Authenticity and Connection

So the other day my site got hacked.

HACKED.

I was helping my sister with her website and I wanted to show her how I had designed a sort of sub-header on my site. But when I typed in my url and hit enter, it redirected me to some super shady spam site.

I was like “what the…?”

And I was already really worn out with web design and everything that comes with trying to “make it” as a blogger/podcaster/website owner. And then this was like the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I was done.

I knew that there were ways to recover the site. I had a backup saved on my computer, but it was a little old. And there were some technical issues with restoring from the backup that I won’t get into here.

But in the moment I didn’t really care about recovering anything. I cared about giving up and just crawling into bed and not ever leaving again.

That might seem overdramatic. But it was an accumulation of stress.

I had been thinking for the past few days about just starting over with my site. I’m not sure exactly why. It just felt off. Felt messy and complicated and confusing and I couldn’t keep track of what I was even doing with it. I had been refining and adjusting and changing my approach for the last few months and it just felt like nothing was cohesive and there were different types of posts and different focuses and I was going all over the place. Not to mention how everything seemed to look different and I couldn’t decide on a color palette and look for the site.

So I was just feeling like I wanted to start over again. Which may or may not have solved anything. But I think that’s been my go-to move when I get overwhelmed/stressed. Run from it, throw it away and start over. Just clear the slate and begin again. And I think sometimes that can be a really great way to handle things, and sometimes it’s terrible.

I mean, if I’m running from my problems I think that’s not super healthy. But restarting can be a good approach. Like clearing the slate and starting over can be really good. But overall I think that facing our problems and pains and issues is super important. It can be really hard, but it’s really important. And I’m pretty bad at it by the way. But I’m working on it.

Anyway, I digress.

The point is that my site was hacked and I took it as an opportunity to start over with it. To start fresh. I mean, I needed a couple of days first. I just couldn’t jump right into it. It was too much. I needed to process it and build up some energy first.

But here are some things I have learned about this whole blogging/web design thing over the past couple of years:

 

I Don’t Like Web Design

 

I don’t actually like web design. Which is pretty unfortunate for someone who wants to blog.

I know more about web design than the average person, but far less than the average web designer. I can usually figure out how to do something, but I honestly don’t enjoy it at all and it just stresses me out. It’s like with my phone. I have a cousin who is awesome and a computer genius who hates Apple because of a lot of reasons but one of those reasons is that it’s closed-source so he can’t get into the phone easily and customize things to make it do what he wants and look how he wants. But that’s precisely the reason I do like Apple products (or one of the reasons). I don’t want to get into the phone and customize it. I don’t want to have to know how to code. I just want to buy the phone and turn it on and it works. And I can do that with Apple products and I like the user experience.

Same with websites. I realized that I don’t really want to customize much of the website. I just want to install the theme and have it work and look pleasant.

Now, I realize there is still some customizing I need to do. But I just don’t want to overcomplicate things.

 

Vulnerability and Connection

 

The second thing I learned or realized is that I don’t want to think about blogging or podcasting (or life in general) in such analytical terms.

Or maybe it’s not really the analytical…ness (that’s a word, right?) of it all that I don’t like. I don’t know how to explain it exactly, but it’s like I don’t like when things become really calculated. Or like when things lose sentimentality. Does that make sense?

I don’t like business for this reason. I don’t like thinking of other people or of my own actions in terms of how I can get the results that I want.

I’m not sure if it’s the selfishness involved there that bothers me or if it’s the absence of the emotion or the feelings. Like the compassion and empathy are gone from the equation.

It’s really hard for me to explain.

It’s like, as I have been working on blogging I have done a lot of research about what it takes to become a successful blogger. And what I mean by successful blogger is someone who makes a full-time living from their blog. I’ve read countless posts from other successful bloggers, and watched countless youtube videos about how to be a successful blogger.

And there has been so much valuable, and true, information shared. I’ve learned a lot.

And yet I hate all of it.

Hate might be a strong word, but I really dislike it.

I’m tired of thinking about my blog posts (or my podcast episodes) in terms of how to get the most people to click and read or listen. I’m tired of calculating everything I say or write to get the most attention from strangers.

It feels so manipulative. And SO unhealthy.

If I never hear the term ‘SEO’ ever again that will be just fine with me.

It’s like I’m chasing people and things and I’m tired of it.

I am tired of thinking about how to get the desired response from people, whether it be getting someone to like me personally or getting someone to like my posts on social media or like my blog posts, or whether it be trying to convince (trick) people into wanting to buy a product I have created.

I’m tired of it. I don’t want to think about getting something from anyone anymore.

I just want to live and let that be enough.

I want to be honest and real and true.

I want to be vulnerable (while still maintaining privacy in my life because I’m a private person and I like that).

I want to connect.

I get that I need to make a living and I’m not really trying to knock business people per se. I just want to live a fulfilling life. One full of connection and vulnerability. One that is simple and where my time is spent doing healthy things for healthy reasons.

So when it comes to this starting over on my website, I’ve decided to just write and podcast and share things that are as real and honest and vulnerable as I can and not worry about how they will be received or if they will be received or if anyone will ever even read or listen to anything I have to say.

I just want to live and, as my website name suggests, be a real human being.

And let that be enough for me. And if people read my stuff and like it, great! But if not, at least I was able to be more authentic. And hopefully it will allow me to really connect with some people, even if it’s just a few.

The featured image I used for this blog post is a woman showing her dirty hands and I really loved that. I think it’s a beautiful representation of vulnerability. Being willing to be seen, even in the messy, dirtiness of our imperfection. That’s what allows for true connection.

And that’s what I want this blog and podcast to be about.

So even though this blog post is a little longer than I wanted it to be and it’s a little sloppy and it isn’t optimized for keywords, I’m going to post it anyway. Because I tried to be honest here. And a little more vulnerable. And real.

And maybe that will allow for better connection.

Connection is my new goal. Not SEO.

 

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