Can you guess what the topic is this time around in the Seven Deadly Sins of Blogging? We already hit greed and lust (twice). This time we are going after jealousy. It is fitting considering lust is a step away from jealously and greed, but jealousy is driven by something a little closer to our hearts. Greed and lust strike hard and fast. They are the sins that are easy to identify and clearly wrong. Jealousy though? It grows. It starts small. It starts in the small things. It starts off with good things and then before you know it, you have full blown jealousy gnawing away at you. While I don't have many solutions to these "sins of bloggings", I do have one for jealousy and it is the mentor blog. Keep reading and I will explain.
Let's start at the beginning where all bloggers begin. Perhaps I should say most bloggers. I cannot speak for everyone, but most bloggers will start a blog because they have seen another blog and they want to do the same thing -- be like that person or have the same kind of platform to speak from.
That is all fine and good. To be inspired by someone to do something good IS GOOD. In fact, that first blog usually sticks with you throughout your blogging career. You never seem to lose love for your "first", so to speak. It is the blogs that come after though. They are the ones that begin to build jealous blocks against anything good you are trying to achieve. You were inspired to start blogging because you read one or more fantastic blogs and loved them. The logic would proceed then that you can read blog after blog after blog after blog and be inspired, right? More in not more in this case. More makes you jealous. More makes you realize that THAT girl is fabulous at art and THAT girl has a KILLER blog design and THAT girl speaks RIGHT from the heart and I WANNA DO THAT! ...and the list goes on and on and on. (PS Those of you that have previously read about greed and lust...see any similarities here? The snowball effect? The LUST CAPS in your brain???)
...but I always come back.
That is when it hit me that my problem was not a problem simply of whether or not to read blogs. Rather, my solution hinged firmly upon reading blogs that inspired me because they were girls like me. The girl like me doesn't make me jealous because we are at the same stage of life. The girl like me inspires me without jealousy because she knows what I am going through and her words seem like they are written just for me. The girl like me isn't trying to prove anything. She is just living her life, sharing her take on it and her life? It is very much like mine. She is just doing it a smidgen better. THAT is inspiring. It is the smidgen that matters. A smidgen ahead or a smidgen behind in life. THOSE are the blogs I devour and gain from instead of feeling defeated and left with a belly full of jealous when I am finished reading. I don't need to be reading blogs from barely 20 year-olds that have loads of time, fresh minds full of wonderful ideas and gorgeous bodies that have not birthed babies yet. I also don't need to be reading the blog of the mom who has done it all, her kids are grown and perfect and she is enjoying a job well done. I am not there yet. To read those blogs is just frustrating for me at this point. For every person it is different. My mentor blog will not be your mentor blog. Your station in life is not the same as mine.
What is a mentor blog?
This is how I decided on a mentor blog. OK, that is not true. This is how I finally figured out who my mentor was and why it worked for me. If you have read this blog for ANY amount of time, you know I love Ashley Ann of Under the Sycamore. It took me a long time to figure out exactly why she has always been my absolute favorite. First of all, Under the Sycamore was one of the first blogs I ever read. More importantly, Ashley is about 4-5 years "ahead" of me in the progression of her life. It doesn't hurt that she has incredible insight into her children's personalities and has killer crafting ideas. Lots of people have those though. Why is Ashley Ann so special to me? Let me spell it out for you.
Do you see what I mean? It isn't necessarily that I follow directly in Ashley's footsteps, but that our lives are mirroring each other's somewhat. I can learn from Ashley because many times she has been where I am going. It is like a good friendship where both people have to be on the same wavelength. When they are not, one person can often get jealous easily. When I read too many blogs, it is like having too many friends. I get too jealous too quickly.