To be completely honest, I don’t remember why I first started blogging… I can guess that it was probably motivated by a selfish desire to exert my opinion without backlash or conversation. I was very unsure of myself so I wanted to utilize a medium that wouldn’t challenge me. I was also afraid of being weird. I didn’t want to be the girl ranting on Facebook that my friends used as a topic of critical conversation, so I started a website.
I don’t care about being weird anymore. I idolize the Facebook ranters. I only feel authentic when I’m spilling my beans. But I still care about failing. I realized recently that I had never EVER done anything hard. My luck had always gotten me by without any effort, so I trained myself to run at the first sign of struggle and to keep justifying my actions until I believed me.
After thinking about my unchallenged life, the huge disservice I was doing to myself became clear. Frederick Douglass (and every other hero who made it to our history books) said, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress”. By sheltering myself from my struggles, I was also sheltering myself from my growth. Even with my blog- I did it in a way that felt easy. I kept things hidden about myself and I only wrote when I felt like it because a schedule (aka accountability and commitment) felt too stressful.
I want to be accountable to my readers and I want to be committed to my goals. I want to write because I see a need in the world and I have an awareness of how my skills may contribute to a solution.
The problem that I notice more frequently than any other problem is how unfamiliar we are becoming with each other. As globalization and innovation allow the world to grow more and more connected, our standards and traditions cause us to grow further and further apart. In 2016, exceptionality is quantifiable. When I say this, I mean that being able to count and measure one’s followers literally allows us to see who is praiseworthy today. The most followed people right now are Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and Kim Kardashian on Instagram and Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna (honorable 5th place mention- Barack Obama- bless up) on Twitter. It is not my goal to judge our judgment. It is my goal to bring attention to the effects of our judgment.
Most of us are aware of the unrealistic expectations these idols cause. Those are not my concerns. Unrealistic expectations are always created by people who are “exceptional”. My concern is that social media platforms have given us a medium to create an image for ourselves like we have never been able to do before. With instant editing apps, the ability to engineer how we represent ourselves, and the capability to filter out “undesirable qualities”, we are less and less able to recognize ourselves in others. Social media is such an integral part of our lives. We rely on it as an accessible, minute-to-minute snapshot of the world. But while we can control others’ opinions of us and they can control our opinions of them, we cannot run from ourselves. We still know we’re imperfect.
So, where’s the problem here???? The problem is that I know I’m imperfect and you know you’re imperfect but we cannot recognize our imperfections in anyone else. This causes us to feel isolated and alone, regardless of how quickly the world is “coming together”. No one is talking about their problems, pains, and vulnerabilities. We put our best disguises on and in doing so we hide the similarities on our faces, the very things that connect us, the very things that make us HUMAN…
From now on, I will have a structure for my blog. I will put the time into it that it deserves. I will risk failing and embarrassment. I chose As You Are Me from the line in “I am the Walrus”, “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together”. I am getting rid of “@EdenBernstein” and introducing “@AsYouAreMe”, in the hopes that you will see yourself in me. I will tell you about my mistakes and my struggles. I will show you my face. I will show you how I am human.
I hope you will show me your face, too. I hope that the beauty in our similarities will outweigh the fear in our insecurities. ❤