Hi, I hate blogging and here's why...

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Hi. My name is Jenn, and I hate blogging. I love writing, but I hate blogging. But I'm one of those crazy ex-girlfriends who can't decide whether I love the idea of what we had, or what we actually had. 

Like every moment in my life that changed me, I can pinpoint exactly where it went wrong. I remember a memo when Melissa Mayer took over Yahoo! stating we would be going more 'evergreen' with our content. Your snappy TV Recaps weren't needed anymore. Search engine indexing was the most important things we were striving for now, EVERGREEN content was wanted. In five years, no one is going to care about the last season of 'Jersey Shore,' but they will care about '5 Things You Don't Know About Katie Holmes." 

Thus the birth of the 'Listicle' and the death knell of my love of blogging. 

I'm simplifying, of course, but that experience with Yahoo! became the the ball of resentment that chipped away at me for the next few years. I had experienced a lot, grown up exponentially, and wanted to write about those experiences, but by that point, I had become a brand. The funny thing is, when you become a 'brand' it lends itself to all types of things. Your followers place you on a pedestal, you start playing to the gallery, money and free things are nice, and if you're motivated by other things, you start to go to war with yourself entirely. 

When I was about 6 years old, my father got an offer for his song, "Summer Heat" for a Pepto Bismol commercial. They wanted to take the first line of his lyric, "It's the summer... feel the heat..." and turn it into a schlocky jingle. He was a hard, "no!" on the offer. He was a firm believer in David Bowie's famous quote, "never play to the gallery," and while he could have used the money and a foot in the door, he said no. He always said no. 

But, my ego perhaps being slightly more fragile, said yes, and I began the fine art of tap dancing. Spinning a curated narrative of my life, inflating certain aspects of it for entertainment value, hiding some unseemly truths to sell a prettier package, jumping through hoops for sponsors and readers...

Turns out, at the end of the day, I am my father's daughter and I couldn't sustain it. I could play a part for sure, but get a glass of wine in me, and the truth came out... I would take to social media to tell everyone how I really felt, lash out, and let the mask slip. I had moved on in my heart. I felt a sense of loyalty to my readers who found me either on AOL blathering about my life, or in various publications making fun of reality tv, so I kept doing the old standards. 

A tap dancin' I went along, and then you have to add the intrusiveness that continues to this day. While most of the stuff out there about me is wild speculation and 80% false, it spooks you enough to not want to share your life. Wild speculation about my life and motives kept me trapped in a bad situation years longer than it probably organically would have because I felt overwhelming shame, combined with a need to continuously explain myself and my motives to strangers. My best friend got a package from one of these people 'warning' him about me, and it was laughable, but he keeps it in his bottom drawer just in case something were to happen to me. That's how much it scared him. My oldest friend/former boyfriend STILL gets weirdo Facebook messages, and his social media has always been under a nickname. Loved ones have recently had to make their social media private since a rare big announcement in my personal life. So far, it hasn't prevented me from getting work or finding love, but there's always something in the back of your mind that fucks with you that maybe they are right and maybe they will win eventually. I might be a cartoon character you read and judge on the internet, but the people I love the most are children, professionals, lawyers, doctors, actors, entrepreneurs, and damn good people who don't deserve to have their lives dragged into whatever this is. Page clicks? A popularity contest? Projection? Jealousy? Self loathing? 

So here's what... new rules. I make a perfectly fine income on my own creative endeavors. If you want to watch something I have written, or read a book of mine? Lovely. I appreciate it. The monetization of this blog is over. The only ads running are the ones that clear my $16 hosting fees. One of the biggest wake up calls for me was seeing my OG blogging friends touting the box of Nike workout gear we all got on our doorstep a couple of weeks ago as "OMG MY FAVE AND BEST THING EVER." I can't be a part of that life anymore. I am not a fan of Nike. You guys know I am a Mizuno and Adidas gurl ride or die. So Nike sends me some swag and $500, just so I can say OMG BEST EVERRRRRR?! Yeah it's great, if I'm trying to be a blogger and have this site make 6-figures and get internet famous, but I'm not. It's damn attractive... but it's not me. 

This exact thing came up in a meeting with my team in April. In the beginning of 2017, they tried to rebrand me as a 'lifestyle blogger' and I failed with flying colors. I can't take derpy selfies every morning in Ann Taylor dresses, pretend I love mail order wine, or act like $75 workout leggings are my jam. I always felt lifestyle blogging came from a place where I am supposed to make you feel bad about yourself and envy me enough to click my links and buy sponsored crap. 

I shouted in the last meeting, "Am I a blogger or am I a writer?"

"No one wants real, they want aspirational."

Thus you haven't seen much in the way of blogging from me since April. Eff that noise entirely. Those OG friends of mine? Love them dearly and they have families to feed, but they are all over 35 and have real shit to say to real people. One just had a baby in a blended family. The other works their family business like a dog and never talks about what that actually looks like because it's 'off brand'. I had a hysterectomy last summer after a scary diagnosis but I didn't talk about it at all for fear it was 'off brand'. And maybe there's some women out there who would benefit more from my gross hysterectomy experience more than my supescuteomg! Nike gear and Nike getting mad at me because I complained the aftercare from a hysterectomy is worse than childbirth, but yay! leggings! 

Because of that, I wrote a screenplay in bed while I recovered this summer that got optioned so I could tell the blogging people to fuck off. Kthxbai. 

I haven't looked back since. I hate blogging. 

But I do miss you, and I do want to be a voice for those of us who don't do life in a perfect, curated way. For weeks I've been looking for a 'safe' place to do that, but then I got angry and decided this is exactly the place that it needs to happen. I think a decade later I have the wisdom to talk about real shit without oversharing. I'm a 38 year old woman who had to rebuild my life and own my mistakes. I have a career, three kids, an ex I have a tumultuous relationship with I'm trying to mend the best I can, a dying parent, menopause, wins, losses, love, heartbreak... all of these things I want to talk about, and we SHOULD be talking about without me standing pigeon toed in a full length mirror looking as thin as possible letting you know I'm a size 6 and you're gross and obese otherwise. 

And for you over invested weirdos out there who have too much wine on a Saturday night and come for me... I get it. I do. Here's your paragraph dedicated to the struggle. My therapist says there's something in me that can't be broken, and it infuriates the broken. One of you even came at me saying, "You can't handled being adored." You're right. I can't. Maybe you can't either. Nobody has to stay stuck where they are. However 'crazy' or 'fake' you think I am... if you got something shitty at the dollar store, you wouldn't buy it again. So if I'm horrible, walk away and treat me like the busted, hollow generic barbie doll your parents bought on the cheap that couldn't wear the good clothes, shoes, and her frizzy hair was a MESS. If you're still on my dick after that bit of reasoning, here I am putting you on notice... you aren't as anonymous as you think you are, and in this era, I have infosec guys and lawyers right here in my back pocket with the resources to pay them. Tread carefully angels. The best of you has an engineer live in baby daddy in middle management. Come at me. 

Sorry... they had to be handled. Gio, Lucito, and OG are PISSED their Instagrams had to go private when the weirdos had to play, "guess the hairy arm." 

Anyway, here we are, a new year, a new day, and I'm about to talk about some real shit. Get ready. It's a whole new day. 

 

 

Jennifer Gulbrandsen