An old friend from the UK came around to my house here in Ubud the other week.
He saw my garden, he saw the Balinese temples at the back of the garden, the Tibetan flags at the entrance to the kitchen – which reminds us about peace, love and serenity every day. The sun was shining, and we were sitting on my porch, just outside my living room with my massive wooden desk where I spend most of my time writing and reading.
He looked around at this idyllic place, and he said to me;
“Why don’t you start an Instagram account? and did you ever considering vlogging?”
“I have an Instagram account. I use it from time to time.. Vlogging..!? Videos..? I don’t think it is my thing.. I have done a few small videos, I think that’s enough..”
“It’s not about the content but about the consistency! People would be so interested in seeing a daily life in Bali!”
“Perhaps.. But I rather publish something when I have something to say.. but sure I hear you..!”
I looked at him and wondered if he had read my blog yet? I could see that from his perspective, here I was, a Swedish girl living The Dream in Bali, I could possible make amazing daily videos about biking in rice fields, temple visits, healthy juices and yoga classes!
Sure, that is true, but what about the other side, who would be interested in days spend by the desk when the sun is shining out there, and about digging up past hurts and releasing that pain to the surface? About tears in coconuts, healing workshops and the frustrations when the inspiration seems to sip away? Who would be interested in that!?
It comes down to two issues I believe, that it is so easy to idealize someone else’s reality and thinking that they must be living The Dream! Sure, some people certainly do!
and others, like to make it looks like they do..
Is that not the whole purpose of what started with magazines for woman, men and teens, and now have spilled over to all sorts of platforms on social media, to create a fake reality where everyone is encouraged to compare themselves to one another, and where people are encouraged to make it seem like all is well and perfect and fine, in order to make other people feel bad about them selves and their lives..? (certainly many woman’s magazines most have been sold for that pure purpose of the reader sucking up someone else’s reality and make them feel bad about their own life..).
Certainly some people seem to have the skill for making it seem like their life is constantly exciting and happy, and like to show a polished picture to the outside word. Instagram and Facebook are flooded of people with what seems like “perfect” shiny lives whereby down to every coffee appeaser to be in taken in sunshine with perfect chocolate sprinkles on the top, and any meal is perfectly arranged (preferably added by flowers in a vase and sunshine) before consumed.
But then there is of course the another side of the coin, the reaction to all the polished Instagram and Facebook account the growing number of people who chose to be very real and honest on their social media accounts and share whatever they are going through, whether it is grief over a lost baby, a died friend or fights against an illness.
Thus where would I fall in that, and how real and vulnerable would I dare to be, and how much are people really interested in that?
I felt as though my friend was encouraging me to share my impressions of living in supposedly, paradise on a tropical island, coconuts and beaches, right!?
Just that, I live in Ubud, on the inland of the island, and I can count on one hand how many times I have been to a beach, despite of living on Bali since January. And even though I certainly drink coconuts , my life is far from the beaches and the adventures you can have when you travel in a place, as suppose to live there. If I was going to be completely honest and real, then all the meditation and tears and desk sitting would be a part, and who would be interested in that?
And, perhaps more important, would I be interested in sharing it?
Perhaps, I am trying to say, would I even dare to share that? Letting people that close onto my skin? To see my tears and frustrations and doubts?
It perhaps comes down to that few of us are comfortable in sharing all our ups and downs, highs and lows. It is much easier to once and a while, publish a picture with a glossy filter on Instagram and show that All is Well! Or perhaps I should correct it to say that I would probably not feel too comfortable to openly share on a social media platform all the ups and downs and mundane moments which comes with life.
Anyone who has followed my blog have realized that even if you live in paradise, life is never perfect and you can not escape your past.
And in my case, it should be refrained to because I live in ideal circumstances, I am in a safe space to go back into the past and dig up the pain that hurts the most. Bali is a very special place, with a lot of incredible and magical energy. And Ubud, is a traditional artistic- and healing village. So where better place to find a beautiful desk to write at, surrounded by Balinese temples and healers on each street corner?
I certainly have come a very long way to dare to openly share some of my painful experiences of eating disorders and rape. However, as ironic it may seem, that feels more natural to do, than to daily let people into the skin.
For now, I am not planning for a Vloggin account or daily updates of tears, joy and frustration. But who knows, perhaps that is the next fear I ought to overcome..?
Thank you for listening,
A photo I took a while back, as a reminder, that we are allowed to be sad, too.. I really don’t like this photo, but at the time, it was an important reminder to myself that we are allowed to feel what ever we feel. Never ever, EVER did I think I would one day share this photo with the world..! But here we go..! 😉