It looks like I have my life together, doesn't it?

Saturday, June 06, 2015

via pinterest
We're lifestyle bloggers. We've got pretty homes, organized closets, shoes to spare. We can do a wicked cat eye flick in about five minutes because we probably do it every day. We've got a glam desk with strategically places candles, glittery frames and posh desk-calanders without a tick out of place. Our lipstick collection is running into the second drawer. We always look beautiful; our hair is curled, our nails are painted, our clothes fit and we have all the right undergarments to fit both neatly and comfortably behind even the daintiest of lace tops.

We eat healthy. Smoothies for breakfast, salads for lunch, flavourful stir fry for dinner, and we look beautiful because of it! We have the sort of money that allows us a new dress for every occasion, and we just have a knack for beautiful things (who cares if the lipstick works if it looks beautiful on my desk for my next post?) Right? Right?

I was reading a book recently about the mayhem behind photoshoots by an interior designer with a collection of the most gorgeous projects you can find, and it gave me a little bit of insight into this world of "perfectionism." She shared that what often looks good on the camera doesn't look the same (or good) in real life, and vise versa. The day before a shoot, the designer explains, is spent running around buying and borrowing antiques, shopping other corners of your house and finding flowers and candles for the one space being photographed: not simply vacuuming the carpet and putting away stray books. As bloggers, whether lifestyle or otherwise (though particularly lifestyle), there is a certain enigma belonging to our world. A standard of perfection, set partially by our own ideals and encouraged by the web to which we belong, makes us constantly aware of every detail in our lives, and we spend a lot of time and resources attempting to make everything match, to make everything pretty, to make everything photo-ready and beautiful. And I am a firm believer in beautiful things; whether they are being photographed or not. But what I've noticed is that this tendency, nice as it may be, has begun to be a barrier.

People have asked me before if my life is perfect, and I'm here to entirely debunk that idea, because as pretty as perfect is, its difficult to get to know someone you cannot relate to. Mostly I like to keep things elegant and uplifting here, but I have to be honest, and my life is not. perfect. I stay up late reading and often have dark under-eye circles. More often than not, my nail polish is chipped and two weeks old. I bite my nails when I'm thinking. I spend too much time staring at screens and not enough time outside. I drink more tea and coffee than is good for me, even though it gives me a headache if I drink it past 4-ish in the afternoon. I forget to shave my legs a lot, until 10 minutes before leaving for a nice event (hello razor burn). I am insecure about my figure. My desk is not always neat. My laundry stays in the basket, waiting to be put away, far longer than it should. I only make my bed half as often as I should.

We're bloggers, but we're also people, and it has to be said that I'm not the only one with issues. No one's life is together: this concept of life-together-ness is something we've invented to suit our fancies, but does not actually exist. We're broken. And you know what? It's ruddy beautiful. 

9 comments

  1. I'm not sure anyone thinks *my* life is perfect because I so frequently describe how it isn't. But I do get this idea of the PRESSURE involved in feeling our lives OUGHT to be perfect. How fascinating, what you said about the interior designer's mayhem. I hadn't really thought of that. Good points.

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    1. True. And I thought you might like that - the whole book, actually, I think you would enjoy. :)

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  2. Perfectionism can steal so much joy in our lives, and I relate to almost everything that you wrote about today. For picture-worthy, blog-post-material-like events or spaces don't always leave room for the layers of cat fur covering the bed or breakouts or ballerina feet. But God makes beautiful things out of the mess in life, not out of what's already "put-together." Only when we fall apart a bit can He shape us to something greater.

    Thank you for reminding me of real life and true beauty through this post!

    Hannah from Grace in Everything

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    1. Hannah, I love the way you stated this! It reminded me that it takes the ugly to create the beauty - the ballerina feet are necessary for the beauty of the art. Thanks for bringing that out. :)

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  3. "It's ruddy beautiful." I love how you say that. Because it's so true. I fall into the pitfall of perfectionism usually not in my normal routine. I could careless if people know that I never fold my clothes or that my room consists of chaotic stacks of books and papers. But when it comes to things like writing, drawing, clogging, and guitar, I'm a perfectionist to a fault.

    I get frustrated with myself when I can't do something to the standards I wish to do them. I push myself to do better and try to excel. Which is a good thing. . .until I feel overwhelmed by how much practice I need to put it and how long it's going to take when I want to be better now. Then I feel paralyzed by the impossible standards I'm pressing onto myself. I have to stop and breathe. I have to remind myself that I am only human. That the fun is all in the journey of getting there, because I'll truly never be "there." I am always to learn and excel, and it's okay if I make mistakes. It's okay if I take a break to regroup and relax a little. It's okay to have fun.

    This is a great post!

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Ashley! I love your honesty about guitar and perfectionism: sometimes the very thing that makes us improve can also cripple are ability to do so. Honesty - especially with yourself - is the best policy.

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  4. you are so gorgeous in all of your pictures i wish you had more of your own pictures on your blog, like of you and stuff in you life! i adore your blog though, it is so amazing!

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