• All About Fern
  • I Didn’t Get The Job

    The truth is my eating is out of control. Chocolate biscuits for breakfast, potato chips for lunch, litre after litre of Coca-Cola. All the weight I lost last year is back. My middle is rounder than ever before. Still, I eat. And I eat. And I eat.

    I really hate 2017.

    This year was going to be my year for making the best of things. My plan was not to plan. To forget about new houses, new opportunities, new anything. I was going to be content with my life, and I was going to get through each day without telling myself I needed something new. I was going to be happy.

    Then I saw a job opening that I couldn’t not apply for. I applied. I interviewed. I sat on a bus for seven hours just to go in and meet with them, so I could prove that I was enough. Good enough. Cool enough. Worthy of a position within a design company. I got scared before my meeting and went and spent $640 on designer clothing. It was a lot, but it was okay, because I was going to get the job.

    I didn’t get the job.

    I sat at a ping pong table and answered all their questions. They asked me things, you see, but it wasn’t an interview. Oh no. It was just an informal get together where I had to take a seat and tell a group of strangers all sorts of things about myself. Fern as an animal, Fern as a wife, Fern as a daughter, Fern as a child… And I even told them about how Fern hasn’t always been my name. I told them my “real” name. And then I went back home on the bus, over eight hours on the bus that time.

    And I didn’t get the job.

    It was the ultimate rejection. It wasn’t just professional, it wasn’t just skill. It was about fit. Personality. Flair. And after all the personal questions, the friendly conversations, there was a minute-long phone call – it’s a No – and that was that. The end. Goodbye. And it’s almost like none of it even happened. But guess what…

    It happened.

    The truth is that I’m relieved I didn’t get the job. My gut tells me that something wasn’t quite right, that’s why the bus ride home was so awful. That’s why I knew it wasn’t actually going to happen. But the experience has affected me all the same. My brain is back to its old ways. What’s the point what’s the point what’s the point.

    What is the point?

    The truth is that everything seems pointless right now. The effort to write for you, upload for you, share my life with you – it’s pointless. It really is. What’s the point in adding one more voice to the millions of others already out there screaming Pay Attention To Me? Who’s really listening anyway?

    All these bloggers, all these YouTubers, what are they hoping to achieve? A few will go places, the majority will go nowhere. We share mediocre content about our mediocre lives, and we tell ourselves that if we just put it on the internet it’ll be important somehow. God, it feels so pointless.

    I keep searching for change, looking for the new. So now I have a shaved head, and some extra possessions, and a husband who’s not happy with the way I’ve rearranged the furniture. The shaved head’s okay, but the other two make me feel bad. So I eat. And I eat. And I eat.

    All the eating makes me feel bad too.

    – Fern xxx

     


    Oh, past Fern. You were so full of hope…

  • All About Fern
  • Learning as I Go

    If you were to ask me how I was feeling today I’d have to answer with, Not great. It feels kind of weird sharing that, because no one has actually asked me, but whatever. I’m putting it out there. Sometimes it feels good to admit that life is a wee bit shitty sometimes.

    I’ve been in a funk all day. Grumpy and irritable. Impatient with the kids. Wanting to hole myself up in my office and work on things, but instead just sitting hunched over my desk, my neck strained, staring at my computer screen blankly.

    I ended up unfollowing people on social media, which is a bad sign. I only do that when I’m feeling truly down on myself. I sign into Instagram and I look at the photos posted by the women I am not and I think, I am ugly. I am small. I cannot do what they do. And it hurts. And when it hurts too much, I unfollow. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye. I doubt that you will miss me.

    A couple of things have come to a head this weekend, which have led to my not so great day. Yesterday an old friend made contact with me, and it’s kind of put me in a spin. It’s weird because reconnecting was really rather lovely. But the truth is I’ve been avoiding her for a while now, telling myself that the past is the past, that I need to leave things, all the things, behind me.

    Despite my attempts to stay out of touch, we chatted a bit and we’ve both come so far. Finally. We are in good places. We have moved on. And now I’m realising that trying to ignore my past, pretending like I didn’t think about the person I was and the people I loved Every Single Day, convincing myself that reconnecting with those people would be taking a step backwards, was not exactly a healthy way to live. I mean, she was my absolute best friend for practically my entire life. And without knowing what she had become, I managed to convince myself that any contact with her would be Bad. And that gave me anxiety. That made me feel scared.

    Really, things are good now. They’re better for having spoken with her. And yet I feel terrible. It’s dumb, I know, but who wants to learn they’ve been believing things they never should’ve believed?

    The other thing is just the whole blogging, vlogging, content creating thing in general. I’ve been working really hard, you see, on establishing a community that I honestly reckon could be a truly amazing thing. I’ve been building a website, and setting up social media accounts, and trying to get people excited about it all. And while I’ve been doing that I’ve also been promising myself that this year I’ll share myself even more authentically in all my content, because authenticity rocks and so do I.

    But today I don’t feel like I rock. Today I feel like I suck. I shared things I was passionate about on my YouTube channel and people unsubscribed. I shared my ideas with my community and the response was underwhelming. I scrolled through my Facebook and Twitter feeds and I read post after post made by blogger after blogger and I thought, Well who am I..?

    Who am I?

    So I’m struggling a bit. Just for today. Or just for this week. Or just for this month. As always, time will tell. But I dunno, I just wanted you to know that. I wanted to be real. Because I really am trying here. I’m trying my absolute best. And I feel inadequate and I feel pathetic, but I still feel like I have something to offer. I know I have a voice. Today my voice is weak, but maybe tomorrow I will sing. Maybe next week I will roar. So I’ll keep on working, and I’ll keep on trying, and I’ll keep on being me. But if you’re here, if you’re reading these words, perhaps you could let me know?

    I am small today. I feel I am a child. I am learning as I go.

    – Fern xxx


    I embedded this in my last blog post, I know. But it’s relevant to the thoughts I’ve just shared, so I figured I’d chuck it in anyway. A mistake is only a mistake if you don’t learn from it…

     

     

    Run Jump Scrap!
  • All About Fern
  • Authentically Me

    I am a person who feels. I feel things without understanding what it is I’m feeling. I feel things without knowing what I’m even thinking about. On a damn-near daily basis I’m forced to stop what I’m doing so I can search through the many layers of thoughts and feelings coursing through my body, just to figure out what the hell is bothering me. Often it’s silly little things like, Oh no, I forgot to post that letter today! But other times it’s horrible things like, I’m the worst person in the world and I totally embarrassed myself by that thing I did. Why did I do that thing? *

    Lately I’ve been having a lot of feelings about social media.

    It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of Facebook. But I have yet to admit that I also dislike Instagram. Twitter I can handle, YouTube I love, but Facebook and Instagram? No. Any time I log into either platform, I end up with feelings. They sit in the pit of my stomach, heavy yet fluid, and eat away at my core until I confront them. Sometimes even that isn’t enough. As I write this, the social media induced feelings have been with me for days. In fact, this blog post is nothing more than an attempt to get these feelings out of my system.

    When it comes down to it, Facebook and Instagram make me feel inferior. I see how many friends and fans the people I follow have and I feel small. I see images of happy families and beautiful homes and I feel inadequate. I see links to other people’s blog posts and I feel worthless. I do not have the biggest following, the happiest family, or the most shareable blog. I am just a woman behind a computer, typing and editing in my living room, while my pantsless son plays with his trains on the crumb-covered floor. I am not special. I’m just another bloody Mummy Blogger, trying to get your attention… Or am I?

    I’ve lost count of how many people have commented on my blog posts commending my honesty. It’s a statement that surprises me every time. Why would I bother writing things that are untrue? Why would I pretend to be anything other than what (or who) I am? But the more I think about it, the more I realise that there are a lot of people out there who only present one side of themselves. The best side. They curate their Instagram feeds, showing only the most impressive images of their beautiful, well-mannered children. They update their Facebook pages with sweet stories about ice-creams and walks on the beach. They rave about products they’ve been sent for free, using them as props in their perfectly framed snapshots. Very rarely do they admit that their kids are driving them insane, they’re sick of being at home wiping bottoms, or that they haven’t cleaned their bathroom in two weeks. And while none of this is dishonest – we all pick and choose what we want to share with the world – I don’t find it particularly authentic.

    Authenticity has become more and more important to me as I have aged. Being my authentic self is my number one goal when it comes to both blogging and vlogging. In my mind, if I’m not keeping it real I’m doing everybody an incredible disservice. Too many parents sit at home beating themselves up because they think they’re the only ones struggling to keep their kids happy and their house tidy. Too many mums feel alone and lonely because they find parenting not only difficult, but frustrating too. I’m not willing to contribute to those feelings. I’m not here to make my life as a full-time mother of four look or sound any better (or worse) than it actually is. And, though I’m not big-time enough to be featuring products or services on my blog, I can promise that if I ever do write a sponsored post, I’ll do so as authentically as possible.

    As much as I hate to tell you this, when I first started this self-hosted blog I was trying to be like other parenting bloggers. I wrote a terrible post about how to find yourself again if you feel like you’re lost in motherhood. I numbered it and everything. I tried to make myself sound like an expert. Like, Oh yes, I am a wise and experienced mother and I have all the answers. Ugh. Who was I kidding? At the time I couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel proud of my work, but now I know. That wasn’t me. That was me trying to be a blogger. And you know what’s stupid about that? I’m not just a blogger. I’m a writer. I write things. And I like to write about things that are real.

    So whether or not it’s in my best interests in terms of becoming a successful (*cough* paid *cough*) blogger, I am resolving to only write about the things that are close to my authentic heart. I’m not going to share photos and videos of my kids, because I don’t feel right about using them to attract attention. Nor will I share a meaningless 100-word post just because I haven’t blogged in a while and I need to drive traffic to my site. I’m not criticising anyone who chooses to do those things because I get it. Any attention is good attention, traffic equals money, and people love looking at pictures of cute babies and kids. But that’s just not who I am, and that’s not who I want to be. I mean, I chose to blog under my name rather than a generic Mummy Blog title for a reason.

    Before I sign off, here’s a little reminder for those of you who battle with feelings after scrolling through Facebook or Instagram myself: The photo your friend posted of her kids playing happily on the floor does not mean she’s a better mother than you. It just means she chose to snap a quick picture while the kids were quiet and their pants were dry. And she’s probably spent a good chunk of her day ignoring them so she can get things done too. That blogger/businesswoman/creative-type you follow has thousands of fans because she’s worked hard to network herself and build up a following. That doesn’t mean she’s more talented than you. That doesn’t mean you’ll never succeed. The fact that she’s doing well for herself just proves that you can too.

    Yes, the things you see on Facebook and Instagram are real. They are honest and true. But, when you really think about it, they are other people’s highlights. The best bits of their lives. Don’t beat yourself up, and don’t let the feelings get you down. Even if they are few and far between, you have highlights too.

    – Fern xxx

    *Yes, I am aware that the feelings I’m talking about are caused by and/or are anxiety. No, you do not need to worry about me. 

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