Have you ever had “life envy?” You know, that ugly feeling you get when looking at someone else’s life online, wishing you could have their life because it looks so beautiful, so thrilling, so purposeful?
The blogging world can be a little like that. I started blogging in college and since then recording my life online and reading about other people’s lives through their blogs has become a bit of a hobby of mine. At first, I loved that I could read about trips my favorite bloggers went on, check out all of their cute outfit posts and even share my own life adventures.
But then, envy started to sink in. I started comparing my life and my blog to the ones I read about. Negative thoughts clouded my mind, and instead of enjoying blogging for myself, I became so paranoid that my blog – my life! – wasn’t good enough. Thoughts like: “My life is so boring compared to theirs.” “I need to get new clothes. I’m not fashionable at all!” “Their blog is so much better than mine. Mine sucks.” “They have it all figured out and I haven’t a clue what I’m doing with my life, my blog, my relationships.”
Then something changed. A few of us bloggers in town decided get together, in person, for a happy hour. We wanted to meet each other in real life, put a real face to the digital one we’ve read so much about. As silly as it sounds, I was hesitant to go. Certainly I wouldn’t have anything in common with these fabulous women who document their amazing, happy lives.
However, upon meeting and truly connecting with each blogger, that night I realized something: everyone has daily struggles – big and small. We talked for hours about real life – the trials and tribulations of marriage and relationships, work issues, money problems, and even wonderful, personal things that couldn’t be shared on our blogs. Once we were done spilling our lives to one another, we vowed to get together again. And we have!
Meeting these talented women and hearing their real life struggles didn’t make me think they were any less wonderful. If anything, I felt a deeper connection to the real woman behind each blog. Sharing real life with one another for three hours was better than reading or writing blog posts for three months. Truly, nothing beats real connections.
Of course we want to put our best face forward online. We all do this on Facebook, don’t we? We post the best parts of our lives – engagement announcements, baby pictures, vacation albums – and leave the negative, albeit, real aspects of our lives private. That’s what I love about HeartStories. It’s an outlet that lets us share what’s really going on, good or bad, with our closest friends. It gives us a way to foster real relationships, celebrate real life together and keep “life envy” at bay.