Notice anything different?  Hint- I haven’t colored my hair, and I haven’t lost weight.  I wish.

When I redesigned my theme the last go-round, I knew I wanted something different. Something darker and sexier. Something that says “Look at me- I’m 30, I’m confident, and I am worth listening to.”  Mostly what I wanted it to say was that I was more than just a mommyblogger. The switch from pastels to red and black was dramatic, but I loved it. It was who I am at this stage of my life. Out with the PTA mom, in with the woman who was finally ready to start finding herself. It was a whole new image.

Then Paul told me the image sucked.

Ok, not really 😛

Actually what he told me was the theme was not working. It was too heavy, too square, too SEO-hostile and just didn’t reflect me the way it should. He then told me he wanted to redesign my blog and make it what I’d envisioned it. Needless to say he didn’t have to ask me twice. He worked ridiculously long days over the weekend to make my custom theme, and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am with the results. He took my vision and made it reality, and I can’t thank him enough for it.

This is what Suburban Oblivion was meant to be.

———————————————————

Over the weekend as we were working on the site, I had to re-do my categories, and that meant re-categorizing all my old posts. There is a lot to be said for going through your own archives once in awhile.

I have written this blog for nearly three solid years now. In re-reading 400+ posts, I saw myself in a way that I normally couldn’t. It was like having an outsider’s view into my life. I could very clearly see the decline of my marriage. I could see my depression and my ways of coping with it. I could see my struggles with trying to fit into a mold I clearly wasn’t made for. I could see my children growing up.

Oddly enough, I could also see myself growing up. I am not the person I was when I started this site.

In the last year, I’ve seen the worst, both in myself and those around me. I nearly let the events of my life destroy me, and in that consummation, I attempted to take my own life. It was a moment of weakness, not to be repeated.

Since then, I have begun the process of truly figuring out who I am. I am learning to put myself first, and to not apologize for that. I spent years trying to make everyone else happy, and in the course of things, I ended up miserable because I wasn’t allowing myself the freedom to figure out what made me happy.

The past few months have found me going in a different direction with my interests. In mid-May I co-organized the first Barcamp to be held here in Mobile.  This was a huge step outside my experience and comfort zone, but one I found I excelled at, and as a result I will be organizing another Barcamp next year.

From Barcamp came the idea of forming a group to unite the tech community here locally. Still in the very early planning stages, this is a really exciting project, and one I expect you’ll be hearing more about as we get that organized and the website up and running.

Finally, Paul and I have been working on a joint project, a new viral video and humor site we call the Daily Shite. Suburban Oblivion may be my baby online, but Daily Shite has been so much fun to work on, and we are seeing a steady rise in traffic and subscribers.

All this on top of trying to find a job (and dealing with my ex) has kept me pretty busy. I am still seeing my therapist regularly, and she was thrilled to hear I am getting involved and not just becoming a hermit while I wait for the mess that is my divorce to be sorted out.

Two years ago I never could have managed this. I would have been too worried about what everyone else wanted, and what everyone else thought, and would have given myself 100 reasons why I shouldn’t do any of the things I am doing now. I would never have been able to give myself permission to even start down this road.

Right after I filed for divorce last year, I got a nasty troll comment from someone who could have only been (related to?) my ex, as they knew details of the situation that I had not talked about anywhere online. In that message they stated that I “would never grow” if I didn’t reconcile my marriage.

A year later, I am proving him wrong. I may not be growing in the direction he would prefer, but in terms of my personal development, I am growing by leaps and bounds.

I’ve made my mistakes and have paid for them dearly, but now I am finally heading in the right direction. For the first time in my life, I am confident enough not to feel the need to apologize for doing what I feel is right for me.

I only wish the girl who started this blog three years ago had believed in herself as much.


31 Comments on Suburban Oblivion, Redux.

  1. April
    July 2, 2009 at 2:23 pm (8 years ago)

    LOVE the new theme! Is he gonna make it into a template and share it? 🙂

    Congrats to you for having the courage to look back and assess how far you've come. Its a hard thing to do because it means looking at the good, the bad, and the down right ugly. But when you're done looking back and you can find the positive in it and see the changes you've made and the person you've become as a result…its a beautiful thing!

    Reply
    • Paul OFlaherty
      July 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm (8 years ago)

      Glad to hear that you love Sara's new theme. Sorry to say that it will not be released as a theme, however if you'd like a good starting place to build something somewhat similar, I used the premium "irresistible" theme for Woothemes as my starting point when building this for Sara.

      Reply
    • Paul OFlaherty
      July 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm (8 years ago)

      Glad to hear that you love Sara's new theme. Sorry to say that it will not be released as a theme, however if you'd like a good starting place to build something somewhat similar, I used the premium "irresistible" theme for Woothemes as my starting point when building this for Sara.

      Reply
    • Paul OFlaherty
      July 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm (8 years ago)

      Glad to hear that you love Sara's new theme. Sorry to say that it will not be released as a theme, however if you'd like a good starting place to build something somewhat similar, I used the premium "irresistible" theme for Woothemes as my starting point when building this for Sara.

      Reply
    • Paul OFlaherty
      July 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm (8 years ago)

      Glad to hear that you love Sara's new theme. Sorry to say that it will not be released as a theme, however if you'd like a good starting place to build something somewhat similar, I used the premium "irresistible" theme for Woothemes as my starting point when building this for Sara.

      Reply
    • Paul OFlaherty
      July 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm (8 years ago)

      Glad to hear that you love Sara's new theme. Sorry to say that it will not be released as a theme, however if you'd like a good starting place to build something somewhat similar, I used the premium "irresistible" theme for Woothemes as my starting point when building this for Sara.

      Reply
    • Paul OFlaherty
      July 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm (8 years ago)

      Glad to hear that you love Sara's new theme. Sorry to say that it will not be released as a theme, however if you'd like a good starting place to build something somewhat similar, I used the premium "irresistible" theme for Woothemes as my starting point when building this for Sara.

      Reply
    • Suburban Oblivion
      July 2, 2009 at 2:50 pm (8 years ago)

      So glad you liked it! I am over the moon with it myself. Paul wanted to give me something completely unique, so (not so) sadly, this customization stays mine. Mine. Mine I tell you! 😛

      Reply
    • Paul OFlaherty
      July 2, 2009 at 2:50 pm (8 years ago)

      Glad to hear that you love Sara's new theme. Sorry to say that it will not be released as a theme, however if you'd like a good starting place to build something somewhat similar, I used the premium "irresistible" theme from Woothemes as my starting point when building this for Sara.

      Reply
    • Paul OFlaherty
      July 2, 2009 at 2:50 pm (8 years ago)

      Glad to hear that you love Sara's new theme. Sorry to say that it will not be released as a theme, however if you'd like a good starting place to build something somewhat similar, I used the premium "irresistible" theme from Woothemes as my starting point when building this for Sara.

      Reply
    • Paul OFlaherty
      July 2, 2009 at 2:50 pm (8 years ago)

      Glad to hear that you love Sara's new theme. Sorry to say that it will not be released as a theme, however if you'd like a good starting place to build something somewhat similar, I used the premium "irresistible" theme from Woothemes as my starting point when building this for Sara.

      Reply
    • Paul OFlaherty
      July 2, 2009 at 2:50 pm (8 years ago)

      Glad to hear that you love Sara's new theme. Sorry to say that it will not be released as a theme, however if you'd like a good starting place to build something somewhat similar, I used the premium "irresistible" theme from Woothemes as my starting point when building this for Sara.

      Reply
    • Paul OFlaherty
      July 2, 2009 at 2:50 pm (8 years ago)

      Glad to hear that you love Sara's new theme. Sorry to say that it will not be released as a theme, however if you'd like a good starting place to build something somewhat similar, I used the premium "irresistible" theme from Woothemes as my starting point when building this for Sara.

      Reply
    • Paul OFlaherty
      July 2, 2009 at 2:50 pm (8 years ago)

      Glad to hear that you love Sara's new theme. Sorry to say that it will not be released as a theme, however if you'd like a good starting place to build something somewhat similar, I used the premium "irresistible" theme from Woothemes as my starting point when building this for Sara.

      Reply
  2. Nikki
    July 2, 2009 at 2:58 pm (8 years ago)

    The site looks fantastic, very nice work Paul! Sara, you should be so proud of yourself. I can only hope I am able to reach the point you have gotten to. You're an inspiration.

    Reply
  3. Summer
    July 2, 2009 at 3:17 pm (8 years ago)

    Love the new look! It is definitely you. 🙂 I'm so glad you're becoming more confident and doing something you're happy with now. That's real growth.

    Reply
    • Suburban Oblivion
      July 2, 2009 at 3:41 pm (8 years ago)

      LOL..Glad ya think so. It's a HUGE change from the pastel purple back in the day huh? 😉

      Reply
  4. AnimateDeath
    July 2, 2009 at 3:18 pm (8 years ago)

    Now that is what I wanted to see from one of my favorite bloggers ever. Troll email aside, I am glad to see you back to good spirits again.

    Reply
    • Suburban Oblivion
      July 2, 2009 at 3:40 pm (8 years ago)

      Thanks, I appreciate that. It's been a really rough road, but I'm getting there.

      Reply
  5. Amanda P
    July 2, 2009 at 3:58 pm (8 years ago)

    Love Love Love the new theme!! This is the Sara I know and love!

    I have this quote posted at my desk at work and it helps me when i start feeling less than confident.
    "Promise me you'll always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think"
    I promise it works.
    I love you however you are, but i am glad to see the confident sara starting to make her presence again. They didn't call you "nut buster" in elementary school for nothing! 😛

    Reply
    • Paul OFlaherty
      July 2, 2009 at 4:09 pm (8 years ago)

      "Nut Buster"? Sounds like things haven't change that much then 😛 LOL

      Reply
  6. Suburban Oblivion
    July 2, 2009 at 4:16 pm (8 years ago)

    LOL..Have I told you today how much I love you? Cuz I do. And not just for your huge boobs and great hair 😛

    Reply
  7. Paul OFlaherty
    July 2, 2009 at 4:18 pm (8 years ago)

    Something going on here I need to be aware of? LOL :p

    Reply
  8. Jen
    July 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm (8 years ago)

    Wow… I should get back to writing on my site. I've been missing for awhile, but you would be amazed at how my divorce and getting a real job has made me way better than when I was married and my full divorce is documented in my site as well.

    I sort of got depressed with the whole site, some spammer got in there and messed it all up. I deleted all the comments….which made me upset and I've just been busy. Live changes so much…with a full-time "real' job.

    You seem to be great. Congratulations.

    Reply
  9. Belle
    July 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm (8 years ago)

    I love the new look! AND the new direction your life is taking.

    Reply
  10. Amanda P
    July 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm (8 years ago)

    Though I'm sure they help 🙂

    And Paul… yes you should be very very worried!!
    Ask sara about the kinkiness that is the towel and the phonebook.

    Reply
  11. Karen Sugarpants
    July 2, 2009 at 10:05 pm (8 years ago)

    I know you're Ms. Independent, but you and that mouthy Pauly make a great team. 😉
    It's fabulous!

    Reply

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