Friday, September 12, 2014

Personal Growth, Football Season, and Blog Branding

*I apologize in advance for lack of photos...there just did not seem to be any that fit this particular post!

I seem to be at a fumble when it comes to officially branding my blog...there are just so many things I want to share and write about, and sometimes they do not flow along with a prescribed theme!

When I started this blog years ago I had no real idea in mind other than writing and sharing my writing with others. It has only been over the last year and a half or so that I've started to grow my readership and other writing opportunities have come via my blog. I attribute this to keeping the concept or theme generally about living simply and solo parenting.

When I look back at older posts, I sometimes shake my head. I think to just take them down altogether because they are not at all reflective of who I am and/or where I am now. Sometimes I find them a bit embarrassing, even. Still, they remain. Some part of me needs to own them, too, for they were authentic words at the time they were written. I recently read an interview with a popular author who stated that his first novel, which was much acclaimed, was a great source of embarrassment to him now because all these years later, he finds it very naive and trite.

That's how I feel about my earlier posts. Raw, naive, trite. There is a lot of ego in those early writings. I have a friend who is in her mid-thirties, as I was in the beginning of my blogging, and she is at a place now to question many things she formerly thought were certain about herself. Her likes and dislikes and ideas about who she is are all shifting...she recently purchased a dress that a few years ago, she'd never have dreamt of wearing. I smiled when she said this to me, "I don't know why I liked it so much. It's so not me!" she exclaimed.

"Who we are is a fluid concept, even to us," I replied. Because I have learned this. Other people I've known at past points in my life might remember me and how I was at a certain moment in time, but it is not who I am now. Sometimes this bothers me because I may not have been my best self when I knew them...but I have learned to let this go. I believe the people who ebb and flow in and out of our lives do so for a reason, and that these situations have lessons to teach us. I believe who we are is a fluid concept and these experiences often help us tap into our higher selves, to become who and what we need to be at certain moments in time.

And this all leads to my current son is playing football this fall, and football is currently a major subject of discussion at our house. He is totally enamored with the sport, and has been for quite some time. Last year, for the first time in  my entire life, I hosted a Clemson-Carolina football game viewing  (for my non-South Carolina friends, this is a major sports rivalry that you really have to be born and bred here to truly understand! But of course, Carolina won!) I made snacks for all and yes, I watched the entire game. I think this was the first time in my life I ever watched an entire sporting event on television. And the funny thing is...I'm looking forward to doing it again this year, too.

I know, it's amazing to me also. I would never have imagined myself to be a football parent or a sports team fan...and yet here I am, rooting for Carolina along with my son and friends, and feeling wildly excited about watching him play his first game, and the coming season for our favorite team.

So how does this come into play in terms of simple living? I think it's just a going-with-the-flow kind of thing. Being open, and not judgmental. Allowing myself to experience different things and not defining myself with labels or notions of who I am based on who I was in the past or, most importantly, who I think I should be. Yes, many things are not 'me' and would not bring me much happiness or pleasure if I tried to embrace them...that is why forcing things on people or having things forced on us is so unpleasant and unsuccessful. I used to think I knew what was best not only for myself, but sadly I thought at times I knew what was best for others, too. (Blush, that is so embarrassing to me now!)

 I feel now that the best way to demonstrate living simply, going with the flow of life, and all the beauty and happiness this can offer is to embrace this concept myself, and lead by example whenever possible. This is true in my life, as well as my blog.

And I'll leave those old posts up, because they are who I was at that time, as we say here in the South, 'warts and all'!

Happy Friday!

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