Navigating the waters of blogging is tough, especially if you don’t have a foolproof map to reference. From the beginning, I’ve used Instagram models with perfect themes and thousands of likes as a guide to what pictures I should post, and I’ve tried to create blog posts inspired by basic writings from The Odyssey that receive hundreds of shares on Facebook. I realized quickly my blog wasn’t becoming a reflection of me, but rather what is “trendy” or “popular” at the time.
My blog wasn’t A Tapestry of Me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love red lipstick. I enjoy dressing up. I believe the higher the hair, the closer to God. But I don’t believe those are the things about myself that make me who I am. I don’t believe that when I die that’s what I’ll be remembered by.
I am opinionated. I am outspoken. I am educated, curious, empathetic, inspired, and dynamic. I have so many genuine layers to who I am that I haven’t even shared on here yet because I was so focused on keeping up with what everyone else blogged about. I thought if I did as they do, I would receive the popularity they receive. It’s funny how that works out, because the post that has achieved the largest response is my most genuine post yet: Spread the Word to End the Word*.
When I first created A Tapestry of Me, I didn’t have much of a goal in mind. I never sat down and thought, “I want to reach this type of audience by writing about this subject and sharing it on this platform.” I just thought blogging was cool and I had been told I should start one before… so I was like, if not now, then when? So I published my first post. And then another. And another. And I began generating content for the sake of posting on a Monday Morning as I promised I would instead of with the intent of sharing pieces of myself with the world.
I’ve always been a really guarded person, so sharing pieces of myself intimidated me. I’ve always been scared, or maybe even ashamed, to open up about my life behind the scenes. It’s not that I live a terrible life — I don’t. I like my life. It’s just that, when you live in a small town, every single thing about you is critiqued (because there isn’t much else to do, to be honest). I’m guilty of it, too. We all are. We all know the person who we think posts too much on Facebook about what they’re cooking for dinner or the person who just never seems like they’ll settle down. But you know what? Being either of those people is OKAY. Matter of fact, it’s 100% okay! 110% okay if you want it to be! And here’s why:
Life doesn’t come with a cookie cutter. There is no one-size-fits-all way of doing this thing. The important part is that you just do it. And do it the best you can. My life will be different from your life which is different from his life and her life. What’s not a big deal to me may be something huge to you and vice versa. So, who am I to judge? And why should I care if I’m judged? I am who I am. You are who you are. If we’re happy, then so be it.
I’ve always joked that my life should be a TV series, or a movie, or even a novel. Some of the things that have happened in my 18 years of living are honestly too crazy to be nonfiction. Yet, here I was, wasting my opportunity to share the stories of my life as I have always wanted to. Here I was, spending thirty minutes of my day getting the right angle for a picture and then another twenty putting the right edits on it. Here I was writing about the things there are a hundred other posts about instead of writing about one thing that is unique to my blog — me.
I’m not turning this blog into my therapy session and venting about everything wrong with the world. I’m also not going to turn this blog into a highlight reel of everything wonderful I get to experience. But I am going to turn this blog into something genuine. Something that catalyzes a conversation between myself and my readers. Something that you look forward to reading on Monday Mornings. Something that truly reflects who I am as a daughter, as a sister, as a believer, as a dreamer, as a lover, as a learner, and as a wanderer.
I want to share with you my travel experiences, my rainy day playlists, my influences, my fears, my story. Opening up — about the good, the bad, and the ugly — will be a tough thing to do for me. It’s a slow learning process. But, earlier this week I read a quote from Andrea Dykstra that helped create this change on my blog: “In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.”
I may embarrass myself along this journey. I probably will embarrass myself along this journey. And people will talk, as people do. But that’s okay. Embarrassing myself is worth it if I share one thing that positively influences the life of someone else.
I am excited. I am ready for this new chapter for A Tapestry of Me. Thank you for everyone who has believed in what I’ve had to say so far. I hope you keep reading.
*Click on italicized words to be directed to the blog post.