Letting go and moving on from something can be scary. For me, letting go can be challenging because I know that the starting over is absolutely daunting.
Starting over has been a challenge because I somehow crafted this idea that a start-over had to be far better than the other thing. I had learned from that previous experience, right? So this time I had to do it better. It could be anything I was embarking upon. ANYTHING. But in this story, the "it" is my blog.
For 3 years, I kept a blog on a site called Posterous. I was inspired to start the blog by a friend who constantly encourages me to stretch my creative wings. At first, the site was just a personal "inspirational filing cabinet" where I kept images, videos, and ideas that inspired me, and sometimes, I wrote about events that touched me in some way. Over time, the site became more of a personal journal, where I processed what I was experiencing. I found myself slowly lifting my walls, opening up and sharing who I am with the cyber world. For me, it became therapeutic.
My blog chronicled my journey through-it. Through divorce (though I never really wrote much about that topic directly, it was during that time that I started to keep the online journal.) Through moves across the globe (Korea to Togo, Togo to Bali.) Through finding myself. Through letting go of who I thought I ought to be so that I could become who I was meant to be.
I didn't really think anyone would want to read about my personal musings, but surprisingly, people did. I started to get emails from people, some of whom I have never met, to let me know how much my blog was impacting them. It seemed that the more I opened up, the more others saw themselves in my experiences and felt open to share what they were going through. Or maybe I helped them to see the world through a different perspective, to recognize beauty in a moment that they may not have otherwise noticed.
As I became more and more active in the blog-o-sphere, I started to go through the challenge of staying true to my voice when I know that I have an audience. I started to worry about what others wanted to hear, I started to think more and more about the look of my blog, and I even gave (too much) thought to the "branding" of my blog. Am I a mommy-blogger, self-help-blogger, happiness- blogger, artist-blogger teacher blogger... 'Who am I," I recall asking a friend, "in the blog-o-sphere, and how do I grow my audience?"
Just as those questions started to arise, and anxiety about the structure and appearance of my blog grew, the host of my blog was bought out and shortly after, closed down. No more of my beloved Posterous...
The timing was both perfect and horrible: I was in the middle of preparing for a move from Bali to New York. My head was on constant spinning status as I balanced letting go of Bali, working full time, serving as a Mama to Edem, girlfriend to someone other, preparing for my TEDx talk, all while fulfilling the freelance writing obligations I had taken on. To say that I was overwhelmed was an understatement. And so my personal blog was put on hold.
Then I was frozen with indecision: what should this new blog look like? The question paralleled me asking: What should my new life look like? You see, I wanted to perfectly construct both. Here's the thing: we can't perfectly construct anything. Life is amazingly messy, and it is most amazing when we let go and just be who we are. When we open our hearts, try our best, and dare to be vulnerable and real. It's scary. It's at times overwhelming. But I've learned that it is really the only way to do it.
So, here is my new blog. Simple. Unbranded. Unnamed. Charmingly organic. (Oooh! is there a blog name there? Ahem.) It's just me. Living my life, learning along the way, and loving every minute of it.
If you enjoy it, fabulous. If not, that's ok, too.
Erin Michelle Threlfall
Artist, Activist, and Educator, Erin is the mother of a budding genius in his 13th year of study. Erin and her little man, Edem, have a plan to investigate world Theater and influence education one continent at a time. Ghana, South Korea, Togo, Bali, and US have been checked off the list of places to live; these days they call Switzerland home.