The Odd Self Consciousness of Digital Times

See this picture? I’ve been debating on posting it for almost two weeks. And the internal conversations I’ve had with myself over it are borderline hilarious, and also a bit pitiful. Not because I don’t like it, but because for some odd reason I’ve been overthinking it to death.

Here’s what really matters in the pic above, and why I wanted to share it:

• I felt strong and fantastic at this very moment.

• That’s a beautiful handmade crochet bikini given to me by a beautiful soul and talented designer, Anna Kosturova.

• I miss my tan. I think it only lasted a week.

• I couldn’t replicate that greasy, salty covering one-eyed hair flip if I tried.

• Basically, it was a natural beauty quasi Blue Lagoon moment, which I think should be celebrated.

But here are the thoughts that have kept me from posting it: 

• Am I going to come across as narcissistic?

• Do I look angry? I am a happy person. What going on here.

• Gosh, how many people will unfollow me because of this?

• Is this photo high quality enough? Darn iphone portrait mode always does wonky things.

• Oh crap. I wish I would’ve pulled up the bikini bottoms a bit.

• Maybe I should text it to my sister and see what she thinks.

• Does it look like I’m prying for compliments by posting and writing about all of this? I hope not.

• Will people think I’m a bad mom since I don’t have my son in here with me.

• I’ll just sit and store it in my drafts until I build up some nerve.

…Yes, it was painful for me to write that out, but the inner dialogue happens. And it happens a lot.

The funny thing is in real, non-digital or online life. I rarely am self-conscious. In fact, I’m the complete opposite. Throw me in front of a large crowd to perform. Sure. Public speaking, bring it on. Wear whatever I feel like rocking at the moment because I trust my style? You bet. Throw me on the set of a big production with a camera in my face? Yes, please. Karaoke? Crank up the John Denver or Sublime, man and prepare to have some glass shatter. Meeting new people? Love it. Conversations with strangers? It’s refreshing and inspiring. Events? I might hang out by the bar a bit, but am totally comfortable attending those solo and striking up conversations with anyone about anything.

Wear a gorgeous hand made crochet bikini anywhere a bikini is deemed acceptable attire, and not think twice about what anyone might think. You betcha.

Post a pic of it on social media…oh, here comes the sweaty palms and chewing my fingernails.

WTF?!

So what’s the difference?

I think it’s the numbers.

Darn you numbers.

Digital life is all about numbers: Likes, followers, visitors, comments, shares, saves, etc. And it seems that society’s consensus is the more the merrier. Throw in my job and  “how good I’m doing at my job” is based on these numbers and….crap. It MESSES with you. Seriously. Whenever I have to send reports of all my statistics to my manager it makes me queasy and stop breathing. Add on that those stats are the basis for whether or not a company would want to work with me. Me = stressball.

I wish I could say I’m immune to it all, but you can’t help but wonder if you’re doing something wrong if the numbers don’t line up with how you’re feeling, or the work you’re putting into it. Especially when my content has gotten more and more personal, and I’m proud of it. I can’t help but take it personally.

You just start to question yourself.

But then let’s flip back to live, non-digital life for a bit. Yay!

In non-digital life, it’s not about the numbers. It’s more about feelings, that very moment, and stuff you can’t really quantify. It’s about smiles, emotional reactions, laughter, frustration, perseverance, how you manage to love your neighbor as yourself, conversations without typos or emojis, beautiful things you see or experience, and things you can’t explain or quantify with numbers.

And when I look in the mirror each day, I am confident that I’m doing my best at all that kind of stuff.

But then the digital world strikes back and makes me wonder if I feel this way in real life, why do the digital numbers mess with me?

The solution? I’m working on it. (And am ALWAYS open to suggestions or help) But, I think it is to ignore all the pressure of the numbers, be grateful for what you have, confident in who you are, and keep on keeping on.

In all honesty, that’s what I’ve done, and will continue to do. Here, over there, and everywhere. I just need to remind and encourage myself sometimes in a public manner to hold myself accountable.

Which means having posts like this where I have to write out my own vulnerabilities (no matter how painful that might be) in order to accept where I’m at and where I’m going.

And to just POST THE DAMN BIKINI PICS.

Because in all honesty, it really is a gorgeous bikini and I have no clue how someone could crochet such a thing.

…and iPhone portrait mode really works wonders when I have about 10 seconds to take a pic  between chasing after a 3-year-old.

..and I really do miss that tan.

Ok, now I’m just rambling. Felt good to get all that out there though.

Cheers to living, learning, and hopefully learning to shut down those voices that like to chirp nonsense in your ear.

Rebekah

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  • This is completely relatable and so inspiring. I have about 5 photos in my drafts on Instagram that I debated on posting and ended up saving for later. Love how real you are ❤️ Thanks so much for the helpful advice!

  • I’m just 1 number who checks out your posts. Here’s my rambling. you look stunningly, bad ass. As a fellow working, creative mom, I know those moments don’t come everyday where you feel like you can say to yourself, “hey, I CAN still pull this off!” I’ve missed your bikini shots. I’m always in the market for a new one & while I will peruse creative sites for inspiration, there are alsopeople I follow who like to stay in shape & work out hard. Those people help inspire me to get that morning workout in even when I feel like crap because an overnight thunderstorm brought my little boy jumping into my bed, therefore I didn’t sleep. You are one of those people. I can understand from a business perspective it’s easy to worry about the numbers & personally wondering if you’re resonating with enough people. Again, I’m only one person. so much of what you say as a beach obsessed, working mom who gets frustrated with the things that come along with life, but still keeps those most important priorities front & center & is brave enough to put it all out here. It’s what keeps me coming back. I may not always comment, but this is one of only 2 sites I’ve ever commented on. So, yes on posting the pic & all your reasons for doing so!

    • I am SO incredibly grateful for you Chloe! Thanks for checking out my posts, and for the encouragement and insight! I’ll be sure to keep the bikini pics coming, and I’m so glad you continue to like and appreciate the site…and keep on coming back. THANK YOU!

  • Rebekah, Just wanted to pop on here and say you are (and continue to be) an inspiration in your online presence. I’ve been following you for something crazy like 6-7 years (no way, could that be right!?) and am always refreshed by your blog posts, art, images and family/life tales. I’m a full-time musician (@finlaymusic) and feel myself completely relating to the temptation of getting tangled up (and often hindered by) the pressure of the role numbers inevitably play in our daily digital work. Just wanted to share a quick note of encouragement that your piece of cyberspace is a slice of heaven and safe haven for those of us afraid to share what is sometimes a little too painful (ahem, embarrassing) to admit aloud. This, coupled with your light humor and faith, is what keeps me coming back for more. Best to you & sweetest blessings this week. 🙂

  • Like the other commenters, I have also been a long time follower (and lover/hater of all your workouts you post!). I’m now a woman in my 30s and have struggled with the pursuit of perfection but desire for balance and have found social media can either exacerbate the challenges or provide a platform to relate to. However, you have been a constant breath of fresh air in a bad ass, genuine, relatable and inspiring way. Keep posting whatever your heart desires because your approach to sincerely communicating your business, art, family, health, and body image has been what’s made you such a bright spot in the often dark world of the internet. And also, your abs, bikini and tan are smoking so keep on rockin’ it, lady!

    • YES! Thank you so so sooooo much for this Kate. Sending you a big bear hug of gratitude, and will be whipping up another fun workout post soon that you will have a love/hate relationship with ( aka the best kind!)