Last Saturday morning, an American blogger posed an open question on Twitter: What’s the biggest misconception about the role you play? I didn’t respond at the time, but I’ve been mulling the question for the last few days. It’s a thought-provoking question and kind of an interesting exercise to try. Thinking about it actually dug up a whole lot of emotions and thoughts about the misconceptions I occasionally run into – from readers, acquaintances and close friends alike.
My role itself changes by the hour these days – blogger, writer, editor, tour guide, photographer, stylist. I wear many hats, all under one big creative umbrella.
What’s the biggest misconception about the role I play?
That it didn’t take hard work and hustle. It did.
That it doesn’t still take hard work and hustle. It does, on a daily and hourly basis.
That it’s not exhausting. Physically, sometimes. Mentally, more often.
That it’s always glamorous. Maybe 30/70.
That my life is exactly as you see it online, without flaws or messes or heartache. Sadly, or obviously, no.
That because you read my words here, you’re caught up. There is always more than what I can share here.
In the last while, I’ve felt a little disconnected from From China Village, not because I love it any less, but because I’ve reached a point in my career and in my life where I can’t share quite everything. Sometimes it’s because project details are still being discussed and finalized, or because parts of my life are not only mine to share. Either way, some days it feels like From China Village is a narrower, more carefully curated reflection of me than it used to be, before I started wearing all of these creative hats as a full-time job.
Some of these misconceptions stem directly from sharing a smaller, more curated version of my life. For a long time, I’ve resolved that this space remain a mostly professional and positive outlet – it has served as my portfolio that has launched me into the creative career I now enjoy. And I do really, truly enjoy this job. I get to share information and opinions and posts that I absolutely, totally stand behind and love. I’ve never been happier or more creatively challenged in my life. (Well, except perhaps working for a presidential race. I don’t think I’ll ever beat that high.) But that’s not to say that this career path is without its obstacles or hurdles. And it’s not to say that there aren’t things I struggle with that are less than sparkly.
I think sometimes people, even those close to me, don’t quite understand this life – that it is a curated version of my life, for professional and personal reasons. I’ve had close friends remark that they’re all up to date with everything that’s going on with me because they’ve been keeping up with my blog. A sweet sentiment, but isolating.
I’ve never fallen too hard on one side or the other when it comes to whether bloggers should share more of their personal lives. Lives are complicated, and each person should be comfortable with what they’re sharing online. I do know that From China Village has become a smaller slice of my real life here in my little apartment in Dublin, and I hope to turn that tide slightly in the future. I want to keep talking about Dublin and amazing Irish design and DIY projects. But I also want to talk about the day to day a little more – like muddy chickens because it has been raining for weeks, how I’m more homesick now than I’ve been in years, and what my big fat scary dreams are for the coming year. I’m grateful that you’re here to share this slice of my life.
I’d love to learn what the misconceptions about your role might be. Let’s talk about the real behind the scenes.
Photo by Julie Matkin.