Happy new year!
I hope your new year has gone well so far and that 2024 is better than you can imagine right now. My holidays and New Year’s were very quiet and peaceful outside, which means the noise in my head has been deafening. The new year brings up so many things: reflecting on the previous 12 months, the pressure to define what you want in 2024, and weight loss messages everywhere (increased significantly this year by injections). I found myself trying to numb the noise in my head by decorating all the Christmas trees and consuming a lot of media: social media, podcasts, books, television, movies… which (not surprisingly) were just temporary escapes. Since I didn’t do a full rundown of the Christmas decor like I have in the past, I’ll share some photos here before doing a more extensive update.
There were more trees, but I think you get the gist!
Now, to address the silence: I’m not sharing this because I think people are waiting with bated breath for me to publish a new blog post, but because I need to publish this myself. I started this blog almost 15 years ago. No one knew what a blog was, Instagram didn’t exist, and I was just a random twenty-something in Kentucky who wanted to share some things on the internet in the hopes of not feeling so alone. I did not filter what I shared. There were posts about getting zebra-like stripes in a tanning booth, the fact that I was a fat girl with a small car, and other random jokes and observations. There was also a significant focus on weight loss, something I let go of many years ago when I disengaged from diet culture. I’ve been lucky that so many people continue to care about what I have to say for so long, even as I’ve evolved as a person.
With the rise of social media, divided attention, and content creation/”influencing” now a huge industry, there is pressure to do more, produce higher quality images or videos, fight for attention, “curate.” a feed, gain followers, go viral. …and all of that made me doubt myself and what I was doing. Every time I felt like I was falling into the prison of “my content isn’t good enough” thinking, I had to remind myself of spray tan zebra stripes and “fat girl in a small car.” Back then, I was myself no matter who was paying attention. My desire was never to be a “creator”, to have the largest number of followers or to be the most requested by brands.
On the other side of the pressure to stand out from the online noise is the fear of standing out too much. People on the Internet can be very cruel: there is a fine line between reaching people who might find something useful about your message and reaching people who want to tear you to shreds. Fat hate is very strong and technology makes it very easy for people to make hateful comments without taking into account who is on the other side of the screen. It’s really gross and avoiding it is one way to avoid it.
Platoon instructor Christine D’Ercole often repeats this quote in her classes: “The most powerful thing anyone can tell us is what we tell ourselves.” The things I told myself in 2023 were much harsher than anyone on the outside could tell me. If a friend said these things out loud about herself, she couldn’t allow it.
So in 2024 I won’t leave it like that. What mattered 15 years ago is the same thing that matters today: that I feel comfortable presenting myself fully, authentically, and imperfectly. By doing so, maybe it can make you think about something in a different way, present you with a new perspective, or make you feel seen and less alone. Selfishly, I also hope to feel more seen and less alone. At least continuing to share means I’ve stayed true to myself and haven’t kept quiet for fear that someone won’t like what I have to say.
Thanks for being here. ❤️