For the one or two people that regularly read this blog (shoutout to my mum and my boyfriend), you may have noticed that I haven’t posted in a while—nearly a month and a half, to be exact. There were a few reasons for this: uni becoming overwhelming, working, getting into new routines. I’ve had a lot on my plate and needed to cut a couple of things out for a little while to focus on what’s important.
But one big reason I took a small break from blogging is because I felt as though I was turning my personal life into a commodity. Looking through my previous posts, I realised just how much I shared about my personal thoughts, feelings, and experiences. And I realised that despite the varying reasons that I post those things, anyone who reads them views them simply as entertainment; as a way to pass a little time while they’re waiting for the bus or bored in a lecture.
Maybe that’s a totally wanky thing to say seeing as very few people, if any, are actually truly invested in this blog and ever give it a second thought. I don’t have a crazy amount of followers and the things I post aren’t ever going to go viral (nor are they intended to). And, of course, I realise that in some way or another, everybody has turned their personal lives into commodities through social media, and that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.
But for me, writing—and by extension, blogging—has always been an outlet not just for my creativity, but also for my mental health. Angry? Write. Stressed? Write. Need a rant? Write. Happy? Write. Learned something new? Write. I have dozens of drafts saved and hundreds of ideas swimming around in my head. But how much of that does everyone else need to know?
I get so fully immersed in every post I share. Of course I don’t expect anyone else to feel quite as invested in my blog as I am, but to share such deeply personal feelings and experiences is often a tough thing to do; by turning those feelings and experiences into commodities, I began to feel as though I was cheapening them. I’ve always valued everything tough that I go through as a lesson to be learned, but constantly sharing my personal life online made me see those experiences as stories to tell instead of lessons to learn. It can also be disheartening when you share something intimate online and receive a reaction that’s different than what you had (maybe naïvely) hoped for.
So to realign my priorities and check my mental health, I took a little break. By no means do I plan on stopping sharing my life. But I’m going to focus on giving each experience and feeling that comes my way the weight and attention it deserves and requires; blogging is—and will always remain—a creative outlet, not a means of processing my emotions.