Friday, June 16, 2017

Ramblings & Reflections: My daily life, outdoor photos and lengthly posts

BLUF:
No personal life posts on Blogger. Go to Dayre if you want to read about my boring daily activities.
No outdoor photos. Due to logistics, it's just not going to happen regularly.
My posts are long, but they're likely long on purpose besides the fact that I ramble irl and these posts honestly reflect that. Also you're going to hate this post if you continue reading bc there's so much text.
Sorry this sounds a little blunt but I thought direct/without fluff would be easiest.
 ________________________________________________________________________________

MY PERSONAL LIFE
I was surprised to receive so many comments on the survey requesting that I write about my personal life/what I do/what it's like to live in Hawaii! In fact, it was the most popular request.
I addressed this a bit in one of the earlier responses, but it came up enough times that I want to dedicate a little more time to explain this. 

I've mentioned this in a few posts before (so I'm sorry if this is the 4th time you're reading it but I guess I just want it to be more clear by giving it its own blog post), but I'm purposefully a bit tight lipped about these things. I have a huge barrier up based on a past experience and just generally knowing how wrong things can go by sharing too much of your personal details online.

I've thought about sharing "A week in my life" just to show you guys how boring I really am, but that runs into the issue where it identifies how often my house is empty, what hours, what days of the week, etc. I know it may seem silly to some of you to be so worried about things like this, but I'd rather be closed off and reserved than uncharacteristically open and forthcoming and have my house robbed. And you know I'd just be victim blamed for sharing too much information online.

In any case, I'm trying to find a way around that by explaining a little bit more about my personal life while still hopefully giving you more insight about me and why there's really just not a lot to write towards this topic anyway.

For most activities, it's not that I'm actively holding out on you. It's that they simply don't occur with the frequency that you'd expect for the average person. When they do happen (ex. trip that isn't to Japan), I do blog about it, but they just happen less often!

And beyond all of that, I just simply do not do anything other than work, blog and maybe sit on a couch and watch TV. I went to go look at several other people's posts/feeds for reference about what kind of things would typically be expected to be posted about and compiled a short list.
  • Going to school / school-related issues such as homework, course load, teachers, other students etc.
  • Going to a movie
  • Going to the park
  • Going to the beach
  • Going shopping 
  • Going to work
  • Going to a meet up/event
  • Going to a theme park
  • Date night (including significant other)
  • Having a bad day/complaining
  • Medical/health issues
  • Inspirational quotes 
  • Making process in life (new house, new life event etc)
  • Going to a cafe/interesting restaurant 
  • Cute things children do
  • Pet(s)
  • A recap for the day 
  • New purchases 
  • Travel 
I pretty much don't do the majority of those things. School? Been there, done that, bye. Movie? No. Park? No. Beach? You'd think but no. Shopping? Almost exclusively done online and I somewhat already write about that. Meet ups? No. Date night? No. Inspirational quotes? Sorry, these are really not for me and I can't read them without my eyes rolling into the back of my head. Call me cynical but it would just be so contrived coming from me. Cafe? No. Cute kids? None of my own and I probably wouldn't post other people's kids even with their permission. I also have zero pets.

If by some miracle I do end up participating in one of the above activities, I feel like the most appropriate place to post about it would be Dayre. I would rarely be able to generate enough pictures and content for what I would consider a sufficient blog post from a short dinner out. Of course, if I did end up having content I felt was worthwhile, I would happily post about it here. Past examples are the Liz Lisa photoshoot, Kyary concert or anything that would serve a dual purpose as a small review like visiting the Samantha Thavasa store when it opened at Ala Moana.

For the few things that actually relate to me (such as new purchases or travel), I already post about them, except work which I have already mentioned is a bit sensitive in some aspects and not on the table as a topic about which I am willing to write. And sure, ofc I have bad days, but I'm not sure I want this blog or any other social media platform I'm on to be a place filled with negative rants. (These two Ramblings posts are already too much imo.) I'm not saying I feel the need to be positive all the time, but I am already a big complainer IRL and typing them out is just going to make me look like a whiny brat. Who wants to read about someone who never seems to appreciate all the good in their life?

Since I go out and "do things" so rarely, I don't often want to feel the pressure to document it in perfect pictures and making sure I remember all the details so I can blog about it later. Especially if I'm with other people and want to focus on them rather than selfishly trying to get content to post on social media. 

For the record, while I am indeed a complainer, mentioning that I don't do certain activities commonly posted about is not a complaint about my life. I'm more-or-less happy with who I am and what I am doing. I'm simply trying to provide clarification for why you may not be receiving the kind of the content that otherwise seems easy to write for other bloggers, especially since I seemed to promise as much when asking for feedback in the survey. I always want to strive to produce posts that are interesting to read about while still being comfortable with what I am sharing.

I am, as always, a bundle of excuses. But the reason I wanted to write about this and explain myself is because it's not that I'm just "ignoring" the suggestions to do something or being flippant about it. I have thought about it and considered my options and I'm choosing to move forward in a certain way based on the factors I've identified above. I think this may not be satisfactory answer to most, but it's the truth, and it's what I'm comfortable with.

If you do want more content and don't mind reading about the extremely mundane details about what I might do in a day or random thoughts or feelings, my Dayre is the best place to get that.
I've mentioned it a few times already for this same purpose, but if you're unfamiliar with it, Dayre is a social media platform that is basically organized by day. It's like if all the statuses you post on FB and all your tweets and all your IG pics from one day were posted on a single platform as they occur. I'm really not the best at explaining it but the Dayre home page has a short video to explain the functions, and I think if you just look at it, it's pretty clear how it works. It's a free app but there's also a web version where you can view individual pages. If you're not interested in downloading the app, you can just go to my Dayre page url (linked here but also easily accessed from any page by the icon in my sidebar).
It's not aesthetic and it's not perfectly timed, curated content. It's just where I casually post whatever I want to post on that day. I feel like I'm most honest and can "let loose" the most there.

OUTDOOR PHOTOS
Several people have mentioned this (I think this was the second most popular comment aside from the personal posts suggestion) and I think I understand the kind of posts they want (I'm thinking photos Γ  la @kaalizmeloo on IG). But I don't foresee it happening regularly or even semi-regularly without a big change in my life. Logistically, it just doesn't make sense for me. I do like the photos I see other people take, but as mentioned above - I don't go anywhere. And I do that by choice mostly. So the likelihood of going to go somewhere just to take pictures is pretty small, especially if I'm solo.

Why not just outside in my backyard? Well I don't really have a very picturesque one. There's a lot of red dirt. And I live in a suburban neighborhood with very close neighbors who would very clearly be able to see me being a posing weirdo at every angle in front of a tripod. I'm all for "don't care what other people think" but this is really drawing the line for me. I already don't take regular selfies in public very often. I highly doubt I can graduate to setting up a DSLR on a tripod with a remote all of a sudden. (And shoutout to people who do. I genuinely applaud you.)

I take pictures in my room because I'm comfortable with it. The privacy allows me to do whatever I want to do and try on all different kinds of coordinates until I have the right one with all of my options right in front of me.

One suggestion was just to pick one outfit every week or month and go and do a photoshoot with it. I suppose I could do that, but...I just don't see the point, and frankly, I just don't want to. I'm sorry if that's blunt but after feeling anxious about how I could fulfill this for several days, I came to that realization and it just kind of stuck. I like the pictures I post and I think they still communicate what I want them to (how the clothes look on a real person and in combination with other items) regardless of the background. They aren't fun, and they aren't something I would want to print and distribute, but they get the job done in the most efficient manner for me. I don't like or enjoy photoshoots because I feel awkward in front of the camera and a pressure to perform and achieve a certain objective that I don't have when I'm just doing things myself, usually just because it involves so much more time and effort and often times the time and effort of others as well.

Shooting outdoors in the best case scenario would involve someone helping me take the photos. While my parents would likely be willing to shoot a few photos for me (although not every single week because this is a rather frivolous hobby and they have better things to do), they don't seem to understand the angles or the kinds of photos I would want taken and I can't expect them to research and figure everything out. My boyfriend has flat out refused to take pictures of me on various occasions and I'm not going to force him to either. I don't really have many other options besides self-photography or hiring a photographer - both of which I don't really want to do.

I recently met up with a new friend (@chibiamby) and we took turns taking photos for each other, but I realized that I'm really just not that comfortable with it, and I didn't end up liking as many photos from the hundreds taken as I would have if I was just in my room. This isn't Amby's fault because I totally felt comfortable around her as a person, but I'm just not fond of the way I looked in the photographs for which I can blame no one but myself.

Through the whole process, I realized how insecure about some things I really am. Looking at the photos, I feel like I haven't felt in ages - ugly, squinty, fat, old, stubby, inadequate. I don't know how to explain this. I looked in the mirror before I left to shoot and loved the look from head to toe. But when I look at the photos, I saw maybe 3 that were passable and one didn't even have my face in it. For something that's supposed to be fun, it feels like a nasty chore. And I don't know how much I want to force myself to do it. On the reverse side, I did have a lot of fun taking photos for Amby and loved most of the shots of her. In high school, I was always the one who was more comfortable behind the camera or backstage instead of front and center and feeling like being in the photos would ruin it is probably half the reason.

I'm unloading a bit here, but I guess I realized that there's a reason why I don't do this - and it's not just purely out of laziness. If I do end up meeting up with Amby (or anyone else willing to take outfit photos for me) in the future and we take a few photos, of course I will share them like I did for the photoshoot I did with Rei! However, I highly doubt I will ever really dedicate a consistent stream of posts that include outdoor photography.

POST LENGTH
In terms of the lengths of some of my posts, I write and I write and I write and then, of course, I do reread and edit and reread and edit and reread and edit. But if I feel like things are relevant to a topic (this self-confidence post for example), I would never break that up into two or three parts. Frankly, that doesn't seem efficient and actually a rather lazy way to get 3 posts published when they should be 1. Sure, even this post could potentially be 8 different posts if I wanted to chop it up to be each random thought as it came to mind. But that's not what I want to post on Blogger. I specifically post long form versions of my thoughts here. Instead of just shooting out a tweet or updating my FB status, I take the time to flush out my opinions and feelings and have a full post with "significance" if you can call it that. That is not to say that every post here is formal and exactly how it should be, but just that if I do post here, I don't want it to just be a throwaway. I want it to have actual content and I keep adding to it until I feel that it really has that.

Plus, for my own personal needs, I'd rather have a lot of detail about something than not enough - especially for posts highlighting purchases because items will come and go and the blog post might be my only reference for it in the future. I understand that some people don't like reading or get bored if there's too much text. Unfortunately, this might not be the right venue for you, and I would encourage you to just scroll past it or ignore if you just don't want to read it. (Many people have mentioned to me that they do this and I accept that.) But I am deliberate with how I organize my "haul" type blog posts and, like I mentioned in the response on my survey post, I cannot imagine how else to break it up further than I already have without it being a random hodge podge of text and photos.

This post, long and mundane as it is, was started initially to only address the issue of posting about my personal life. But as I thought about it and feedback started to fester in my head, I realized I just wanted to say more. And I could have made "outdoor photos" its own blog post and even this section its own, but I don't want to have a series of blog posts that explain why you're not getting certain kinds of content. I'd rather just explain it all at once. If you're interested in knowing my reasons and aren't completely bored or annoyed with this kind of content, you'll read this post. Otherwise, you can skip it entirely and don't have to worry about my complaints and excuses cropping up 3 different times over the next month.

For my personal standards, I honestly think that a blog post with 4 photos of me in one outfit with 2 sentences is unsatisfactory and a waste of a post, even if it was a favorite outfit. I don't think I would ever do that unless I'm terribly, terribly, terribly desperate for content. And even then, I don't think I could ever just leave it as just that. I would feel extremely compelled to add more to it. In the case of a favorite outfit in particular, it's probably my favorite because of something like versatility and I feel like that would need to be expounded upon.

I'm not sure why this is ingrained in me, but I guess it could from being a blog reader myself and feeling disappointed if the post is short or doesn't have much content. Even if I couldn't digest all the information at once, I would still welcome a long post that I could read at my leisure even if over short time periods for several days. This is likely something that is not going to change.

Also P.S. I type very closely to how I talk. And if you've met me in person, you know I'm a rambler. In casual posts like this, it's just something you'd have to deal with unfortunately.

I realize that this post is wayyyyy too long and just a huge wall of text. I tried to sum it up with the BLUF at the top - hopefully that helps those of you who wanted brief new content but didn't want to read. Although it's not like you're reading this this far down the page anyway for the explanation. I also considered breaking up this post with more pictures, but in the end, I told myself that it is what it is, and this post is a giant wall of text is a giant wall of text is a giant wall of text and I kind of just give up.

。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。

I started out writing this post one way and worked on it on and off every so often when inspiration struck, and I felt like I had more to say. As survey results/comments came in one-by-one, and I started to worry about how I am going to accommodate each of these things in order to make the blog "as best as it can be", I realized that it's not. It's never going to be the best that it can be if I am not a full time blogger. It's never going to be exactly what every person wants. It's never going to be perfect. Why was I trying so hard for that?

I want to say it's because every so often I would get a casual comment out of left field that threw me completely for a loop and make me realize my blog isn't functioning very well and could be repelling viewership. (The "your wig makes me avoid your blog completely" comment for example.) And I'm happy to get comments like that - things that feel like someone wanted to say but were too shy(?) to mention for some reason, which is why I was really enjoying getting the survey results. Fixing the font size/color or adding a subscription option - I'm more than willing to accommodate these things and want to make these improvements if someone wants them, and I also received a lot of positive or neutral feedback that I'm really happy about.

But there are certain things that I'm just not sure are right for me. I mentioned some of them above. And there are things that I just don't agree with and won't be initiating for one reason or another. I understand if that means that certain people won't be coming back and don't get the content they want from me. It's not a "good riddance" situation at all. I would love to retain and accommodate every single blog reader, but it's not currently in my capacity to do so.

As much as I feel like I know I need to blog for myself, it hasn't felt that way for a lot of recent things. I'm not sure why. I enjoy generating content. I enjoy planning and prepping and posting. I enjoy interacting with people and sharing common goals and interests. But it feels largely forced. I guess that's partially because of my personality and what I'm willing to share, but some things are just starting to feel contrived and not so genuine. I'm not sure taking a break from posting will necessarily help that. I mean, I already have 30 OOTDs in a personal queue for IG and about 10 posts drafted for Blogger - so I'm always ready to publish something even if I took a break from generating new content. But is that what I really want?

I just feel tired.

There's something I realized after thinking about it for a while: I am not an online personality.
That's not who I am, nor who I had been intending to be when I started blogging. Tbh I'm barely an IRL personality so ofc that doesn't translate well to text either. That's why I shouldn't be comparing myself to those who are. There is obviously nothing wrong with doing things one way or another but clearly one garners more "audience" participation because it feels like there's a sense of friendship and interaction rather than a "I'm just posting things AT you" kind of mentality. If I am not an online personality, I cannot expect to be treated like an online personality. Period.

I went back and forth about actually publishing this. I thought maybe I just needed a space to type out my thoughts and flush them out but didn't actually need it to be "out in the open". However in the interest of sharing more of "my personal life", this is part of it. These are the things I think about that run through my mind all the time lately. I've been adding things to this post every so often for almost 3 weeks now. It's probably crazy boring to a lot of people, but that's me lol.

In any case, after going over all the things you're not going to get and all my asinine excuses why, here's what I want you to be able to expect from me, regardless of the idiosyncrasies - honest opinions, worn photos, and outfit ideas. That's really what I'm aiming to provide and while they may not on the highest level of photography or the exact right amount of concise, they should still get the message across and hopefully that's enough.

12 comments:

  1. first off, I've never heard of dayre but it looks fun and super low pressure (as opposed to instagram) and I kind of want one now haha second, I appreciate your real attitude and explaining your content but never feel like you have to do something if it's just not fun or it doesn't align with yourself, personally. I love your personality and your blog because it's different and you're a "real person" as opposed to a lot of the other bloggers I meet that regurgitate experiences for views/clicks. Even if you don't get up to much in your personal life or you prefer not to share it, that's an important reflection of your personality and honestly I find it refreshing. However, I hate knowing that you feel inadequate and if there's any way I can help (not sure how I would but hey you never know) I'd be totally down with helping!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think what helps Dayre be a little bit more low pressure for me is that it's not as popular of a platform lol. It's actually most popular in Malaysia/Singapore areas I think so by following people who live there and post about their daily life, I feel like I'm learning a bit! There's some drama I suppose but it really seems like "one community" for the most part.
      I think for the feeling down about myself part - I probably have to make some sort of change but I'm not sure what. I started exercising a bit more but all that's done for me really is give me a super uneven shirt and ankle tan.
      Thank you always for your support Ruth ♡

      Delete
  2. Awww, I wish I could give you a big ol' bear hug IRL but... my arms won't reach that far. XD I also wish I had something more helpful or some advice to offer but I really don't know what to say - clearly I'm super useful with my comments. :p

    ReplyDelete
  3. i'm glad you came to this conclusion!! i was worried that you were starting to stress yourself out too much lol. i like your blog the way it is right now. i don't mind brainstorming ideas to help you address certain requests (outdoor photoshoot), but it's okay to not use them! :'D i also prefer being behind the camera rather than in front of it. it's more fun for me lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to hear if you have a solution to work around all of my stupid excuses for the outdoor photoshoot! Honestly maybe I'm just being too narrow-minded about it all.

      Delete
  4. I was surprised by how open you were to different ideas and opinions in regards to your blogging, like with the survey for example. It's a great idea and while it can be helpful to be receptive to feedback, like you said, you can't please everyone. You also can't force yourself to be someone you're not. I'm glad you were open to hearing suggestions, but it also seemed like you were trying too hard to accommodate everyone... In the end, you know what you want out of your blog & social media presence, and those who like it will stay and those who don't will be missing out ;) Now I am rambling haha. Anyway, don't feel bad for not wanting to go with some of the top suggestions. You have your reasons, and there are people who will enjoy reading your blog regardless :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess sometimes I love the content I produce so much that I don't realize how lacking it can really be until someone tells me! I tried something new recently based on one of the suggestions, but I'm still not sure it works for me lol.

      Delete
  5. Thank you for giving us so much insight (yep, I read through the entire thing)!
    I totally get you on being an introvert and on the pressure put on you to put out perfect social media posts. Honestly I am tired of that myself.
    My phone broke a few days ago and while I dearly and honestly missed IG, I just thought, damn I need to post something! And this is not what it should be about. I am pretty chill now after a few days without my phone lol. I am back now, but right now don't feel pressure to post regular and good content.

    This is a space you created and you should do what makes you the happiest. Even more so I am glad you decide to share why you disagree with posting certain content!
    I feel like I am just rambling and I hope I make sense, I just want to say I can relate and I want you to be happy with your content and not force it. I love your blog as well as your IG and I hope you can love it just as much <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bahaha, thank you for reading the whole thing! Glad your phone dying wasn't completely negative, but that does suck in general :|
      You weren't rambling at all and I really appreciate this comment! Thank you so much for taking the time to write it ♡

      Delete
  6. I like how you reason to reach your conclusion. You also explain your thoughts well (better than I do, skipping bits and pieces). I don't think this post is rambly, it's just pragmatic. I think we would get along irl QAQ esp as we're both just potatoes that don't do much in terms of social activities lolol

    I hope you find a fun spin on what you're currently doing. I know how it feels to be pressured to do stuff for blogging that I felt like a chore. You can talk to me about this if you ever want another perspective, but also it's ok if you don't since you understand your likes/dislikes anyway πŸ˜‚

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be great to meet one day Rina!

      Delete