So, the Christmas holidays have been and gone. I had a lovely break over Christmas; it did me good. Bit too much of a break if I’m honest with you actually because everything’s waited for me: washing, blogging, real life. But now we’re getting back into the routine of things like nursery, getting dressed of a daytime, eating appropriate food for breakfast, that kind of thing.
I’ve always tried, professionally, not to work over Christmas. I was never in school on my birthday in the new year and I kinda like to try and keep that tradition going.
I don’t really want to talk so much about New Year’s Resolutions; in part because you’ve probably already read a lot of blogs about other people’s boring New Year’s Resolutions and in part because I just haven’t got any. I never really stick to them, so what’s the point?
So far (and it’s not really a resolution anyway certainly not of the New Year kind) I’ve been, I think, a little bit more positive; at least I’ve been going with the flow a little bit more. It hasn’t been a sudden epiphany; it’s just something that I’ve found myself more able to do over the last few months but which I might not find myself able to keep up. But for as long as I can and do, it does me good.
I’m not entirely sure if it comes naturally to me, all this going with the flow business. I spend a lot of time overthinking things, over analysing things, finding problems were there are none, mulling over what might have turned out differently if I’d only said X in 1998 or done Y in 2006. Maybe I should’ve gone out that day, or stayed in the other. Did I really ring my Nana enough? All these things. But that’s all in the past so where does it all get me?
I know very well that there’s no point thinking like that yet the thoughts creep in. Perceived slights. Self doubt. But what can you do? You could learn from your mistakes I suppose; learn from them and then move on. I don’t even do that though. I make mistakes and then I just think about them forevermore.
So while I am trying my best to keep positive, go with the flow, be easy on myself and trying to be a bit more positive it perhaps wasn’t the best time to have made my startling discovery this week…
Turns out, an old, old, old boyfriend of mine, who I haven’t seen in many many years is a…
Youtuber! (What did you think I was going to say?)
So, obviously, I had a little watch. I mean you would, wouldn’t you?
First I scrolled through to see how long it’d been going (and he’d been going a good while and is very popular so, y’know, all credit to him) and when I got back to the first video I was going to give it a watch but I got about 5 seconds in (roughly the moment he greeted the camera) when I was crushed under the weight of a crippling wave of cringiness that rendered me unable to continue and immediately turned it off.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I could’ve done any better – you only have to read my first ever Oh Bella blog post to see how self conscious and wooden it was – and I started to think oh this is dead tight of me this because it takes some gumption I think to put yourself out there on Youtube. It’s not just your content it’s your face, it’s your voice (and I’ve got a terrible voice which is why I’m a blogger not a vlogger) and in many cases the vlogs are coming from your own home so it’s your personal space, too. So I decided not to watch that first video on the basis that everyone has to start out somewhere, and that I’d watch the most recent one instead.
Jeeeeeesus wept, I don’t think I’ve known anyone to be quite such a combination of dull and yet completely in love with themselves. Was he like that all those years ago? Was he really that humourless then, but it was diluted because we had a group of funny friends and we were always laughing? So while I was mulling this over, I did what anyone else would do and sent the link to my friends so we could all squeal with delight and have a good laugh.
I want to state at this point that I don’t do this to anyone else. For a start, I never really watch any vloggers on YouTube apart from occasionally Brummy Mummy of 2 because, for instance when she’s doing her ASOS hauls and talking about big knickers (relatable) and big bras (relatable), it’s just like sitting on the end of your mate’s bed helping them choose what to wear isn’t it? Plus she’s nice, and she’s warm, and she can laugh at herself.
And that’s the key thing with me; I can only really gel with people who don’t take themselves too seriously, and this is what was most crazy about this Youtubing ex – the lack of personality, of warmth, of humour. Imagine David Brent, Alan Partridge, and Tim Westwood rolled into one except there’s no hint of irony and there’s no punchline. Even if I didn’t know him (or at least known him many moons ago) it would’ve been a most unlikely pairing of man and media.
So once I’d got over my initial chuckle (and I’ll be honest here I only talked about it with two friends and they gave it the same critique as me – partly because it really was awful, and partly because they’re bitches) it made me start thinking: do people think like this about me? Do people relate to me? Am I boring? Am I cringey?
Now, I’ve never really gone through this kind of self analysis before – not as far as the blog is concerned anyway. I tend to just blog for myself and I hope that people read (and I know that they do because they send me such lovely feedback and support) and I never really say anything that inflammatory or controversial I don’t think that I’d get trolls or people trying to upset me. I don’t get people saying anything negative about my parenting that I’ve seen lots of other parent/bloggers be subjected to (and none handles it better than Steph from Scouse Bird Blogs) and I’m glad about that because I just haven’t got the thick skin for it. I’m not hard enough to take these things on the chin, I’m more of a sensitive soul.
Having started to feel self conscious, my mind began to wander further; do people screenshot my Instagram or my blog and have a good laugh at my expense? Then it struck me: if they do, they do. What difference does it make? People have been talking about me behind my back for years. And behind your back, and everyone else’s. Jangling (the scouse for gossiping) is nothing new.
I was reminded that, until poking fun at the YoutubEx’s expense, I don’t usually gossip. Not anymore anyway. I turned a corner, matured if you like, and realised nothing good ever comes of it. I’m not just talking about a bitchy group of friends here either, but families too. It’s easy, when you’re stuck in between two warring parties, to say the right thing to both to appease them even if that means mouthing off or letting things slip that you should’ve kept in confidence. That’s just fanning the flames. It’s far better to play the peacemaker or at the very least just hold your water.
In this day and age it’s a lost art, and I think my Dad is the only person I know who never ever jangles. He’ll even get up and walk out of the room if my Mum starts, that’s how much he’ll play no part in it. Maybe it’s taken a long time for me to mature to that level but at least I know that it was enough to make me feel uncomfortable when I was uncharitably mocking the YoutubEx. So the mature me won’t, I’m afraid, be posting any links to his surprisingly popular channel.
Until next time, wishing you a gossip free week
PS: OMG, right, he had like am actual man bun and everything I mean what year does he even think it is and he has not aged well at all, like I am sure I saw a Just For Men packet in the background and I also think he has false teeth and a prescription medication addiction. Maybe also nits. #PositiveVibesOnly