I don’t think I am unique in having thoughts throughout my life of “I wish I could write for a living”. It seems like a fun and simultaneously tragic way to go through life- the romanticised version. The old stereotype where you sleep late, wake and put on a comfy sweater or smoking jacket (actually, smoking jackets are cool and I need one), pour a big cup of coffee or tea and just let imaginative words and stories flow through you. Later, switch to vodka or cocaine and then the real fun begins.
But like a lot of things, I never understood how you feed a family doing that because I am a very practical and logical person. If you are not suffering to put food on the table, it isn’t worth doing. I have my personality type and German heritage to thank for that point of view. Entering the beauty industry fulfilled a creative feeling while working on a commision based income felt like a good enough amount of suffering. Plus, throw husband and kid in and, it just wasn’t in the cards for me. But much like being a private detective or professional dancer (not the pole kind), my other childhood dream careers, it just wasn’t in the cards for me.
A couple of years ago, I was going through a lot. Or, I was trying to recover from a lot. I went through a really very extra dramatic relationship that was very traumatic. For a few years after it ended, I had a lot of PTSD symptoms. Stalking had been involved. I had become afraid to leave the house. I was so ashamed of what had happened that I stopped seeing my friends because they knew or had unwillingly been involved. Things were just really bad. Sometime in that time I decided to finally make an account on Reddit and starting to participate. I found SkinCareAddiction. I quickly learned so much of what I had been taught in the industry was false and I was hooked. Then, inevitably I heard about AsianBeauty.
Being that one of the things that attracted me to the beauty industry in the first place was my love of products, a 7-12 step skin care program sounded like a dream. I love products like some women love shoes and clothes. As a pre-teen/teen my mom will attest that there was little danger in taking me to a proper shopping mall. The danger was in the aisles of Walgreens. I blame my parents influence. My father had worked for Clairol during my childhood. My mother who was not a high maintenance woman in any respect, but would spend $$ and time on *good skin care. I was dying my hair myself at age 12 and was fascinated with the rotation of hair products coming into my house, bought from the company store at a discount.
After spending some time on the AB sub and actually reading and researching and not feeling confused, I noticed some girls were blogging or, beginning to blog. That seemed like fun. Like something up my alley. Like something I could do/be good at.
Cut to some time and circumstances later-my fog of depression was lifting. I had at least one thing that was mine that I was doing to give myself a little care and attention. I will admit I have never had problem skin the way a lot of people do. I definitely went through rough periods with my skin but most of that can be attributed to being my own guinea pig in the salon. Cautions say only use once or twice a week? I’ll use it five. Not indicated for my skin type? Psh. I’m putting it on my face anyway. I argued I was doing it so my clients didn’t have to.
So I was not tackling acne. But I was tackling neglect and lots of things like partying and tanning and generally spending about 5 years of my thirties, barely washing my face and daily moisturizing. That had turned around dramatically once I learned more about a multi-step routine and I was feeling better than I had in what seemed like a very long time.
So, one day on a quest for some new My Beauty Diary masks, a fellow AB user-turned-blogger and I started chatting about how I was crazy and used a private buyer to get the latest MBD masks not yet available outside of Taiwan. She proposed that when I got them, I blog about it as a guest on her blog. To say I was elated is probably an understatement. I think very highly of her and it felt like an honor to be asked.
It’s a bit cringey to me now but, it is what it is and I am still humbled and feel grateful.
I shared the blog with a few close friends who encouraged me to consider blogging for myself. I have to admit, I got really excited and felt enthusiastic about it. My daughter had graduated high school and it seemed like it might be a nice place-holder/filler in my new life as a retired active-duty single mom. I had a week’s vacation planned that summer and I was going to a nice relaxing place. I thought I would spend some time teaching myself about blogging and how to deal with coding. (P.S. ya, that did not happen)
The vacation itself was marred by unforeseen circumstances and what was supposed to be a great time for me, turned very sour and soured very quickly. I ended up spending that vacation doing a lot of drinking, a lot crying and a lot of wound licking. Blogging kind of felt outside of what I could think about and cope with for a little bit.
At some point a couple months later, I started thinking about it again. But right around that time, I began to notice something I didn’t know was a thing. Ya, beauty bloggers are sometimes mean people who hate each other. They sometimes disparage one another. Try to tear each other down. WTF? Over beauty products? What is this shit?
The more I honed in on this, the more I saw. My “dreams” pretty quickly deflated. Plus, I also noticed some of the best beauty bloggers I was reading, really worked hard on their posts. Like, really hard. Like hours of research hard. I have a pretty short attention span and even softer exterior shell for criticism. Serious beauty blogging was not going to be for me because I could not aspire to put in that kind of work for something I wasn’t being paid to do. After all, I work two jobs/6 days a week. Blogging would literally be hobby status. But if I wasn’t going to do it “right”, I should leave the space open for those that could and do.
That is kind of how I got to what you are reading now. I wanted to blog but, not about the same things or in the same way. As you can see by what I have done so far, I am not really sure I will ever know what this blog will be.
This past month I have seen some seriously ugly shit being thrown at some beauty bloggers I love mucho. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, more accusations began to surface again. Because, fucking god forbid you have any payoff from the hard work of being an actual good blogger than a bunch of “thank you!” comments. How dare you earn a measly amount of points towards off setting a giant lot of expenses for something that you are not paid to do. And may god have mercy on you for just being a woman who exists and just wants to do something nice for people while having your name drug through the mud for literally no reason.
Make no mistake. They may blog about things that are soft, fluffy and delicious. Things that are elegant and pampering. But these are a gaggle of tough bitches. Much tougher than I. They stand up and stand strong for each other and they do not crumble.
I on the other hand, come off as very tough and I certainly can be. But I am more crumbly than I would like to admit.
So, that is the story of how I am not becoming a beauty blogger. If you are still here, bless you. and don’t forget, comedy makes everything all better again. Just call me Dooneese.