Where Have I Been Hiding?? // in which I emerge from the darkness

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Well... Hello, lovely people! It's been awhile.

Honestly, I don't even know where to begin. Life's been an insane roller-coaster of emotions and busyness for me, and I feel like it's time that I had a chat with all of you. You really are amazing for taking the time to read this, after all. I owe you a good post, I think.

First of all, I'm going to state the obvious and mention that 2017 is finally over. Aaannnddd 2018 has been set in motion for over a month now. I must say that it has been a bit of an improvement, as 2017 was generally considered a bit of a trainwreck (made better with memes!) both publicly and personally for many people.

I took an impromptu hiatus from the blogging world mid-2017 as I felt a strong urge to pull back and try to figure out some things both in my personal and creative life. I was struggling, I was uninspired, I was beat down...

In short, I was tired.

Since then, however, I have found inspiration again. I have gotten back in touch with the muse, and my creative juices have been flowing freely once more. Along with that, my personal life seems to be falling back into order once more, as I seem to be getting a handle on this whole "adulting" thing... maybe?? *winces*

All is as it should be. Or, at least, it was until I realized something?

I've missed blogging. Blogging used to be something that I thrived from & was always inspired to do. But my sudden disappearance was a very welcome one, and to be perfectly honest, I'm not going to make any promises about sticking around all the time. In my mind, a blog is like a personal journal. You don't have to write in it everyday--only when you feel inspired to do so.

I struggled for a while about calling myself a "blogger" during my hiatus because I looked at all of my other "blogger"  friends and saw how they diligently posted content & truly seemed to live up to their title. And I didn't fit that mold. At all... and it seemed rather problematic.

This bled into my story-writing life, as well.

So then I began to overthink this AS USUAL *flips hair* and I wondered if I was "actually" a blogger/writer. Part of me was actually somewhat okay with not being a "blogger" anymore, and had accepted that I had abandoned my sacred lineage for a life apart from it. After all, it's just a label, right? 
But then another part of me felt like I had lost something special and important & that I was somehow betraying myself and not living my life to the fullest. 
And yet another piece of me was feeling like a total and complete fraud for saying that I could, would, did, or ever might blog/write again. The thought of just deleting my entire blog came to mind more than once, because I felt like a one-hit-wonder or a failed science experiment, or something equally as tragic. 

I mean, I hadn't been turning out or making any content (other than totally amazing tweets! *sassy wink*), I hadn't been keeping my followers on Blogger or Wattpad informed on anything, and my website was just sitting there to gather dust from being unused. That was TOTALLY the sign of a complete and utter failure... RIGHT??

This, I've come to learn, is known as Imposter Syndrome. Now, I'm not here to say that I have some kind of weird diagnosis or whatever! I'm just saying that I was struggling with my identity as a creative person. This has been a discussion in the creative community for a while now, and I didn't realize that it was an issue for anyone else. But it made me feel better to know that I was not alone. Other people feel this way sometimes... and that's okay.

However. I was not without a creative outlet. I was channeling my creative energy into something in my absence. And it was something that I had been dying to do for ages, but never felt like it was the right time.

I started a YouTube channel.

Now, before I go any further, I need to explain something. The name of my YouTube channel plagued me and eluded me for daysssss... I consulted friends, I used channel-name-generators, the works! It was awful. One day, I would think I'd found The Nameonly to discover that it was already taken on YouTube. Later, I was sure I had settled on The Name, but something just didn't feel right about it. All this to say, it was slightly stressful to choose.

But one day, it came to me. The veil of my frustrations finally lifted as the totally ironic title came to me. My YouTube channel would be called That Girl with a Blog

It was brilliant. It was ironic. It was perfect.

I, Hannah Marie, would be the creator of something with a title that I no longer stood for... It made no sense, but at the same time IT MADE PERFECT SENSE.


This was one of the most exciting and most terrifying decisions I've ever made, because as you guys know... I'm an Introvert!! But I had heard many people say that introverts actually end up thriving on YouTube?? Their reasoning was that it is a way for them to communicate their thoughts freely, but have the luxury of hiding in their room while doing the talking and editing their mistakes out of it later. Supposedly it was very freeing. And after uploading the first video, I realized how completely correct that was in my case. 

Now, three months and over 100 subscribers later, I am even more assured of this; YouTube has helped me grow as a person in ways that my blog couldn't.

Learning how to communicate with my spoken voice has been something that I felt massively self-conscious about for years! I hated the sound of my own voice, I hated my accent, I hated how I just couldn't seem to find the right words at the right time... With writing, none of these things were an issue for me. Writing was my safe-zone. My happy place.

But trying something new, allowing some discomfort, and actually challenging myself was the most invigorating experience. And I discovered that I actually liked it??

I'm not here to tell you that if you are currently blogging that you should move over to YouTube. I'm not saying that at all! I'm just trying to share why I've been gone, what happened while I was away, and what my plans are for the future. Everyone's journey is different.

My blog was the opening act of my life's creative journey (which I like to think is a three-part epic saga, complete with deleted scenes and extended editions! *cheeky grin*)
I allowed myself to put my creative power into a box, and when I reached a breaking point, I assumed that I was no longer fit to be a creator anymore. I became consumed with labels and all the mess that comes with it.

But by its very definition, creativity is thinking outside of the box! When you put your creativity into stark boundaries that suffocate you, it isn't creativity anymore. It becomes mundane and contrived. 

Sooooo... here I am. I've written a blog post for the first time in months. I'm in the process of planning this week's video for my YouTube channel. I'm plotting the next chapter of my Wattpad novel, Polaroids + Postcards as I type. I've been discussing becoming an ambassador with several different brands in the upcoming months. I have so many ideas and hopes for the future.

I'm finally free again.

I am not planning on making a set schedule for posting on this blog, in order to avoid falling into this pit of Imposter Syndrome again. I am, however, wanting to start posting again on occasion! And it's okay if no one reads these posts. I'm not doing it for anyone else anymore. I am doing it for me. And I think that's where I went wrong the first time. I was so concerned about what others thought of me, that I allowed a silly label (or lack thereof) to control my creative process.

I am very happy to share this news with all of you, and I hope that you can perhaps relate to this post in some way or glean something good from it. I will be checking back in, so this is my 'hello' from my corner of the internet. You are not forgotten, I promise.

I cannot wait to see what the future holds! This journey has been insane, and I look forward to experiencing more. I hope all of you will come along with me & have fun on this adventure as well.

Signing off for now... but definitely not forever.


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