Tuesday 18 August 2015

Be A Flamingo Among the Pigeons

It's a bit of an odd title isn't it. I'm sure you are wondering if it's some kind of new makeup or a bizarre marketing strategy. Truth is, it's neither. This is going to be a little different from the posts I have put up before so bear with me...

I've been pretty happy with how my blog is going so far. It's quite new, it's all exciting and I'm enjoying the fact that I have a place to write about the things I love. I’ve already been incredibly lucky with some brand collaboration and blogger event opportunities and am amazed that I have had so much interest so early on. It’s really been a delightful whirlwind. But… I still felt like something was missing. Annoyingly though, I couldn't quite put my finger on what. 

Are there too many reviews? Do I need to do more tutorials? Are my pictures boring? Do I need that marble background that everyone is using…oh and possibly a cactus? Cue panicked reading of approximately 25,604,703 blogs on how to blog / how to perfect your photographs / what your blog is missing / how you are a failure of a newbie blogger and have been doing everything wrong and will never succeed unless you buy an entirely white house with strategically placed items of beauty. Ok so the last one might be a slight exaggeration but you get the idea.

Suffice to say the message was pretty constant on things I “need” to do to improve. During this rather intense reading session, I was lucky enough to stumble across Sophie etc. Sophie recently wrote an AMAZING post "On chasing perfection & being an ideal blogger" (If you haven’t read it… really, you should!) and talked about how she was frustrated that a lot of bloggers are almost losing their identity as they seem to be following a standard set of do’s and don’ts. Within the post, she used the delightful phrase “A flamingo among a flock of pigeons” to encourage bloggers to write about what they want, rather than just following the “rules” and it really resonated with me.

Granted there will always be things that are probably best not to do (the whole #bloggerblackmail scandal anyone?!), but outside of that, isn’t one of the greatest things about the internet and blogging specifically the fact that there aren’t really any rules? That you can be who you want to be without fear of reprisal. That you can express your thoughts and dreams and yes that £50 makeup brush that you know you shouldn’t buy but god dammit life is short so it’s now in my possession. So why are we following standard guidelines of what every blog should do in what is supposed to be the most all-encompassing platform available? And that got me thinking…why do we need this outlet of wild, internetty goodness anyway when our lives are our own? For hopefully the vast majority of the world these days, we are free to live as we please, create our own path and be who we want. Yet I think in some ways we actually feel more stifled than ever. Why is that you may ask? I have one word for you my friends…expectations.

Yes we are technically free but in reality I think all of us feel at least some pressure of achieving certain things to feel like we are “good enough”. Now these things could vary hugely, as does where you actually feel the pressure from. It could be from your parents to go to university because that is the “right” path to the “right” job. It could be wearing that particular dress because your friends think you wear “weird” clothes. Or it could even be as far as having a child because you have been told you are the “correct” age and you have a partner so that’s what you are expected to do next right?

Now don’t get me wrong, all of those things I have mentioned above can be perfectly lovely things. Going to uni, getting married, wearing fashionable clothes, having babies and a myriad of other life experiences are all fabulous things IF, and this is a big if, they are what YOU want. Not your Aunty, your best friend or the designer of the month. You. Encouragement and guidance from others is a wonderful thing and that should really be enjoyed as it can help us to achieve things we didn’t think we’d be capable of. But if you are starting to be pushed away from what you would actually like to be or do then it’s starting to go wrong. 

Sometimes I think we can get so lost in what is expected of us that we forget who it is that we want to be. You shouldn’t feel that unless you have checked off A, B and C you have failed and you certainly shouldn’t feel like you need to be the same as everyone else to be “good enough”. Cheesy though it may sound, the true excitement in this world comes from the variety of people in it. So if we all strive to be exactly the same to fit in, and we don’t take that leap of spontaneity or creativity, then life could become a pretty boring place. It’s lovely when you click with someone and agree on lots of things isn’t it? But what if they had the same hair as you and the same goals and the same outfit and the same views on EVERYTHING…am I making you feel a little queasy? Because it certainly gives me the shivers.

Now yes of course I am perhaps exaggerating things. Living up to expectations of society doesn’t mean that we are all going to become mindless clones but what I am trying to say is that we shouldn’t be afraid to be who we want to be. It shouldn’t be a terrifying thought to stand out from the crowd because you are something a little different or because you want to choose an alternative path. It’s something to be embraced and celebrated! 

That goes for all areas of life…with perhaps a few caveats so do be sensible about this but you know what I am saying. So if you want to blog about something utterly random do it, if you want to shave all of your hair off or change career or become a wanderer living on a mountain with only a goat for company, DO IT. Think carefully about the mountain living, goat thing though yeah? We only get to live once and life can be a bit of a dick sometimes so go on, do that thing you’ve always wondered about but were never brave enough for. Be a flamingo!


1 comment

  1. I cannot agree more with everything you said in this post! I see a lot of people losing their identity and everyone is beautiful and they just need to let that side out more. I think a lot of people get lost in the 'fame' of things and it's sad to see that :/ But it's really nice to see some people sticking to their true roots.


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