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Sunday, 19 June 2016

Vulnerability Hangover - My Epiphany

So this blog post has been a long time coming, be warned it will contain more words than usual.  I have just returned from a weekend conference called Blogtacular, and am feeling fired up by two of the ladies who were speaking there. It is not surprising that a meeting of like-minded people can often take you onto the next step and this is what has happened for me. I had questions and doubts in my head and I had these answered without speaking a word.

Lisa Congdon is an illustrator, artist and author who, ironically, is very successful, despite the fact that she doesn't see herself as such, and this is something that she touches upon in her talk. Bizarely for me, I had no idea what to expect from an illustrator who was talking to bloggers, but as though she had seen straight into the very workings of my brain, she talked about all the areas I have been mulling over for far too long. 



In current times we all now have a platform to air our thoughts publicly through this thing called BLOG, and when you talk to most bloggers you will find that they came to it almost by accident, they assumed that no-one other than their mum would read it (speedily followed by a phone call from her asking if they were ok), and actually for me it was because I didn't have a mum or dad any longer that I started. 

Strange yes, but I started to take photos again, my father had taught me and it felt like a fitting tribute to him to become good at it.  I also needed to sit and focus on the positive things in life as the death of both parents had left me with mental health problems.  So what better way to focus than to write a blog with nice pictures about all the good stuff. I never thought anyone would see it.



So now a few years down the line, I see I have been joined here by lots of people and this has brought me to a crossroads.

During my years of working in the music business I saw that with many artists fame brings responsibility, and I really admire people who go "look, Im well-known enough now that if I talk about something I can make a positive change" - Bob Geldof led the way. Andy Bell from Erasure talked a lot about HIV and AIDS, Moby would speak about animal rights and some of the other artists I worked with spoke about their drug addictions. And maybe because it was a time before the dreaded Twitter, they could do so and not get lots of insults from anonymous trolls.

So whatever your reach, whether its just your mate over a coffee, or a few hundred people you have never met, it is in my opinion good to tell people stuff that might help them in their lives. However, this often leads you into the 'vulnerability hangover', the after thoughts that follow the dinner party when you had a few wines and became the life and soul. The blog post where you 'share' about personal things.

So this is what Lisa and Kate did this weekend, they shared their vulnerabilities, their insecurities, and guess what, we all had the same ones. They told us that we are not alone with feeling insecure. (Interestingly they too have lots of tattoos, which comforted me enormously, and is totally unrelated). 

It is our own insecurities that stop us sharing the deep down dark stuff because we think that maybe we will be locked up, judged and that no-one else could possibly be this bonkers and so we hold it in and thus perpetuate the myth that no-one else has self doubt, it is a vicious cycle.

So my dilemma here was this, I have been sharing my happy stuff, my pretty stuff, and my seemingly perfect life stuff ... but guess what? There is a lot of other shit happening!!  It worries me that while us bloggers share their 'perfect life' photos we are fuelling the pursuit of perfection which is, quite frankly, bollocks.

I don't want to start taking messy photos, I would like my photography to remain my meditation and my practise of an art-form, so the photos here will remain in the same style - (that which is pleasing to my eye). If you could see the chaos that is in my house daily, trust me you don't want to see the piles of clothes on my bedroom floor (I call it the floordrobe) or the unwashed dishes. However, I do want to 'talk' more about real life stuff, and as Im approaching 57 years old I may have some things to say that can help and re-assure some of the younger ladies.

I will, of course, continue to share cool stuff I've found in the shops and what I've done with my house, the urban jungle fun, the styling the seasons moments, it won't all be doom and gloom, but as I want to take you with me I thought I should start now with my story. So far here, I have felt that the words were just padding to the photos, I was embarrassed to write too much about 'me' but this weekend has changed my view point on that and I want to be more honest.

So, for Kate from "A Playful Day" - you were my WOW moment, and this is the start of a new path for me, I've stood at the crossroads for far too long wondering which way to go, and here it is.. the road to god knows where .. let's just hope I don't disappear up my own back passage.





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14 comments

  1. You have put much more eloquently than I ever would exactly how I feel so I thank you for that. I'm on the train home from Blogtacular and going through the cards I have been given, including yours. I look forward to following your journey and seeing more of your photography

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    1. Thank you Sally, very much appreciated. x

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  2. Hello lovely!! So pleased this is how you felt after our chat on Friday. Can't wait to read more. Xxx

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  3. I meant especially after our chat and laughs... Not because of!! I'm glad Kate helped you find the answer

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    1. Susie, I knew from the minute I saw you last year that we would get on, and it was too brilliant to chat at West Elm with Natasha, that will be my lasting moment, I like to laugh. The weekend was one big finger pointing at my doubts and I take on board everything everyone said, although spilling the beans about my love affairs with rock stars just for you, not sure about that hahaha

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  4. Lovely words and such a joy to meet you. Lisa's talk really was a turning point. xx

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    1. Her words about her reaction to being shown the film, thinking she looked old etc. that was me a few months ago after a magazine shoot. It was so cool to hear it from someone else. x

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  5. Janice, hi. I was standing with Kate at the coffee machine when you were talking to her a D I just wanted to say that it was lovely to meet you and I really hope that you take Kate up on her offer to give you a 'voice' on her platform.

    You are inspiring and absolutely beautiful inside and out.

    Take care,

    Dedri

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    1. Dedri hi, oh how sweet of you to say that, and apologies if I interupted your conversation, but it was lovely to meet you too albeit briefly. Big hugs x

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  6. You didn't interrupt at all :)

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  7. I´m gonna start to follow you consequently now :) I´ve just been sneeking around so far, and mostly on "at mine". Very brave and interesting this blogpost... I guess you will write most about your life now (?), but I have to say I´m very curious about what you did in music-biz, because I´m making music with my husband. We released our first album (also on vinyl) in september, and we are now working on our second. And we just took a big step further today (!), and I´m so excited. I wish you all luck with your new strategy on the blog! Best wishes, Maren Ingeborg Gråblomst

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    1. Maren, this is a lovely message to receive this morning. How wonderful that you make music with your husband, I will have to look out for your work. My work in the music business varied from working on magazines to working at record companies. I left it behind a long while ago it is too hard a business, not friendly I'm afraid! Working in a male environment has left me with a tough edge, which is probably a good thing but looking back it was a very toxic time. Unfortunately other women in the business did not support each other but saw you as a threat and would stab you in the back as fast as they could. I think that now people can release their own music and do their own promotion it is actually much better, the record company is a money driven machine which leaves no space for art. Sorry if I got off on a tangent there for a rant .... lots of love to you.

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    2. Thanks for sharing this, that´s so kind of you. I understand you have had enough of music-biz, with good reason! We have our own label, so we keep the most important thing alive - the art. Maybe I can send you and e-mail sometime? With some links to our work and stuff like that? Best wishes

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