Monday Musings – Why a Little Envy is Good

So I have a confession to make, I have a bad habit of being jealous. I know I should be grateful for the life I have, for all the things I have, for my health, for my children. And I am, I truly am. But I still get a little jealous from time to time. And I’ve come to be ok with this. 

I sometimes get a little jealous of Ed’s ex girlfriends, when he mentions something in passing that they did together, holidays they went on together. I’m nowhere near as bad as I used to be with past boyfriends (where I would actually be jealous all the time), but a little jealousy in a relationship can be healthy. It makes me appreciate Ed more, that he’s now mine. 

I also tend to get jealous of other bloggers and vloggers. I look at their huge followings and some of the perks they get for being that good in their field and I wish I could be like them. Again, I don’t think this is a bad thing. 

I started reading Hannah Gale’s blog back in January 2015. I can’t even remember how I stumbled upon it but I liked what I read and I ended up adding it to my phone home screen. Despite since getting two different handsets, it’s not left its coveted place on my first page. I’ve read every blog post she’s written ever since. 

Now, before you start thinking I’m creepy, of course one of the reasons I keep coming back is because I feel I’ve gotten to know this total stranger over the last year and a half, but I also find reading the blog inspires me as a writer. 
I first started blogging back in Autumn 2010, just after I had my first baby. I was alone in the middle of the night, doing the night feeds as a single mum and I needed something to distract me. At the time, I was an avid reader of More magazine (RIP More) and I had come to befriend quite a few girls on their Facebook page. Several other girls started blogs at the same time as me, and I really felt a part of the blogging community. 

Over the years, blogging became less a part of my life. I would write a post here and there, but I never truly got back into the swing of things. When my marriage fell apart after only 8 months, I felt a bit ashamed after blogging so much about the wedding in the run up. I didn’t really feel I could go back to my blog when my life had changed so much. 
Ultimately, reading Hannah’s posts reminded me how much I loved to share my life via a blog. Like me, she struggles with mental illness and reading her sharing her deepest darkest feelings gave me the push I needed to get back into my writing, which I find cathartic. I started this blog up in September 2015 and I haven’t looked back since. 

Writing a blog regularly again is something just for me, where I can write what I want. On my blog I’m not ‘just a mum’, I’m me, and it gives me a boost to see others liking and interacting with me from reading my words. I’m nowhere near at the level Hannah is. I’m not even back to the level I was at when my first blog was at its peak (a lot has changed since then for a start), but that doesn’t matter, what does matter is that reading someone else’s blog gave me the motivation to start my own up again, and it continues to motivate me to keep writing and to be the best I can be at blogging. 
My latest obsession, largely helped along by the blogging community, is the Olympus Pen camera. Ever since I saw this camera mentioned on a blog post, I’ve had the name in the back of my mind, and lately I’ve been researching it and lusting after it, and the beautiful shots it can give, so much that if I don’t treat myself soon I may burst. 
A few months ago I decided to take the plunge and started my own YouTube channel. Firstly I tried weekly vlogging as part of a shake up on my blog. This fell a bit flat as I don’t really do enough at the moment to warrant a weekly summary mainly involving sitting on my bum at work, sitting on my bum back home and eating my body weight in junk food that ‘the baby needs’. In the end I stopped the scheduled Sunday posts and decided to video things as and when they came about. 
Since, I’ve uploaded a few videos and I also joined the In Real Life small YouTube community, where I have several videos coming up on the newly launched channel. Chatting with other members of the team, and watching their videos and individual channels has given me the motivation to continue with my own channel and to push myself harder to film more and to edit my videos better. I’ve gained some invaluable tips from being a part of the team.

Being a part of YouTube has also changed my perception of the website. Before, I just used it to play songs which I was too poor or lazy to upload onto my phone. Then, when the children got a bit older, I would use it to play Peppa Pig on a loop to keep them occupied for half an hour in the mornings so I could get a bit of a lie in. 
Nowadays I actively search out other vloggers to watch. My best friend Kirsty started posting regularly to her channel around the same time I ventured onto YouTube for the first time and I quickly subscribed to her, never missing an upload. Our catch ups have gone from discussing motherhood to discussing YouTube and editing and content. I find her videos and passion inspiring. 
I don’t think Vlogging will ever take over blogging for me, as I’ve always had a passion for words, but I love that I’m now exploring a new hobby alongside my blog. 

Through YouTube and being more active on Twitter due to being a part of the In Real Life team, I’ve come across Hannah Michalak, and her little family. I’ve recently subscribed and find myself binge watching their uploads when laying on the sofa in the evenings. 
The baby must enjoy them too as he kicks and wriggles around loads when I watch them. In fact, I had to go to the hospital on Saturday evening as his movements had dramatically reduced. After being monitored and sent back home I watched one of Hannah’s vlogs and suddenly baby was back to his old active self. I know what I’ll be reaching for next time he goes a bit quiet on us! 
Watching the very polished and professional uploads of the Michalaks does leave me feeling fairy envious of their life. But like I said before, I consider this a good thing. It motivates me to continue doing what I love. It also makes me want lots of cool gadgety filming equipment, so my Amazon wish list is going to be a lot fuller by the end of this year. 
Ultimately, being jealous isn’t a bad thing, as long as you channel that jealousy into making things happen. If you find yourself wishing you were getting as many likes on a blog post as someone else, get writing! If you watch big name YouTubers and lust after their lifestyles, get off your bum and start filming more content! These people that inspire me all started out somewhere themselves. 
I hope to one day look back on this period of my life and appreciate the grit and determination it took to get me where I wanted to be. And I will always be grateful for those that have inspired me along the way. 

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