I wish I was cool enough to be Alt

This weekend, hundreds of incredibly cool people from the blogosphere and beyond are hanging out in Utah at a blog conference, Altitude Design Summit, that could be synonomous with the Sundance Film Festival in so many ways. Cool people who set the trends networking in the cool climate of Utah.

I’ll admit I wanted to go so badly. And when I saw others signing up, I pined in jealousy. And everyone I know that is there deserves to be. They’re that cool. But, you see, I’m not. And I’m ok with that.

I read a lot of those beautiful blogs. Most of them are read in a category in Google Reader labeled, “The Pretty Life.” And I love all of the pretty things that they share with me and the new and cute ways to look at plain ‘ol ordinary stuff. They’re artists and creators and visionaries. They make the Internet a big giant magazine that I never want to put away. They recreate pinterest every day with their content. And boy have they made the blogosphere the idyllic escape that we all want to climb into and play with. And they do it day in and day out with ease.

But I’m not a part of that blogging club. I’m in the more practical camp and still running with my blog in more or less the same place and voice that it started with over 5 years ago (~10 if you count my personal website days) and it’s still just regular me here.

And, I’m not really one of them. I’m not the girl posting hair tutorials, but rather the girl who really needs a haircut and a root-touch up but hasn’t found the window of time to make Christmas fully disappear yet let alone a trip to the salon. And I’m the one who still has mascara in her back pocket because she was going to put it on before she got to work… but totally didn’t.

I realized just how “not in the club” I was when people started chit-chatting on twitter about the anxiety they had over outfit planning. I want to dress as cool as “my style” pinterest board, but I don’t most days. I wear one of my six pairs of UGGs or dozens pairs of flip-flops on most days without worry that someone will discredit me as a grown adult. I fail at even implementing a sock bun because my arms fall asleep before all the hair is rolled and tucked and pinned. My suitcase would have contained my favorite outfits – ones that flattered but that I beamed in, but most definitely none of them would have been OOTD worthy let alone Alt-enviable. And if I asked Mr. M to take a photo of me posing in said outfits to share with you, he would giggle and take a photo of my knee or something or zoom-in on my cheek. That’s how life rolls around here.

I take photos, but they’re snapshots instead of gallery-ready pieces of chromatically adjusted art. And when I try to follow a “photo a day” schedule I usually remember to take one at 10:30pm when my only subjects are a grumpy dog who wants to go to bed for the night, a relaxing hubby or a sleeping baby, so I take a photo of an inanimate object in a well lit area. And suddenly my life is 365 days of still life fruit, books and random figurines.

And my blog card is a Moo card with my name on it. That’s it. They don’t have washi tape awesomeness or QR codes. And my handwriting was never enviable by anyone at any stage in my life.

If the blog world was my high school, I know exactly who’d be at Alt. The editor of the literary magazine who is now an award-winning journalist. The art director for the yearbook who is now a big city gallery curator. The future FIDM student who took classic nude pictorials of her best friend for photography class. The hipster actress who loved ballet as much as she loved English, and now gets to pretend that Zach Morris and Dawson are her boyfriends on TV. They’d all be there and would so fit in. Even without a blog. I, on the other hand, was the digital transcriber for the the literary magazine and the yearbook, and I was “random male sub-lead” in all of the musicals (all-girls school, remember?) who could dance and sing but was far from being the star. Funny how group dynamics can still be attributed back to high school personas, huh?

When people find out I have a blog, they ask what kind of blog it is. You know, a design blog. A craft blog. A food blog. A mommy blog. A ‘”lifestyle” blog. I tell them it’s a blog. What I like, what I don’t. What I did or want to do. What I think you’d like because you kinda maybe like me, so maybe you’re like me? My husband, my baby, our dog. Our families and friends. Food. And Disney stuff. ;) Me.

I guess that makes it a lifestyle blog but not cool enough to be categorized as a “lifestyle” blog.

And sometimes I feel bad that I don’t “fit in” to a niche. I’ve felt some tinges of regret in the past that I didn’t try to push my journaling and sharing here into a singular direction. And then I remember that I just write and share and don’t run a business or a label or a brand. And I don’t work for someone who needs me to be seen as someone uber stylish or crafty or “in.” I’ve just always embraced what I liked rather than what should be liked. It’s mishmash and definitely not edited for perfection or idealism. But you know what? I’ve yet to figure out any sort of category to plop myself into, so I guess this blog doesn’t get one either. Most of my favorite blog peeps are the just great people who I want to be friends with,  or they’re my awesome friends who I love being friends with who have blogs.

So I’m remaining the “outsider looking in” to the #altsummit world… and I’m enjoying looking through the window and content that way. Admiring the work of those in attendence and who fit into that group so well, but not with a jealous eye or a sad one. Just observing and enjoying and remembering I’m pretty darn cool as a non-member too.

And be I’ll be thankful for all these eyes reading these words and being virtual & real friends with this pretty darn not-so-sparkly girl. :)

<3 kim


  • Laura

    I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this post and can totally relate. I wish I dressed like my pin boards but I honestly know that I’m never going to take that time and its never worthy of an OOTD post. Your honesty is so fresh and relate able. I’ve often wondered what is my blog and because I haven’t been able to answer that question its gone cold and quiet a number of times. You just might have inspired me to start asking the question again but with a wider view for once. Thanks :)

  • Heidi

    Can I say, “Ditto and amen!” without sounding crazy? I think the thing that really bugs me the most about OOTD posts is half the year it isn’t light enough to take pictures when I’m home. That’s depressing. So then I’m stuck taking pictures, with a flash, inside and they are anything but magazine worthy. My blog suffers from ADHD and I probably do as well. Does that make me a bad blogger? Probably, but it’s okay because I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing.

    Thanks for such a refreshing post.

  • kelsey

    Well, I still love your blog even though it doesn’t fit into a niche, and actually it’s kind of nice. I never know what I’m going to get, and I think that’s great. And, I loved meeting you at BGW and I think you’re cool. :)

  • Marissa

    Goodness gracious, Kim. I feel like you’ve been in my mind + written my own thoughts. Just yesterday I was chatting about the randomness that is my blog when I do actually blog, but that at least every bit of its scatter-brained content is mine. You’re one of the coolest in my book! I’m sending you a high-five + big hug for sharing this. ♥

  • Terri

    At least you can actually make things. Like craft. That’s why I blog….’cause I can’t design or craft anything. :) Even if my “genre(s)” are kinda specific, I actually enjoy reading people who don’t write about what I do. I think many people who write in a particular area tend to write for people in that same area. At least I’ve felt that way about some travel blogs (which is probably why I don’t really read many of them). Personally, I like that you write about lots of different things. It keeps things fresh :)

  • Michelle

    First off, I’m trying to think of the hipster actress but just can’t place her.

    You being you is the best way to be true to your blog and yourself. You have a wonderful space here that so many people read and admire because you don’t fit into one space. You wander through many!

  • Jen

    Such a great post Kim! I LOVE your blog for all the reasons it doesn’t fit into a specific category. Like Kelsey said, I LOVE how I never know what I’m going to get when I visit – a yummy recipe, cute pics of Ms. L, or an awesome thoughtful post like this one! I love that just reading your blog I can get a sense of who you really are and I love it! I noticed there are lots of “loves” in this comment! Just the way it should be! :-)

  • Megan

    I had to look up what Alt Summit was, so I think that makes me even more of an outsider! I think you and your blog are pretty awesome, because you’re honest and unique. I’m glad you don’t fit in a niche!

  • danniey

    This post is so great. I want to copy it and post it on my blog. You do an amazing job articulating what I have been feeling lately. Sometimes when I read other blogs it makes me feel like I am not doing it right, but then I have to remember that I am just being me and so whatever I do, I am doing it right. I craft and mommy and cook and live and I put a little about it online if anyone cares to read it… thanks for being another real not-so-sparkly-but-still-pretty-awesome virtual friend!

  • Mrs H

    dude you’re too cool for them. your blog is one of my very favorites because you talk about life and post fab pictures and recipes. so don’t be silly. you’re awesome.

  • Breezy

    Kudos for posting this, Kim! You are definitely a cool girl in my eyes and if we were at alt together, we’d be the girls that drink coffee in the corner, push up their nerd glasses, and keep it real. :)

  • Tamara

    Oh my gosh, I love this post so much! To me, yours is totally a dream blog that shows a really lovely (intrinsically and aesthetically) life–and I do have you listed as a lifestyle blog in my blogroll. : ) But I totally feel you, I sometimes wonder how some people can put on gorgeous outfits everyday and take a set of amazing, professional quality photos of them; or have their home look immaculate and creative. My tiny corner of the internet isn’t much, but I’m proud of it and I’m happy to share it with those few who care enough to read. : ) xo

  • serena @bigapplenosh

    Aww, I <3 you for expressing exactly how I feel but could never write as eloquently as you do here. Was never the "cool" girl, never will be – that's completely fine! I love your blog mucho, for what it's worth :)

  • Amanda

    Kim, how I love you. It is funny that you posted some of these things in this post because I am totally that girl and envious of YOUR blog! I love reading about Mr. M and Miss L and all of the things that you guys do as a family. I love when you post crafts, recipes, or just sharing something interesting. You are the one that got me into blogging and now I have my own that I am kind of doing a modge podge of things with. So thank you for your creativity, your thoughts, and the interesting things that you post. We all love reading them :)

  • Kira

    I think a lot of people would probably agree with this! I found your high school analogy interesting, though – I think you had a really unique high school experience. At my high school, the literary magazine kids, newspaper kids, and theater kids were in no way the cool kids. So if those are the type of people who are now having success in the blog world, more power to them!

    Anyway, like you, I have also fallen out of love with “pretty things” blogs (as I call them), but I still find inspiration in “big” bloggers who post their own original, inspiring content. Jordan Ferney, for example – she posts great projects and anecdotes about her life; I think her blog is inspiring without being discouraging.

    • Kim

      Yes, my high school experience was unique to say the least. All girls preparatory boarding schools ignite the fires of nerdy passions, so we were all free to be without having to try and fit a prototype model. I guess that’s what I was trying to say. Those people have true artist souls. I’m just a fly-by-night casual observer of that world.
      And Jordan has always been one of my blogging Gods. In fact, when we wandered into one of her husbands art shows randomly in the city, I think Mr M thought I’d lost my marbles for how excited I was. And her sister is amazing too. But I’m never going to be the gal finding flea market treasures or applying gold striped wallpaper – cause I’m just not that kind of creative. Nor will I probably get to live in Paris for a year for fun. But I’m ok with that. And I ding think everyone needs to try and curate their life to try and breathe her air and then spit out something like hers when that’s not their whole being. Being yourself is pretty too.

      • Kira

        I definitely agree that people who idolize/obsess over bloggers’ “perfect” lives are a little creepy. And I definitely think that most bloggers don’t give the full picture of their lives. And your high school sounds fabulous! I wish that I could’ve had a bigger forum for my nerdy passions back then. : )

  • Rycrafty

    All this and more! I feel the same – I’d love to be like say, A Beautiful Mess or one of those gorgeous blogs, but I honestly don’t know if I’m driven enough. I want to be, but I’m just not. Just like I want to go to the gym, but I don’t.
    So my blog is full of knitting and recipes, and the tail end of wedding stuff… I don’t feel like ‘just’ a knit-blogger anymore, but I’m definitely not a food blogger, and I’m almost done with the wedding stuff…
    I want to be cool. I want to be THE crafty blog, but I guess I’m too lazy for the effort? I guess I’ll never be on Martha *tear*.

  • talda

    I struggle with this practically every day with my own blog, which unfortunately results in sporadic posting, and even though I remind myself that it’s okay to NOT be like the popular bloggers, I still kind of yearn to be there. It’s exactly like school, telling yourself the cool kids aren’t really that cool but still longing to be one of them. Sigh. We never really grow out of high school do we?

    I have no clue how I’d categorize my blog, but you know, I don’t mind that at all. It’s quirky and random, just like me, and isn’t that the whole point of this whole writing online thing? To express yourself? If so, then we’re right on target :)

  • Julie S.

    I can totally relate. I don’t take near enough pictures of my kids let alone have time to snap one when I’m actually dressed! I love those pretty blogs but I don’t have the time right now. Maybe someday!

  • Deepa

    This post rocks. I love pretty things and I love making stuff, but to me, blogging is (still) all about what you said: just writing and sharing. Glad to know there are bloggers like me out there.

  • Katie

    I love this post! I definitely found myself wishing to be one of the cool kids going to Alt this year…but I totally share your feeling of not fitting into a “niche.” Perhaps I’m just a bit spastic, but I have always liked to excel at multiple things…so keeping myself tied down to only talk about one narrow subject makes my heart hurt a bit. I like your blog because you talk about random things too! A little bit of everything…I think it’s nice!

  • Melissa

    I think everyone can relate (even those of us who went)! I can’t describe to you how nervous I would get walking into the main ballroom during lunch. Not knowing if I would know anyone with an empty chair next to them. It’s a really supportive network of people at Alt, but I agree, it’s much like high school. At least the anxiety of not feeling cool enough sure is.

  • Cara

    Dude, I not only wasn’t cool enough to go to something cool like alt summit, I wasn’t even cool enough to be chosen to be a wedding bee!

    I enjoy your blog and “normal-ness” I think sometimes we get too crazy thinking about other people and forget to BE ourselves, and embrace whatever that means. :)