Today I feel like a brick wall that keeps faceplanting on concrete. I miss the hum of the sun, but the early night air is bringing a rest I have needed for many months. And yet, I'm a sleepy teen who needs to mobilize—it's time for school.
I’ve been redesigning my website this week, and ever since I changed it to a new template, I haven’t been able to get it back to where I want it. There’s just nothing that feels intuitive, so expect a lot more changes until it’s exactly how I want it.
The trouble is that I’m still not quite sure WTF this website is supposed to be. A portfolio? A blog? A “personal website” (wtf is that)? A lifestyle platform? An embarrassing stain on the internet?
I’ve had a long and unimpressive relationship with blogging and internets. My greatest “success” came with my previous blog, Minimal Millennial, where I wrote about being a super duper young minimalist. It was cool, until I realized that I had started weaponizing minimalism against myself.
I think it was well-intentioned to begin with—what modern, middle-class, privileged first-world person doesn’t need to ditch a few things? But eventually, I took things away and refused to add things under a guise of minimalism, but it was actually a sad self loathing. I believed I didn’t deserve to wear bright colors, to have more beauty products, to purchase home goods that truly made me shine in my space.
So I quit being a minimalist, and the only blog I ever committed to for more than a few posts came to an end. It’s still there, hanging out in space, and I’ll get the occasional notification about it. I’m debating whether or not to set up a redirect (you know, because I totally know how to do that) so that visitors will come to Ennaree, but man this blog is so much different.
I knew I couldn’t continue Minimal Millennial, but I stepped away from it feeling like I was walking away from part of myself. Why?
Blogging has been a part of my identity for almost a decade.
I started my first blog when I was 18 and got my own laptop. I remember learning about coding and photography and design from my older brother and man I thought he was the coolest ever. He was making websites and designing logos and it was badass. We sat at Higher Grounds café in Fort Wayne, Indiana and bonded by staring at our respective laptop screens, chatting intermittently.
I’m pretty sure my first blog was Ennaree as well, only over on blogger. I learned about hex codes for colors, how to upload a header image, the whole nine yards. I didn’t have a cohesive idea for that blog either—maybe I could be an internet poet? Or talk about coffee?
So I suppose this means I’ve had a blog in some capacity, no matter how embarassing or underutilized, for almost a decade. The elusive secret sauce was always missing—a niche and a consistent posting schedule.
My biggest question for myself all these years has been this: why do I keep coming back to a blog?
No matter how often or how rarely I posted, blogging always brings up emotions and questions about my identity. I always return to it.
But for so long, I’ve done that thing where I take something I genuinely enjoy doing and make it into a deep and rich fountain of self punishment. I might post one day and feel like the most bloggery blogger that ever was (Ms. Blogface McGee), and then the next day comes and goes without a moment to share a post and suddenly I’m No Blogface McFailure.
It’s a constant battle, and the simple thought of my months-vacant blog has been known to throw a perfectly good day into a spiral of doom that only a good night’s sleep can fix. I have intertwined blogging so closely with my identity, that when I perceive any of my work (or non-work) in this space as a failure, I feel like I’ve personally let the world down.
There’s a glimmer of truth in that sadness, though. I do think that my mind knows that I’m not pushing myself to do the work that I’m meant to do. I figuratively kick and scream before landing in front of my laptop each day, but I know that I’m much more centered and in touch with my world when I’m writing more.
While I don’t know if the blog life is my ultimate destination, I do know that I’m heading in the right direction and that a blog is the most attainable outlet for my writing at this moment in my life.