Happy holidays! What have you been up to this season? Aside from eating, sleeping, and just enjoying not having to rush anywhere, I’ve been thinking I should get a blog post up.
You ever stay away from something so long that even getting started becomes really intimidating? I needed willpower for Christmas. Santa was late as all hell, but at least he delivered. We’ve got a post!
Fun fact: Driftyness has been around since I was in high school, around 7 or 8 years ago. It’s been through many iterations over the years, first starting out as a place for an unhappy girl to vent her unhappy thoughts, then a place to document and share my healthy hair journey, then a fashion blog, then this.
I’ve struggled to define what this is. Is this a lifestyle blog if I don’t write about things like fashion and makeup? What’s my niche? What’s my brand? Despite the courses I’ve taken and the reading I’ve done, I’ve tried and failed to answer these questions because nothing seems to feel right.
How do you encapsulate “likes to write and hopes that people take something positive away from writing” in a brand? Do you turn it into an unpalatably long acronym, LTWAHTPTSPAFW?
I’ve been struggling to figure out who I am as writer of this blog. What should I say? How do I say it? What kind of message am I trying to get across?
Interestingly, these are the same kinds of questions I’ve been asking of myself as I become an adult-adult–the kind that doesn’t even need to announce she’s grown for people to know.
In all honesty, I’ve really struggled with my voice this year. When I speak, there have been two conversations going on: the one I’m trying to have, and the one I’m having internally with myself. Externally, I want to say what I think, be smart and confident, and have the kind of conversation that leads to a connection. But internally, I have a volley of doubtful questions: am I sure? Won’t someone think I’m strange if I say that? Won’t I sound stupid? Is this person even interested in what I’m saying?
I feel a similar sort of uncertainty as a writer. What do I put out there? Is this topic too personal? Am I going to read this later and cringe? Is there even a point to what I’m writing? Are people going to think I’m boring?
As I go forward into 2019, I realize that one of my goals is to be more honest with myself. For a long time, I’ve been trying to fit various molds as both a person and a writer, always with the assumption that just being myself wouldn’t be good enough.
Part of being honest with myself is realizing when things aren’t working. This idea that I must fit instead of just be isn’t working for me.
I suspect that 2019 will bring significant life changes for me as I wrap up grad school and (hopefully) start a full-time job. I’ve been asking myself questions about what I really want and value, as well as what direction I need to go in in order to have the life I want. One thing that’s been coming up a lot is what kind of things matter to me mainly because they matter to other people. Whose standard am I using to live my life? I think learning to use my own values and standards is an important part of finding my voice as a woman. I want the things I say and do to reflect who I am with confidence. I want to be coherent: what I value and how I live should line up.
As far as my voice as writer of this blog goes, I’ve come to think of Driftyness as my sandbox. This is where I write about the things I’m doing and learning as I go through life. Overall, I’m just trying to be happy with my life like most people, but I’m getting the sense that this isn’t as straightforward a process as it seems. Driftyness is where I can learn about things like SEO and social media, or try my hand at writing different topics and in different styles. It’s my messy, unedited portfolio; my much-loved prototype; my sketchbook instead of my final piece.
I can’t say how all of this is going to end up, but I’m excited to see what kind of things (and blog posts) are going to come from it. Here’s to the quiet strength of just being ourselves.
Question: how did you learn to get comfortable being yourself?
Image via Autumn Goodman @ Unsplash
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