I’m going to be honest.
I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’m sitting down to write this at the kitchen table in my parents’ house, a house I told myself I would not be living in past the age of eighteen. “Once I’m of age, I’m out,” I’d tell myself. Not because I dislike my parents, or even because I was eager to be on my own, but because I’ve always been a very self-sufficient person. From the time I had my first job at sixteen, I was buying my own clothes, my own car, paying my way through community college without loans, buying all my own food when my family went out to eat, etc. I felt shame accepting anything from anyone, especially when that something had cost money. I was raised to appreciate the value of money, and the hard work that goes into making just one dollar, and it’s a lesson I’ve never been able to shake.
Long story short, I’m now twenty-two. I work two jobs; one is a business I created by myself, without a college degree. The other is a part time housekeeping job to fill in the income gaps. My life isn’t perfect, but that’s okay. I don’t want to pretend to be perfect. I’m tired of having a “persona” online who is not me. I’m tired of pretending I never curse, for the sake of “professionalism”. I’m tired of trying to be a cutesy writer on Twitter who acts all encouraging and “you go, lady!”. (For the record, I’ve never actually said that and never will.)
That’s not who I am, and it’s not the person I want to be, either. I want to be me. Sarcastic, cynical, resting bitch-face me, who is unafraid of being the black sheep in Twitter’s writer-verse. Who doesn’t care about the number of followers or retweets or likes I get. Because writing—art in general—isn’t the profession for you if you need to be coddled. And that’s my angsty, cynical opinion.
This all got me thinking about the crowd of writers on the internet. I’m not saying it’s all bad, but it’s not a group that I find myself a part of. And believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve tried talking to these writers, commenting on their posts, discussing things with them—it’s not my bag.
So I’ve decided: I’m starting a lifestyle blog.
To this revelation, my brother replied, “But you don’t have a lifestyle.”
Thank you, Evan.
But I realized something funny when he said that. Lifestyle blogs aren’t just for people who have luxurious, expensive homes and cook three meals a day for their impeccably dressed children. (And manage to somehow teach themselves elaborate calligraphy—seriously, can I have some of what they’re having?!) Lifestyle blogs can be about writing, and art, and nature, and nerding out over fantasy books. Lifestyle blogging should be for everyone, by everyone. And hey, that includes me! Yippee!
My lifestyle isn’t luxurious by any stretch of the word. I don’t exercise enough. I procrastinate like hell. I don’t do yoga at sunrise or sip coffee in bed wearing knee socks. I don’t have any fancy makeup routines, and almost all of my clothes are from Forever 21, because I’m broke.
[Side note: I’m writing this after making an enormous batch of pasta where I forgot to warm up the sauce, forgot the noodles were boiling, and got burnt by splashing hot water on my hip. (At which point I flailed around, flapping my shirt, screaming, “Fuck! Ow!”)]
I’m not a homemaker. I can’t develop recipes, although I’d like to try. I can’t knit, I can barely make crafts the right way, and I can’t even make pasta without nearly causing a cataclysm.
But I’m twenty-two years old, and I’m passionate about art and books and photography and travel and fashion and so much more, and I want to share those thoughts and keep sharing them for as long as I can, even if not one person comes along to read them. I want to learn to paint, to do graphic design, to draw better, to make comics, to read more books and watch more movies, to do calligraphy, to make some shoddy pottery or dinky crafts and sell them on Etsy, or whatever the hell kids are doing these days.
I want to do it all, and I want to write. I don’t want to just be an editor/writer for the rest of my life. I want to be everything I can be. And I’m twenty-two; I’ve only got, at best, eighty years or so to make it happen.
So… I’d better get to work.