've worked so hard to build.
These past few weeks I've found myself trying to live up to something that I'm just not...
When I first started this blog, it was intended to be a place to be real - to show the real highs & lows of pregnancy instead of the elusive "Glowing" side we're all supposed to experience!
I feel I've lost my blogging identity and purpose somewhere along the way, and I want to get it back.
I don't want to pretend to be something I'm not and I don't want to impress anybody - I want to live MY life as me, flaws and all, and have fun doing it.
So NO more endless selfie's - trying to find the most flattering angle and using Instagram filters until they're almost unrecognisable.
NO more tidying my home for hours before I dare take a photograph, scolding myself if there's dust on a surface.....
NO more taking double the time to put on make up or asking Jon to keep re-taking a photo until it looks just right.....
NO more endless posing around for photos on days out with Tyne, missing the moment in an effort to capture it instead....
If people don't like what they see, and I'm not deemed good enough to sell products for someone - then so be it.
On a lighter note...something interesting came out of my unplanned blog-break this weekend.
I found myself receiving facebook messages and tweets from people that I hadn't heard of before, people who had never commented on my blog (At least not that I can recall) but who had noticed it wasn't there anymore...
I found this fascinating.
And now I find myself wondering who is out there, reading my words.
Being a blogger is a very surreal experience - you put yourself out there, day after day, sharing your life and your innermost thoughts.
And really - you don't have a clue who is listening.
Sure you can see the viewing figures, you can see who is following and subscribing to you, sometimes you'll get some comments....
But we never really know exactly who is out there reading what we put out into the world.
I would LOVE - just once - to know who YOU are.
You right there, reading these words right now....who are YOU?
Are you reading this at home? On a bus?
Are you sitting at your computer? On a phone?
Did you stumble across this blog while looking for something else? Do you read it often?
Who is out there?
Whenever I post on this blog, I kind of imagine myself shouting out in a darkened room - I can vent and get things off my chest but I don't know who to - and just this once, I'd love to hear some voices shouting back to me. Letting me know they're out there.
So if you're out there, if you're reading this....leave me a comment. Just this once.
Just say hello.
Maybe tell me your name.
Tell me anything you want to, about you.
If you are a blogger too, I would LOVE it if you left me a link to your blog - I so want to follow back and support any fellow blogger who follows me.
Is there anybody out there????
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