Preserve the past, even if it’s embarrassing.

I’ve had many blogs over the past 10 years, both personal and professional. And I have deleted every one of them. (As well as Instagram accounts and Facebook pages…they’ve all succumbed to the same fate). I strived for perfection, I think. I tried to hone in on a particular focus and “marketed” myself to the specific reader who would appreciate it. I was too concerned with SEO and visibility.  I was more often than not trying to project myself as someone I wasn’t, at least not entirely. Sometimes, my writing was pretty good. Sometimes, it was obviously forced.

When my focus would shift or I’d simply become discouraged and disappointed with what I was putting out there, I’d delete and start over. And I regret it. Because even forced or embarrassing, those thousands upon thousands of words still bore a reflection of me, of where I was at during that point in my life and I’d love to be able to look back and see how far I’ve come.

As I look toward this new year, with the perspective of an extra decade of wisdom and experience, I wish I could go back and tell my younger self not to take herself too seriously. To enjoy creating for the sake of creating. To create what she loves for herself, not for others. To save the less than perfect pictures and download a copy of all the blog posts before deleting them from the world wide web. I’d tell her that life will be hard, but she is oh, so much stronger than she thinks!

So are you.

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