Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My New Chapter and The State of Blogging


Today I am graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications. Eighteen years of education (from preschool to undergraduate college) started with gluing macaroni to cardboard and now here I am, about to join the "real world". I don't believe in graduation ceremonies and if it weren't for my parents, I honestly would much rather spend today at home drafting blogposts. Looking back at my 21 years of life, so much of it has revolved around school but starting tomorrow, it will no longer be a major part of my existence anymore. That sounds a bit extreme but it's true. Perhaps one day I'll get a masters in something or another. But for now, I'm glad to be putting the tedious homework, group assignments and stressful exams behind me.

But with the close of this chapter comes the beginning of a new one. Work. Adulthood. I started thinking about this quite early compared to my peers and have racked up three relevant internships, a few part time jobs and volunteer stints. But I don't have a full time job lined up. For the past few weeks I drifted between states of profound hope and extreme anxiety. With school there is always a clear path in terms of grade progression. Each September you have a rough idea of what the next year will bring whether it is fractions, AP European history, or Management 1001. Finally I am free of prerequisite requirements and I have freedom to choose what I want to do. But do I really have that freedom?

If I go into my answer to that question, this post would simply be too long. I'll leave it as an open question to you. I would love to read your experiences of finishing school or anything that ruled your life for many years whether it was a job, relationship or something else.

So with the onset of my professional journey I've had to think about the state of my blog. Should I treat my blog as a project and feature it on Linkedin? Should I disclose to my future boss and coworkers that I blog about beauty? Should I optimize my content and try to turn this into a career? I have a lot of questions and not many clear cut answers. I know I do not want to compromise on the quality and authenticity of my blog. I am also not comfortable with telling everyone I meet in a professional setting that I blog even though a quick Google search of my name will lead you to this page. This is something I am trying to overcome.

This space was my escape from being ordered around and told what I had to do. This was my sanctuary away from the grades and competition. I set my own terms and control the content. But as blogging becomes more prevalent and methodical, I find it harder to simply treat it as a hobby. Several non-blogging acquaintances have remarked how "lucky" I am to have a blog and I take that as an insult considering how none of this was an accident. My blog is a result of many hours of thinking and doing, not just coincidence and luck. People have suggested I monetize and I held off on doing that for a long time. I only recently started using Google Adsense because I want to learn more about how the program works for professional development reasons. Blogging was never about the money or material value. It was about expressing myself and being a part of a community. I hope I can continue to carry out this mission as my personal life goes through a major transition.

I haven't done a personal post in a long time so this is a peek into what's swirling around in my head at the moment. I miss sharing my random real life thoughts on the blog with you all. I'm confident many of you also struggle with similar things. Ignoring the unpleasantries will eventually cause this place to be a fake platform that paints a picture of a perfect life. I hope you will continue to join me for the next chapter!

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