I don't think of myself as outright "likeable." I'm kind, I'm funny, I can be helpful and friendly.  A big chunk of the time I'm prickly at best. I can be withdrawn and that's my best mode. I sink into myself like an old, comfortable couch and the world disappears. I'm not nice, which you know is rarely acceptable on a woman, even less when you are black. This is not how you get people to care about your blog (or other work).


Being an inward sort of person and not being at all good at the social part of the internet -- or IRL for that matter -- is not how you get people's interests but surely there is more.

I began thinking about aspirational blogging while I was still unemployed last year. Even in the darkest times of my depression, which was at its seeming peak during my months of financial struggle,I still found myself wanting to post here. But I rarely had the data to do so. And had I had it, would anyone have wanted to read? The deep depression of someone who barely ate or left her room? Would I have cared? I have been writing this blog for five years this July and I don't always feel that it's a valid pursuit. But I still write because I want to.

I write about beauty but I am not a guru and I couldn't tell you how to do a damned thing on your face or body or even hair. My skin isn't perfect or even good half the time. There is nothing to aspire to here. There is, I like to think, good conversation and some honesty. But are those my only choices to begin with: be perfect/pretend to be perfect or don't exist at all? I write about the South African culture landscape and popular culture in general but I'm not at events or panels or even trending on Twitter so does it count?

Recently, I added "tech" to the blog after months of thinking about it over and over. But the only iphone I've ever touched was a hand-me-down 3g that made me want to pull out my hair. This bad iphone was the device on which I set up my first instagram account, played Kim Kardashian Hollywood when it had just come out and felt like part of the world. 

For me, tech isn't just about the latest drop. It's a way to talk about life and things we can do to make life a little better and steal some joy. What does tech writing for a market no one seems to be interested in even look like? That market is us. Women like me who don't have the money to get the very latest in technology. Brands making devices and experiences and apps for us send those devices to people who wouldn't buy them to review. Which is fine. They can get their products out there whichever way they see fit. Even through people who look down on those products and those of us who need them. The great disconnect is fine. Even with this gap, I wonder if it's a worthy thing to do.


Instagram -- the public account I use for the blog -- makes me anxious. I have nothing to post, the follows trickle in, everyone looks like they know what they are doing both with the app and their lives. But if I am to pitch that column to a publication one of these days, then I need to show that I am "likeable" and have clout. Or so I'm told. 

While I joke about influencers, both my ego and pocket want that to become an option for me too. After five years, it would be nice to have the option of using this blog to bring opportunities to me and hopefully people who support this space. When it's a particularly bad week, I look at bloggers with numbers and console myself with the fact that they are terrible writers. That they republish press releases. That we are not even doing the same thing. Then I give them my likes on Instagram and let it be.

In blogging here, I never want to create life thirst. I couldn't even if I were that way inclined because my life isn't even how I want it. But it's still mine and I'm doing what I can. However, with the thirst angle taken away, I often wonder if any if this is still valid. I wonder why anyone would care to read about eyeliner that I'm using even though I still can't do my wing. Or show them how. Then the are the times where I convince myself that I don't actually care if anyone reads.

I have accepted now, at 24, that this is a lie. The reason any of this exists is because I care. I care with all my tender heart about the things I think about and put into my Blackberry's memopad and tweet about and email strangers and, eventually, put on this blog in some shape or form. It's only human that I want others to care along with me. To see that I am here.

Admitting this hard. Admitting to my loner self that I want this thing (and the many other things I'm too lazy to create) to matter and take up space is rather difficult. My writing and this blog have largely existed without much applause or eyes, which I have taken in stride. I'm fine with being invisible until an event I believe will shake the youth culture landscape happens and I yearn for a PR agency to know my name. 

This is the year I have questioned whether I even want to write my fiction for public consumption after all. Do I want to explain? Do I want to pacify? I'm still (in my head I see the word cubungula and that's what I'm doing) going over this new question and deciding. It's unlikely this question will last but I'm sitting with it. The way access is structured and the voices that are validated has me sitting with my voice and questioning if I want to go through the excruciating process it takes to be heard. Even as I try to dismantle structures and put up an alternative, it's hard going.

I really just mean I have been writing on here (and making and deleting tumblrs without backing up stories or poems) for five years. I want it -- the space, the words, the ideas, the time -- to mean something but I also want to be left alone. More tech and not-that-funny stories and beauty and culture thoughts will come. And maybe one day I will stop putting things here. Maybe numbers will cease to be part of anything I do on the internet.

But I care.


More stock images on my life blog because my life doesn't look good.