Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I QUIT. But read ahead....there's a baby coming!

This is me this past summer.
I've been blogging since 2007 and found it, at its worst, fun and, at its best, therapeutic. But, as is my habit in life, when something goes viral, my interest wanes. One day shopping in NY with a friend for new ideas, I said, "Cool today, Target tomorrow." I feel like blogging (read: most social media) reached the shelves at Target a couple years ago. Now, there's nothing wrong with Target. I just don't want to do all my shopping there.

My mother would not be surprised to learn that I am going to re-invent myself once again. I have done it so many times, it is now a tattered joke in my family. I don't tolerate boredom. Thankfully, I am rarely bored, but when I am, I will walk away to renew, re-charge and especially to re-create. Malaise is poison to me.

And, this malaise I have felt about my blog comes up every time something really gets under my skin - a very personal topic. It is always what the writer needs to write, of course. But I've felt gagged by my professional life as my business has grown. It just doesn't seem quite right to write about a family depression or my opinion of Mitt Romney.

But, as my blog was originally inspired by my love of the personal essay, avoiding personal topics only watered down the writing and the experience of authenticity. I felt like BLAH, BLAH, BLAH....who cares every time I wrote a litte ditty of a post. Of course, to be honest, I feel like BLAH, BLAH, BLAH...who cares with most blogs I read now!

Note I wrote to myself this past August when I was burning out.

In August, feeling bruised and battered by a difficult summer, tired even from work that I love, I wrote myself a note after a liberating dream and a session with my therapist. "I QUIT." I'd spent over a year bearing too much weight - some good, some difficult. From the nine months we spent as a family with my dying father to the realization that we needed to find a new home in Minneapolis to discerning our relationship to New York (and then moving out of our apartment) to supporting Lee through his Ph.D. dissertation phase, then transition from teacher / student to entrepreneur to managing my own over-commitments at work.

I felt like a pack mule.

There were too many demands and so one day, after a dream where I had done my very best and still people were complaining, I faced the complainers and said, "I QUIT!" I felt free!

I grew up in a family where quitting was shameful. But part of my being burdened was a result of over extending myself - in an effort to prove what a hard worker I am  - the highest praise in my family of origin. But, with an ounce of spunk, I wrote myself the note, signed it and put it on my bulletin board, to be reminded every day that I need to chose what I do, consciously. Not just respond UNconsciously to the many demands of a grownup life - from the phone calls from people wanting your business to wanting your money to wanting your time to the real needs of friends, family and clients.

Today, I realized I have to apply that consciousness to my writing as well. I am not a paid blogger. I don't have to turn out the clever paragraph with perfectly imperfect photo of perfectly imperfect daughter in perfectly imperfect gen x nursery which is never ever too infantile. (Jeesh - give me a real nursery again!)

A couple of things I can't abide: boredom and being inauthentic when it comes to my creative life. Even in design, I'm not very good at suppressing my honest opinions. So, when I realized that I was feeling the need for a pen name just to blog, I knew the time had come for my blog and my business to part ways. So that is what I will do.

I'm going to be the anti-blogger.  I'm going to write things that are as long or as short as I like. It will not be connected to my Design site. You will access it separately - like most blogs. Some stories will have photos. Some will have only words. I will never worry about the perfect length, hot topic or optimal posting cadence. I am going to write about what moves me. I will continue to write about the topics I love - home, travel, fashion, food and love. But I will write it as I wrote as a young woman - more personally, I hope. I will write it as a diary with the benefit of having lived a lot of a life.

It will be called  

ALECIA STEVENS:  DIARY

di·a·ry
  [dahy-uh-ree] 
noun, plural di·a·ries.
1.
a daily record, usually private, especially of the writer's own experiences, observations, feelings,attitudes, etc.


In this new year - as soon as I find the person who is going to help me physically separate these Siamese twins - I will start doing what I really want to do: WRITE. Write things that mean more than another posting stat on my Google report card.

And if you stick around, I'm even thinking of doing the most anti-2013 thing I could do in this era of Tweets, Instagram, Facebook, the 30-second therapist on the Today Show and Headspace (the 10-minute meditation.) I'm considering Freudian or Jungian analysis - that week after week, month after month and year after year archeological dig inside my head. Now, THAT would be an interesting blog. (Not because it's inside MY head, but because it is the polar opposite of instant gratification.)

Now I want to tell you why I 'm doing this. First, because I love to write and want to become a better writer and practice makes perfect. But, also and as important, because so many of you have asked me to keep writing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you didn't read, I might not write. You all mean the world to me.

Stay tuned. I'm sharpening my pencil.

Happy New Year with copious blessings!
alecia


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