Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

An Identity Crisis

Last month, Brent made a joke about having secretly signed us up for cable television.

We got rid of cable a few years ago to cut down on costs, and never really talked about it again.  Since then, we’ve gotten by on netflix-ed HBO shows and movies, and have headed to my parents’ house for the occasional baseball or football game that wasn’t broadcast on network television.

But, curious after Brent’s recent comment, I decided to call our provider to find out how much it would cost to add cable to our phone-and-internet bundle.

It turned out that we would actually pay $10 less per month with the inclusion of television service.  (Why do companies do that?  It makes no sense to me.)  So we signed on and have been enjoying the free (for now) on-demand premium channels ever since.

You’re probably asking: why is this relevant?

Well, I’ll tell you —

A couple weeks ago, after a marathon grading session, I turned on the television and saw that Julie and Julia was on.  I had loved the movie when I saw it in the theater, and quickly sat down to watch it again.

I’m sure everyone with a blog (and lots of people without a blog) went to see that movie and had some sort of reaction to the character of Julie and what she set out to do.  Me, I liked the spirit of her project and enjoyed watching her figure out what she was doing and how she was doing it, and – as I’m sure was true for many viewers – I grew sufficiently annoyed with her as the film went on.

Still, as cliched as it sounds, when I watched the film again last week, it got me thinking.

I had already been wondering about the point of this blog, aware of how sporadically I’ve actually posted this year and thinking about what I wanted it to be.  The film just brought it into focus.

I started this blog two and a half years ago to chronicle the summer road trip Brent and I were about to take.  A handful of friends had suggested blogging the year before when we backpacked through Italy, and at that point I was reluctant to dive in, but by the time of our road trip, I was struggling with the unstructuredness of graduate school and looking for a project.  I’d studied writing in college and received a graduate certificate in creative nonfiction writing, and I missed having that creative outlet.  The blog seemed like the perfect solution.

Since then, it’s become a mixed bag of travel logs, race reports, and general ramblings of my day-to-day life with my adventure-loving husband.  But there’s no real cohesiveness to it, no method to the madness.  The blog, I think, has been going through a longterm identity crisis.

And sometimes, that irks me.

So, rather than stew over it, I decided to do something.  I spent several hours over the past couple weeks building the new site, and have officially made the switch.  I’ve begun posting more regularly (everyday this week, though I’m not sure whether I have enough to say to keep that up long-term).  And I’ve been checking out some new blogs to figure out what others are doing.

The thing is, I’m still a bit stuck on what this thing should be.  I don’t race enough to write solely on that.  I travel sporadically.  I’m not a foodie and I don’t log every mile I run or every ab I crunch.

But I want to keep writing.  And if I’m doing it publicly, I want there to be a little bit of purpose to it.

And so now I’m reaching out to you.  What brings you to this little corner of the blogosphere?  Why do you check in?  Some of you are my friends and family, and I love you for following along 🙂  But for those of you who I don’t know personally, what makes you stop by?  What works here?  What doesn’t?

I ask this not because I think that there are hundreds of people reading this and hundreds of people caring what I have to say.  I’m just trying to find a little direction.  And if you are reading this, I thought maybe you’d have some insights.

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4 responses to “An Identity Crisis

  1. denise December 2, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    i feel the same way with my blog and even wonder why i read some others who are clearly going through the same thing! i think some of the posts i enjoyed most of yours were the non-racing reports. i just like the way you write, it’s creative and holds my attention. a lot of times if a post is long i skim it or won’t read it at all. but that’s not the case with yours. you should feel honored. 😉

    i like your movie recommendations, too. except i’m still scarred from The Road.

  2. Julie December 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I come here because you’re a good writer, and your athletic adventures allow me to live vicariously through you!

    I wouldn’t worry too much about “identity,” though. We seem to cycle through this dillemma every few years…. =) You are… an ever-changing you!

  3. tosha25italia December 2, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    mine has no purpose either. It’s just nice to read experiences.

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