Yourself

Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of the few men that I’d like to meet in the afterlife. You know how you’ve played that game before? That would be one of my answers.

I liked his work too little when I was in High School – instead of paying attention to obvious genius I was looking at girls or doing my math homework during english class; you’ve never done that before, right?

He once said these very famous words that have haunted me for many, many years:

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

Especially now I am explicitly working more courageously on being me rather than what others desire and hope that I am or will become.

Despite how obvious Emerson’s quote might be to all that might read review it we all know how difficult it really is to actually do. I am finding that it requires an incredible amount of courage to be me; more courage than I thought it would necessarily require.

But I have made a few important (and courageous) decisions this year and already 2013 is becoming a year for the history book, as they say. As a direct result this blog will be changing in a few ways:

  1. Rebranding the blog, once again. It’ll be my most ambitious rebrand to date setting the stage for one of my lifelong ambitions. Makes sense I suppose. There is no exact time-table to the visual change but it is coming soon.
  2. My content’s focus won’t shift dramatically but it will be refined.
  3. The level of authenticity is going to increase significantly. It will be much more raw and unfiltered than ever before. I imagine that many of you will not like this change and some of you may find it invariably offensive. I make no apology for this (read Emerson’s quote above one more time). This has already begun.

It is the third point that is requiring the most bravery – you would think that with the words “authenticity” and “transparent” being thrown around so often (hell, I’ve said it quite a few times on this blog) that everyone assumes that everyone else is being truly and wholly themselves. Doubtful. Unlikely. Especially me.

You see, there’s been a gap between who I am online and who I am when you shake my hand and sit down with me for a cup of coffee. It’s a gap that’s become much more difficult to manage and it’s been exhausting to try to have multiple personalities for a variety of different contexts.

One can argue that one should be “flexible” and malleable given circumstance and environment; although that is true to a certain degree and we all bend whenever possible, especially when it’s in everyone’s best interest, my own blog is not a place where I need to placate nor pander to the majority of social norms and pressures.

To live freely and to give freely of oneself through such a medium as one’s blog is deeply personal – I believe we do ourselves and our audience a disservice by holding back because it, ergo, becomes no longer personal – it becomes simply presentation, and on a bad day just bullshit peacocking.

Life is too short for that. Personally, it sounds miserable. No, actually, it is miserable. It has been miserable. I’ve had enough and I want to go home, back to the way it used to be, the way I started out. You see, I began blogging more than 12 years ago as raw and as unfiltered and as authentic as I possibly could because I wrote for myself first and an audience second. In fact, for years I had no audience and it was good and lovely.

Then something happened – I gained a following, an audience, and the number of ears listening became deafening to the very spirit and soul of my writing. I began to hold back, self-edit, and care way too much about an ever-losing battle with public opinion. I acquiesced, gave in, pulled the throttle back a notch, and became sadly mediocre.

And no one wants to be mediocre, especially not me.


Also published on Medium.

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