When I started blogging 4 years ago, that home was my outlet. I didn't do it for comments. I didn't do it for visitors, I didn't pay attention to site hits. I didn't publicize to my friends and family what I did and I did not give the world proof that it was Me and not just someone who resembled me.
What I did however was speak honestly and from the heart. I talked about what bothered me and while I didn't name drop, everything I wrote then was real and raw. That site is now closed.
A year ago, I decided to move homes and thus began CafeKel, my home where no longer was I struggling with fear of what the future was going to hold, but instead I decided to publicly 'find' myself. Accepting the past for what is was and deciding to go forward and change the things about me I didn't like and improve the things about me that I did like.
I started reading the 'big' name bloggers, I started looking at hit counts and visitors and I wanted comments. Seriously, how else am I supposed to improve me without outside input? All the things "Blogger Success" internet searches brought up became my mantra. Random erratic posting stopped. I ventured outside my comfort zone and began commenting. I put a face to my name and I told friends and family.
In the beginning, I still wrote what I thought, with more structure and more thought, but as more people found out what I did the more I wrote words that were not published. The more my statistics showed my neighbors visiting the more I ventured from 'raw' me into comical anticdotes my children provided. Don't get me wrong, everything I wrote was me, but sometimes it was a bland, diluted version of me.
Even with the less 'in your face' kind of posts, I managed to find my words thrown in my face from someone I had let get close and it hurt. Everything going forward became calculated and MY voice became muted where the things I said were merely actions in a play unfolding around me, until I found myself viewing the daily task of posting as merely an unrewarding chore. I questioned why I did this, who really cared if I did it or not and if perhaps, with life taking the turns it has, if my family wouldn't be better off if I stopped.
In the end....
I enjoy writing. I enjoy the friendships I've made. I look forward to the give and take, the difference of opinions and the amazing, unconditional human spirit I've seen unfold when 'one of us' is in need.
What I don't like is how much I've let myself be silenced for fear of how it would be used against me in the future. Fear - letting myself be dictated by it ... again. Fear - letting it take away the pleasure in the little things.
So....Something's gotta give. I'm making some changes and while I would never intentionally want to hurt someone, sensoring myself out of 'fear' is not where I want to go with this blog....its time to get back to my roots.