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.