What makes me different from other bloggers? What is the identity of Gallantly, gal? This is something I wished for people to figure out–or rather interpret–themselves, but this is also something I directly addressed (if you read my welcome post).
I am not here to tell you that my life is perfect, that I have it all figured out and if you just live like I do and listen to my advice, you will, too. This is a sales tactic by a lot of bloggers, influencers, gurus, and business people, such people who like to emphasize “I did it, and so can you! This is how.”
I’m not here to call them out as scammers, but I don’t feel connected to most of them, either, because I know that fundamentally, we are all humans—inevitably, then, we are all flawed. Truly deeply flawed. Not all flaws are cute, charming, and quirky. Putting them in such guises all the time is to undervalue them.
There are many who change when they find success, showing who they truly were or wanted to be in the first place. They say that power and money don’t change us—they show who we always were. Yet I find they are some of the most popular—which begs the question, what is it that people are truly looking for? Some illusion? So they flock to an artificial image of the ideal life? And so they foster some quixotic fantasy.
There are some who are open and honest—and I can see that they are always trying and I appreciate that. They open up when they do not feel good. They take healthy breaks. They lift me up. I follow them. There’s no need to bare your soul, but feel free to show your frustrations, admit you’re feeling blue, and embrace basic flaws.
Because none of us have all of our shit together. We may think we do more than other people, and this could be true to an extent, but more accurately than that, we do have more of our shit together at certain times. Thankfully, that goes for everyone.
A few weeks ago, I was writing away, scheduling weeks in advance for my once-a-week content, sure that if I kept doing this while inspired, I could take a break when I burn out. I could then rely on all of the scheduled posts until the creative juices came to me again. At that point, I may have truly felt I had all my shit together.
Look at me now. I let the well run dry, and the scheduled blog posts followed.
The difference is I knew and I know better. I knew that banging away at the keyboard to get those scheduled blog posts would help me for the unavoidable fall from creativity. I also know that this was not a foolproof method because it is impossible to predict when I will feel inspired again—and that’s okay. I’ll stop fighting it. I didn’t resist or make myself feel bad about it, and look at me now, writing a post I genuinely find inspired.
So I have a message for you as a blogger but from the standpoint of a bloggee: I am you you are me. Trying to figure my life out. Make something of myself. Find company. That is why I wrote a short blurb called My Invitation; this was a serious invitation for you to join me on my own road to self-discovery. That is why I sign off on every blog post like I’m a close pen pal of yours. That is why I ask people to write guest features on where they are in life or what they are thinking in that very moment because we are always changing. I want to know where they are. I want to know what their lives are like. What do people as a whole want that we are always looking for the next step or level in life? How do we improve?
In a way, I feel that addressing those wants is the only improvement we need. We know that they are there. But we also have to question why they are there and whether they need to be resolved or ever will resolve. We should ultimately come to terms with unhappiness and the fact that we will discover new dissatisfactions, but also that there’s hope in a next step we can take.
It is in our nature to never think we are good enough, that we have to move forward. This is what makes humans mortal and what makes us the same. Staying still seems uncomfortable. Some take it too far, all the way to burnout–make something of yourself because you will be nothing if you stop. Some try to make it comfortable, thinking it’s better to look up to somebody to live the life you want for you–be vicariously.
Others, whether they are–despite their name–influencers or successful entrepreneurs, are not examples of how to behave. Simply because they’re others. They are not the goal that you need to reach. Otherwise, you are living someone else’s life, and that life may even have mimicked yet another person’s life or glossy media. Don’t chase illusions of how you think your life should be. There’s a difference between inspiration and imitation. Everyone struggles with this, because where does mimicry end and originality begin? Where’s that line between we are all the same and we are all unique?
As for me, I do want to be successful at everything I do, from blogging to writing to living, but I don’t want to become anyone’s life goal. I want to inspire. I want to open eyes. I would be honored to become anyone’s role model, but more than that, I want comrades as I figure myself out. We’re a particularly lonely generation. Maybe the line becomes clearer or disappears altogether when we mesh together as a well-rounded community that communicates.
I’m always going to be flawed. We all are. I think what I crave whenever I am down is simply relatability and company, because the biggest thing that literally sets us apart from one another, distance-wise, is our own loneliness.
When we are together, we feel we can do more.
If you look to someone to have all the answers for you or to bring you forward toward the life you want—their life—you are doing it wrong. I want you here because you have thoughts. You have ideas. You have emotions and you need justification to feel that way, because there’s nothing wrong with feeling that way, but life will always make you feel bad about feeling bad.
I want to help people, of course, but I, more than anything, want people to read and think, “Yes, that’s how I feel.” I throw out advice that has helped me—will they help everyone? Will they help me again? I’m honestly not sure, but any breakthrough I have I instantly want to share because what if? What if it makes a difference? What if it comforts someone? What if it accompanies them throughout the day like a friend?
So always ask what if. Listen to your own voice foremost. Be open to new perspectives and ideas. Read everything, including my blog posts, with a grain of salt. Relate to me. Call me out. Find inspo. Follow yourself.
And sometimes, just screw it all. There have been a plethora of research lately that too much thinking, too much self-analyzing, too much seeking of self-improvement—all of which fall under rumination—are not good, either, but all this sure is philosophical, isn’t it? It’s romantic, classic, and timeless. You are like the philosophers who felt their purpose was to dwell, to ponder, and to question. Otherwise, what is the damn point of life? We know we can never understand it, but it’s human nature to be drawn toward unraveling the great mystery that is life. Just find the right balance, as with everything.
Know that I am always here to be an extra voice outside of your own to take you away or bring you right in when necessary.