What is this blog all about?
To understand why I'm here and what I offer in my little corner of the internet, you need to know a bit more about me. If you haven't already, I'd love for you to read more about me here!
Okay! So, with all that out of the way, what is this blog about? The short answer: a little bit of everything. But if you know me or have read any of my writing in the past, you already know I'm not likely to leave you with only "the short answer". So buckle up...
I have been known to bite off more than I can chew on a couple occasions. I pursue too many projects and commit to too many things. I put too many expectations on myself and give myself unrealistic deadlines.
As a habitual project-starter, I'm sick of not finishing things.
I've started blogging numerous times in my life, the past several years as "That Quirky Kayla". I've set schedules, contriving for myself an air of accountability, planned posts and formulated themes...and what do I have in the archives? A few published posts in which I spend half my words lamenting my neglect of the schedule I've set and alot more half-baked drafts.
Since I've last blogged, my life has changed in some huge ways. I've changed jobs, met the love of my life, moved apartments, bought a house, moved again, and got married. In the span of a year and a half, I found myself in this entirely new life, better than I dreamed and exactly what I never knew I wanted and needed.
During that time of living, embracing, and falling in love with my "real life", I drifted away from social media and blogging. This was partially out of practicality and partially out of trepidation. When I started reflecting on my online presence, I was left with more questions than answers. Reflecting on my old writing I realized, "I'm not that girl anymore." It's not that I don't know her, but I'm not her. I have grown and changed, and while I am confident and assured in my identity as it relates to those around me in my "real life" (i.e. who I am as a wife, a daughter, a friend, and even as a casual acquaintance), I have struggled with how that translates to the online world.
In a culture where, for better or worse, your online presence is an extension of your self, what do you do when this extension is fractured?
The easiest option would be to cut it off. After all, I think we can all agree, it's non-essential. So that's pretty much what I did for a while, though, I didn't go so far as to delete my accounts. I opted-out of the conversation, but I would lurk around, waiting to see if there was any good reason to re-enter. By and large, there wasn't. If we're being honest, social media was basically just exhausting this year. But there were glimmers. I found the good stuff. Ignored or blocked the ugly stuff. Consuming was easy. So, so easy. But even the good things I was consuming weren't filling me, they were just adding to the noise. I could no longer hear my own voice and neither could anyone else.
In a "sea change" of life, like this it can be difficult to keep your head above water long enough to identify where the shore is, which is to say, where your priorities lie. It's a vulnerable time and can feel like you're just treading water. Even when the water is peaceful and safe, it's tiring and boring. No matter how close the relationship, no other person can push or pull you onto that shore, they can only support you as you swim towards it. It is a blessing beyond blessings for someone to see you are floundering, and point you in the right direction, and for me, this was my husband.
He reminded me that I needed to stop trying to do so much. I needed to pare down and peel back the layers to only a few things. I didn't need to do every homemaking checklist, I didn't need to complete every Bible reading plan, I didn't need to partake in every Instagram posting/sharing/engagement-boosting challenge, I didn't need to make every meal 100% from scratch, I didn't need to TRY. SO. HARD. I didn't need to hustle. I just needed to exist. And per his direction, I needed to find my voice.
Well I've been working on that for a couple months now. I threw a cover page on my blog to say, "Coming soon!", but that cover was much less like wrapping paper you're excited to rip open Christmas morning, and much more like the covers you pull over your head in a Minnesota winter when it's just too dang cold to get out of bed, let alone go outside. Well, much like my husband pries the down comforter from my clutches those cold MN morning, I'm ripping the cover page off this blog and just DOING IT. I've been reading and re-reading and revising my own words like a kid under the covers with a flashlight for too long. I'm not going to find my voice if I don't use where people can hear it.
What you'll read here are the words of an unfinished woman. I'm figuring it out as I go and trying to remember that's basically what everyone else is doing anyway. I don't know exactly know my niche or my target market. I'll rarely offer my readers any solutions or prescriptions. All of these things are TERRIBLE for blog growth, so says the zeitgeist. But I don't much care. What I care about is sharing my stories. Short or long. Opinionated or indifferent. Intriguing or mundane. I have to trust that every word I have, every word I share, is relatable to someone. Even if that someone is my husband, a college friend, a high school acquaintance, a friend's Godmother, a random Instagram friend, or someone halfway across the world, I have to believe that someone can relate.