ootd, style
Comments 45

It’s Not Personal


Filter-free thoughts.


In this day and age, we exist within an endless circus of self-exposure.  We exhibit our meals and our cute pets on social media for all the world to see.  We flaunt square insights into our private lives on Instagram with nary a second thought.  Has the need to be nakedly exposed for nothing but a mere modicum of fleeting fame turned into an implicit obsession?  Or, has the desire to wield the word “I” become such a zeitgeist that no longer does the spotlight focus on writing about oneself but rather, for oneself.


It would appear we spare no sepia filters for what we share.

It's Not Personal | Sheela WritesIt's Not Personal | Sheela WritesIt's Not Personal | Sheela Writes

Which has me wary about something I’ve dissected at length in the past – oversharing.  When does sharing morph into, I’m loath to use this word, confessing?

It’s all too easy for shared experiences to waver from being an intellectual reconstruction of past, personal encounters, to being, well, confessions (read: nakedly exposed).  No one enjoys feeling vulnerable.  And no one likes the inference it creates.  After all, a revelation is a mode of self-scrutiny.

Not a plea for absolution.

Nor for attention.

It's Not Personal | Sheela WritesIt's Not Personal | Sheela WritesIt's Not Personal | Sheela Writes


The very word implies that we’re dumping all our guilt and sins on the page, begging readers to forgive us.  It can also imply failure.  And that simply isn’t the case.

Confessions aren’t in the least bit methodically processed, or analysed.  They’re told in a moment of desperation.

It's Not Personal | Sheela WritesIt's Not Personal | Sheela WritesIt's Not Personal | Sheela Writes

Revelations, or sharing (as I prefer to name it), on the other hand, is a transcript of events which transpired.  Events which help us navigate a roadmap for the future. Rehearsed accounts of things that actually happened.  They may be staged but they’re certainly not fake.

Personal experiences conscripted into intellectual content, shared on a global podium.  And through sharing, we witness these disclosures being heard, processed.  And perhaps, just perhaps, for those of us who need it, we start healing.  Learning.  Living.

It's Not Personal | Sheela WritesIt's Not Personal | Sheela Writes


What about you?  Do you believe, as I do, that the royal road to healing (or salvation, if you prefer) is self-investigation?  Its goal isn’t sympathy or forgiveness.  Life isn’t personal.  Life is evidence, really.  Fodder for debate.  And the outcome makes us stronger.

Do you believe that too?

Love, Sheela

p/s photos by eve

I link up here.


  1. nayardt says

    I think privacy is important to lead a happy life but with social media and a physical jealousy that overcomes us we do feel the need to overshare. Ideally we can find a balance!


  2. robjodiefilogomo says

    I think even before social media, some have trouble finding a balance in this experience. We all know the person who gives too much info even in everyday life. Maybe we are just more aware of it, now with the chance to spread it from kingdom come??
    Such an interesting dress–kinda reminds me of a cape when the wind is blowing…SuperSheela!!


  3. No Fear of Fashion says

    You are talking to the wrong person here haha. I have always shared everything with everybody. Long before social media. I feel the need to tell stories and to share my joy, my set-backs, my jokes, my disappapointments. Never for salvation, just because of the need to share, to tell stories.
    TMI is very personal.
    Example:: I was pulling the leg of a colleague (man) by saying he was a dish and had I been a lot younger I would have “pitched” him…. Then I took the joke a but further by saying: “Now…. you may think, what do I want with such a remark from an old woman? But that is the wrong way of thinking. You should think: she ought to know as she is very experienced, she has done lots of “reseach”.
    A female colleague who heard everything and especially the last sentence, said: oh Greetje .. too much information!!
    Which I thought was funny. If that is already TMI, my goodness, hold on to your seat, there is a whole lot more coming. Which I told her.


    • You are my kind of woman, Greetje. That’s precisely how I talk in real life. No holds barred. I’m certain there are many who feel very uncomfortable around me GRIN just as there are those who enjoy my company because I am of the “what you see is what you get” personality. I’m allergic to artifice and bullshit, and I really do think life is far too short to hide behind fake pleasantries, you know? 🙂 xoxo


  4. Wordsmith (claps). It is true when blogging we bear our souls and sometimes it can seem like we are trying out shock each other with sad stories but really it’s about learning and growing together. Life is evidence of what we have been through but most importantly what we have overcome. There is no shame in sharing. Another amazing post. You provoke deep thought which is something I admire.


  5. jennie1969 says

    I am just drawn to this dress and find its unique split personality so intriguing. You have styled it to perfection with your boots, fun studded bag and polka dot cuff. I tend to be more reserved with what I share about my personal life in the land of the internet. I suppose to compared to other people without blogs I share more than the norm of my day to day to the world, but I certainly don’t feel like my life is an open book. However, I do admire those who are more confident about being more open. You have given me thoughts to ponder yet again…


    • As I am. I mean I have no qualms about sharing my thoughts and views because it’s therapeutic for me, so I regurgitate without reservation. That said, when it comes to matters pertaining to my family and life with the family, I hesitate. I believe because it’s a shared life, shared moments, I don’t have the right to reveal those without the permission of family members, you know? 🙂 and at the end of the day, I think we need to measure just how much we want to share with the rest of the world and my line appears to be drawn where family is concerned 🙂


  6. I believe confession is a HUGE part to healing and the beginning of change. I learned in college that others deserve to know the truth of our lives sometimes so as to know where we come from or what we want to change. Great post, I like your word Revelation and how you describe it, very true.
    Have a good weekend!
    By the way, loving the blacks and whites here, and that clutch.

    Rachel xo


    • I do too, Rachel, but the fear of being judged makes it so hard to open up. At least for me, that is. In as much as I want to share my past with those who matter to me, I’m wary too of them drawing away in disgust/fear/repulsion/confusion/disbelief. It’s such a tricky situation xoxo


  7. I think sharing (and oversharing) are so very personal and it really depends on the person and where they are at. What I mean is that what’s sharing for one may be oversharing for someone else. Some share a lot more naturally than others. I think sharing stories can be very healing and can help us to move on, evolve and grow.

    I always enjoy your posts because they make me think. Your posts have beautiful photos, stunning outfits and THE BEST SHOES, but what really stands out are your beautiful words.

    When I started my blog seven years ago, I wanted a space to focus on the good in my life. Life was very stressful, and having a “happy place” was important to me. And, for the most part, I have kept my blog a happy place. I have shared some struggles over the years but not often. My aunt always notes that she can tell when things don’t go well for me because I stop posting… It’s not that I want to “hide” things, but it happens naturally…

    Andrea’s Wellness Notes


    • I think your method works beautifully for you, Andrea, and the fact that you’ve been blogging for seven years bears testimony to that as well 🙂 I’m the same but on the opposite side of the pole. As in the more issues I’ve to deal with, the easier it is for me to write. Paradoxically when things are on the up and up, I find it harder to create content. It relates back to writing being a form of therapy for me, I guess 🙂


  8. sequinist says

    Very interesting thoughts, Sheela. I think there is a fine line between sharing and oversharing, and obviously this varies from person to person. Sometimes when I’m writing, I’ll think “god, this is so tedious, this is so ME ME ME, who would want to read that?” and I delete it. But then, that is why people read blogs, to read a person’s point of view, instead of just reading something like a magazine which is so much more impersonal. I try to share what may be interesting for people on my blog, and attempt to take out anything too Lisa-focused. (like Greetje, I am an over sharer IRL!).

    On a superficial note, you look positively gorgeous here, I want every single element of what you are wearing, but as always, especially the shoes!



    • I hear you, Lisa, I know what you’re saying. I often wonder if what I write comes across as being pure whining, you know, and if I really ought to just keep Sheela-land a happy happy, joy joy place. A place where neither problem nor worry exist. But then again, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I did that 🙂 xoxo


  9. Sheela, as always you write in such a captivating way. This post made me think especially the first paragraph. Do we have to photograph everything and put everything on social media for the world to see? What is next, our bathroom experience as we pee?! The thing is, in this day and age pictures and videos are everything. Social media sites keep growing by the month it seems. Do I think there is such a thing as over-sharing? Of course. Am I guilty of it? Sure, at times. I personally don’t think I would ever join Snapchat though I never say never. But I do not believe that pictures say a thousand of words when it comes to blogging, Instagram and Facebook as I think a lot of those photos show the best of us and our lives and a good portion of them are staged. Our pictures don’t show our problems, I mean come on!

    Style-wise, you are so edgy, fierce and elegant today. I had seen this hi-lo Black+White Dress on another blogger but it truly looks perfect on you. I love how you elevated it with the fun accessories. The boots and lip clutch are amazing. Also, did you see my feature on you on my current post? Come take a look dear. Thanks.


    Have an amazing weekend, hot mamma!


    • To be perfectly honest, Ada, I too swore I’d never ever be on Snapchat when it first launched. Yet here I am, not only happily snapping, but also happily stalking the lives of some of my fave people!! So who’s to say, right? On a personal level, I do hope I’ve been able to mediate a happy mesh of nice photos with real life issues in terms of blog posts. To chronicle how life is full of ups and downs, it really is, and that behind those words/picture perfect images, there are real people with real feelings and emotions 🙂 and I also wanted to thank you for the feature, albeit a little late. It was so unexpected and so nice xoxo


    • This is my fave sort of dressing, Jenna, a simple piece with loads of graphic details. Makes my life so much easier 🙂


    • Oh wow, Robin, I think you’re the very first person to openly admit that she doesn’t share enough. I love that!!! Really, really. I think it’s the way I felt with my first outdoor photo shoot, literally. I went from backyard to frontyard. Then to the neighbourhood park. And then the nearby shops. Then the mall. And it was full tilt from thereon GRIN thank you so much for stopping by!! xoxo


  10. stinedurfdl says

    Yes, there is such a thing as oversharing. I don’t think that the world needs to know about every last thing you ate for dinner last night, nor do I find it a stellar idea to post every last bit of your personal business for everyone to see. But with that being said, I think sharing stories is a way of not only entertaining others, but also a way to maybe give others the opportunity to learn from our experiences. The gentleman I wrote about in yesterday’s post shared a deeply personal story with me, and I have to say it changed me a little bit. It made my day a little bit brighter having talked with him.
    I have to say this is one insanely fabulous outfit you’ve got going on here. So graphic, chic and completely gorgeous. I love the floatiness of it.


    • You make quite the point there, Debbie, about the oversharing. But then again, as humans, how else can we learn and grow unless we hear from others, right? xoxo


    • It so is. Especially in this day and age when our data/privacy is too easily stolen from us. But then again, whilst I firmly believe in living under my rock, a life completely devoid of sharing is also not quite appealing 🙂 xoxo


  11. Thought provoking words as always Sheela. You’re so worldly wise, and challenge us with your insights. I’m afraid I’m more like Greetje. My daughter often tells me off with a “TMI mum”, followed by a withering glance. I do hope however, that I’m also like Andrea, in that my blog is likewise my happy place. Difficult times are really for sharing with our nearest and dearest, so at least I have my own filter in place for that. We’re all so very different, that some things which may seem ordinary to some, might be shocking for others.
    The outfit is cutting edge; the shoes and bag outrageously gorgeous. I wish I could find time to visit your blog more often. I love your style, and how your mind works x


    • Hahaha!! My daughter calls me the very same thing, Anna. That I overshare. That people really didn’t need to know what I just told them. Or she just gives me this withering look that makes me completely burst into laughter because, honestly, I really don’t give a shit what people think of me 🙂 although I do try to rein it in a smidge when underage little things are around but that’s about it. I’ve always thought I had no filters but I’ve realised that I do. The very worst things that have happened to me, have stayed within me. I have yet to find the courage to purge and share, and heal, I suppose. In time. Thank you so much, Anna, for always stopping by and leaving me comments which make me look inward even more xoxo


  12. happinessatmidlife says

    Great post! I think for me it’s finding that right balance with not oversharing on social media. With my close friends, there’s no such thing as over sharing.

    I am loving this black and white look.

    Thank you for being a part of TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you soon!



    • I’ve been told (and repeatedly) that I have no friends GRIN which is quite true, actually. I’m such a quirky, old soul that I’ve yet to find anyone with whom I can strike a chord and really be myself. Family aside, that is. And in truth, I’m alright with that. I’m comfortable in my own company and I find great solace in the world wide web xoxo


  13. Such an interesting post! I think it all depends on the subject and purpose for sharing. It also depends on the level of comfort a person has with sharing. On a side note, stunning outfit. Those shoes are such showstoppers!


  14. Very insightful post Sheela – I really like the questioning of how our sense of privacy has changed and what we share. I feel that with the proliferation of so-called “reality tv” and the appearance of sharing from these “stars” has contributed to this changed sense of privacy and what is shared too. We’re certainly losing our ability to self-investigate, be mindful, be in the present. Thanks so much for the reminder. (Those boots, by the way, are fierce!)


    • Too true, Eileen. With the shifting of lines, what was once considered an invasion of privacy is (more likely than not) perceived as the norm these days. Good and bad xoxo


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