Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Authenticity and What’s for Dinner?

I am sipping cold peach tea, sitting here in my shorts and tank top, and have my office fan blasting on high. The only true indications that summer is almost officially over are that the throw pillows on the couch remain unmoved during the day and the fan is the loudest sound in the house. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to get back to work. Today, anyway.

While blogging hasn’t been a high priority for me this summer, I have been quietly doing research on other blogs and social media outlets. Which reminded me, once again, why I’m not a huge fan of social media. There are some odd ducks out there. I wanted to see what the common thread was for the people who have bigger platforms and a larger outreach. The thing that I discovered is that those people tend to live life with their followers. I mean every aspect is potentially available on full display. If you wanted to, you could spend the day with them from their morning cup of coffee until the end of their twinkle lighted evenings, complete with an amazing sunset. Is that what we really want?

I also noticed a trend towards some people being more open and honest about the struggles or hardships they might be facing, but of course that is often accompanied by a picture of a perfect mantle display or a picturesque shot of a mug of coffee on a patio. Complete with an amazing sunrise. I have coffee mugs, and I have sunsets. I suppose I could let you see them. If you really wanted to.
This is me. Drinking coffee in my car in a safely parked position. 

Please don’t think I’m mocking them. Really. I’m not much of a mocker. What I see is that humans are drawn towards community. Even those of us who struggle with being around others. We still need that connection to other people trudging along, just like we are. That’s one reason I enjoy literature so much. Instant community. One story can take us to the same place, although our experiences there will be vastly different. But there are times when my nose is not in a book and I’m left trying to figure out what to say to others around me. For the most part, my blog is about writing and reading…and authory stuff. It’s my business…and I love words. Written words in particular. Sometimes I want to write the things I’m thinking about and they aren’t business related. This happens quite often and 
I’ve been thinking about shifting the content here a little bit. I can’t promise that we’ll spend the day together, but I can always let you know what I’m having for dinner. Tonight is meat muffins, baked sweet potatoes, and fresh green beans.*

This was actually a time lapse photo of Wolverine snikting the potatoes.
He's just so fast this was the best shot I could get.

It’s a challenge to find the balance between personal and professional. I don’t think every aspect of our lives needs to be on display for anyone to see. I want to live in the moments without recording them. I don’t want a backlog of pictures sitting on my devices taking up memory space. I want the memories. I want the experiences full on, in real time, in blazing color right in front of me. Not through a screen. But if sharing one or two of those moments can help someone find a connection that validates the intrinsic need to feel included, I can certainly manage that. Because at the end of the day, when the words are put to rest, it’s the people who matter most and the stories they have to share. It’s difficult to share those stories without a relationship. So, here’s to a new season of interactions and to seeing the stories of those around us. Because there will always be stories to share. 

*I always admire the people who follow the asterisk. In the spirit of authenticity, I should let you know that this is not a picture of my dinner. I started this blog yesterday and that's what I ate last night. What you see here is actually a picture of my lunch today, complete with leftover baked beans from Labor Day. Also, I've changed my clothes since yesterday, so I'm no longer in shorts and a tank top. So basically, this whole "authentic" blog is built on a premise of lies. I don't know what this means for us going forward but I'm optimistic we can work things out. 

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