i just finished reading "poser" by claire dederer this weekend. i'm not going to do a full-on book review, but what i am going to share is what i think is the take-home message: stop trying to be good, and start trying to be real.
dederer writes a lot about being a mom in seattle, surrounded by 'attachment parenting' parents and obsessed with doing everything right. it's the kind of obsession where perfection is the goal and anything less becomes a major source of guilt. i am not a mom, but i get this. i get trying to be what everyone wants from you and expects from you, and i get what eventually happens in "poser." it becomes too much. dederer finds herself resentful, exhausted, and wanting to get away from it all. helloooooo grad school.
at the beginning of this year, i decided that i would do a project that involved using all the magazines i consume on a monthly basis as fodder for writing and following a resolution every day. i liked this idea a lot--until i read "poser." a resolution a day is all about Good. it isn't about Real. it's a project that sets myself up to fall short, especially when my resolutions are coming from what someone who writes for a magazine says that i should be doing. it also creates an image of a blogger who is good with a capital G, but that's not reality. i didn't even get to half of my resolutions in january. i'm too busy to be Good.
this year, i want to be less good and more real. am i going to stop reading magazines and stop setting goals? no. am i going to continue with a year of resolutions? no. what i am going to do is stop and question when i think i need to add or subtract something from my life. "whole living" may say that i need a nook for reflection, but do i really? i do all of my journal writing in my bed. i wouldn't use a nook if i had one.
let's make this the year of being real. who's with me?