When I began blogging over four years ago, I was in a very different place—literally and figuratively. I began blogging to capture a piece of myself that I felt was being ripped away, my voice. I needed to feel a sense of control. I needed to know that amidst a great storm, I could stay afloat and maintain a completely isolated space untarnished by external forces.
Today, I can reflect on this period of darkness with a new perspective because everything has changed. My voice is completely ingrained in my identity. It is not going to be taken away.
When change occurs, there are ripple effects. And I think I’ve tried to ignore this new reality filled with these ripples. Many bloggers use their blogs to further their offline or online profession, as a marketing or branding tool. Other bloggers are already established in their professional identity or field of work and their blog has no impact on this aspect of their life.
There are very few bloggers who are establishing themselves within a professional field that is grounded in the tenet of “do no harm.” Everything I write leaves me questioning, who is reading these words and how are they interpreting what I’m writing. I’ve blogged through tricky waters before (when I first started blogging) and seem to be at a transition point where I need to determine how to remain true to myself, both personally and professionally.
I am beginning to think about how my writing can transition with me. I love blogging and social media, but need to create clear boundaries for myself. These boundaries will free me to simply be. Just writing that sentence fills me with a sense of peace.
I want to blog less with my voice and more with my heart, going deeper rather than broader.
It’s confusing to be in this place of uncertainty—to sit with the anxiety and let it be. Akin to much of life, blogging feels like something you need to constantly be growing—doing more, thinking ahead and feeling devalued if you are not publishing post after post. I think many bloggers, including myself, devalue the work we’ve already done, the posts we’ve written, and the challenges we’ve traversed. It’s in the archives.
In life, our accomplishments often get filed away into the archives of our brain. If we aren’t doing more, creating more, then we are left to wonder—is the best behind us? Personally, I questioned this a lot when I started blogging. I had accomplished so much at such a young age that after I reached a certain age, my accomplishments were no longer news worthy. There was someone younger doing something more. I couldn’t remain in the identity that felt very rewarding for so long. And life is strange, because today I’m behind in many areas of my life for my age. I’m still in graduate school (getting a PhD is no cakewalk) and am constantly asked when my husband and I will be having a baby (have you met Lila Rose?). Thankfully, I don’t feel “behind.” I feel grateful to be at this point in my life, to be able to spend this time working towards a degree in a field that I love so passionately and nurturing a marriage to the one person who fills my soul with more love than I know what to do with.
This post has taken many twists and turns, from the topic of boundaries to the topic of life as a graduate student in love with her husband. It would be so much easier to blog about fashion (which I love!) or the latest books I’ve read or launching a little paper dream or life as a graduate student (okay, and I’d probably be an amazing doggie blogger). But if you know me or have read this blog for enough time (or read through the archives—I’m pretty proud of the posts I’ve written over the past four and half years), then you know I would not be blogging for long. I live with tremendous passion and don’t shy away from challenges. So while I wear many hats and am navigating some newer waters with regards to my blogging, I know that above all else, I will remain true to who I am and who I’ve always been.
So here I am, more words on paper—left to wonder, are these words okay to post? I truly don’t know. But I hope that by facing this fear over and over again that I will learn what I am okay with—and will be able to listen within for the answer to this question rather than look out.