Way back when I started writing this blog, having my identity or my face revealed on here felt like the worst thing that could ever happen. Maybe it was because I was in high school and I was scared of high school mean girls making fun of me, but truly showing myself on this blog seemed like this very scary thing that I would never do. If you’re newer to the blog, you may not know but for a long time I did not show my face or share my name on here at all. Fast forward almost eight years, and this blog is still my personal outlet, but it is also a place where I am not scared to be 100% me. Okay fine, maybe not 100% yet, but at least 90%.
When I first got to Georgetown, I remember being really stressed about what would happen to this blog. Moving to this new place and having this new identity of being a full time college student, I didn’t really know what my life would look like – would I even have enough going on to write about? Most of my life was about to be studying and classes and hanging out with friends, so what sort of posts was I meant to make out of those? It wasn’t like I was an influencer who could just vlog her normal day and post it online. At the same time, I was going through so many new changes and thinking about so many ways that my identity as an expat and now as an international student was intersecting with my new life as a college student and I also wanted to share them on this blog. I felt like I really wanted to be more authentic on here and share more of my thoughts at the time, but this platform just didn’t seem like the kind of place I could do that.
I think the biggest struggle for me when realizing that I wanted to share some more of those authentic thoughts about what I was experiencing on this blog was that I didn’t feel as though this blog was set up for that. Like I said, I had crafted this blog to be this anonymous outlet where I could share as much as I wanted to, but also because it was anonymous, I didn’t really have to share that much if I didn’t feel like it. Anyone who read my posts back then probably wouldn’t know that much about my personality from reading my writing at that time. I think up until I got to college I was still very much finding my voice on this blog. I used to share some posts about my expat identity and do things such as my Expat Wisdom series, but I also wrote a lot of other random blog posts. I would make posts about my favorite playlists or my favorite recipes at the time. Posts that, if they came from your favorite influencer, you would probably love, but because they were coming from me, this random anonymous girl with a blog, didn’t really mean that much. At that point, I think I started to realize two things: first that I needed to find my niche. Writing a mix of random blog posts wasn’t really working – I needed to revaluate what I wanted people to take away from this blog. And secondly, I think I realized that being so anonymous on here was actually inhibiting me from sharing the type of content and getting the kind of reception that I wanted.
What do I mean by that? It is not like I wanted to share my identity to suddenly become a famous influencer; in fact, if you know anything about me, you’d know that being a famous influencer would actually be my worst nightmare. But instead, I wanted to be able to share who I was and what I was thinking about so that I could actually connect with people over these shared experiences. I started to write content that was really meaningful to me and shared things about struggles I was going through or growth I was experiencing; I felt as though these new types of posts called for a different kind of relationship with my audience than a post where I just shared my favourite playlist with you. Think about it this way, if you don’t know anything about my identity and you see this anonymous writer share all of these deeply reflective posts, maybe you’d be interested to read them, but would you really feel inclined to interact and join to conversation? Probably not. Whereas, if I were to share more about myself and who I am, readers would probably feel more connected and inclined to either use those posts as a starting point for their own reflection or join in the conversation. And to me, that is what this blog has always been about – getting the conversation started and sharing experiences in order to help other people going through the same thing.
All of this to say that over the past couple of years and especially in the past year you may have noticed a lot more of a shift to be more authentic on this blog. Not only through showing you who I am, sharing my name, and also introducing myself to the world, but also through the way that I write and what I’ve been sharing here. My goal with all of this has been to show you who I am because I’m ready for that but also because it allows me to write the kind of content I want to share with you! So looking back over the past eight-ish years on this blog, it is pretty satisfying to see my personality seep through these lines as I’m growing and evolving instead of triple reading each post just to make sure I didn’t let anything slip about myself. So tell me, what do you want to see next and what do you want to know about me?
See you next week,