Authenticity and Blogging - A Letter to My Readers
Warning: this post is not the post I had planned to write today. I had originally wanted to share more on my recent trip to Nashville with Y'all but I felt the need to get something off of my chest so here it is. On my last Saturday Morning Coffee post, I talked a little bit more about the upcoming rebrand of the blog and invited everyone to participate in a survey to help with the rebrand. I was so excited to get a feel for what Y'all would think because naturally, your opinions mean the world to me, especially as this blog continues to grow and change. The first response I received was not very nice. In fact, I will go as far to say that it was downright mean. The words used in this particular response were deliberate and chosen because the person knew it would strike a chord with me. Don't get me wrong, I welcome any kind of constructive criticism but this person wasn't even trying to sound like they were being constructive. I won't go too much into detail because it's not important but the part of their responses that really hurt me was this:
They attacked my authenticity.
Authenticity is a word that has been tossed around a lot in the blogging community in the last year or so. It's one of those buzz-words that get popular every once and a while. To be authentic, by definition, is to be genuine. In its simplest form, authenticity is nothing more than being completely and utterly yourself.
There used to be a time when I truly cared about what people thought of me. That fear, partnered with my anxiety, held me back from doing so many things. But the older I get the more I realize that it truly doesn't care what other people think. I know that not everyone is going to like reading my blog. That's okay! In fact, that's great because then I can spend my time and energy attracting the people I actually want to be a part of this amazing community. But I have never had someone attack my authenticity before.
I'll be honest, I cried. I completely shut down. I didn't want to write a post for today or even this week!
But here I am, you know why? Because I have never tried to show myself on this blog or my social media as being anything other than who I truly am. Want to know why there's so much Harry Potter content coming at you lately? Because I have loved Harry Potter almost since the very beginning. It is quite literally the reason I am the person that I am today. I didn't share that love becuase I always felt people would thing I was weird for being so obsessed with it. Is that what makes me inauthentic?
I actually scrolled back through my posts to see if I could pinpoint where this individual was seeing my blog become "inauthentic" and you know what I found? Nothing.
Well, actually, that's not true. In the past month, I've shared the struggles of long-distance friendships, things we all need to stop doing that I'm guilty of, and answered some pretty personal questions in my most recent #AskDar session. Every single post I write is meant to help someone. Even if it's just one person, like someone who asks about what to wear for engagement pictures.
I mean, sure, I could get up here once and week and tell you all how much I hate my job and I'm ready to be done with our wedding and move so that we can just be in an area of normal so if that's what you're looking for when you say authenticity than let your girl know. But that's not what this blog is about. What I want this blog to be is a cultivated community of women who may not have it all together but will sure as hell do their damndest to help someone out or to live their best life in spite of that fact.
If you need a refresher, here's what I stated this blog was going to be way back in June of 2017 when I wrote my About Page:
Things I want this blog to be:
A resource for twenty-somethings
A source of positive inspiration for everyone
A support system for those in similar situations
An open place to share thoughts and ideas, no matter how different
A (not so perfect) and REAL guide to life
I'm not perfect and I'm going to make mistakes. Don't put me up on a pedestal because I will let you down. However, my pledge to you is that anything I write here or post on Instagram is something that I've put my heart and soul into creating. I am so blessed beyond measure and thankful for each and every one of you that continues to read and support this little piece of the internet and I can't wait to truly share with you all of the amazing things that are coming in the future.
Please know that I do my best to respond to each comment left on here or on Instagram, I respond to all of my DMs, emails, etc. You name it, you can get in touch with me. If there is every a side of my life or life in general that you want to see more of on the blog or if you have constructive criticism, please know that it is welcome here.
I hope that this post made sense and that it didn't come off as too much of a rant. Sometimes we let the big picture get away from us when we're hurting. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading.