I feel bad. I feel guilty. I feel ungrateful.
The last two or three times I’ve sat down to write “This is the week…” I’ve honest to God set out to write all about the good things. I get ten minutes to myself (and sometimes that’s all it takes to write “This is the week…” – it’s just a brain dump that usually takes place in bed or in the bath, and I rarely go back and read it to check it for errors) and start to write… and bam! Misery pours forth.
There is much to feel miserable about. Not just for me; there’s much for us collectively to be unhappy or dissatisfied about. An extra sprinkle of misery for anyone who, like me, has a longstanding love affair with anxiety and depression.
Nevertheless, I feel bad. I feel guilty. And I feel ungrateful.
I don’t write for anyone else. I think that’s the key to a good blog. By ‘good blog’ I don’t mean popularity, or revenue, or follower count. I mean just being worthwhile. That it should be worthwhile to me regardless of what anyone else thinks of it. I might not be everyone’s cup of tea but at least I have a genuine interest in everything I do. It’s funny, because when I first started the blog a few years ago now (and I cringe to admit this) I suspect I was subconsciously influenced by bloggers who had this uncanny knack for balancing cups of coffee on their white bedlinen alongside their Mac Air and open journal. Perhaps with a croissant but who knows if that’d get eaten or was just a carby prop.
The blog was going to be called La Bella Figura but luckily that domain name was taken. Bella Figura, roughly translated from Italian culture, is about attention to detail in personal appearance, etiquette, hospitality and surroundings. Maybe I thought I was going to blog about how to make little cakes (which I’m not even particularly good at), or to have good manners (oh god could you be arsed, really), or some other twee idea. After all, at my best, I have all the makings of a poor man’s chubby Sofia Loren with impeccable upbringing and an acute sense of propriety.
They might have worked well for a blog if I could have kept it up. But they weren’t really themes that I had any genuine love for. Besides, at my worst, I am crippled by depression, can spend long periods of time in an eggy dressing gown not leaving the house, and can’t escape my own laziness and lack of ambition. Now is that really the kind of person you want preaching about doilies and thank you notelets? Nah, didn’t think so.
What evolved instead was what you see before you. A pouring forth of all the mish mash of things that I like to talk about: food, history, old films, growing up.
I don’t know if any of appeals to anyone, but that’s not why I do it. Still, from time to time, I get lovely comments and messages of support. Not just from friends who are kind of obliged to say supportive stuff. but actual real life strangers. They tell me they enjoy my blog. It always makes me feel genuinely embarrassed and flattered because I’m the written equivalent of someone who collars you at a bus stop and keeps you talking until you’re seconds away from the doors hissing shut without you. But I’m delighted anyone does, and knowing that you do, is what makes me feel guilty for moaning lately.
So, this is my promise: I promise that next week (not every week mind, but next week at any rate) I promise I’ll keep it positive.
Until next time, don’t talk to strangers at bus stops