Much Needed Radio Silence (in a Cropped Leather Jacket, Celebrating Lady Gaga)

Social media is a quicksand pit of comparison. It is no secret to anyone who knows me extremely well that I fall into the comparison trap quite easily. I don’t like this unbecoming quality, but I won’t deny it anymore. All over social media platforms, I realize what I am not. And that’s why I need social media + blogger radio silence from time to time.

I have always tolerated certain aspects of myself that I’m not all that excited about, but putting yourself out there as a blogger and on social media opens you up to all sorts of icky feelings and thoughts. For one, it makes me realize, yet again, what I’m not.

When I come out of these funks, though, I have some sort of weird pride about the person I’m not. Examples?

  1. My Instagram pictures are what I can take in a one-to-two-minute time frame before I pick up my kids from preschool. No professional photographer. My tripod and I have a date most days of the week.
  2. My hair is in a frizzy mom bun a lot of times because I choose extra sleep or extra cuddle time with my babies, who are EARLYYYYY risers.
  3. I don’t have clear skin most of the time.
  4. I overdo it on carbs on the daily.
  5. Three years later, I still have a slight hint of a mom pooch situation.
  6. The number I see on the scale would seem astronomical to the same people who tell me, you’re really thin.
  7. There are aspects of my teaching job that, even after ten years on the job, don’t come easily to me.
  8. I wear braces at age 33.

I could go on, but you get the point.

I have struggled a bit lately in confidently stepping into whom I was created to be. I am a work in progress in this area and have been my entire life. But Lady Gaga resurfaced recently to remind me that my self-deprecating thoughts are trash.

My “way back” friends and my family know I had a slight Lady Gaga obsession when she rose to popularity, and I think it was because she was so different and didn’t care. And that’s precisely THE THING I’ve never been able to be. Different without care. I have always been slightly unconventional in most areas of my life. One example? While every teenage girl was crushing hard on Justin Timberlake (in his *NSYNC days), I was crushing hard on Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit?! Do we remember?!). You know how girls used to put pictures of their crushes in their lockers? Yeah, I so did that with his picture on the cover of Guitar World. And that is just one example. But back to Gaga.

At first I was a little underwhelmed with her Super Bowl performance because there weren’t any big surprises. But then I thought about Gaga for the rest of the night and started playing her music again. I have never been the biggest fan of “Born This Way,” but for the last three days, I have really listened to it, like really listened about 15 times, to the lyrics. Sure, there are others who struggle with identity issues I cannot fathom, but as Cherry Valance (and Ponyboy) say in The Outsiders, “Things are rough all over.” (I share that quote with my seventh graders on the daily…so much truth.)

We all have our struggles. But we can embrace how we are uniquely made. That’s what Gaga meant. LIGHT BULB MOMENT for a 33-year-old suburban mom of two. That song is for me, too. Admittedly, I laughed at the line, Same DNA, but born this way. If you have ever seen a line-up of my sisters and me, it’s like, one of these is not like the others… HA. My build and my height are just completely different, and I have regrettably spent a lot of time groaning about it. I admit that being 33 and having insecurity issues is less than endearing, but you know what? Here are mine. And I struggle with them ALL.THE.TIME.

And while we are on the topic of struggles…the Instagram thing. Building a following on Instagram is like the ultimate trap of comparison. Why? Well, I used to get really discouraged when my amount of likes weren’t there or my number of new followers began to dwindle. And I am sitting right around 2,300, which is like a drop in the bucket compared to the bigger bloggers. AND THAT’S OK. I want to grow my audience ORGANICALLY. It’s important to me. And while we are on this tangent, for GOODNESS SAKE, why are people doing the FOLLOW and UNFOLLOW thing?! That is just disturbing to me. Sure, that last comment may offend some, but I need to say it. We can build each other up on social media rather than play these weird mind games. I had a company reach out to me recently offering me more followers and likes, “based on [its] policy of following and unfollowing.” WHAAAAT. That is so wrong. I’m sorry. I have ladies daily who will follow and unfollow me. For your sake and mine, please just don’t. Let’s celebrate and follow those who offer us something of value, encouragement, or lightheartedness, not play this silly game with one another. I bless you all in your fashion blogging endeavors. But let’s not do this following and unfollowing thing, as I firmly believe it is beneath you.

Like Shakespeare sometimes does, now that we have discussed something kind of tense, let’s balance it with something light-hearted and fun!

I think a cropped leather jacket is a wardrobe must. Truth be told, I have had this jacket for almost 7 years, and it still feels fresh and relevant in my wardrobe! Now black leather isn’t for everyone, but think about what colors speak to you and your wardrobe. I love balancing the cropped jacket with a longer, flowy top like the LuLaRoe Perfect Tee (wearing an XS). This leather jacket is from The Limited (RIP), but you can snag budget-friendly ones at Target or Express.

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So when thoughts and opinions and ideas rattle around in my head, I love to purge them in a blog post. Next time, we may get back to our regularly scheduled programming. Love and blessings, my friends.

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