It is on two occasions – both at family dinner and in midst of NZFW – that I’ve found life tends to raise a hand with its most frequently asked question.
So what exactly are you planning to do with me, it asks.
Well, not in so many words. Like many a doubts it has, it projects this one by way of intrigued (otherwise, arguably snide) individuals.
“So where are you taking this?”, they ask, never not sending me into a haze of self-questioning: Should I know? Wait, what is it I want to do with this again? What am I actually doing right now?
To be in the game, however, one must accept the truth of its operation. As it turns out, to simply run a blog is hardly sufficient anymore. The capability of the platform has grown far too big. That it doubles as a form of business, and too, a source of income, demands that you have real intentions, goals even, to match. It makes sense, then, that people would enquire about them.
Much as I appear angry about it, I’m really not. Without such a contemporary, social reality, I’d hardly be where I am. I’d be without the experience, work and friends whom have come of it. The truth is, the more recurring the conversation, the more likely I am to negotiate my response; that is, to assess where the hell I want to take this thing.
I’ll tell you what I tell everyone. And not because it’s some lie I wish to circle for credibility, but because it’s the absolute truth. It depicts, for me, the nature of this journey in its most real and personable sense.
When I left school to begin my degree, I truly believed this era – of Currently Loving, of blogging and all such associated affair – would die out. I was headed to a new city (Wellington). Of my quickly transforming life, I could hardly predict what would be apart. What I did know, however, was that a large amount of my following resided back in Auckland. I was sure that given this fact, my blog (and myself with it) would become progressively irrelevant to my readers. Much as this, it would grow irrelevant to me.
In hindsight, this was a naive assumption. Currently Loving has never been overly local. I mean, sure, I share details about where I live (to an extent, of course). I have to, to keep things personal. All the same, I have always and quite purposely avoided the positioning of content in a single place. I’d hope that the words I write have global reach and accessibility.
So far, so true.
This is not to say, however, that before reaching this conclusion, I was deeming blogging a dead sport. I was simply offering an open door to its departure, if – and only if – that felt right to me. I wasn’t ready to wave goodbye, especially not to something this significant, without first offering it decent chance for adaptation.
Ironically, that I had set myself up in Wellington before I’d even arrived is not credit to this assertion at all, but rather, to the way I tend to integrate myself (by virtue of what I love to do) amid a place and its people. I had contacted photographers and various local bloggers, looking to meet, collaborate, and more than anything, rejoice in shared passion. It’s just what we do, right?
For this sake, the result of my blog has been mine, and yet, entirely at the hands of everyone else. The past year or two, I have never been graced by such abundant forms of opportunity. My blog has been successful in a quantitative sense, yes, but most importantly to me, it has continued to connect with people on an honest and in-depth level.
And on that note, I can detail little more. This is not for I have privacy issues, but for really, there is little more to know, and little more, that honestly matters.
My plans for the future, why, they are vague as they come. While people may assume otherwise – I am quite good at convincing my own sense of direction – my real path is yet inconclusive and always, always open to the hands of change.
The truth is this: I could sit down, and I could develop a 5-year plan for my blog, even, for my life, in the way we are often encouraged to do. But you know what? I’d be throwing it out next week. I can’t possibly plan what life will throw at me nor the direction I will throw myself next. I’m instinctual. That I hope to remain this way makes me less inclined to plan every step.Does my having of such an attitude deduce planning a redundant past-time? Absolutely not – though it is wise to know, at least in my line of work (both blogging and social media management), that to implement a rigid one is both unrealistic, and quite truly, a waste of time.
As far as my blog as concerned, I begin each year with a few, brief resolutions. They usually go something like this: collaborate with more international brands, post more often and gain more engagement. That being said, each post is not executed in line with such goals. Why? Because if this were the case, I’d probably have sacrificed the true and genuine essence of Currently Loving a long time ago — this, for the sake of enhancing business, reaching goals and maintaining targets.
It’s a sacred thing, this blog to me. I would hope, this space to you. That I would ever forego what I’ve created here would be a grand mistake in my books.
To answer the question I have been so frequently asked this past week: I don’t know what my plan is. I don’t know if this is forever, or if indeed, it shall expire soon. I know that right now, however, the concept of vacating this space? It’s not on my mind.
It is not solely the opportunities that keep me here – though these are, by all means, incredible. It is the likelihood that I’ll write, and I will continue to write for me. It is that I will be encouraged to debate, to share and to express. And that in doing so, I shall relate, connect and hopefully, to my greatest pleasure of all, move those who choose to read.
And you know what? Not solely in regards to blogging, but in response to life as well, the answer I have just offered, it is more than sufficient for me and where I’m at.
To withdraw yourself from the questioning, to take yourself somewhere quiet, and to ask yourself such questions without their usual pressure:
Is this enough for me?
Does my path, or its seeming direction, satisfy me right now?
It is here where, in all honesty, I believe you will find your best answer.
If your response is no – that you’re not content with your direction – why, of course, go search for all that will make it yes. Experiment. Discover the things you love, even if circumstance has you balancing your job or your study alongside it. Until a path is so appealing that it doesn’t feel right to go another way, don’t stop searching.
Remember this, all the same: that there is an extent we shall ever succeed in informing others about our future. For there is too, an extent we shall ever know about it ourselves. We have to be okay with that. Why, other people have to be okay with that. And if they aren’t, well, it’s not our issue.
We will be fine. Things will work out. And our efforts will turn into something tangible.
Let us not do other than trust ourselves in the process. After all, clarity begins with such commitment.
Photos: Two Dark Coffees