// she's only happy in the sun.
Mar 11

writing a blog post about being online less. isn’t it ironic. #alanismorissetteshoutout

image spied here.

so lately i’ve been thinking a lot about this idea of ‘enough-ness’ and more particularly the anxiety we all have, at some point or another, about not being enough. not being good enough. smart enough. happy enough. talented enough. successful enough. aussie-music-festival-attending-all-summer-long-thus-tan enough.

simply: not _____ enough.

and i’ve also been thinking about how much being online often just reinforces this sense of not-enough-ness.

yes, you might be accomplishing your dreams, or creating authentic relationships, or achieving your goals, but within minutes of internet foraging you’ll find someone who is not only doing all of it seemingly better than you, but with more grace and more joie de vivre. and they might even be a whole lot younger than you. i totally understood when Q told me he was planning on learning a new mozart sonata until he watched a 6 year old from korea play it perfectly on youtube. it’s that kind of thing which can be a little (or a lot) joy-squashing.

it happens with stuff/technology/trends too. a few weeks after you have the latest shiny gadget, a new version comes out. and suddenly yours is passé. not old enough to be ironic and vintage. just outdated. or you jump on the blogging bandwagon only to find out that the cool kids only tumblr. or you’re enamored with chevron print but then a 15 year old on said tumblr informs the world that chevron is “OMG soooo winter 2011. spring is dots.” and you think about how you totally missed that memo.

[sidenote 1: just to clarify, i do think there is merit in striving to be better and working towards excellence. but there’s a definite difference between being inspired and this other feeling i’m talking about.]

[sidenote 2: i actually don’t really care that much about not-enough-ness when it comes to trends. i mean, i’m currently wearing leg warmers pulled up to my thighs and i sure as heck haven’t seen that look dominate the interwebs. #immunity]

but, in order to squash some of the other not-enough-ness chatter inside my head, i’ve been conscientiously decreasing the time i spend aimlessly online. this is kind of tricky since a lot of my projects revolve around this space, and lets face it, i LOVE so many things about the immediacy and sheer immensity of creative wealth that is ‘the internet’. but in setting limits and making time to leave these screens, i actually feel like a certain pressure has been lifted. the feeling of not-enough-ness has been replaced with something so much sweeter, kinder, calmer: a sense that i’m on the right track. that i’m happy with who i am and what i’m doing. a knowledge that my days are spent involved in work that i really love. and that the place i am at, is where i’d always longed to be.

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5 comments on “writing a blog post about being online less. isn’t it ironic. #alanismorissetteshoutout”

  1. Angel Says:

    I had this SAME conversation with my friend Danica a couple of weeks ago. I made a comment about not being “the most innovative” stylist out there and she quickly squashed my statement by saying something just like what you wrote. The very fact that we’re doing something we love on daily basis is so amazing in itself! Why do we have to ruin it by putting the pressure on ourselves to be THE VERY BEST (whatever that means)!!!

    I’ve been distancing myself from the internet bit by bit. I have to be on it every day for work as well. But I pick and choose my battles. I only go on facebook maybe once a week just to see if I’m missing anything. I’m taking a bit of a break from my personal blog at this time. My multiple posts a day have become one a week. BUT! I am enjoying image hoarding on Tumblr & Pinterest. There is a freedom there. I feel like it’s something I’m doing for me w/o worrying what people will like or not like. I can find images that strike me vs. just looking at outfits aaaalll daaaaay loooooooong! It’s really fun and makes me enjoy the internet on a new level.

    Thanks for writing this! You know I’m a big fan of your blog!

  2. Happy Fellow Says:

    There is a cute book called Hope for the Flowers. These two caterpillars are in love. Life is great. But then, looming in the distance, there are these caterpillar pillars. What is at the top? Everyone is scrambling over one another to get there. (Hint: There is nothing at the top.)

    I saw a video yesterday of a 12-year-old boy who is doing high-order maths with such breeze and enthusiasm. He’s soon to have a grant to work at a local university, and may even figure out some kink in Einstein’s theory of relativity. When I was 12 years old, I think I was playing Pooh sticks at the creek behind my house.

    It’s all relative. When watching the math genius, it made me smile. I love how we are all built differently, and exploring/discovering what is possible humanly. What a wonderful time we live in. The world is changing, and we’re on the frothy tumbling mess of that advancing wave.

    In another book, from years ago, which title I can’t quite remember, but something like The Age of Misinformation, the author and his friends recorded everything that was on television in a 24-hour period. There were 92 channels in his area, and it took him months to wade through all of the content. He then compared the experience, and what he learned from all of that information, with a 3-day camping trip in some nearby mountains. You can imagine the result.

    The world is at our fingertips, but life is at our feet. For all of our adventures (online and off), we arrive at the ground on which we stand, and learn to be at home. In a French movie (Of Gods and Men) I saw over the weekend at the $5 theater, one line of dialogue lingers: “Wildflowers do not move to find the sun’s rays. God makes them fecund wherever they are.”

    In cultivating authentic, loving relationships, the intent is to pursue excellence within ourselves, and to encourage the same in others. This isn’t a race, nor contest. We need each other. We are one soul in many bodies. We are beautiful butterflies struggling to emerge from the long dark prelude of history.

  3. Court Says:

    Great article and I totally agree. We tend to endlessly compare ourselves to others – when we often don’t stop enough to realize that sometimes people feel the same about us when they read our blogs/facebooks/tumblr etc.

    Whether you realize it or not you are one of those people who make others feel like they don’t have enough-ness!

    …And this isn’t always a bad thing – in fact it inspires people to do more!


  4. Paige Says:

    AMEN sister. I feel like I get this way if I spend to many minutes on social sites. Yes it does keep me connected to people I would never call or write on a continual basis but it reminds me that my life does not look like the typical life of those people I’m closely associated with. I’m 25, not married, no relationship and no kids- currently living with the “rents” to save money, working full time, and attempting to finish my bachelors while everyone else seems to have done all of the above plus more in the same amount of time. I LOVE my life, let me reiterate- I LOVE my life and of course want the husband, house and 2.5 kids in the future with the perfect career but my story will be different. Of course, social networks make me feel differently about it so I need to spend less time on them. I’m glad someone else agrees and is vocalizing the negative affects of our easy access to everyone else’s “stuff.”

  5. Brooke Says:

    This was exactly what I needed to read today…just a little reminder to keep doing what I love and quit feeding the internal demon of niggling self-doubts. It’s like I need to set parental controls on the internet for myself! But until then thanks for the friendly reminder that more internet does not automatically equal good…everything in moderation. Oh moderation, you old devil you. Why do you have to be so hard?

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