If we were having coffee. I have seen this tag once here on WordPress and forgot about it. Today I just felt the need to do a post that goes like a rant over coffee – about everything (while usually I try to streamline my blog and make it fit neatly into my categories, hehe). So, I recollected that somewhere in my feed I’ve seen posts with this title “If we were having coffee” – and a quick search on WP gave more posts like that. So let me go grab my coffee and share with you my mixed thoughts that didn’t fit neatly into my categories and content plan (like I have one ;)).
Blogging bubble. I was checking an Instagram page of my favorite Scandinavian jewelry designer and clicking on the collaboration posts with the bloggers. They all seemed to be German (though there was one Norwegian and two Swedish ladies) – and they all look alike. Very similar to my eye. Big lips, big breasts, carefully down curls, photos featuring their outfits, beauty products, jewelry and coffee cups. After checking five of such profiles one could write a recipe of what it means to be an influencer nowadays. One lady was different, though. She was a singer, living in the North of Sweden, she was older than the rest, more hippielike, and her gallery full of shots of Swedish forests. That was refreshing. I wish I could see more women like her. But the most girls were like each other. Which made me think about what it means to be a blogger these days.
When I started to blog in Russian some 12 years ago, no one cared. Blogging was like having an online journal which I started for sharing about my life with my friends who stayed in my home country. I got caught up by the process and genuinely enjoyed putting my experiences into words, not really caring how many people were reading my stuff. Now, when I share a link to my blog on FB, I get a question: “So you became a blogger, huh?” What do you mean by “became”? I’ve been doing it for many years now – and it is nothing I fancy of “becoming”. But it looks like “blogger” is a profession now. Kids say that when they grow up they want to be bloggers and youtubers, not teachers, ballerinas and pilots like we wanted when we were kids. Sorry, but I didn’t mean it to be my profession. Is it ok that I still participate in that field?
“How is your blog doing? Have you got sponsored?” – my colleagues asked me. But I am not doing it for getting sponsored. I mean, I would love one day to make money doing the thing I love, and writing and creating content is what I love too, and I practice it by blogging. But it doesn’t mean that I want to create my blog like a perfect space for advertising everything – from shampoos and hair pills to the hotels. I want to create my online magazine, a thing I would love to read myself – but I don’t want to prop it full of commercials. I see that the marketing strategies have changed, and now the bloggers take over the role played by the magazines: they share their style – and they do the advertising. But if someone wants to turn their blog into a commercial spot and live off it, it doesn’t mean that everyone who writes a blog wants to do so. Some do it just for the love of creating.
I wish I could say: well well, people are different and we all need different media and content (and blogs). But I am a teacher and (even if I am not a practicing teacher now) I will forever think of the influence we create in this world, and the influence that the growing generation is experiencing. So much for the wish of everyone to just make their living of their blogs – but I get critical about the effects some influencers are producing. It looks like a perfect life is still this: big lips, big boobs, carefully done curls, perfect manicure and a hipster man somewhere in the background. Thank you, bloggers, now we don’t need TV and magazines to press their images on us – now we have you, glossed and photoshopped! This is democracy in action, hallelujah!
At the movies. Last Friday we went to the cinema to watch a French movie “C’est la vie”. I am not a great cinema-goer and I am very picky about the films I want to watch. This one turned to be a little celebration of life. Created by the directors of another great French film “The untouchables”, this one shows the power of human emotion again. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry – and it makes you feel alive. The most interesting part: there are no special effects, no great script turns, it just shows a team of people creating a wedding, and during two hours you feel captivated – in the same location, by the same people. This is the power of human spirit and energy – they can captivate you and make you feel alive more than a mere entertainment does. I don’t have anything again American movies, but there are too many of them to a degree that the cultural space feels colonized by the American values. It is not directly bad, but I prefer diversity. It is like going to the restaurant and having the same choice of a steak and fries over and over again. That’s why I love European, especially French films. They are unpredictable in their ways.
Reading. It’s been a while since fiction has captured my heart like this one. I love to read but lately I walked away from fiction towards books on self-development (I don’t want to call it self-help), psychology and society. But I love – with all my heart – a good biography and am happy to have gotten this book as a Christmas present. I like the stories of self-made men, and especially of self-made women, and I didn’t suspect that a novel about Chanel would be so powerful. I used to see her just as a designer, but she was included into the list of most influential people of the 20th century, the only designer, and for a reason. She didn’t just change clothes, she changed the lifestyle of women: creating not only the clothes that allowed more freedom, but the mindset that allowed that too. The author, C. W. Gortner, does a great job telling the story of this prominent woman in her own voice. My favorite quote is by Chanel herself:
My life didn’t please me, so I created my life. – Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel
Closing a chapter. The last day of February was the last day I worked in that shop where I began to work last year. I didn’t want to share much about it while I was working there, but now I can say that I worked in Georg Jensen, a Danish design brand for the fine jewelry and interior products. The main office chose to close the store in Oslo, and I find it sad (not only because we were losing our jobs). It always feels strange when you work the last day, as you don’t really realize that this is it. But I choose to believe that when you close one chapter, you start at the new one. And when one window closes, another one opens. We will see! I am ready for the change!
Oh, I feel this catchup over coffee took suddenly more time than expected. I hope, it’s ok with you as it is Friday and almost weekend 🙂 This is so very me, when I get into the swing of things, it is difficult to stop 🙂
Let me know if something has resonated with you. And have a nice start into a new month which brings a hope of spring (and plays with it too :))!