I've rewritten this post a dozen times. While I could talk about my body issues and the constant desire to appear thinner or younger; today's post is not about that. Instead, this is a post about bearing all and lifting that blogging shield that we project into the universe.

Today's post is about #RealBloggerBeauty. I tried to avoid talking about my personal quest for beauty on the exterior. Rather, this is about an internal struggle. It's about the plague of being a "people pleaser". More specifically, my desire to fit in soooo badly. To be liked by everyone. To be at top of my game. To be accepted into each and every social group. And I was that way for 30 years.

I always wanted to be in the popular crowd. Sadly, I was not. Maybe that's not a sad thing. There's a lot of pressure that comes with being popular. And yes, I eventually drank and smoked cigarettes like all teenagers...I was just a tad delayed. I was too busy at theater practice or ballet class to even find the time to attend the cool parties.

Fast forward to my 20's. That need to "fit in", no matter how ridiculous "fitting in" meant, carried on. So much so that I started and maintained relationships with people that I should have never began. It was unfair looking back. But you know what? My friends were all in serious relationships. Surely I wasn't going to be the last to walk down the aisle. My friends were wearing designer clothing and eating fancy dinners. I needed to be on that invite list.

That's messed up isn't it? Now, as a mother of two little girls, I would throw it down if one of them wanted to get married in their 20's. Worse, I think my husband would barricade the front door!

This mentality carried on until I was about 30. One day I had just had enough. I wanted to start living my life for me. I wanted to surround myself with good, positive people that didn't bring me down or even worse, make me chase them just to win their temporary affections. ...or a weekend at one of their summer homes. While we're at it, I would say I was a scosh superficial, too. Anyway, I wanted to rid the toxicity and discover who I really was.

Present day? I have a life I love. I have friendships that I cherish and they are effortless. They actually call me and ask me to dinner. Novel isn't it? I have a support community through blogging with women who empower each other. How awesome is that? More importantly, I have a partner that makes me laugh and truly, understands me although no relationship is perfect..he still hates my clutter!

Having two children in such a short amount of time grounded me like no other. The title of becoming a mother and what it symbolized became of far greater importance than fitting in with the right, jet-setting crowd.

You could say I was a late bloomer but I know things. I know the impact of treating people the way you want to be treated. I know how to be a good friend and what a reciprocal good friend is. I know what a loving relationship looks like. I know a good hug can change someone's day. I know enjoying silence is good for the soul. I know what good food tastes like and making for damn sure that I have elastic pants on to really enjoy it. I know that beauty is on the inside; looks wane. I know little kisses and snuggles make the world evaporate.

Truthfully, blogging can sometimes exacerbate my "fitting-in" syndrome from time to time, still. I mean...we look at beautiful women every week and envy their closets. It's sort of a Catch-22.

I know what I want and I know who I am. And if you don't like me...well, I guess that kinda sucks. It makes my heart twinge a little bit when I don't have chemistry with a new acquaintance but at the same time....ahhhh, c'est la vie. I didn't want to hang out with ya anyways. I'm kidding. Sort of.

My father always told me if you have two really great friends then you are a very lucky person. Rich, in fact. And at 36, I'm rich indeed. The rest is just icing on my cupcake of life.


Maya has crafted a blog campaign that we can all relate to called "RealBloggerBeauty" which inspired today's post. I hope you'll be inspired, too as you can read many other stories and our quest to find real beauty in ourselves and the ordinary world. Thanks for reading.