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On Fabricated Lives

Happy Friday, sisters.
Some housekeeping to begin.

Recently, I’ve been under criticism for presenting here in this tent of ours a, for better word, fabricated life. One where maybe I don’t tell true things, and present a picture-perfect view of how things really are. It makes folks feel cheated.

I just need to talk about that because there are so many issues in that concern which are worth addressing.

Listen, I get it. Writing publicly will always contain an element of selective storytelling. Only one slice of the pie. A story heightened by the gift of retrospect, reflection and hindsight. Photographs do the same. The shiny moments. The selected split seconds in time we choose to share. The 2-D nature of their existence, omitting a mess to the left of the frame, a tantrum which preceded the clicking of the shutter, a filter which enhances the blueness of the sky.

Let it be known that for every glossy picture I share, there is a bucket full of Hard hovering to the left, not in frame. That for every lovely thing I write about, there are stories I don’t share because they involve other people who have the right to privacy. There exists in my life all the time, moments when I feel like the bottom will fall completely out of my partnership with Joel, moments when I am in the midst of a fall-out with a loved one, moments when I am struggling to accept the behaviour of people in my life. But those stories half belong to those people, and it’s one thing to be okay with sharing my insides publicly, and another thing to share the insides of others. I have no business in that, and so what I share has to be selected.

It’s important, I think, to ask ourselves who are we writing for? And while I write publicly because I enjoy the connection which follows, I primarily keep coming back to this blog again and again and again for my own benefit – to store the memories I want to cherish, to hold myself accountable for thoughts I’m having and patterns I’m wanting to change, and to anchor my life to all that is good in it. If this is inspiring for people, that’s not my business. If this offends people, also not my business.

I am the first person to get caught up in pretty pictures and a romanticized portrayal of life, motherhood in particular. There are some blogs I follow which I have to be careful about falling too deeply into because the way I compare my daily grind to their daily highlight reel is damaging. But it isn’t their fault for showcasing their happiness. They share for their reasons and that is their business. It is my fault when I believe in their stories as the epitome of perfection, of beauty, of bliss. It is my problem when I fall hook, line and sinker into a 2-D image and then feel less than when I try to measure up.

I believe in reckless truth-telling because it frees us from ourselves and connects us to others. Sometimes I write like that. Raw and emotive and about unpretty things. But I also recognize the benefit of documenting the beautiful things. I see now that it is a way of staying grateful. It’s a wonderful tool in stockpiling happiness – in noticing the small, lovely things and using them to fuel more good. And it’s okay for me, even if I’ve had a shitty week, to pluck out the happy moments and share them instead, because in doing so my own perspective changes, and isn’t that a grand thing?

So friends, it was a wonderful/long/easy/challenging/beautiful/hard/messy/pretty week, AS THEY ALL ARE.

And here are some of my favourite things.

Favourite article:

Giving Good Praise To Girls – What Messages Stick. (If you’re interested, you can find the full article here.)

Favourite song:

Home, by Phillip Phillips. I sing it to my kids and try not to cry.

Favourite moments:

These.

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Over ten years had passed since we’d seen each other, separated by different paths and great big oceans, but after reconnecting through this little tent a while back and her moving back from Austria, I got to hug my friend Bec in real life and watch our babies play together. It was surreal and totally normal and really just very beautiful. And yes, it’s THE Bec. The one who writes for us here sometimes. OUR SISTER BEC. Holy excitement.

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Signing off with a Friday Photo Dump and wishing you a fabulous weekend. (theredtent on Instagram if you want to follow the feed.)

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xo

14 Responses to “On Fabricated Lives”

  1. misscookas

    Gosh. I purposely try to make my blog space a positive place so people can FORGET about the shitty shitty that life can deal out. I really hope that you continue to do the same. Because in this world, we need to hear about the happy much much more! I know your llife is not perfect. You are human. How could it be? As a fellow blogette, and reader, I don’t need to read about the yucky parts of your life to know they exist. I’ll look forward to reading about happy times ahead in your little red tent. x

    Reply
  2. NatandDan

    It’s sad to think you have copped criticism about your wonderful blog. It’s hands down my absolute favourite by far – a lovely insight into your life told in an honest and witty way, along with beautiful photographs. Please don’t ever change what you’re doing! If people don’t like it, there are plenty of other blogs out there that focus more on the negatives of the writers lives to perhaps compare to, and subsequently, make them feel better about theirs – how sad. I think it’s common sense to know everyone has their fair share of not-so-fun stuff about their lives – but why always share that stuff? Your blog posts leave me feeling positive, refreshed and inspired to focus more on the happies of my life and practice more gratitude. How can you criticise that? 😊

    Reply
    • The Red Tent

      Well thank you my love. And thank you for always writing in. You know, you are one of the exact reasons I love this whole blogging thing so much; To connect with people we’ve NEVER EVEN MET. Plus I get to reconnect with people I haven’t seen in years but have stumbled upon the blog somehow. It’s so binding and so good for us. xo

      Reply
  3. sjpharvey

    I agree with the above comment. I read your blog to feel uplifted, more connected with my own little family, I leave with love in my heart, a smile on my dial and a renewed passion to be creative with my 3 bundles. We all know life is not easy and I know when you’re skimming around deeper issues but it’s so refreshing to focus on the positives in the day. We all need to be better at focusing on the positives.

    Reply
    • The Red Tent

      I think so too. Anyone can whinge about their day. It’s making something out of our days that is the key, I think. Thanks for your lovely words Shazzi xoxo

      Reply
  4. NatandDan

    P.s. Thanks for the link to the article “Giving good praise to girls” – a very appropriate read for me!

    Reply
  5. meetmeonamountaintop

    huzzah!!! I made it to the tent in person, not just in text!!! oh rach, i totally get the blurriness of cyber showreels and real life – it’s what I wrote about in my first ever tent post, remember? we all fall prey to it sometimes – forgetting that blogs/Facebook/Instagram – even just the way people present themselves to the world in social situations – are fabricated shop display windows no matter how “imperfect” and “real” they seem, and doing that dumb comparison thing. pfffft, i say. as long as we – as readers and writers – remain aware of the blur, then we’ll be ok I reckon. just. 😉 ps: you’re rad

    Reply
  6. Christina Howes

    You are so rad Rach! Keep on writing what you write! I completely agree with the previous comments. You write in an up lifting way. I walk away with a smile on my face and renewed gratitude for what I have. Your blog reminds us to do that. You are unpretentious and real. I love this about you and your blog. I feel Iike I can connect with you because I am also a mother of two. I find myself often nodding to your words. Thank you for The Red Tent and have a great weekend!

    Reply
  7. Misscusi

    Principessa!!! You have and always will be a fiercely gorgeous human being inside and out! I love reading your blog – your honesty, authenticity and positivity was always something I admired in you when our paths crossed oh so many years ago and its great to be able to now follow you in the virtual world . ** Cue “Breathe In Now” by George followed by an ever so graceful pirouette ( accompanied by an oversized steak sandwich and hummingbird cake of course) Sx
    Much love to you and your gorgeous offspring x

    Reply
    • The Red Tent

      Ahhhhhh! Siobhan, is that really you? I’m having an out of body experience and my memory is shot but I think it’s you! Oh my goodness, what a spin out. Thank you for your lovely words and the song, dancing and food cues. Totally made my day. I need an update on your life!! xo

      Reply

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