02 August 2012

This Weird Little World



I love having a blog. I love seeing it transform and grow and change. I love that I think about it a lot. I love that it makes me feel connected. I love how it spawns friendships. I love that I'm committed to preserving it. I love that it challenges me. I love that it is single-handedly responsible for my interest in and passion for photography. I love it even though I don't always understand it.

I struggle sometimes. Knowing what to share and how much to share. I'm always surprised when someone I knew five, ten, even fifteen years ago, pops into my life again because they read my blog and took the time to tell me. That's amazing. Regardless, I'm continuously thinking about how maintaining a blog is so...public. Anyone can read it. When you google my name, it's the first thing that pops up. Parents of my students read. Old high school teachers read. Childhood friends, college acquaintances, former lovers, strangers. 

In this odd, peculiar, fascinating way, it's a link connecting me to all sorts of people. That fact in itself is thrilling. But it's also terrifying. I've always been a private person--with my emotions, thoughts, life. There are things I've wanted to blog about because they are often at the forefront of my mind. I don't, because they are personal, and a huge part of me thinks they should be honored as such, especially when they involve the privacy of others. Then, there's this other part of me that doesn't really care. In twenty years, will it even matter? Will all of these thoughts still be here? Will they be stagnant and obscure? Or relevant and alive?

I become annoyed on facebook and twitter very easily. Social media teaches me a lot about who I am and how I perceive others. I think the way in which technology transformed our society in the last decade is unbelievable. This blog teaches me in a profound way. It doesn't take long for me to form an opinion about someone based on how they project themselves online. I've been culling my online consumption lately, trying to weed out unnecessary "noise." That might sound harsh. It's simply the truth. I'm often left wondering how I'm perceived by others on here. At the end of the day, I hope I come across as sincere. 

When I sat down to write this post, I had no idea where I was going with it. I was feeling a little disconnected, even though in actuality, I try to remain at least marginally detached from the internet on a regular basis. I am proud to have a presence but possess no real desire to increase it. I'm aware that sounds contradictory. It doesn't make sense, even in my mind. I love being here while simultaneously cringing at the thought that I'm here almost every day. 

Blogging is a tricky beast. I don't know if I'll ever fully understand it. Does anyone? Do you? Why do you come here, or anywhere online for that matter? What pulls you into something, causing you to follow and return over and over again? Conversely, what makes you leave? What turns you off? I'm genuinely curious as I try and determine that for myself in this weird little online world we're all a part of.

Thanks for listening.

26 comments:

  1. I like the way you write.
    I like the things you write about.
    I like your lifestyle, as much as it is showed in here.
    I like your ideas.

    Have a great week! :D

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    1. Thank you so much. I like the way you wrote this comment!

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  2. First off, your blog really is one of my favourites so from my little perspective nothing needs to change for sure. As for understanding blogging and how much to share - just do what YOU feel comfortable with. Some blogs and social media feeds share every little inch of their daily lives and other just share titbits and others nothing personal at all. I think it's all about balance, after all, what's the point in sharing more than you wish to? Blogging is just that: it's personal. That doesn't mean you have to share every finite detail of your life, but rather blog within your personally set boundaries.

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    1. Thanks Will, truly. I cherish our friendship and can't wait for the day when we meet beyond the borders of a computer screen. I love you and your blog and the relationship we've built over the past few years!

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  3. I'm new to blogging, really. I follow closely only a few blogs and not all the time. I would love to get into regular blogging like you; I'd love to stop excising myself with not having time. I think blogging would calm me, organize me, help me find who I am and make me happy overall. It's like the journal I had as a child, it's just that I wouldn't mind if someone reads it. Isn't it weird? How protective we were with our personal thoughts as children but now we're ok shouting them out to the world!

    I love it when I read a blog and I connect with this person even though I will never meet them. Knowing that we like and value the same things. I find so much inspiration here. I learn new things. I better my life. I (hope) I help with my thoughts and experiences. It's like sitting in a virtual coffee shop getting lost in a conversation for hours.

    It's fun and sad that you find wonderful people here who you can't have around in real life. But on the bright side, we would have never found these people 15 years ago!

    Have a great day and thanks for here:=)

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    1. Thank you, Maya. I feel honored that you are such a loyal reader. Do you know what's funny? I remember one of your earliest comments here--you asked about a style of necklace and if I had any recommendations on where to find one. That was a couple of years ago, but I remember it. Imagine that! If you ever decide to fully plunge into a blog of your own, I promise I'll be rooting you on.

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  4. It is a weird (big) world we are involved in...and no, I don't always understand blogging either. What I do know is what you said-that is has inspired me in so many ways, been my creative outlet, and introduced me to so many amazing people, some of whom I now call friends (YOU)! With my new life circumstances I am having to find a new balance...which may not happen for a bit! ;)

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    1. I adore you, Susan! You are right. The friendships are amazing. I would never have believed that so many beautiful people would come into my life because of this space. And, balance shmalance--you've got two sweet bebes to kiss and cuddle.

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  5. This very subject is something that I've struggled with recently -- how much of my actual personal thoughts I want to share and how much I should keep private since I have an audience that I know reads this blog since I share it publicly? Do I write down these thoughts in a separate journal for only my eyes or do I keep with my philosophy that this blog is for me and I write it solely for my purpose.

    Take heart -- you aren't the only one who is stumbling through this murkiness. :)

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    1. It's an interesting line for sure. In writing this, I realized that I like sharing more rather than less, mostly because I know readers resonate. We're all human, you know?

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  6. I SO hear you on this...my thoughts aren't fluid or awesome but here we go. :)

    It's a completely delicate line to walk. Do you honor your blog like a journal, telling it like it really is...even if it's nitty gritty at times? Or is it a place to be seen like a stranger on the street would see you...this is what I'm buying, what I'm wearing, etc. If it's the former, how much do you reveal, who can you include and what's too personal? Sometimes I think I shared too much...other times not enough. It's a lot to think about on a regular basis, but I think you do it well. :)

    I'm with you on Facebook + Twitter turn offs. I form opinions pretty quickly, and my biggest turn-off is when bloggers are really see-through about begging new followers and higher numbers. "I'm almost to 500! Please come follow!" Meh. Who doesn't want to be so awesome they have 6,000 followers? But, I read blogs that write because they love it, not because they're seeking out followers #498, 499 and 500 as an ego boost. I love the way you articulated enjoying a presence but not feeling the need to increase it. YES. I think that's the best point to get to. To honestly write because you like expressing yourself, documenting life through words and photographs. If people are moved and choose to follow...AWESOME. If not, oh well.

    And yes. It is so strange to know that because of a blog, others can access SO much information about you, make snap judgements and so forth. Sometimes I tell Gabe that it feels unfair. That makes no sense, I know. But it always leaves me feeling a little naked.

    Anyway, blah, blah. I'm always a long commenter. :) Just needed to say...you're not alone in these thoughts!

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    1. Yes, yes, yes, Bethany! I always wonder if something is wrong with me because I possess no real desire to attend blog conferences or grow my blog "business." The cliques annoy me, the perceived desperateness annoys me, blah blah blah. I could go on and on, but clearly, that becomes negative really fast. Yikes!

      Also, I've told you this before, but the way you blog is exactly the style I admire and love most. You're real, and you share a lot in the loveliest sort of way. I respect you and thoroughly enjoy the friendship we've established.

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  7. The evolution and success of your blog continues to amaze me. What once started out as a teeny food blog (remember nosh spot?!) has blossomed into a universal online presence that connects people all over the world.

    You are amazing, Kayla. Every day I read, I feel prouder and prouder to know you.

    I am only so grateful that this blog has allowed others to know you in a capacity that never could have existed elsewhere. That lets you in to people's lives, so they they get a tid bit of Kayla. How lucky they are!

    It is fascinating to read this blog as someone that knows you so well. And I think you do a wonderful job of keeping it honest and transparent. The Kayla I know on here is the smiling Kayla I see bouncing in your striped boxers in the living room. And yet, I realize there are many facets of your life I probably do not know--which is always interesting to think about your family members.

    Thank you for inspiring me every day. I feel blessed that I get to know you, and see you--your smile, tears, laugh, quirks, in 3D.

    I am so incredibly proud of you.

    Thanks for being my role model in life, one I have never had to think twice about.

    I love you to the moon and back, sissy.

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    1. okay now that I'm CRYING. Love you so much, bean.

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  8. Kayla, I so understand where you're coming from. You're positively sincere and lovely. It's tempting to let this world take you over and get utterly lost in it. I've been pulling back lately myself -- reading less online (though I still read my friends' posts), commenting less, tweeting less... Really, I'm just trying to be in the world more and experience that more fully. It's been hard. I feel really guilty about not posting five days a week or commenting on every post, but the people who matter know you're there and will be there for you, I think. Sigh, I fear I'm rambling now. Just know you're perfectly exquisite. Keep following your heart.

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    1. Thanks, B. I always appreciate your thoughtfulness in commenting and the way in which you so carefully craft your own posts. Beyond grateful to know you here and in real life, too!

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  9. Totally relate to this Kayla, you are not alone! You are one of my favorite people in the blogosphere and I'm so grateful to know you, even if at the same time it's totally weird. :) I struggle all the time but in the end the positives outweigh the negatives and it's all about balance. Taking breaks and stepping away from social media to live helps so much! I need to edit my follow list on twitter, too, I've been putting it off! But I'm sure that helps. Keep doing what you're doing girl, because it's amazing. :) xoxo

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    1. Thanks, Colleen! I always think fondly of you because we've been blogging roughly the same amount of time and left some of the first comments on each other's blogs. It's been fun to go on this journey together.

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  10. This post knocked the wind out of me a bit–and made me laugh, because it is a wonderfully weird space we bloggers inhabit, with our real worlds lapping at our interior selves. There are some things (like our engagement) that more of my blogger friends know about than my Facebook friends (a whole 'nother bizarre universe), and there's always a careful tightrope of honesty and over-exposure.

    I've been feeling frustrated with the noise of wedding blogs recently, after I started to really think and plan my own celebration, rather than just enjoying the loveliness of a wedding. I'm not seeing what I want to see, and I feel anxious for other brides who can be consumed by visual stimulation they'd be better off avoiding.

    But for every silly blog conference and post about increasing your comments or posting to Facebook on Wednesdays or using red because it stands out against social media's blue palette, there's your freshness and your love of discovery, your beautiful voice, your sharp eye, your charming, whimsical self–these are some of the things I adore about the internet.

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    1. I get a bit teary about you, Lena. I don't know what it is exactly, (well, beyond the million and one things we have in common), but I think you are fantastic, with one of the strongest writing voices out there. I am always humbled by your unwavering championing of me and my space here.

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  11. I definitely could have written this post myself (although not nearly as eloquently as you did!!) and I completely understand and relate to where you are coming from. The more I think about blogging and why I do it, the more confused I become. There are so many amazing things which have come from blogging, including lots of amazing friends (you included!!) but at the same time I feel like I compare myself to people WAY more than I have ever before, like I feel less creative than I used to, because now I am surrounded by some of the world's most creative people. And that is a bit frightening. I never thought I would consider myself a blogger and have been working at being more comfortable with the strange idea that blogging has become a large part of my business without me realizing it- and that people actually read my blog!

    You were one of my first blog friends I made after I started blogging and your comments never fail to bring a smile to my face and for those two things I am so incredibly grateful. I have found myself slowly having much less time to read other blogs as of late, but I always try and stop by your gem of a blog whenever I have the time. You should be very proud of the work you have produced here and creating such a lovely space which undoubtedly brightens the day of everyone who visits. xo

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    1. Ditto to every single thing you just said, Ashley. Comparing is so easy and there are times I become so dejected because of other people's amazing successes--that's not to say I'm unhappy for them (usually, I'm thrilled!), it's more like I wonder how much of success happens from being really talented verses how many people you know and the connections you make. That sounds horrible, but I've noticed it a few times relative to people launching freelance careers who have pretty big blog followings already and seemingly spend every spare minute networking. It very quickly becomes this sticky, dangerous place I get my mind all caught up in. Blech.

      Anyway, thank you for your kind words. I feel the exact same way about your blog--it's one of the few I continue to check in with on a regular basis and am always glad I did. You are a gem. xo.

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  12. I have to tell you Kayla...I just adore the lovely space that is your blog. It is refreshing, and full of beauty. You, my dear, are delightful and I WISH I was your friend in real life!!

    Thank you for sharing your gift with the world.

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    1. Jes, let's be friends in real life! Thank you so much for such sweet words; it really means a whole lot to me.

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  13. This was a loaded post to digest (I could comment on a ton of things you brought up). I thought about this over the weekend; it's unreal how invested we can become with our blogs. I'm constantly wondering what to share or not share and how to push myself to do my best creatively without promoting perfection online.

    And even though I mostly read blogs as an indulgence for design & creative ideas, I want the time spent on reading (& writing) about that topic to be more meaningful and intentional. I'm loyal to the sources that provide good content. That's the reason I read exquisite banana...I'm the same way as you said about forming opinions and reading into intentions, and I know yours are genuine.

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    1. Thank you, Alli. This is a really loaded topic, and one I think about often. I want to write more about my (many) thoughts on blogging, as they run deep and occupy a significant amount of headspace. Piece by piece, I suppose. P.S. Hooray is of my ultimate faves--always has been, always will be.

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Your thoughts always bring a smile to my face. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave them.