January 5, 2017

A Beautiful Ending

Years ago I read a writing prompt that said, "If this is the last post you will ever publish, what will you write?" And in the past year, I've come back to this post over and over again, wondering if, without knowing it, I had already written my last blog post. 

But even for me, the most undedicated of all bloggers, I'm finding the need to come back one more time and give These Beautiful Ramblings a proper farewell. Because yes, indeed, it is time. 

Partly, I've grown tired of the blogging community. The internet seems oversaturated with bloggers just trying to make a buck, not realizing that money in this world is hard-earned and much harder-earned than it was ten years ago. Not realizing that blogging, successful blogging, is a full-time job. 

And partly, because I've grown tired of the noise. Tired of opinionated rants disguised as "thought pieces" or the overly-or under-censored articles. Decency, at times, is hard to find online.

Yet, even as my inner-skeptic roars, I have been reminded of the kind and incredible community I have found through the blogging world, and I've had to check my own negativity at the gate. The realization that I was burning out, when in reality, so many people are trying to make the internet a much more positive place - was my wake-up call to take a step back from this platform. 

So for over a year I have puzzled over the future of TBR. This was the space I created when I moved away from home at the tender age of eighteen to work for a mouse. This is the place where I muddled through my thoughts as I explored independence, faith, college, newlywed life, living abroad, and the beginnings of my career. This has been the place where I have revealed pieces of my heart to an anonymous world. I am proud of this blog and I am proud of myself for taking a leap of faith and putting my words out into the wild. 

But still, as my career has grown and I've gained experience working in the world of digital strategy, marketing, and content ... I've grown decidedly unhappy with what TBR is today. I've reevaluated who I want to be in a place as vulnerable as a personal blog, and where I want to go. For now, that place is offline. 

If this is to be the last blog post I write for TBR, then I will say this to you, whoever you may be: use your space of internet wisely. Whether it's Facebook or a website with 100,000 monthly visits, ask yourself before you post, "Is it good? Is it true? Is it necessary?" 

Don't feel the need to "finally start a blog", believe me, there is no pressure. Your thoughts are beautiful, valued, and worthy to be shared - but consider where you want your platform to be. Don't hide behind a screen when a coffee shop with friends and good conversations might change the world. 

But if you do want to write and share it with the world, I beg you, do it with gusto. There is far too much mediocrity on the internet these days. 

If this is to be my final farewell on These Beautiful Ramblings, something I'm fully aware is far sadder for me than for anyone else ... then I would be remiss if I did not say, thank you. Thank you to the readers who journeyed through Disney with me. Thank you to the friends who were always kind when they read my words. Thank you to the pastors and publishers who saw value in me and have told me to keep writing, even in the midst of my cynicism. 

And of this is your first time ever reading one of my posts, a hundred heartfelt thanks for jumping into my journey, even now. I'm off to live offline for the time being, and perhaps, learn how to write for myself again - without even the slightest thought of an audience. Perhaps not for forever, but at least, for today. 

Oh, and one last thing, just for fun. Here are a few of the top-ranked posts on this blog, which also happen to be a few of my favorites. The words still ring true to me years later. Enjoy. 

It's been a pleasure, TBR, thanks for being home.