thoughts for a friday.
by victoria comment



hello, my trusty readers. happy friday. this post is going to be a bit more personal than i might usually get here, because there’s a topic that keeps coming up among some of my internet pals, fellow bloggers, and real-life friends. i think it warrants discussion, because there’s a trend out there that may, or may not, be really bumming you out. yes, you personally, and me. and lots of others. i don’t exactly know where to start, so i’m just going to run with my thoughts on this and see where we end up. what should i call this? it maybe should be entitled ‘i call bullshit’ — errrr, or since my mum is probably reading this let’s just call it ‘poppycock’! because while what’s going on out there in social media is very often truly quite fun and so inspiring — what we might wish for it to be in its best possible light — what is also going on is kind of a faux reality. and i think it’s making people feel badly. about themselves, their lives and about other people. and i’m hoping for a little clarity here today on my little slice of the internet.


so, here’s the thing i see and others i’ve been talking to are seeing too. i’m sure i’m not the first or will be the last to point this out, but life is not as perfect as it may appear in social media — on instagrams, pinterest or twitter or facebook. we are our own worst editors. predominantly, we’re not sharing the lousy days, or the piles of laundry, or mascara running down our faces because we’re sad, or lonely or just having a really crap day, week, or month. we’re putting out there this message that life is just so pretty and so perfect and here i am having yet another amazing time with all my many friends — lalalala. this is not reality. i mean, maybe it is for some, but it certainly isn’t always for me, and when i got talking to some other bloggers this week, i was enlightened to know i am not the only one feeling this way. social media is very often creating a faux reality that makes people feel really left out, and that’s not something i feel good about.

i don’t want to put out there this misconception that my life is all amazing margaritas and the best guacamole i’ve ever had, and the reason i don’t want to do this is because the last thing i want that image to do is to make you feel bad. to make you feel excluded, and i think often these images we share, whether they be in the form of a tweet, a facebook post or an instagram are doing exactly that – making other people feel left out and that their lives can’t match up. i don’t ever want to metophorically be the retouched person on the cover of a magazine making you feel like you can’t leave the house because you’ll never look like that. this is where i kinda call poppycock! — because while it may look like life is just one big party for everyone, it just can’t be.


my life is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. it is, for the most part very, very good, yes, and there are lots of wonderful things in my life — some i’ve worked really hard for, and some that are simply the benefit of living in a beautiful place, and having some lovely friends. but there’s some not so ideal stuff, too. i am, as you may have recently read, going on 54 this year, and, oops, i forgot to get married. and i am not in a relationship. i was semi-engaged once and he broke up with me over the phone. i’ve had some really hurtful relationships and so now i don’t even bother. so there’s that – and that is a big one. so, often i feel like i don’t have someone special to share the happy stuff with, which sometimes makes the happy stuff kinda sad. and that blows. i spend a considerable amount of time alone, and sometimes i’m quite content with my own company, and sometimes not. i am only telling you this because i want to share something personal that will illuminate you about my life and hopefully, if i have ever made you feel left out in anyway, you will understand that i am often left out myself. i feel ya. i decided to be extra personal today, because i’m probably going to continue to post lots of pretty images on instagram and tweet the madcap, great sides of life — a party here or there, a lifestyle that includes sharing idyllic san francisco spaces — the good times. but i want you to remember when i share them, that they are just snapshots. they are not the whole picture. they are a slice of life that in that moment, yes, is quite lovely. but real life is just not always like that and these moments are fleeting. of course there are lots of crazy happy moments, i’m not saying they don’t exist, but it’s always a balance and i wanted to present that in an honest light.


anyway, i’m blathering on today but my point is — my hope is that i will never make you feel excluded because you’ve seen a brief joyous moment in time captured on my small portion of the internet. even though you probably rationally know this, if you’re feeling down it’s easy to forget that life is very often much more complicated than you could ever imagine. not just for me, but for all of us. i think most of us must battle something that’s not ideal, but there’s pressure to put out all this perfection. and don’t get me wrong, i love all the pretty pictures and i want to keep seeing them, but there are literally days when i don’t even want to be near the internet because i feel like i just can’t live up to it, or it makes me feel extremely left out. i thought you might be having days like this too, so i decided to share, to maybe put things in perspective. that is all — my true confessions and rambling rant is over, but if you feel like getting something about this off your chest, it’s now your turn. comment away.

thanks guys, and do have a beautiful weekend — in real life. xo, victoria

288 responses to “thoughts for a friday.”

  1. Already tweeted this to you, but I’m clapping over here. Thanks for shedding light on all parts today, not just the shiny ones. It’s such a tricky thing, really – we keep these spaces to acknowledge the beauty in our lives, and by doing so, we’re not telling the whole story. But I also think that the whole story should be sacred and special and reserved for those personally invested in our lives. We get to choose who to share that vulnerability with and I feel grateful that you shared it with us today.

    Big hugs, sweet Vic. You’re the truest of true.

      • indeed, i think it was erin who inspired me to speak out a little more personally. her posts have really made me think a lot about what we share (and what we don’t).

        thanks for that, erin! xo

  2. I’ve had similar thoughts stewing in my head lately. I love that you said this—”…but i want you to remember when i share them, that they are just snapshots. they are not the whole picture. they are a slice of life that in that moment, yes, is quite lovely. but real life is just not always like that and these moments are fleeting.” How to “edit” and stay authentic? I think it will always be a struggle but something worth struggling with. It’s evident how much you care for your readers through this post. In short, I say amen! to this post.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this, Victoria. You so beautifully and honestly described what we all are feeling. And you succeeded in helping us know that we are not alone and that we are all in this life (real and internet) together. xo Lee

  4. Thank you so much for this post. I’m relieved to know I’m not the only one that steels this way, especially from someone who is so prominent in the ‘feel good’ industry. I loved this!

  5. Really, a beautifully insightful post. Other than not always loving my job, my life is pretty darn fantastic, and even I often feel less than adequate when I look at the blogs/instagram posts/etc of the super successful bloggers. I’m guilty of mostly only putting out the pretty on my blog as well, but I think it is also good to sometimes talk about the bad. Because in the end, our blogs are not magazines. Not really. People read blogs to listen and learn from other real people. Some of the blogs I read I even kind of think of the people as my friends when I don’t talk to them (which is kinda weird but oh well). Kudos to you for this.

  6. “They are just snapshots. they are not the whole picture.”

    So very true. I like looking at pretty pictures all day every day. I like to think perfection exists. But we all know what you’ve already said – there is a lot of internet bullshit. I blame Martha Stewart.

    Sharing the snapshots good times is important, though. Because a lot of people come to the internet and design blogs to escape the crap and a little bullshit can be a welcome escape. As a blogger who mostly writes about inspiring spaces and shares beautiful images (and I can relate), it can become a burden and an effort to have this responsibility. But we are all human and there is no perfection in the entirety of our lives – maybe only perfect moments. Snapshots. I appreciate your honestly, and I am glad you hit “Publish”.

  7. Thank you for your honesty. I know we all have moments of thinking the grass is greener, but it is true that we all have our moments…good and bad. You bring your readers a bit of beauty each day, and some inspiration to go along with it. Although I’m not a blogger, I check in regularly with several. I am very grateful to those of you who share with all of us readers something that we might never have in our everyday lives, and it is refreshing to hear that we are all human having our ups and downs and not having any illusions about it. Thank you so much for sharing…

  8. … it is because I’ve seen these brief joyous moments in time captured on your small portion of the internet that I can pull myself out of bed in my small portion of the real world. Thank you for sharing the good stuff to lift us all out of our daily lives. Anyone who falls prey to thinking life in magazine and on the internet is only the good stuff is an alien and should visit us less often if they don’t know better. You’re a good egg, Miss Victoria!! A GREAT one in fact.

  9. Oh, Victoria. You know how I said before you even published this post that it made me love you more? Well, that’s totally true. I truly love who you are — the weak parts, the strong parts, the confidence and the fears. The sum of your parts is one of the best people I know. I’m so lucky to have you in my life.

    I think you know me well enough to recognize that a whole lot of my life is not “perfect” (whatever that is, anyway), and that I deal with levels of bullshit (sorry Victoria’s mom, I mean “poppycock”) that are too much for me to even cope with in real life…much less write about and share on the internet. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, especially when I get a comment on my blog or on Instagram from someone who says they want my life, or that they’re jealous of my job or whatever. It makes me feel so ashamed and embarrassed, because all I can think is about what my reality actually IS: The physical and mental health parts, the professional anxiety parts, the troubled friendship parts, all of it.

    It’s a catch 22, though, isn’t it? If you put it all out there, you get accused of “complaining” or “wanting pity,” and if you present your best self and edit it all down to the good stuff, everyone thinks you have some kind of charmed life.

    I don’t need people to think my life is perfect or that everything is beautiful all the time, but it’s hard to know where to draw that line. I’m very, very careful about how personal I get on my blog, and sharing the bad stuff is always going to veer into what I consider (for myself) TMI territory. It’s hard to know what to do. Lately I’m really struggling with whether or not to blog about chronic illness, because as much as I want to be OK with that openness, I don’t want to become anyone’s concern or problem. That extends into my family life as well, unfortunately.

    Thank you for writing this. I hope you know that I think you’re the bee’s knees, even if you’ve got mascara on your chin, a basket of laundry in the kitchen sink, and an urge to throw your computer out the window. Love you, K1.

    xo, K2

  10. Love this post, Victoria. And thank you for sharing it. I’ve been having this *exact* conversation with friends and fellow bloggers, too. It feels so relieving to just say, to be honest, and not so shiny all the time. Love it!

  11. I’m seconding the Amens! above me. The internet can be a wonderful, gorgeous, inspiring machine; if only we could all make the horrible, supposedly un-shareable parts of life appear beautiful. But sometimes we just can’t do that, and that is okay! You are so right in saying we need to remember it is all about balance. It’s true that underneath the beautiful blog posts and Instagram filters, no life is perfect!
    And, P.S., You should never feel bad about sharing the positive aspects of your life. They are always so inspiring!

  12. I have never felt excluded here — and I’m saying that as someone who has been reading you since the very beginning, before I had a blog of my own. If anything, I think you do a fantastic job of including all of us while sharing the loveliest bits of your life. That said, I know exactly what you mean, because I (and probably most of us) have felt the same way. Thank you for putting this out there today.

  13. Oh my. I love this blog, and all the pretty images that come with it… and I think we all fall into this whole from time to time. I’d like to think that most of the time, I’m completely aware that what we see out here on the internet are thin slivers of a bigger picture – and no one runs for her camera when her house/kids/food/life looks a dreadful mess (and it’s pretty normal to be uninspired at those times) but there are “days when i don’t even want to be near the internet because i feel like i just can’t live up to it, or it makes me feel extremely left out,” too. Certainly. And then I chide myself for feeling so weak, like I’m in the eighth grade again, and I almost want to cry.

    And then the feelings subside, and I can get back in the game.

    It’s good to share. It’s hard to know where the line is – I have the very same problem – especially when family and friends are reading… but mostly I just wanted to say that I feel you, and just keep on keeping on – I love your slices of pretty, but I never assume it’s like that all the time. xox

  14. the reality today is that i have to do my damn taxes, so if i don’t get back to your comments right away, that’s what i’ll be doing. shall i instagram that? :)

    but thank you all so much for the great dialogue and your wonderful support. i just really wanted to say something about this, and i appreciate your input so much. xo

  15. What a lovely post and a must read (just like the rest of your blog) for the teeny, tiny blogs (like mine) who are written by people (like me) who struggle with this every day. Thank you.

  16. Thank you so much for writing this post, V.

    I totally relate to how you feel and had the exact same discussion with a friend in New York last week where we discussed social media vs. reality. Sometimes I feel guilty for feeling bad/having a sh*t day and think to myself : ‘hey! you are so lucky to be able to do x, y, z’ but the truth is, it doesn’t matter how much money one has or how much success one has (whether that’s in love, life, business), we all still have those crappy days where everything seems like too much.

    I agree with Anna’s comment – I also struggle to write about my personal hurdles and troubles (will people care? Is it relevant to someone I’ve never met?) but please know that I think your blog is awesome and enjoy all of the snippets into your SF life. From lovely Lucy to the beautiful scenes you spot on your walks around the city, it’s a pleasure to follow all of these small everyday things that DO bring a smile to your face.

    Have a lovely weekend!


  17. Thank you for your honesty, Victoria!

    Eckhart Tolle says something very profound about fleeting moments – good and bad. “this too shall pass.” when our situations are less than ideal, it’s somewhat comforting to know that those lonely/sad/frustrating/draining feelings aren’t going to last forever. at the same time, in moments of pure joy it reminds us to truly enjoy our happiness and be completely present.

    I, too, find myself steering clear of the laptop/phone/tablet on days when I know the images shown will be very different from those seen in my reality. But those beautiful images are also a source of deep inspiration for me, so I would miss out (and undoubtedly shrivel up) if I denied them all together.

    I must tell you that I never feel “excluded” when reading your blog. If anything, I feel included. Your home, your style, your curated images, your thoughts, your posts open me up to a whole new world of inspiration that I wouldn’t otherwise be witness to as a SAHM to three kids in the midwest – where sometimes I daydream of being alone and single, drinking margaritas and eating guacamole. ha!

    Keep doing what you do. You do it well and oh so beautifully. I appreciate the personal post.

  18. What I love about your blog is its authenticy…which comes shining quietly through the glossy images and “perfect” presentations…

    your writing grounds the entire thing and makes me, as a reader, feel both captivated and honored as a woman who lives in the lightness and sometimes, the shadow…

    thank you for your honesty about life, and for helping us normal folk feel some reality about the pictures we see and the real person behind them…thank you for sharing a bit about who you are…just, thank you

  19. Thank you so much for your post today. I don’t have many friends and for the most part can handle being lonely, I am very lucky to have a wonderful nine year old son to share my life with. I do feel extremely sad not to be living the life that I see other’s portray on social media and even though I understand they are just snip its, it is extremely sad to seem to be missing out on so much fun. So thank you for your honesty and for sharing, it does help me and I am sure others not be so sad or lonely.

  20. Thank you so much!!! I want to thank you for the way you are sharing with us. One day you make me discover a young canadian photograph…. Rebecca Cairns then i talk about her to friends and now were a bunch of person who follow is work and some of us own a photo !!!! You aloud us to be part of your discovery, your view, your feelings…. i related sometime and another time it feel very exotic for me to see your way of living so far from mine!!! Life is precious and solidarity is the way to feel free!!! Have a wonderful week end. Here is snowing…. the spring is no here, yet! my best from Quebec!

  21. Wow – great post. And thank you for sharing. Mainly, I just want to say that your blog is a light and one of the few places I really enjoy going when I’m online and looking for something positive. There’s so much bad news and terrible things to read and I love being able to go to your beautiful blog and just enjoy. And even though I know it’s only a piece of your life, I love that you make something beautiful everyday for the rest of us. Hopefully you can feel the warm hugs from across the internet daily as we read your blog. You are a beacon for so many people and I hope this makes you feel less alone sometimes.
    BTW – if you ever decide to take your show on the road and guest post and meet your fans along the way, you have a place to stay in Portland, OR!

  22. Nobody has the perfect life! But of course, as bloggers, we want to pass a good picture about life, inspire people and make them a little bit more curious and interested about life. I think our followers may feel excluded for a while, but then I think that feeling become a ‘I want to be more, I want to know more things and more people’ feeling, if you understand me. Of course sometimes I feel jealous because some blogger has those amazing shoes, or goes to Brasil (for exemple), but I get really happy for them and make me work harder to live the life I always imagined.
    I started a new blog today, can you check out, please?

  23. bravo! victoria, this post really hit home today, and i THANK YOU for that. you put into words exactly what i was feeling this week and other times in life. i applaud you for that. thank you for opening up, connecting and sharing your story. i believe it is just as wonderful to use the internet for these moments too (if comfortable) for you will definitely touch someone’s soul like you did mine. much love. g

  24. Great post! I LOVE reading your blog because you come across as such a lovely, genuine person and when I come here I feel like I’m having a chat with a friend about the newest decorating trends or polka dots or a girls night in.
    Thank you for continuing to share :)

  25. Victoria, This was such a great post and it revealed what I think most of us readers already knew about you… you’re really cool!

    It does get hard out there to see everyone’s “beautiful” lives and try not to compare your life to theirs. It’s pretty awesome that you’re conscious of this and aware of the fact that you have a lifestyle most of us would kill for (or at least us ‘9-5’ bloggers), but still take the time out to remind us that it’s not all perfect.

    I hope you continue sharing all the beautiful parts of your life and the not-so-pretty.

  26. Thank you so much for sharing this, Victoria, and for being so honest. I never feel excluded when I read your blog–I feel inspired more than anything–but this topic is something I think about all the time, both when writing my own posts and when reading others’. So again: Thank you.

  27. Thank you for your complete honesty. I usually feel so intimidated by everyone’s fabulous lifestyles, and left out. You rarely get to see the reality which can actually be more helpful to read about. Seeing the perfect lifestyles of many bloggers makes it all seem so unobtainable. But, when someone does share the truth it’s much more inspiring and uplifting.

  28. Thank you for this! I definitely have grown weary of social media as of late because it does present a false sense of reality in many ways, feels exclusionary for those not in the “in crowd” and even though we may not admit it, there is a sense of competitiveness. Who has the most clients, who has the prettiest life, who is successful, etc. It’s tough not to compare your life to all the images of perfection and it can be emotionally exhausting. Not to mention the spiritual blackhole of constant focus on “lifestyle”/things/indulgences. I get it – we all love pretty things, places, people. But is the constant documenting creating more isolation, elitism and superficiality? It’s worth thinking about and I am grateful to you for opening the dialogue.

  29. Well said! I feel just the same way. Sometimes when I’m feeling a little blue, I find it hard to write a post or take photos, because I feel like I’m being phony about how I actually feel in that moment. It can be hard to find that balance of being true to your feelings without sounding like you’re having a pity party on your blog. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone!

  30. Dear Victoria, your authenticity shines bright. I don’t think it is misleading to find the beauty in the everyday, and share it the way you do. You do it with grace, and wisdom, and clarity. That’s why we come back day after day. Your blog has never felt anything but real to me.
    Mary Jo
    PS my taxes aren’t done yet either :-)

  31. Such a beautifully written post that’s very timely for me for me. Thank you! I know for myself, I actually see the internet as a form of escape from my troubles and stress and avoid discussing them. I guess a lot of people do that and forget that others may be doing the same.

  32. A lovely and touching post. A terrific reminder that attempting to be perfect is silly, but sharing the reality of life can bring us together and make us all feel better. Your site brings me a delightful reverie every day and your writing has always made me feel like you were down to earth.

  33. Thanks so much for sharing, Victoria! I find myself in a smilar funk with the overload of beautiful/awesome things on the internet sometimes, especially when I’m feeling down about something else. But when it comes to sharing things myself, the excercise of finding something nice to post (IG photo, blog post, etc.) helps remind ME that there are lovely things and moments all around me that I need to recognize. It helps balance me out, as a person who sometimes gets bogged down with negative things.

    There are some people out there in internet land that seem to perpetuate the “Life is perfect!” image more than others. I ususally stop following them because they don’t seem real to me, and don’t care to read fairytales every day. :) You’ve never been one of those people, but I appreciate your honesty and insight.

  34. Well said. I love the pretty things in life and I want to see them, but from time to time it’s nice to point out and remember that we are all human, life goes on in good ways and bad…. and that it’s ok to share that.

  35. Thanks Victoria for your beautifully candid post! It is important to remember that everyone has good days, and bad. NO ONE is perfect, even if it seems that way from the outside looking in, so we all need to remember to take it easy on ourselves! Thanks for being your wonderfully awesome authentic self out here in the interwebs ♥

  36. Thank you for writing this, Victoria. As a Twitter follower, Makeshift member and reader of your blog, I see many sides to you and don’t at all feel like you are showing only the bright and shiny stuff. You put a lot of the tough stuff out there casually and paint a fuller picture. This is a good reminder to many if they aren’t aware though, that we are all real people with many, many facets to our lives. Great post from a great woman. xoxo

  37. This is such a honest and lovely post. I always tell my teenage son (and myself) that the images we see on social networks are always capturing the best of people’s lives. People don’t post pictures from horrible moments, pictures of themselves looking bad, etc. I think it’s important to remember this as we all have the tendency to forget that the “beautiful” lives we see on social networks are not the complete picture. I’ve never had anyone sum it up as eloquently as you. P.S I really enjoy your blog and get inspiration from it on a daily basis.

  38. I’m not one to comment on blog posts…ever…but I thought what you wrote was so refreshing. I think that the result of various forms of social media creating a false image of a perfect life is all too common and rarely discussed. The fact that you did it with such candor and with such authenticity is genuinely inspiring. LOVED IT!

  39. Bullseye! What a great post. When I really started to take the whole blogging thing seriously, I made a conscious decision to just focus on the artists I feature and not myself. Gradually, I’ve let a little skin show, knowing that while there are a ton of great folks out there in the social media universe, there are also sharks looking to nibble on any exposed bits of real life that might show. I mean, it’s taken me 5 years to actually use an actual picture of my handsome mug for my gravatars & profiles!

    Lest we forget: there are humans behind these blogs that we love and Pinterest accounts we devour. Real, flawed, wonderful, scared, creative, nervous and beautiful people. I love that I can escape into the nether world of mass creativity via this blog and others. However, I will not forget that the moment I ignore the realities of life in this modern era, I’m the fool for it.

    I for one am grateful for your grace, courage and ever-flowing creativity. I love that you take days to breath when you need to. You inspire, and that is something that cannot be minimized or devalued. What makes you so good at seeing the bright side of life and sharing it, is your humanness, and for that you are a rock star!

  40. Like you said, these are things you rationally ‘know’ in your head but don’t always ‘feel’ inside – something I have been hit with hard since moving from comfortable, conquerable Sydney to the much bigger, infinitely more competitive and (for me) confronting USA. I keep thinking of the quote “Comparison is the thief of joy” – I tell myself to stop comparing, get going and just enjoy this new adventure. Thing is, it’s easy to say but some days excruciatingly hard to do, so I especially appreciate you opening up on this topic. It helps so much just knowing you’re not alone in feeling alone, or in feeling isolated by comparison. Such a thoughtful and touching post Victoria, thank you so much for sharing.

  41. Thank you for such a brave, honest and inspiring post. We all know deep down that everyone has their own struggles and nobody’s life is as perfect as it appears to be on social media – because WE are the ones editing our own lives to be picture perfect too! It’s a viscous cycle. But, as you say, we’re not going to stop anytime soon so we must adapt and learn to stop comparing ourselves and our lives to other people’s.

  42. Beautifully said, all of it. Thank you for these real words. I have too noticed this fake quality to expression in social media lately, this pressure to show only one aspect of reality, when there is so much more depth to life. It helps to know that this is just a ‘success’ facade. Here is to creating real windows to our soul..Coming to your site is refreshing every time. Thank you.

  43. Thank you for posting this, because it needed to be said. I post unpleasant things on my Twitter feed and occasionally on a very “real” blog entry, and I feel like people need to do that more often. Many are using the internet to show only the good times. Personally, I think the not-so-pretty moments in our life make the pretty moments that much better.

  44. Victorian, thank you for reminding us all that we are human. I love the connection you have with all the other bloggers and fans. You seem like a genuinely wonderful person. So here’s to the good days and bad days and the days that we learn something new. Keep up all your beautiful work and your thoughtful writing.

  45. So good to hear this from more people. I sometimes feel bad talking about successes because I don’t want to create a false idea that life is always perfect, but also don’t want to be overly open about failures so I don’t sound like a whiner. So thank you for these words Victoria. I wrote about something similar yesterday about Staying Sane in the life of a creative entrepreneur and touched on how social media creates this false conception.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  46. Hello from Sweden!
    Started reading your lovely blog just the other day, and I must say; it is already one of my absolute favorites! This post made me love it even more, so honest and mind-awakening. Big thanks for reading my mind, life is not always a walk in the park but that’s what makes us human right :) Have a great weekend!


  47. i’ll just be one of the hundreds that says thank you for this reminder. Comparison is the thief of joy, right? thanks for putting yourself out there. this was wonderful and brave and what i’m sure lots of us needed to hear.

  48. Amen sister! I honestly believe those pristine “snapshots” of life are made so much more beautiful when we have a broader picture that includes life beyond those “four edges.” The struggles (we all have them…it is part of the human condition) and then the triumph in spite of those struggles is what is truly inspiring…far more than just a glossy facade ever could be. You are so very genuine and real in this space (and in person too). This is something that shines through in everything you share. Big hugs to you Victoria. You are beautiful!. xo Ez

  49. This was really well said, despite the fact that I have never taken your social media presence as a negative. On the contrary, everything you post is completely inspiring for me. If anything, it makes me feel better about the bad stuff in everyday life because at least there are pretty pictures and fun parties and margaritas happening somewhere. Keep on doing what you’re doing.


  50. I choose to post the happiest and prettiest because that’s the stuff I want to remember. I don’t necessarily want to remember how sad or lonely I felt that day, so I’ll post a pretty picture on Instagram or a happy, nice tweet so that day has some positivity to it, even if the rest of the day has been crap. Like the old addage “Fake it till ya make it” or the scientific study that even pretend smiling or laughing will actually make you feel happier, and then lead to real smiling and laughing. Last week was one of the hardest I’ve had in a long time and, ironically, also hosted the most beautiful images ever posted on my Instagram feed. No one would ever know that I cried every single day that week or that I was sleep deprived and overworked – but those images make that week seem really beautiful instead of horrible, which it really was at times. It’s helping me forget the bad and remember only the beauty.

  51. I don’t think I have ever commented on a blog post in all of my 15+ years on the internet! But no one is brave enough to be this honest and I wanted to say thank you so much. It warmed my heart :)

  52. I love this post—You have created a strong brand and you are real, which is a big part of why people like myself feel inspired and connected to you. xo

  53. Lovely post. I definitely appreciate your honesty about what happens in real life, but I also hope that you and your fellow bloggers also understand that some people (like myself) take these snap shots via instagram, and the internet, etc, and turn it into inspiration for our own lives. I know for some it can be easy to internalize and take personally, but I think it’s important to take happy things and internalize them as inspiration, not inferiority. Live your (mostly) awesome life, girl! And thanks for sharing it!

  54. Hi Victoria, I never assume anyone’s life is perfect despite what photos are being put out there. I assume everyone has bad days like me. There’s something to be said about just putting your best face forward in some ways because for me. Keeping the tough, ugly personal experiences to myself from making me vulnerable to people out there who don’t know me. I don’t personally feel comfortable giving strangers permission to comment about or be an audience to very personal things in my life. Some people I know ARE ok with this and need the commentary. Not me. I’m very private that way. I also have professional followers who don’t need to see me having a bad day. I don’t think we need to worry about making people left out, per se. I KNOW no one’s life is free of troubles. I never assume it to be so based on *perfect* photos. To me, it’s no different than looking at magazine editorials.

  55. Victoria,

    I think we all just need to read between the lines or images and our instincts will let us know that life is not always beautiful and amazing.
    Reading and looking at your blog is one of the highlights of my day and extremely inspirational.
    Looking at your lovely cottage and your previous abodes challenges me to make the most of my surroundings.
    Your style speaks to so many of us and your honesty is refreshing, keep it up please.

  56. Victoria, it is wonderful to get to know you through your blog. I am touched that you shared this personal part today. It is hard to balance what is worth sharing and what is worth keeping private online. I often think about this in my own blogging habits, whether I am being selective or hiding too much. But I have always felt that you blog very authentically, never purposely making your life seem better than it is. Again, it was nice to read about this other part of you today, and I’m sure it was very tough to do.

  57. i’m having this exact conversation with a friend via instagram, about the failing at feeling lovely because of all the well-curated social media out there. as feminist intellectuals, we’re more confused than ever about why we even care about looking pretty in dreamy photos. thank you for articulating it with honesty and humor. good thing i have a bright yellow poster i bought 5 years ago from a girl by a bay that reminds me to carry on. :)

  58. This post and your honesty is just another reason why I am constantly amazed that I get to work for and with you! Thank you, Victoria! You are wonderful. xo

  59. Well said.. I’ve found myself thinking about this, and sometimes feel like I’m not being honest when I don’t reveal a lot of what’s going on in my life. I kind of use the internet as an escape from my reality at times, but sometimes it would be nice to just put it all out there without being judged.
    Thank you so much for your honesty, Victoria. This post is just one of the many reasons why I love your blog.

  60. Victoria,
    Such a validating post. Three days ago I was spiraling into an emotional pit of feeling not good enough, not evolving fast enough, not thin enough, not sparkly enough, not patient enough-just lots of not enoughs. It was freezing outside and the loneliness of being at home and still not quite feeling at home here in CO. Springs was overwhelming. I have always been a girl that reminds myself that what people share on the internet is not the full picture of how their lives look but there are sometimes those moments when you can’t help but feel not enough. I worked through it and got some sleep and felt better about things but it’s really encouraging to hear from someone I have admired for so long that those feelings are not unique to me.

    I love everything you do and share, Victoria. You’re such a genuine soul. Thanks for the affirmation today.

  61. Thank you for such an open and honest post.
    It’s true many blogs do make their lives look wonderful and for the most part that’s inspiring and motivating but I guess if the reader is having a down day then it can almost have an opposite effect which is what you are saying.
    I love reading blogs – yours in particular :-) and find it a great way to escape real life mundane stuff which we all have to deal with.
    Thank you!

  62. Dear Victoria,
    Your blog is my little slice of pure enjoyment. We all know that life isn’t 100% rainbows and beautiful pastel photos. I truly appreciate your honesty on the subject. When I need a serious dose of the other ” faux reality” I turn on the local news.
    Thank You for sharing your beautiful life with us.

  63. Wow. Just wow. Thank you for sharing and opening up to your readers. You are right on about social media and people feeling excluded. You see endless posts on Facebook with “happy” families, but don’t see the whole picture.

    I’ve been struggling with a deep depression for the last 9 months. I’ve shared it on my personal FB page, but not business. I’ve had to put a “smile” on my face and keep on truckin’ on days when I can’t even get out of bed. That’s the dark side that people don’t see. There are a lot of sad people out there feeling worse by the influence of the internet.

    Hats off to you Victoria for bringing up the topic. It’s not always what it appears to be.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  64. Thanks for this. I can really relate to being alone and those dead end happy moments that never go any farther than me. Most people, even my closest friends, think I’m so happy because I travel a lot, wear cute outfits and have an amazing looking place (which are all great). The truth is I’m always working hard to connect the dots between those happy/pretty/joyous moments and it’s an every day challenge. But I am very grateful for those moments and love to share and be inspired by other people’s moments online. And it’s ok every once and awhile to fess up to having a horrible day and tell anyone who will listen :)

  65. I’ll start by saying that I have never felt that you were ever portraying more than a regular life. An inspired life, but not perfect. If only everyone could be a fly on the wall and see how much work goes into creating such lovely content!

    I’ve been blogging a little over a year now and I find that I am more and more drawn to bloggers who are “real” and “authentic”. Not that they share all the gritty behind-the-scenes – but it IS more than just pretty pictures and fab parties.

    I want to have a sense of the person behind the post or the photo or the image or the illustration. That makes it so much richer and deeper and interesting for me.

  66. Victoria, Thank you so much for sharing.
    I have to say, I have read your blog for a long time, and very honestly, it brings me up when I’m down (which happens more often than it should). You do a lot of good, and it takes a strong person to be giving so much all the time. It’s an inspiration to the rest of us. Thank you <3

  67. The other day I said to my boyfriend that sometimes Pinterest just gives me the blues rather than making me feel inspired. You really touched on why in this post. Thanks for that.

  68. Your presentation is very authentic – which is probubly why I read your blog. At my age (and I’m older than you), you know that no one has a perfect life and folks who feel the need to present otherwise must suffer form their own profound sense of inauthenticity.

    You’re doing just fine, girl!

  69. Thanks so much for coming out and saying this. And how perfectly timed as read this after yet another emergency room visit with my dad. I so often want to post or tweet about the other side of my life- 2 great kids who often make me craaazy, caring for an ederly parent and all the other crappy parts that fill all of our lives. I often feel my work as a stylist perpetrates the feeling that everyone else has the “perfect” home and life. The houses I shoot look great at that moment and that angle, where so often behind it is chaos and mess. I’ve styled peoples homes and when they look at the pics we shot say “I wish my life looked like that”. Hopefully what you just said will inspire more of us to feel like we can share the reality along with the pretty and not be so afraid of letting our guard down.

  70. Thank you! This is the biggest reason why I’ve pulled away from my own blog. It makes me sad that that’s the case, but it’s true. I just can’t get siked up to create some kind of content that is more personal, when the internet audience demands what I like to call “the cult of cute”. Not every room is styled in vignettes… I suppose I feel like I can’t keep up with it all.

  71. Thank You!

    Such needed commentary on our digital life.
    I’m always amazed at how wonderful everyone’s life is on Facebook etc.. I love a reality check like this. Also I feel like I know you a bit better, and there’s something nice & civilized about that.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  72. I love your honesty in this post, and it’s a topic that constantly needs to be reminded. Our lives are incredibly edited for social media, and it creates an unattainable illusion, while looking false sometimes. I don’t want to bring up bad news either, though. Since I find my slice of the blogosphere circles itself around positivity and happiness, so I need to find an equilibrium.

  73. Like everyone else, I want to say “Thanks You” for this post! There was a small period of time last year that I felt bummed out about my life, due partially to of all the lopsidedness that occurs in blogs. Thanks for your honesty and vulnerability. <3

  74. Great post. We all need reminders like this every once and awhile. I’m not a blogger, but I still find myself most active on social media (twitter) at times when I’m alone. Either on my commute, waiting to meet someone, when I’m at an event and I don’t have anyone to talk to, etc. For those moments that are so amazing and magical, I’m generally too busy basking in the glory to think to take a picture. So in a way, my public persona is the exact opposite of me when I’m happiest. Not that I’m miserable in those moments, but they reflect a different facet of my personality. The internet is a strange parallel reality. I used to feel much more pressure to keep up, to be in the loop, but now I know that I can’t possibly and that’s been freeing.

    Life is not going to be careless and beautiful all the time, but if it was, it would be boring. That’s why I like terrible weather now and then or even getting locked out of my office for an hour like I did this morning. A little adversity now and then gives us something to overcome and grow from. I can’t pretend I know what it’s like to be 53 and single, but I imagine despite the frustrations, there is a great satisfaction in knowing that you’re making it work yourself.

    I appreciate the beauty you share on here all the time and I’m constantly in awe of your abilities. Because you take the time to write posts like this, to reach out to readers and tell them you wish for them to be included, it’s a form of validation. It build reserves for the times when things aren’t going so well. Sometimes we need to look at something pretty to be reminded that things will be ok again, and sometimes we just want to hear that life is hard and things are bad. Thanks again for this post and for making me feel something :)

  75. Victoria, there’s a lot that I could say that will just be some form of repetition of some of the many comments prior to this one but, in any case, bravo. Good for you for writing this post. I think it’s a good post for your readers as well as yourself. Like a good Spring cleaning. It is a struggle knowing where to balance things out in terms of the level of personal sharing on our blogs. I think it’s ultimately a personal choice. Lord knows I am all kinds of over-sharing. But one thing that I’ve noticed is that in those times that I do post those things that are a bit more raw and revealing the responses have always been amazingly supportive. They’re usually my most popular posts. And I think that’s because of the very things you talk about here in this post.

    Let’s face it, blogging/social media can be like an office can be like a house party can be like high school – a constant popularity contest. Sometimes we’re above the fray and can leave it to the jocks and the mean girls but other times we want to feel that sense of belonging, for better or for worse. Hell, a couple of silly tweets this morning spurred a gaggle of unfollowers from my twitter and, for just a moment, I had that, “What did I do?! I can be better! I promise! Hey, did you see my new shoes?! Where are you all going?!” kind of thought process. I snapped out of it but I still felt that “I eat lunch alone in the art room” kind of pulls. For better or for worse.

    It’s posts like this that remind all of us that, despite those “worse” moments, there’s a bunch of us who are in all of this for the better – like you. Thanks for taking us out on such a beautifully honest high note this Friday. XOXO

  76. I think that was really well said, and I completely understand what you mean. I think it has been around for longer than Instagram though. You and I first “met” when I kept a blog while I was living in Paris and I had a few commenters who used to leave quite snarky comments about my “perfect” life, completely missing the point that that’s what social media is about – if I had spent my time posting about illness, PhD stress, money worries, trying to get pregnant, disappointment about XYZ, they wouldn’t have been reading the damn blog in the first place. And then yes, there were the commenters who felt excluded, as you say, and I was careful to email them to explain more or less what you said here today (although you said it so much better!).

  77. I can’t tell you how good it is to know that other bloggers are actually real people too..Sometimes we lose our common sense and think that others live in those lovely photos and their entire homes look like that. A couple of years ago, a blogger actually showed what her dinning table looked like on a regular day….Wow, what a mess, just like mine..I felt so relieved that she was real and I loved her even more for it.

    Thanks for being real.

  78. I appreciate what you’ve said here. The blogs I follow are the ones where the authors are down to earth and authentic (like you). I also hope that my voice in posts resonates that way to my tens readers. (ha!)

    But, something about the phrase, “makes me feel… making you feel” doesn’t sit well with me. What I believe is that nobody “makes” us feel a certain way. That is something we control within ourselves. It may just be semantics – but, to me, this is more about internal versus external thinking.

    Also, I do not assume that I’m able to “make” someone else feel a certain way. I put my thoughts, images, anecdotes out there and people are free to take what they want (or need) from it.

  79. Sometimes the internets can be such a reality show. People forget everyone has a life beyond the public internets. What’s made public is just a snippet of a blogger’s life, because in truth we all have our ups & downs, sun & gloom, the good & the bad, etc. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. No one is perfect by all means. If they are, I’d imagine it to be a bit boring. Thinking “Little Boxes” song from Weeds. ha!

    Thank you for sharing a lil’ part of yourself. It’s all good! :)

  80. Thank you. Loneliness is such a quiet topic and yet so human & real. I too do most of my life alone and though I find a lot of satisfaction in independence sometimes I am just aware of how tired I am of supporting myself… of being the only voice telling myself it is okay and that this is all normal. It means the world to hear someone else saying this.

  81. thank you for posting this. but really you have always been good at writing and posting in a way that doesn’t make everything seem too perfect. You tend to say more of I covet this item rather than this item is what I own. I enjoy your posts and have never been curious about your story but this post made me realise how much we have in common. And hey, you’re pretty cool! So really this made me feel good about myself…not sure if that makes sense :/

  82. EXCELLENT! Loved your post for it;s insightfulness and honesty!! It was very encouraging…and “real”…THANK YOU!

  83. What a reflective and smart post. I couldn’t agree more about social media creating faux personas and illusions of rainbows and puppies. Of course, we’re all happy to share happy stuff but it really is quite the opposite of how most of us live. There are so many other things that happen in my life that are overwhelming, complicated and hard – but they don’t get an instagram photo!

    Thank you for taking the time to write this. It is inspiring. Call me old fashioned, but I think hard discussions like this have to happen more often with groups of friends and social networks of people to help usher back some of the humanity of life, albeit not always pretty.

    Thank you again!

  84. This post is a ray of sunshine at the end of a particularly rough week. Thanks for your honesty, and for putting yourself out there.

  85. Thanks for this post Victoria. I have to admit I do feel a little left out sometimes especially on twitter. I would never have thought you would sometimes feel the same.

  86. This is fabulous and wonderful and so very honest. Thank you. I am greatly appreciating the conversations happening these days about presenting a “perfect picture” on social-media. I have been wanting to balance all of my beautiful documented moments with the “behind-the-scenes” reality too — the dirty, messy, challenging stuff that also makes up our true lived experience. There is so much strength in our vulnerability.

    Let’s start a twitter/instagram/facebook movement by posting #reallife #honesty and showing the world the cracks where the light gets in…


  87. BRAVO!!!!! I often get so tangled up in the dirty laundry and tripping over kids toys and breakfast cereal slopped on the floor that it’s stifling. My blog is about beautiful contemporary craft, surface design and photography, and I often feel there is such a disconnect between those moments of beauty and the grinding day to dayness of life – but ya know, THAT’S what makes those gems of loveliness even more special.

    As for being alone, well the flipside is I NEVER have enough time or space to myself, and wistfully dream of those long-gone days where I could come & go as I please, eat when I want, and not have to be ALWAYS tidying up other people’s mess.

    And well done on the age thing – we often somehow or other have this misconception that everyone’s in their prime 30s (or that’s how it seems to me). I’m 50, and coming to realise more and more that many of my favourite bloggers and thinkers are closer in age to me than I thought – perhaps that’s because they have useful things to say.


  88. “oops, I forgo to get married”! I love it. I can relate as I round the corner to age 49! Thanks for sharing with us so honestly today, and for sharing so much beauty everyday!

  89. Thank you Victoria! As one who is not a blogger but enjoys the escape provided by beautiful design blogs such as yours, I have to admit, I have felt “left out”, especially more recently due to things happening in my own life right now. I have been following you for some years now and this post, so honest, real and timely, is by far my favorite, of any blog I’ve read. I can’t speak for all of your readers, but this certainly means a lot to me. Thank you for being a real person.

    Jennifer J.
    PS – I forgot to get married too…and we won’t even talk about that kid thing.

  90. In addition to thanking you for such a wonderful, honest topic, I have some [unsolicited] advice: 54 is NOT too late to find love! I am almost 47, and I have had a series of crappy relationships that includes three divorces. I thought love just wasn’t meant-to-be for me. Like you, I spent a LOT of time alone. And for the most part, I didn’t mind it. I wasn’t bitter, but I was jaded…and then on a whim, I placed a personal ad. Not for the first time, mind you…ex-husbands #2 and #3 were met through personal ads, years ago. I wasn’t too optimistic this last time, but I figured I wasn’t gonna meet “him” at work, at home or at the grocery store. I wrote a brief ad that was factual and received 100+ replies in about 16 hours…this was on craigslist, so you can probably guess that some of the replies were unsavory. I just deleted ’em and moved on. Among the first of the replies was one that had a nice photo attached, and a friendly, detailed and intriguing message. We had our first date after exchanging several emails and a handful of lengthy phone calls. This guy, who I now am happy to call my boyfriend, helped me believe in LOVE again. We have so many common interests, such similar outlooks on life, and we have SO MUCH FUN together. I don’t Facebook or instagram those moments because those things are the furthest things from my mind when I’m with him.
    V, don’t give up on finding love. Just because it hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean it won’t or can’t happen. And when you find it, you may also appreciate a saying I saw on pinterest a while back: “Some day you will meet the person who helps you understand why it never worked out with anyone else.”
    I’m not an overly-romantic or mushy person, believe me. I just know firsthand, now, that life IS better shared with someone who gets you, who likes and loves you for YOU, and that age is just a number. 54 is young.
    Good luck and thank you for being you. :)

  91. I haven’t experienced what you’re talking about – while I haven’t been very fortunate in certain areas of my life (financial, social, personal), the Internet has always been my safe haven. I fell into a circle of people who understood me and listened to me and became the support system I never had in real life. Thanks to that, I’ve always felt very comfortable sharing both the highs and the lows of my life on social media, be that my blog, my Twitter account, my other, “serious” Twitter account (@LixHewett), etc. It’s still a bit edited, of course – for instance, I’m lazy about makeup and often use Photoshop in lieu of concealer for zits and other imperfections on photos – but I aim to be the very opposite of intimidating. As much as one can control how one comes off, of course.

    Anyway, I haven’t experienced these pressures, maybe partly because I can’t imagine anyone being jealous of my unemployed, unemployed-parents, abusive-father, never-any-money, no-RL-social-life-to-speak-of life – but I hear what you’re saying and I think it’s really brave of you to write a post like this. I, for one, appreciate it.

  92. that’s really a wonderful, personal post! I think we should be thankful that life isn’t perfect, it’s a constant changing and evolution, isn’t it? I think social media – blogs in particular – remind us about the beautiful, great and fun things in life we should be thankful for. xx

  93. Hugs to you Victoiria, for being so honest and keeping it real. I appreciate all that you share but this one really hit home today….and this is exactly why I keep coming back!

  94. This is so sweet. I feel the same way, and hearing the thoughts articulated is a real comfort. Thank you, thank you.

  95. It’s a great post, thank you, and makes me think of the old adage “don’t compare your interior with someone else’s exterior. The internet is pretty much ALL other people’s exteriors, especially in the world of lovely design & interiors. I have to remind myself of this frequently!

  96. I didn’t realize I needed to read this until you wrote it, so thank you. Also, I’ve been reading your blog for years & you’ve never made me feel this way, FYI. Your little corner of the internet is refreshing &, at times, calming.

  97. I know what you’re talking about, but I have to say that I’ve never felt like this about your lovely space on the internet. Do you go on and on about your personal life? No. Do you share some of your personal life with us when you feel like you want to? Yes. Do you always have a distinct point-of-view and spot on style that everyone who reads this blog expects? YES. Always. A point-of-view doesn’t imply perfection. Hugs and love to you.

    P.S. That guy that broke up with you on the phone is a douchebag.

  98. “i’ve had some really hurtful relationships and so now i don’t even bother.” – thank you, victoria, for putting this into words so succinctly. i’ll be 48 in june and same story – never married, currently uncommitted, and above all, 100% committed to STAYING that way. because really, things aren’t anywhere near perfect but things are pretty darned good, and at this point i’m just not interested in rocking that boat. but i do get what you are saying about having someone to share the good with – i get a bit mournful about that from time to time when i get bored with my own company.

  99. I was recently chatting with a friend who said that she feels bad every time she logs on to Facebook because of all the posts and pictures about perfect lives. Yes, I am in my 30’s and single, and I do have the occasional pang of jealousy when I see the beautiful wedding pictures or new babies, but I am sure many of those friends are jealous of the fact that my job has taken me on adventures all over the world.

    What I like about blogs and most forms of social media are that people are taking the time to highlight the good things in their lives and share them. I prefer to see these things as inspiration, rather than sources of angst or envy. As my grandmother used to say, “I’ve got my good days, and I’ve got my bad days”; that goes for everyone, no matter how perfect things look from the outside.

    Thank you for sharing such an honest post, and sharing so much of your life with such total strangers. You have certainly brought more joy and inspiration to my life!

  100. A standing ovation is happening in Phoenix. Bravo for you! For your mum~ Well done!

    My blog is primarily a design, rainbows, sunshine and unicorns blog. But my readers have come to expect that about once a week I will share a “get real” post. This week it happened to be on Wednesday. I finally got a magnifying mirror only to be completely horrified when I looked at myself. Sure it was a tongue and cheek take on how the mirrors should be banned for people over 40, but truth is good. It makes not only ourselves, but often others feel better about themselves.

    PS. I have been reading your fabulous blog for a few years now and rarely comment but this, post… I couldn’t resist. Did I tell you “Well done!” yet?

  101. So thrilled with your transparency today victoria!!! After reading your blog for years now, I pretty much figured you were the down to earth, sweet, and thoughtful person that you revealed to us today! I must admit I am guilty of feeling a little less than perfect after reading my daily blog list of favorites! I too am on the older side (56) and although I am happily married with three incredible adult children, and my family is healthy ( isn’t that what’s most important), I have had a few pity parties over our finances! While it’s understood that many work very hard for what they have, and we do too, so much of what I see featured on blogs is so expensive. Furniture ,art, baubles, trinkets, cosmetics, fashion etc……I love beautiful things, unfortunately, I can’t afford many of them, and it makes me sad. On a higher note… I have found some killer things at second hand stores!!!! Thanks again for the opportunity to ramble on……

  102. Thank you for shedding light on this topic. I am glad I am not the only one who feels this way. Sometimes the jealousy monster rears its ugly head seeing people’s very edited lives on the internet, even though deep down I know it is not the whole picture.

  103. I’ll be your boyfriend! ok, I guess thats not much of a treat. You are a daily inspiration! I like that you are curating the most amazing and positive memories via your blog for when you are a super old lady (in like 60 years). It’s better that way.

  104. i’m so happy to hear all of these contributions to this conversation! i’m in the middle of vacuuming, cleaning and taxes, but reading every comment! i will reply as much as i can this weekend, but just wanted to say thank you all so much for giving us your insights. it is much appreciated!! xoxo

  105. While I love your honesty and insight here Victoria, I feel that a lot of blog readers and bloggers are missing an obvious solution: just don’t read the blogs that make you feel crummy about yourself.

    My new years resolution was to procrastinate less, i.e. to spend less time on the internet. Of course I failed miserably, so instead I decided to spend the time I do use on the web more positively. I feel that many ‘lifestyle’ blogs are (perhaps indirectly) encouraging readers to achieve the unachievable: a perfect example of the creative woman. While many blogs may portray a sophisticated aesthetic and platform craftsmanlike and independently produced products, they do still encourage us to be consumers and place such emphasis on our own appearances, as much mainstream Western media does.

    I went through my bookmarked blogs and culled any that I felt didn’t offer me interesting insights about art, design, architecture, literature, film or current affairs. I now don’t have that guilty time-wasting feeling I once did while reading blogs, nor do I feel annoyance at obviously sugar-coated and falsified documentation of super-bloggers’ lives. That’s not to say that reading blogs needs to be an intellectual experience, I certainly think they can be escapist and a ‘guilty pleasure’. But why read blogs that seem to serve the blogger’s ego as a solely self-promotional tool, and make you feel not so hot into the bargain?

    I know that all sounds pretty negative, but I really do believe that the internet is what you make of it. I don’t blog myself, nor do I instagram or tweet, and maybe this is part of the reason I feel it’s easy to critique certain blogs. I am really thankful that so many inspiring blogs such as this one exist for me to access, and all for the cost of my broadband bill. But guys and gals, if you feel like you’re getting sucked into the world of style-one-up-manship of the ‘blogosphere’ (yes, I’m using that word with my tongue firmly in my cheek), then there’s a simple answer: disconnect from those sources which you know display overly-perfect and never-endingly-aspirational content!
    Engage with the blogs and websites that make you excited and inspired, rather than depressed that you’re not likely to be featured on Design Sponge or Modcloth’s Blogger of the Moment, and your blog-browsing experience might be more fun and fulfilling.

    • PS Thanks for instigating this discussion, and for giving me the opportunity to rant! I hope that you see from all the comments above that SF Girl By Bay is most definitely NOT one of the corners of the internet which gives way to feelings of jealousy, or guilt of not being ‘good enough’. Thanks again.

    • I agree with Beth. Most blogs just reinforce the consumer/want mentality and propagate self promotion/look at me. I don’t think that this blog does the latter and I appreciate that. It’s amazing how many people are more than willing to follow like sheep without critical thought. After following a blog for a while, I unfollow if it gets annoyingly false and contrived.

  106. This is a welcome post Victoria! I totally get the ‘excluded’ thing. It seems like the blogosphere is a giant high school and its easy to feel left out of the popular kids clique. Thanks for sharing your thoughts…

  107. hi victoria,
    i think we should all spend more time living our lives and less time documenting them. i really appreciate your honest post. i’m spending far less time online these days but when i do pop online your blog is always a place i like to visit. you and lucy are lucky to have each other. hugs from canada, megan

  108. My favorite bloggers are the ones who, every once in a while, let the readers know what’s going on behind the curtains. I remember you talking about your father’s decline and death, and I remember how you’ve had to move at least twice due to SF’s crazy housing situation. I like that I can come to your website for a bit of escape, and I like knowing that you’ve been through hard times and therefore get why a bit of escape and beauty is so essential to your readers.

    You likely already know of Brene Brown, but I feel like this post has the same brave spirit of vulnerability that her TED talk has. Carry on, Victoria. Carry on.

  109. I remember years ago wondering how some bloggers managed to make so many amazing things, photograph it all every day and look after two or more kids. And on top of that run an Etsy shop that was updated once a week. And be perfectly smiley and happy all the time. I could just never understand it. I still don’t!

    On the other hand there is also a certain reluctance to share the crappy stuff. How much of the real you do you show? Will it freak readers out and put them off? The whole, if you haven’t got something good to say, don’t say it line.

    It’s kind of the opposite of the news isn’t it – the news only shows the bad stuff. Bloggers only show the good stuff. Maybe it’s just a natural balance thing.

    Hope you get your taxes done swifty!!

  110. Nice post…I to don’t spread my sad stuff all over my blog but it happens and I too spend time alone and sometimes I am just alone and other times I am lonely – but I also have a great life so cant’ really complain ;-)

    ….you are so right and I think every so often we just need a gentle little reminder that blog life is not necessarily real life!

  111. Okay, am I the only one who wants to hunt down the fiancee who broke up with you over the phone?!? Sorry Victoria’s mom but what a tool ! Here’s how I feel about this subject and I talked with someone today who also loves you and your blog – there’s an authenticity that shines through with certain blogs where you can actually see the work and the heart – your’s is one and please don’t second guess yourself where your readers (fans/stalkers) are concerned because you’ve laid an incredibly gorgeous , forward and honest path. That being said please email me the address of the tool / fiancee and I’ll order 50 pizzas in his name to be delivered COD.

  112. A lovely post today, thank you. There are definitely blogs and websites that have made me feel all of those things you mentioned but i have to tell you, that yours is one i always come back to for all the good things – inspiration, creativity, a lovely sense of fun shining through, a real pick me up somedays. Please keep it coming, yours is one of my favorite blogs for sure.

  113. Loved this post and all the LOVE pouring out in the comments. i save your blog for Friday nights, it is my treat to myself after a long week of work and the stuff of life. You are always so inspiring and I look forward to all the links that you post to explore. I must admit to a tad bit of longing that you get to be friends with the awesome Lisa Congdon and she with you! There will always be readers out there who do not feel the love, but the ones who do will always be waiting for your next post and beautiful pictures. Have a great weekend Victoria!

  114. Yes yes and yes to this post! I love when someone lets their personal side show on their blog – other than the pretty pictures and design. It’s so beautiful that you are honest and have opened up to all of us. Seriously, it takes balls to not always pint the picture perfect life. Lovely post Victoria!

  115. Bravo Victoria! How kind of you to share yourself and your heart, as well as your pretty ideas and images. I so enjoy your blog and never get a “hey look at my fabulous life” vibe from your posts. Keep up the good work and keep on living your very real life.

  116. Victoria…….There are so many sides to a story and you tell all the sides here. This makes you all the more real and colorful. Honesty connects. I am so grateful to connect with you here……xo


  117. This reminds me of this quote: “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steven Furtick

  118. Thank you for your post! It’s beautifully written and I think it’s safe to say with close to 200 comments, a lot of us feel you too. There is no need to apologize for what you are feeling and to excuse what you may think is “rambling on.” It is so very helpful to so many of us to share in an honest way, and I hope we can figure out a way to do that virally one day. We should create an honest, no bullshit space online.

    Thank you again and happy Friday to you!

  119. Comparison is the thief of joy. That is a good saying when the internet makes you sad.

    One thing I can’t stand that bloggers will do is complain. They will say “oh god, what an annoying pitch I just got” or some other thing like that which is just so bizarre to me. Why are you complaining that someone is reaching out to you or trying to pitch to you. Be happy that you are even getting such emails.

    I try to keep my blog on the happier side of things, but I share my huge piles of laundry and bad days too. Well…. not all of them.

  120. Thank you, thank you, thank you, because yes, yes, yes! Sometimes I have to remind myself that what I see on the internet is not EVERYTHING. I have to pull back and remind myself that even though my favourite bloggers/instagrammers/tweeters are the ones who “keep it real,” they’re still only sharing parts of their life because how could they possibly share it all (and they definitely don’t need to; I agree with Erin, I think some things should be special and reserved).

    The thing is, I also have to remind myself of this in “real life” too. I have to admit, there are times when I’ve found myself jealous of friends who I know really well (I mean, we share so much and tell each other the good, the bad, the embarrassing, etc) because their life seems happier, better than mine. But I am not them, and we can NEVER know anyone’s WHOLE truth. We don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, in their minds…

    Life is LIFE. (Does that make sense?) It is beautiful and sad and happy and crazy and even though we’re all in it together, we’re all alone, too. (Does that make sense?) I think we need to keep in mind what you’ve brought up here, that we’re just seeing snapshots, and we should be as kind to ourselves as we are to other people. Because sometimes our own snapshots are pretty darn amazing!

  121. I love you line . Im going to steal next time a smug married asks my why Im not and have never been married at 45 years old…

    “OOpps .I forgot! ”

    Love this post
    Love your blog
    best wishes


  122. Victoria! Thank you so much for writing this post. I love your honesty & like others have said have never felt excluded. I have to say that I’ve also loved those few moments you have shared… i.e. falling down the stairs. Not that I loved that you were hurt, but I appreciate that you are willing to show that you are human. I love that you show Lucy covered with mud, I wonder how you get her home sometimes, but I smile at the sheer joy in her eyes. I love that you honestly own your age and singleness (not that you also don’t have your own very personal feelings about those either) I hear ya on those thoughts. Now I’m rambling…

    …I guess it’s the merging of reality and fantasy, the personal and public that I love… It’s the yin and yang of life. You really can’t have one without the other. So keep doing what you’re doing & if you need to write a post like this sometimes I support and thank you.

  123. Thanks Victoria, it is beautiful people like you that inspire me. People who are real, caring and sharing…………your blog has a link on mine so I can send your good vibe out to any other readers who don’t know of you, xxxxxx

  124. Lovely post, Victoria. Being someone else who has hit the 54 mark, I sometimes get really impatient with this whole social media stuff and think maybe I am just too old for it. I applaud the search for beauty that is evident in many blogs but sometimes the human aspect simply gets lost in the shuffle and seems all a bit shallow if not downright superficial. The social division is also a huge issue, but how many people on this earth can really afford an Eames rocker or tulip table??
    Anyway, good for you for putting this out there.

  125. Vic, I don’t read many blog anymore, but I do like to visit yours. Why? Because behind every post I can see your heart, your personality, and your dedication in what you have built here. xoxo

  126. So glad I’m not the only one. I love being inspired by all the talent out in the blogosphere, etc., but there are days, when I look at stuff and feel myself making snarky remarks in my head because, well, it’s just one of those days. Some days I’m inspired and there are others when I just need to unplug because it just brings me down. Thanks for your candid post.

  127. Thank you so much for this post. You have expressed a lot that’s been on my mind. The great/good times in life can be fleeting , that’s why I appreciate that we as bloggers can celebrate and relive them by blogging about them. When I am down and lonely and feel uninspired, all I have to do is visit you here online to be revived and feel uplifted, keep up the good work !! Thank You for all you do and I really appreciate this post especially. Happy Spring!

  128. Thank you for your thoughts; well said. We appreciate the good and the bad– we’ll take them both. None of us are perfect, that is for sure. Just know that when I’m having a bad day at work I like to skim through your sight to see the wonderful inspiring pictures. It helps me; makes me feel better. Thank you Victoria.

  129. Victoria, I think I have a perspective that is different from most posted here. I’m not a blogger and I don’t participate in social media. I have a facebook account but I’ve never posted anything on it; I keep thinking about closing it, but occasionally an old friend will find me (then I can tell them to just email). I sense that this push/pull of always presenting what is beautiful or creative vs. feeling inauthentic is an issue for bloggers. From the outside looking in (so to speak), I don’t feel that it’s inauthentic or superficial at all. I view the design blogs I read much the way I view a magazine or book with beautiful photos. While I appreciate the personal approach of bloggers like you, I also recognize that this is your job. And don’t most of us want to put on our best face at work? If anything, I think bloggers have brought a level of honesty to the presentation of design. I certainly never considered that photos of homes or other spaces were styled. Models, clothing, yes. But in realizing that spaces are styled, I have learned to view the photos with a certain amount of skepticism. They’re lovely, but not always realistic.
    I don’t consider myself especially acquisitive so maybe that’s why it’s easy to keep in mind that the interiors I see on blogs are the exception not the rule. I also have a healthy love for decluttering and frugality blogs. The reality presented on those blogs never fails to inspire me to look at what I have more appreciatively and to not worry that my home isn’t “on trend.”
    Like another person, who’s non-stop busy taking care of home and kids, I just don’t have much time to spend on the internet. When I do, I choose the sites I want to go to very carefully. One of the things you always provide is an array of beautiful things to look at or to think about that balance out my hectic life (that, as a SAHM is largely not about me) but also is an alternative to all the horrible, depressing information characterized by most news media.
    Please keep doing what you do so well. And if you find you need to take more days off, you should. I’m sure your readers will be here when you return.

  130. I come to your blog for soul food, I have plenty of people telling me all their woes and worries, and have plenty here of my own, you cheer us up, keep reminding us to see the beauty in the world and to make what ever situation or place we are in at that very moment the best we can.. This is the first time I’ve considered your feelings about how hard it must be some days to wake up and find beautiful things to show us, I’m sorry I didn’t consider that before, but I’ve always been grateful. I’ ve followed other blogs that are ‘moany’ and just got depressed or thought i had to help them out, you give us the total luxury of treating us, it’s like a spa visit, a pamper session. But if you want to show the ironing pile that’s fine…!! You are brave and wonderful, and you do share- for example we could see that moving house was a big event in your life.

  131. I just recently found your blog via Sweet Paul magazine. This is the first timme I reda anything you have written. I will be coming back, for sure Well written and thank you!,

  132. I’m so pleased you wrote this post and shared your thoughts on this. The blogs I keep coming back to time and time again are the ones where the author is willing (and brave enough) to be realistic, while at the same time creating a wonderful space for some escapism. There is definitely more room on social media for the realities of life – we all hurt, feel lonely and get scared at the more negative aspects of our non-internet lives and I think it’s important to share those too, when we feel comfortable doing so.

    Great post, Victoria – hope you have a lovely weekend too! :)

  133. Thanks for sharing, it takes a lot of courage I also observed that people are now just social media friends but not so much in everyday life. This is sad. People are making less & less effort to be & stay connected via real life meet ups. People now just look at each other’s statuses. It makes me very sad.

  134. P.s. I visit your site everyday because I love the eye candy & it inspires me. Thank you. Just wanted to validate that i have never felt excluded at all. there are blogs that blabber & complain & so on & it makes me depressed. your blog is beautiful, to the point & well curated. Reading you from Singapore. Xoxo

  135. I’m not at all surprised that I’ve had to scroll down about 500 comments to find the comment box. Thank you Victoria for your very frank and honest account today. I spend so much time fretting about my life I forget to enjoy those precious moments. We all have to remind ourselves what we have that is good in our lives and not worry about what is lacking because there is always someone else somewhere who is far far worse off than us. I spend days, weeks away from blogging because I worry about this false reality and who am I kidding etc. I never write about my personal life, ever, and sometimes I feel I should. You’ve been more than inspiring today! Love ya! Leanda x

  136. I finally got an answer to why I keep getting glimpses of my life somewhere else, like the present one wasn’t good enough and that something better will be coming along, very unsettling. It makes one miss out on all the good stuff happening everyday. When you can identify where certain feelings are coming from it suddenly puts them in perspective and they dissipate. Thanks for that, note to myself: appreciate what I have in my life,today!

  137. You nailed it Victoria.
    It’s something that crosses my mind often.
    Just like a lot of us enjoy curating and beautifying our homes , it seems that many of us have fallen into the trap of curating every last bit about our lives on the internet too.
    Eg — amazing that there are NO bad pictures of me on my facebook page!!!
    Surely it just happened that way.

    I think all of this faux perfection is leaving people feeling empty a lot of the time and I wish sometimes, being 41, that we could go back to a time where there was less electronic connectivity and more true connections between people.

    Take care – Cara

  138. So wonderful, Victoria. Thank you so much for sharing. I know everyone who uses social media feels this way from time to time. My partner is a travel photographer and some of his followers on instagram often comment on how they want his life and how perfect it always seems, but I know that it isn’t. We struggle, he has hard days just like everyone else. It’s really wonderful to hear your perspective on it as well. Thank you for being real!

  139. Hallelujah !! Never a truer word spoken. We live in a world of constant compare.
    No longer do we dream and wish of making our own futures and realitys but we now dream of someone else’s portrayal .
    My constant mantra is live more in the present . My own present
    X for writing and sharing this

  140. Have to go back thru and read everyone’s comments, but I’m late for the shop + wanted to just thank you so much for this post.

    I just gave an SM talk to college art students last Fri + this subject came up. We discussed the slight-of-hand you need to master when the business you’re representing online is actually yourself – keeping in mind these kids already exist on Instagram, etc. w/their real friends. It’s difficult to be yourself online if you represent a business (creative or otherwise) – people expect you to always be “on.” Unless it’s your schtick, people don’t really want to hear about your real personal life. They want you to entertain them, inspire them, shop for them, cook up ideas for them. It’s what you’re getting “paid” to do. As much as it’s not really real, and as much as this might be an example of how messed up our priorities are sometimes, I think making people feel bad they didn’t get to go to ALT is part of why they come back. I don’t like it, but I think it’s true. Why do people read Elle Decor or watch The Bachelor – same thing.

    Despite all that expected awesomeness, I totally think it’s important to step out of the bubble like you did with this post – remind people that you have shitty shit happen to you, too/be real about the causes you believe in/poke a little fun at yourself when you should. You’ll be better off for it and so will your readers. Again, Victoria, thank you!

  141. Thank you Victoria for this meaningful post! You have a such a beautiful spirit & your honestly is so inspiring!!! That’s why your blog is my favorite!!! So I say Thank You So Much for reminding us that we are all human perfectly imperfect!!! xo Julie

  142. Thankyou. I love/hate the Internet. In making us more connected it has also made us somewhat disconnected and for some has created a false world. I love reading your blog btw. But for me it is a healthy appreciation of someone else’s aesthetic not a disillusion that you are living a perfect life.

  143. re·flec·tion
    1.the act of reflecting or the state of being reflected. image; representation; counterpart.
    3.a fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration.
    4.a thought occurring in consideration or meditation.
    P.S. You do it well Victoria! Love your Blog and I tell people about it all the time. I turn people onto it (my customers where I work)- that need inspiration because you do it so well!.. Oh- and I am looking into my Crystal-Ball of Hearts. It say’s a relationship is on the horizon for you and it’s not going to be work related. It is true love!… <3

  144. Thank you for your post…what honesty and honestly I do look at the blog lives and say “man they live cool lives… Victoria hanging out with Holly , Bri hanging out with Bonnie and their lives look so fun and exciting and worry free… glad to see we all live in not so perfect words and sometimes people just put it out there as if they do… I guess a blog can sometimes be a reality show and others tune in so they can tune out their lives…. thanks again because I am at a shitty time in my life right now and this helped!!!!

  145. Thank you so much for posting this! I have given up reading most blogs for this very reason…I live such a wonderful life (most of the time), but many blogs make me feel like my life is not quite good enough. Social media can make us feel like everyone out there in the great big world is leading consistently creative, glamorous, successful lives every moment of the day. I know deep down that cannot be true, but it does seep in and have an effect. I have to say i’ve been much more content since I’ve started limiting my blog reading!! That said, keep blogging because you DO inspire and now I know you’re a completely normal human being and it makes me love your blog MORE!!

  146. So glad to hear you admit all of this. I am just a tad bit older than you and I know that real life is not all unicorns and rainbows, so when I read a blog post I realize that the author’s life is full of ups and downs, just like everyone else – that there is no such thing as a perfect family, perfect children (just wait until the teenage years!), perfect home, perfect vacation, etc. However, I think many younger women have yet to gain that wisdom that comes with age, and it is for them that I feel badly. It seems they are always striving to reach those unattainable goals mentioned above. Well, we know it aint gonna happen. I love my life and it has been a roller coaster, but what a ride it’s been.

  147. It sounds trite, but “thank you for sharing” Victoria. I don’t feel left out; I feel inspired by you and your design sense. At 62, I know life is not a bowl of cherries; sometimes it’s the pits! But you remind me how wonderful it is to live in this fabulous city, even if our rents are out-of-sight and the landlords can uproot us at the drop of a hat. As you beautifully illustrated w/ your recent move – “Life goes on within us and without us.” in the immortal words of Lennon & McCartney.
    One more joy – thanks for sharing photos of Miss Lucy!

  148. Thanks for posting your thoughts on this very important, relevant topic. I’ve read the article “Stop Instagramming Your Perfect Life” , and it’s made me really re-think (or at least be more aware and intentional) of what I decide to post, share, and write. I love your website because it is pretty and lovely. However, I think it’s also important that once in awhile, popular bloggers and writers share their authentic voice and divulge the hardships that go along with a “pretty post.” This is along the same vein as celebrities who are role models for young people. We are so often fixated on the “results” that we forget the journey people take to get to the nice, shiny end. Thank you for sharing a gimpse into the real you.

  149. Victoria, I don’t read that many blogs except yours . It is one of my favorites and it comes from SF. I am a native and still living close by. Having said that, your are completely spot on about the aspects of social media. Actually, studies are being done on this very subject of feeling” less than”. However, I still enjoy and want pretty pictures of design and space, Even knowing that I might never attain that elusive and desirable space, it personally gives me great pleasure to view other people’s discoveries. We need beauty in this world. It inspires me everyday. I think Facebook is even more of a venue for bragging rights and lots of political stuff, that I am trying to ignore, but blogs like yours still keep it real for me because design and aesthetics just happens to be my thing. I thank you for addressing this issue. It is so amazing that you are able to do what you love and we love what you do………and still know that you are trying to keep it real.

  150. Hello. I don’t hold your website responsible for my self confidence nor do I project about you personally onto the content you and your collaborators post. I just enjoy the site. That’s it. Thanks.

  151. THANK YOU SO MUCH for this Victoria!
    I am fairly new to the blogging world and could only handle social media for about 5 months before I deleted my accounts because of this very thing. I am a lover of authenticity so the illusion of perfection makes my heart hurt. I actually wrote a blog about this recently

    I can’t thank you enough for sharing this other side to your life; it means more to me and others than you might ever know. And yes please also continue to share beautiful images; having a good life is nothing to be ashamed of; but please also feel free to less than perfectly designed moments as well so we know you’re real. :)

  152. Hi Victoria- I’ve struggled with this issue for a long time and frankly I’m glad it’s coming to the surface in conversation and I’m thrilled to see you write this post. Nobody wants to be perceived as negative- especially bloggers whose job is focused around the pretty, witty and fun side of life. But it sets this precedent of loneliness and jealousy that’s so tricky to squelch even when you know it isn’t the whole picture. I’ve never thought of your blog as just a ‘surface’ blog, but I can’t thank you enough for being open to sharing personal matters like this. It helps keep us all feeling connected and grounded in the true. Hugs and a big thanks to you.

  153. Thank you for being so candid. We all like to think that someone out there has a perfect, happy
    life but if we’re truly honest with ourselves, that’s impossible. Every life has good, bad, up and
    down times and I find as one gets older, life gets more complicated. I’ve just gone through a very
    rough time the last two weeks with my mom being hospitalized and I’m taking things one day
    at a time. Your website gives me a visual respite, especially since you live in a city I love;
    I have visited San Francisco many times.

    All the best.

  154. All I have to say Victoria is “Amen, Sister!” There is so much in your post that i can identify with. As for me, like you, I’m no “spring chicken” but I do think that most of age is in our minds. I have been in serious relationships in the past and was married once but have been single, once again, for the last 13 years and I can only say that it’s a blessing compared the bad relationships that I endured. And I, like you, don’t even bother with them anymore, but not to say that it might not happen again some day. My philosophy is, if it does, ok, but if not, ok because I’ll be fine.
    I did find a good self help book that I enjoyed after my divorce called “Why Your Life Sucks and What You Can Do About It” by Alan Cohen. It’s a quick read and humorous in some places and it helped me see life in a different light.
    But just know that in the meantime, we out here in the great beyond called the internet love your blog, love your posts and in some small way feel like your friend. Keep on keeping on, Girlfriend!

  155. Victoria!!!!! You rock. Thanks for the reality. I’m so inspired by what you do, and am blown away by the vulnerability you gifted your readers. Hooray for you. xo

  156. Nice work, Victoria. I like to think because social media is so new — we’re all still figuring this out. If we continue to be real on our one channels, and acknowledge the real life around us — we can define what social media means to us and how it looks and speaks. Thank you for being so honest. <3

  157. Thank you so very much… I have many times felt defeated by the perfect portrayals I drool over. I have been posting the good and bad on my social media accounts more often lately. I am relieved to read this today and am proud of you for bringing it out. I have a feeling you have just touched on something that is going to grow. In this cyber world it is so great to feel connected to humanity.
    Thanks again!

  158. Cheers cheers Victoria! Thank you so much for your honesty, but more importantly thanks for all of the beauty and inspiration that you share with us daily. Life is not all sunshine and roses but it’s nice to know theres a place to go and escape those ho-hum days.

  159. Although late in the game in chiming in on this post, due to my somewhat stressful and not “instagram perfect” week, I wanted to say that I feel the real you always shines through your posts, articles, tweets and photos. As a follower of all things SFGBB, I have never once felt isolated by you or that you were unapproachable. I always find you perfectly poised, be it after a rough day, a sublime one or a quiet reflective and introspective moment. Thank you for always being honest and letting your true self shine through. In my humble opinion, besides your impeccable taste, wonderfully unique aesthetic and your eye for photography, not being afraid of letting us see “the real you”, is what makes your blog and life journey so unique. Bumps, bruises and scrapes are all a part of the beauty after all, so don’t change a thing! I look forward your true reality and will be there finding inspiration every step of the way. As my Italian Grandmother used to say, “through tick and tin”, we will all be here for you! Thank you Victoria and have a lovely weekend!

  160. i follow your blog pretty religiously.. I LOVE the pretty pictures they inspire me! but today i equally love your honesty. Thanks for sharing xx

  161. THANK YOU! I just this week wrote a blog post about how I have to stop comparing myself to the successes and stories of others. Sometimes when you are working incredibly hard toward a goal that still seems so far off and you see all of these pretty pictures of vacations and new homes and growing families, you can’t help but forget that it IS just a snapshot, not the whole picture. These words coming from someone who’s work I so greatly admire really pushes me to believe them and to live my own story without doubt. Thank you for being brave enough to share this with all of us!

  162. Yes. Yes. Yes. Thank you thank you thank you, Victoria.

    Oh my goodness, I really needed to read this. While I do love the beautiful snapshots of everyone’s lives and homes, I’m in a place in my life where I’m constantly questioning: why isn’t my life like so-and-so’s, why don’t I have a quirky, bowtie-wearing boyfriend, why aren’t I having a beautiful lakeside wedding like this blogger, or why don’t I have creative, perpetually cheerful children like that blogger, or this Facebook friend or whathaveyou. G’ah.

    Your post has given me a much needed reminder that there will always be parts of people’s lives that aren’t captured online, and those are the parts that are more like our own lives with all the laundry and mess that comes with it.

    I think the telling phrase here is ‘social media’ i.e. it is all media, and there is always a gloss of ‘faux reality’ to that, and we should keep that in mind when we’re angsting over how our lives seem compared to those online!

    Bloggers are just very talented at editing so that we can appreciate the elements of beauty and ingenuity that you’ve spotted in amongst the ‘mess’ of everyday life. :)

    Beth xx

  163. This is a beautiful and brave and true post Victoria and a topic I’ve often wondered how we can better tackle. I once posted a picture of my nightstand piled and piled and piled with clothes that said blogging is not reality, this is and it’s still one of my post commented on posts. And yet I’ve also found people also tend to reject the less bright and shiny parts too. And not to get too personal on your comments, but, being married, I’ve often found myself feeling left of the group of blogger women who aren’t married – isn’t that weird. Maybe it’s having grown up an only child or having been on my own for a good chunk of time but sometimes I wonder if I’m missing out by being married. And it feels weird to say it, let alone feel it. Interesting how everyone’s experiences and perspectives are so varied, no? I guess this comment is a long winded way for saying thank you for being such a wonderful beacon of grace and generosity and kindness in this whole crazy blogging world.

  164. Thanks for writing this. Being on social media for my business and to promote them, I always kept it light and fun, then more recently moving in with my parents in Philly for a few months Ive really been posting some real life photos and my huge lack of a social life photos as well. Its been refreshing and people may not always know how to respond to unglamorous reality but they appreciate it. i do think social media is getting pretty boring when everyone just shoots for the witty comment or photo of the day. I also have had to unfollow folks who only take pictures of beautiful things. That shit just gets boring. Life is real and its not a series of staged photos of just objects or you and friends only doing fabulous things. I hope more people start getting real. Good photojournalists take photos of the good and the bad. Instagram is becoming a sea of stylisitic photos that dont give you any idea who the person really is.

  165. I just wanted to say thank you for your ‘Thoughts for a Friday’ post. I regularly sit and read through my fave blogs at night in bed as a way to relax before sleep but recently I have struggled with this mainly due to the exact points you made. Things are not wonderful in my life at the moment and every perfect outfit, perfect recipe, perfect family snapshot I saw across the blogosphere was like a slap round the face to be honest. They made me feel inadequate, had me questioning myself and wondering what I was doing wrong. I started hating all the clothes I’d previously loved, my job, the things in my home I’d lovingly gathered and displayed. I wished for the life I see on some people’s blogs rather than my own. Crazy, right? Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge anyone their happiness or contentment and I wouldn’t wish sadness on anyone. I just couldn’t help feeling like I didn’t measure up. Anyway, thank you. For your honesty. And for making me look at the bigger picture.

  166. Hey Victoria

    This was posted on my 37th Birthday, 12th April, and all in all it was a really shit day, I argued with my family, I cried all day, I’m 38 weeks pregnant with baby number 2 and quite honestly shitting myself about everything. I’ve had to stop looking at Pinterest for a while because I just currently feel like my house, my friends, my family, my pregnancy, my body, my clothes, my career, my creativity, my car does not live up to anything near how pretty I want it all to look and feel. But these are moments and feelings and ‘this too shall pass’ and then come again and then pass.
    Thank you for sharing
    Alice x

  167. Thank you so much for the best post I have read in a while, a very long while.
    I completely agree and appreciate your thoughts and it felt so good, to be not alone with feelings
    like that. Thumbs up to your honesty!

  168. Thank you so much for this. This is actually a topic I discuss sometimes with my therapist-ha! And she says it’s super common for people to feel the way you’re talking about.
    You can’t avoid the internet completely, so I think you’re right that we need to consider a big picture and remind ourselves of our own worth and our own little joys in life, whether they are public or privately enjoyed.

  169. nothing wrong with finding the beauty and appreciating a moment while maybe editing out some of the meh or keeping some things to yourself.

    your blog is inspiring AND inclusive. thanks for being the real deal, Victoria. and for sharing!

  170. Thank you. This is a topic that has been discussed in my circles as well and it is so wonderful to hear that it is not just my little corner of the world that is observing it.

  171. GREAT POST. I made things and blog and talk about my life. And like you only share the pretty side of life. And I often edit what I talk about or ask people if I sound like I am bragging. And now I see that I feel that way because I only share the good things. Thanks for this post.

  172. This reminds me of one of my favorite bits of advice: Stop comparing yourself to others; You’re comparing your insides to other people’s outsides (Karen Walrond). It’s something I have to remind myself of constantly, and even though I know it in my head, it’s so hard to feel it in your core when you’re watching beautiful, perfect lives scrolling by online. As someone who works in social media and have to be constantly plugged in, there are days when I can barely bring myself to open the browser. On days when I am struggling with depression, when my marriage is falling apart, when my child is pushing me to the brink, I have to go to work and project an image that is creative, funny, smart, clever, enthusiastic, and always cheerful… Sometimes it is so hard I am paralyzed by the effort and I just want to quit. And then I read something like this, and I’m reminded that there’s always more to the story, and we all struggle from time to time, and, most important, we’re not alone. Thanks, lady!

  173. Thank you so much for this. In the words of Steven Furtick, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” We all know that celebrities, models, and the like are Photoshopped genetic anomalies with staff dedicated to making them look their best, but it’s easy to forget that ‘normal’ people on the web are generally well-edited versions of themselves – myself included.

  174. Victoria, you are such a sweetie to even be concerned about this issue. As it happens I had a huge upheaval in my life about nine months ago that has put this 65-year-old lady in therapy and left me wondering what on earth is going to happen next. Coincidentally, that is just about the time I found your blog. You have been such a source of fun, beauty, comfort, inspiration, etc. that I can’t begin to tell you. Fortunately, I have lived long enough to know that no one has a ” perfect ” life. This past week has been a bad one, but I’m sitting in my sunroom with all the windows open, the sun is shining, there is a nice breeze, the birds are singing and life – for this little moment – is good. That is really the most we can ask for…… these little moments!

  175. It’s a funny thing, this being truthful on the interwebs. I started my design blog as a place to explore passions and share about the things I really loved. Then I was diagnosed with MS and it became a great place to hide. After all, nobody wanted to hear about my day to day struggles when they were used to checking out my mid-century ramblings. And frankly that was fine by me. For awhile. All of a sudden though, I realized none of it seemed authentic anymore. How could I talk about my obsession with white on the days I was obsessing about how I was going to take care of my child? So I made the decision to move on and leave my blog behind. Sometimes I miss it, some days I’m relieved. In the end though, I wish I could have found a way to naturally evolve as you seem to have done. I applaud you for keeping it real, and letting everyone know that’s its not only the beauty that makes life beautiful; it’s the living!

  176. Thanks for your candor, Victoria! I have had tons of trepidation about resurrecting an old blog for fear that there aren’t always shiny, happy, moments to share. Your post helps me keep perspective.
    I love how you see the world and am glad you will keep on sharing the joyful and beautiful bits for us to see!

  177. A beautiful reminder that we all have our own shit….and presented in such a humble and thoughtful way. Clearly, by the number of responses you got to this post, you have many admirers — but I know that on a dark day sometimes not even that clears the clouds. I’ve wondered how personal to go in the very short time I’ve been blogging. Is reading someone’s blog supposed to be an escape to a beautiful un-reality, an invitation to know everything about them, or somewhere in between? There’s no answer to that I suppose….
    Thank you for your sharing. You’re not alone…

  178. I read all 200+ comments and was a little surprised that no one brought up the advertising influence — as in, if a blog is trying to cultivate sponsors, maybe getting “real” wouldn’t be the most revenue-generating approach. I can imagine that sunglasses and clothing vendors might not want to be seen next to a post on the blogger’s struggles with being bi-polar, having chronic UTIs, divorce, etc. Light and breezy and consumer-focused seems like a safer approach.

    As for love, I recently got married for the first time at age 44. Guess what, I had to travel to France (from SF) to find him. I strongly believe two things: 1) San Francisco is a really really tough place to meet (straight) men. There are a lot of men behaving badly because they can. 2) There’s something to be said for going somewhere you are ‘exotic’. In SF I often felt invisible walking down the street, whereas in France it’s like an episode of Cheers, where everybody knows my name. That said, I don’t think marriage or being in a relationship is the be-all and end-all; I miss the days of making decisions with no one’s approval to seek but my own. But if this is important enough to you to bring up as a missing component in your life, then certainly don’t give up! (And can I set you up on a date?)

    • well, to answer that – for me personally, my advertisers have never once influenced how or what i post. they come to me, and more often than not, if i don’t feel they are the right fit for my readers, i don’t accept their advertising, especially true for sponsored posts. sometimes it’s a tempting income i am turning down, but i’m not going to share something that has no relevant reason for being on the blog. so in my case, i have much more control over the advertising you see her than you might expect. although, maybe i’ve been lucky, but i’ve never once had an advertiser ask me not to post a certain mood, or influence anything i do. i’d probably tell them to go find another blog, if they did.

      as for my love life – i’ll let that one just go for now. but thanks! i hear you about dating in san francisco, though. i’m all for being ‘exotic’! :)

  179. I think you’ve really captured something here. My 13-year-old son just deleted his facebook account. He’s not one of the popular kids but he had many fb friends. However, he said it was pointless to be on fb because no one ever talked to him or messaged him, and he found it very depressing to see all those “faux reality” moments that were happening without him. The more I think about it, I’m really proud of him for recognizing that fb was a negative influence upon his emotions and doing something about it.

  180. is it really that insightful to suggest that behind every well-curated blog or instagram feed is a real person, with a real life that might not always be fabulous? i am shocked that so many are so moved by this non-revelation. any form of social media provides only a superficial glimpse of the person behind it. for obvious reasons (including advertising revenue, which another commenter noted), many blogs and facebook feeds skew toward positive experiences. but even an online persona that trades on “authenticity” portrays a very narrow slice of the storyteller’s day-to-day experience (even if the stories come from real life). are we really at a point where people need to be regularly reminded that your friend’s picturesque pinterest board does not translate to a picturesque real life? on the contrary, i’ve found that people who focus intensely on projecting a certain persona through social media typically are compensating for what’s missing in their offline (i.e. real) lives.

    • thank you for your thoughts, but, as i said i don’t think i’ll be the first or the last to comment on this subject, so i don’t claim to be insightful in any way, i was merely posting something that was bothering me, and wanted to briefly explain my take on it.

      but as i mentioned to the other comment in regards to revenue — never once has an advertiser had any control over what is presented on my blog. they have never asked nor suggested in any way that i need to perk things up or change a thing around here. if they had, i’d send them elsewhere. if they come to me because of ‘positive attitude’, so be it — but they do not in any way shape or form influence what i share here (sans a little swearing on my part, which i real life i might be more apt to do). and if i ‘skew’ towards positive experiences here, because that’s what this particular blog is all about — inspiration.

  181. This is so honest and beautiful. Thank you for expressing aloud what I was thinking. It’s easy to share the good stuff because I always think people don’t want to hear about the bad stuff, but the good and bad are just reality. They go hand-in-hand. Thank you for posting this, I am going to try and be more open to sharing all sides of my life in my blog. You’re an inspiration Victoria!

  182. Yep, yep, and yep. This is a lovely piece. You’ve always been too authentic for me to think that everything is all peachy all the time. But that’s why your blog resonates with me and so many other people. When I moved from SF to the midwest your blog became one of the bright spots in my day amidst a sometimes tough transition. Beauty speaks volumes but so does honesty. Thank you for both!

  183. Victoria, wise words and honesty (as always). Your blog always feels very real to me, amongst the welter of ‘poppycock’ on the internet. Thank you.

  184. I just had a conversation about the perfection of the internet with someone at the grocery!! Keeping it real keeps us interested! I’m so amazingly delighted to learn that I’m younger than you! I can hope to have a blog that’s half as interesting as yours someday, and it might actually happen!! Thank you for that hope!!

  185. I soooo appreciate what you said. I think it’s too easy to assume that bloggers are living the good life based on their pics. I don’t need everyone to be miserable, but it would be nice to know that others struggle in life as much as I do. Thank you for being so honest!

  186. thank you thank you thank you!
    As a blogger, I always try to be incredibly honest in my posts. My fiance and I attempted a project this weekend. We screwed it up four times, it took a week instead of four hours, and oh yeah, we definitely got into at least two fights while trying. Sometimes I feel like the honesty is a bum out, like I shouldn’t even admit when things are hard or don’t work out perfectly on the first go-round. But I made a promise to myself to always tell it like it is on my blog, and I’ve stuck with it. Glad to know I’m not alone!

  187. Nothing short of awesome lady. I have to say, I know how you feel. I quit Facebook recently and recently stopped reading blogs as much simply because, well, it makes me feel like my life is boring or inadequate or just blah. And, truth is, I don’t feel like that as much when I’m not comparing myself to everyone else. Your words are honest and true and heartfelt. Props. Mad props.

  188. So lovely and so well put. I would hate to think that the things I post or share would make anyone feel “less than”, too. I always assume, “who wants to hear about my bout with severe depression 11 years ago? Who wants to hear about my body issues? who wants to hear about how I sometimes feel like a lazy bum who can’t do anything the way she wants to?” But, of course, sometimes folks DO want to hear exactly that, so they know they aren’t alone. At any rate, I appreciate your honesty and thoughtfulness. And all the beauty that you share.

  189. Can’t thank you enough for writing this. I could not have said it better. I have been thinking this lately too, and I wasn’t sure how to communicate this. I think blogging is about being positive and shedding light on the beauty in life, not painting an image that life is perfect.

  190. Love this personal post! A great reminder and as a blogger I share pretty pics and beautiful things on myblog just because this special place, I mean my blog, is the only part of my life that I can control!
    My life is ” a beautiufl mess” sometimes or better, all the time, no relationship, bad day job…
    But on my blog everything is perfect is I may say so, just because I want to get away from real life from a moment and to help people to get away from their life when it becomes too boring.
    I want people to have sparkles in their eyes jus like when I take a look to all the blogs I follow because even if it’s not real life I always read a post or see a picture that brighten my day!
    Your blog often make my day and I know that sometimes the girl behind can have problem but what I love is the way you hide it and take me away!
    So thank you so much for this lovely post and even if you can feel alone as we all do, just think that there’s someone somewhere every second who is reading one of your post or looking at one of this colorful pic and this person is thinking of you!

  191. WELL SAID!

    There are two sayings that I’ve been repeating to myself again and again as I delve in to social media as a small-business owner instead of a little DIY blogger:

    1) Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.

    2) Don’t compare your out-takes to someone else’s highlight reel.

    Thank you for posting this. It needed to be said. We needed a reminder.

  192. I really really appreciated this post! I just moved to a new area far from family and friends, live in a little one-bedroom apartment and can’t find a job. I started blogging to connect with others even if I am not physically close and to have a creative outlet. I read other blogs for the same reason- to connect and to find new creative ideas. But sometimes what I read on other peoples’ blogs seems so perfect, and my life right now is frustrating, or I feel pressured to make my blog big and pretty and successful like others’, to join this big creative community, etc. Your post inspired me and reminded me of why I started blogging in the first place! Thanks :)

  193. Just perfect. It takes a lot of courage to say what you are saying here and I’d like to thank you because it’s how I feel especially at this precise moment in my life. a big hug ;)

  194. oh victoria, I know I’m late to the party here (you know, I was out living my perfect life….hah!) but this is such a heartfelt great post. I’m working with Ms Niland this week, and I was just saying to her how one of my favorite things about you and sfgirlbybay is that you are always 1000% down to earth. Yes, you are a brilliant stylist/curator/designer who lives in a beautiful city and takes beautiful photos….but you are SO real and lovely. Truly. Thank you for your candor and honestly too. It’s why I was and am a huge fan. xoxoxox

  195. What a perfect post about such a real issue with social media. Often we forget that the fun party photos on Facebook or the beautiful moments everyone else seems to have all the time are in reality akin to a “highlight reel”. It’s so encouraging to read your own experience with these emotions and struggles. Puts a bit more human in this digital era we live in :).

  196. very true remarks. It speaks to a natural condition of human nature, things like envy, jealousy, comparing our lives to others happens naturally within us, we can’t help it. BUT, I found peace by seeing that looking outside myself for happiness, gratification, affirmation only leads to dissatisfaction. Being a practicing Buddhist, working to weaken the grips that the world of materialism has on my mind is just that: practice, practice, practice. I like to look at pretty pictures but happiness comes from within, no amount of acquiring, beautifying your home, or adorning your body will lead to lasting happiness. People get addicted to shopping for just that reason. And unless you’re a fly on the wall you don’t know the particulars about a bloggers life, he or she could be a miserable human being. You are whole and complete without stuff. Stuff won’t last forever anyway.

  197. What a fabulous post Victoria! It’s so true that you can easily look at everyone else’s glimpses of “life” and get discouraged. I think my biggest struggle lately is that I feel like I’m so busy capturing moments to record on instagram, twitter and the blog that I am not actually EXPERIENCING those moments.

  198. You are lovely and amazing and I appreciate the fact that you share beauty. I understand why some people would see it and feel like they aren’t living up to it. But I become inspired by it. While life is tough, it’s nice to have hope.

  199. What a thoughtful and incredible post. Thank you for sharing and opening up to your readers, especially with such genuine intentions. As someone who can get too caught up in jealousy of the seemingly perfect lives I see on the internet, I really appreciate your effort to add some perspective.

  200. I haven’t read through most of the comments, so apologies if this is redundant. I really appreciated this post…it is so honest and genuine, thank you. I wanted to share another side though – one that doesn’t come from jealously or thinking that your life (or others) is perfect. The reason I follow your blog/Insta/Pinterest/etc is that you post pretty things that make me happy. Because life is full of the crappy moments…the loneliness, tears, sad times. I use social media to not feel worse about myself, but rather to feel better. I love seeing the your perspective on life from your house, walking your dog, even flowers in a vase you put out. It helps me shake off the bad stuff and think…”I should take my dog out, buy myself some flowers, and move that painting from my Living Room to my Dining Room.” So, I say…keep up the “happy posts” even if you feel it may not be authentic to how you are feeling that day. I know you are real, I know you have hard times too…but your beautiful shots and inspirational viewpoint helps to make MY days brighter sometimes. And it means the world to me. So, thank you for doing what you do. There is enough “hard stuff” out there in the world…and to me…you make life a little more beautiful. We need more of that. Thank you.

  201. I appreciate your honesty and love your blog. And can I just say that when you mentioned you are going on 54, I did an out-loud “whaaat?” and then clicked your link to verify. With your haircut and glasses, I just assumed you were in your 20s! And I have to say I respect you so much more :)

  202. Wow, thanks for sharing Victoria- this is a topic that has been quite close to my heart recently. I believe that this sense of social exclusion that we often experience through social media can be very isolating and lonely- and have a very detrimental effect on our mental and emotional well-being. I’m actually developing a program to take into schools to combat this weird social phenomenon- if you’d ever like to hear a bit more about it, feel free to drop me an email :) Love your blog, I’m glad I found it! MJ x

  203. Funny how we all feel like this! I didn’t count the comments, but, there are so many of us who feel exactly the same way, and I thank you so much for saying what we all feel. And I too do what you did all the time – I say, “I’m going to be 50 this year,” instead of “I’m 49.” Why do we do that? It’s not like it sounds better or anything! Have a beautiful weekend, Victoria!

  204. Hi Victoria, I feel you. I have to take breaks from Instagram for weeks on end because of this. However, due to a personal epiphany I’m learning that people really do fake the funk on there… a lot.

  205. Wow! I’m sold! Love the insight and compassion for your fellow travelers. First article I have ever read on your blog. Subscribing to your feed now =)

  206. Goodness! Thank you for sharing that, Victoria! Appearance and reality is an age old theme, and today it is most obviously played out on the internet. Your blog is full of life, beauty and vigour – I adore it – but it feels so much more real and human to know what I know now about its author.

  207. well freaking said, I have been toying with the idea of starting a blog about real life photos. The unfolded laundry. what my studio really looks like, messy! or gosh my car, that is a train wreak for sure. maybe i can get brave and do a post about one to start. Great post and love the pictures. It really does help to live in a beautiful area. I am in the Detroit area and well, abandoned houses can be really lovely in a way.

  208. I love how you signed off…”In real life”….living on Kauai, I need to be mindful of this. while i am so grateful, like you, to live in a beautiful place I also have some really low days. I’m a bit of a loner and choose to exclude myself, sometimes. I have always loved your authenticity and have respected you for sooo long. Thank you for sharing this and being vulnerable. It’s appreciated. xo

  209. It’s scary to think that people don’t know that what they see on TV or the internet isn’t real. The real problem is lack of personal responsibility, and people turning off their brain.

  210. thank you for this post. it’s a great reminder. i used to be a fairly well-known (within my “niche”) blogger who, ironically, gained most of my readership by sharing some of my deepest darkest secrets. however, at the same time, i still had to put on a “Sparkly” persona, because there would be no point to sharing those traumas if i couldn’t also show that i had become stronger for them. while i found this very rewarding work for a while, i suffered some more tragedies in my life and found it harder and harder to pretend that my life was just so great and i was just so awesome and strong all of the time (which was kind of what i felt [the success of] my entire business had been based on). the pressure eventually got to me and i quit, but now i’ve learned to be realistic.

    thank you again. :)

  211. Thank you so much for this post. I feel the same way. I’ve been struggling with the balance of life vs. internet and I’ve had to step back a bit. When something I see online puts me in a bad mood, then I know that I’m too involved.

    Also, can I just say that I can’t believe you are in your 50s? You look much younger!

  212. Beautiful Victoria. Tears in my eyes. Had never seen this post before. I must say it’s the most beautifully written post I’ve ever read. Thank you for showing the blogging world, that grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It takes tremendous courage to show your vulnerability (kudos to you), and I’m sure with this post, that you helped hundreds of people that DO THINK what they see via social media, is what it appears to be. Hoping those people realize that, as you said, “it’s only a slice” that they’re seeing. There are a lot more pieces in that pie.

    Thanks again Victoria…

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