500 Words About: Mixing Business & Personal
I took a walk down memory lane today, editing many years of blog posts that had gotten wonky when we transferred them from our old site. Reading posts that I hadn't looked at in years was strange. I watched my voice change, my topics shift, my consistency waver.
When I started this blog (and this business), I was in my early twenties. I was right out of college, newly married, new to Seattle, new letterpress, new to adult life. My early blog posts have an eagerness and an enthusiasm that betrays my age. They also include a lot of personal details. Anything and everything was fair game to share. Life was exciting and new, why not? In the last few years, my blogging screeched to a halt. This afternoon I've been thinking a lot about why. I have some theories and thoughts.
I didn't completely stop writing along the way, I just started hiding it. I kept it to myself or shared it anonymously somewhere else. It's easy to share bubbly blog posts about starting a business, designing products, buying presses, hiring employees, traveling to fun places, celebrating anniversaries. It's hard to share about infertility, grief, losing friends, making mistakes, arguing with my spouse, struggling with faith, hiring attorneys, and feeling like an imposter. That stuff isn't fun to write about, and nobody high fives you for sharing it. I've still shared a lot about these topics on Instagram, in person, in the cards I write, etc. But my business blog feels like absolutely the wrong place to talk about these things. I think I still have an ideal for my blog that's informed more by Pinterest dream boards and lifestyle blogging than my real life. My expectations are inauthentic.
I also became a mom. And while I feel pretty comfortable sharing details about my life, it's harder to know what to share and not share when it comes to my kid.
When you're just starting out in life, every little thing feels newsworthy. I used to share every tiny victory. Honestly, I think it was a beautiful phenomenon. Over time, I've gotten numb to the encouraging milestones that would have once blown my mind. I probably won't go back to firing up the blog every time we find something at an estate sale or get an order from a new store. But maybe I should. Celebrating successes is something I could use more of in my life. More sharing the positive. More victory laps.
Here's the thing: I've always mixed my business life with my personal life. From day one and every day in between. Every card I write comes from a personal relationship or experience. I'm close with the people I work with, and my emotional chaos is open to them (for better or worse). I bring my work home, and I bring my kid and my dog to work.
I've let my blog feel like someone else's blog. Someone who's better at business than me. Someone who's got it all together. And if my life and my business didn't fit that expectation, I didn't share it here. Plus, blogging just takes so much time. Especially when you're out of practice at writing and trying to put on a voice that's not yours. I'm not 20 anymore. I'm 30. I've been through a lot. I've learned a lot. I've grown a lot.
For the past few weeks, I've been writing 500 words every day, and hiding them away on a Tumblr blog that I don't have my name on. It's "safer" that way. But I don't want to hide my words, and I don't want to hide myself. Not from my own business, the thing I built and crafted and nurtured with my own hands. I'm challenging myself here and now to keep writing, and to share more of those words here. Who knows, maybe it will even lead to something beautiful.