How a Trip Down Memory Lane Inspired Me to Be ‘Me’
It’s funny how finding yourself can happen when you least expect it. It can be dark and dreary, or empowering and up lifting. It can also be downright embarrassing, especially if you take a look at my elementary school yearbook picture and see my fourth grade perm.
So, I went on a trip down memory lane the other day and as fate would have it, it left me with a new awakening to a vintage ‘me’ that I was able to appreciate and adore.
Now, before you start thinking how arrogant and superficial I must be, the meaning behind this is multi-faceted. To keep this part quite brief, I have a long history of anxiety and OCD. I am usually over critical of myself. I tend to be a perfectionist in almost anything I set my mind to. A great example is this blog.
I wanted to have a blog for years. I hired four different designers, yes four. Each time, I paid for a full design. The graphic designer did an amazing job. Upon completion and full payment for a brand new blog with custom design, I decided I didn’t want to blog about just that one particular topic. From there, I hired another designer for a new blog topic and design. She did a great job as well, but after the design was complete, I decided that I didn’t like it and went back to the drawing board, yet again.
Four designs and several tweaks later, you have Simple Revisions. To this day, I still play with the some of the settings that most people probably will never pay attention to.
For some reason, I also do with my writing style. I struggle with what type of ‘voice’ the blog should have. I have gone from wanting to write as professional as possible and not include anything regarding my personal life, to wanting to write a combination of professional, magazine-style articles balanced with a lemon splash of personality to give my blog a more personalized, welcoming and friendship-like tone for my readers.
I over analyze my writing style and have spent countless hours researching how to write professionally, yet personally to reach my readers and ‘target audience’.
Taking A Trip Down Memory Lane
After working for hours on my blog one night, I was ready to shut down my lap top for the evening and go to bed. It was already late. Before I did, I recalled that I had wanted to gather all the various pages, notes and folders I had created in the past while brainstorming topics for my blog so I could go through and organize them the next day.
As I located the last folder, I decided to peruse through it quickly just to see if there was any ‘old information’ that I had written that may be of current value or interest for some new blog topics in the near future.
One of the very last unpublished articles I stumbled upon was called ‘What is Coupon Drama and How To Avoid It’.
It had been written almost two years prior, so naturally I couldn’t recall all of the information in the article. I opened the document and began reading.
I immediately thought, “Ok, I remember this. It was about being careful not to get swept up into the constant, spinning hype of the couponing industry.”
At the time, extreme coupon shows were all the buzz. Coupon blogs were popping up left and right and new ‘daily deal’ sites were emerging faster than you could print your two coupon minimum on a crazy ‘hot coupon alert’ before there were no more coupons left to print.
What I discovered as I read this article was enchanting. I found myself captivated by my own voice. Not because it was me who wrote it, but because I found myself motivated and inspired to keep reading what the ‘author’ had to say. I started laughing out loud at some of the things I had written, laughing at the genuine humor of the writer. And as I kept reading and enjoying the content, I started to realize a couple of things.
First and foremost, I recognized that I was getting lost in the writing process. I was so hung up on becoming the perfect writer, that my first blog series was already starting off to a less than stellar start. Let’s be honest, how compelling is, “Taco Seasoning – Classic Convenience or Budget Blunder?” I call dibs on cracking the first joke on this one.
I can understand that writing ‘headlines that will engage the reader’ is important, but how terrible is this title? Let me tell you something darling, this wasn’t it.
A Pivotal Lesson To Learn
Having struggled with how to write a blog with captivating content that would interest my readers, and currently failing miserably at it by the way, I found this two year old article to be refreshing and engaging. I appreciated that the original writing style I had before I got lost in the ‘how to’s’ of the blogging world was organic. It had a natural, conversational flow that I felt from a reader’s standpoint, I could relate to. I was able to quickly see that comparing this old article to my current writing style illustrated that I was not writing in my most authentic voice, and that I had lost ‘me’.
I realized I needed to stop worrying about if my blog would be professional enough or competitive enough with the millions of other really, really great blogs already out there, because what I realized was reading my ‘old voice’ inspired me to find ‘me’ again.
I realized that ‘me’ wasn’t so terrible after all. I happen to like ‘me’. So, while the information I took from the article was completely different than the actual topic written, the message was an important one.
It left me inspired to simply be me.
The reason I am sharing this story with you is because I want this to serve as a reminder not only for myself but for you, the reader, that it can be so easy to lose your authenticity in something, whether it is a relationship, in life, or in this case, a writer’s voice. I want us to remember that the best in each of us is our originality, not a copy or replica of what we think others want us to be.
At the end of the day, God made each of us to be unique. Remember, a copy of an original will always be a copy. So embrace being you. You are awesome. You are cool. You are here to make a positive, original imprint in this world. And you can’t make an original imprint in this world by being a copy.
Taking this particular trip down memory lane ended up not being so bad after all. At least not as bad as that fourth grade perm.