When I changed it to Pink Sunshine it felt right and I was certain that I would never feel the need to change it again but towards the end of last year a new name infiltrated my thoughts. I couldn't get it out of my head and Pink Sunshine didn't feel like me anymore. I would have felt weird having my blog name be my parent's address while they were living there so it never occurred to me that Mahogany Drive was the perfect forever blog name until after they moved to Vegas last year. The move drummed up all the feelings of nostalgia I ever had about my childhood home. I moved in when I was in 1st grade and didn't move out until the year I graduated from college. Mahogany Drive is the last place that we all lived together as a family. It's where I grew up. There are so many memories and an entire era of my life tied up in that house. To this day, the land line to Mahogany Drive is the only phone number I can recite without a hitch. I've since forced myself to remember MJ's cell phone number but it still takes me a minute to string the numbers together from memory and sometimes I still forget. I don't remember phone numbers like I used to, but I think the land line to Mahogany Drive will be etched in my memory forever. It made us all a little sad to know that number was no longer 'ours' even though we had stopped using it after my parents got cell phones.
I pulled out an old flash drive in hopes of finding a picture of our old house on Mahogany. I didn't find any. I'll have to search the real photo albums. You know, those books that people used to put pictures in? I didn't find what I was looking for but I enjoyed the trip down memory lane that took me back to 2006. That flash drive is a treasure trove of pictures and videos that I don't even remember saving. I lost a lot of pictures when my Mac crashed last year but the ones I was most worried about are on that flash drive. Our first date. Our first overnight trip, the floor plan for our first home together that I saved off the website. And the more recent lost photos (including our honeymoon) are carefully archived in photo albums on Facebook from back in the days when I consistently put everything there. As I dug through the photos that MJ did recover from my Mac I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of pictures that were there, especially because I can still remember the days before digital cameras. I take pictures of anything and everything because it's easy, because I can, and my camera/phone is by my side 24/7. Pictures are a dime a dozen. It's nothing to take five shots just to get the perfect one so I have almost identical pictures of a lot of the same things. I should delete the duplicates but I don't. Just in case. I have pictures of beef stew, pictures of my yoga mat, random pictures of the sky. They flood my phone, consume all the memory and I become annoyed over having to decide which to keep and which to delete. Which ones were real moments and which ones were just in case I wanted to Instagram it or blog about it later?
I took a Polaroid camera to 5th grade camp and in in high school I was always the one with the camera at every event. I sent my rolls of film out for developing by mail because it was cheaper and patiently awaited my return packet so anxious to see how they turned out. I have always had a love for picture taking because I want those memories but the over abundance of images has made me slightly indifferent to how valuable and precious these pictures really are. Looking through that old flash drive made me realize how detached I had become. Each photo back then seemed to count so much more than they do now. Photo taking was reserved for special times and special things. You had to make a point to bring your camera with you and if you forgot it all was lost. You didn't take ten pictures of the same pose or five pictures of your wine glass because there were only so many shots. You wouldn't waste a frame on something so trivial and there was time, effort and money involved in seeing the finished product. Even after digital taking pictures of chicken or a margarita still wasn't a thing. Without social media nobody thought so hard about documenting the mundane because it was about the moment and the people you were with not when and how you were going to share it later. I remember lovingly selecting each photo to place in my photo album. Now they just sit around in a hard drive somewhere taking up space and if I did decide to put them in an album more than half of them wouldn't make the cut.
Blogging is not a passing fancy or a trend for me. I plan to blog for years to come and once I got the new name in my head the old name started to feel like one I had already grown out of. I'm not posting as often as I used to but I'm okay with that because it's reminiscent of the old days when it was less forced and more organic. Less about numbers and more about writing. Looking at those photos from before blogging made me remember how excited I was just to have a place on the internet that was all my own and a time when that was the only reason anybody did it. It reminded me of just how precious each and every photo really is and why I started blogging in the first place. Memories are precious and writing is what I love to do. I want to get back to that.
Can I just say how excited I was to claim the name for all of my social media accounts without having to add any funky underscores or additional numbers? This name was just sitting there waiting for me to take it. The only thing I have not switched over is my feed burner feed name. I actually have twenty-one precious subscribers that I will probably lose forever if I make them update it so I'll sit on that for a minute before I make a decision. If I know me, I'll probably end up changing it because it's going to bug the heck out of me that it doesn't match everything else.
So what's in a blog name? Everything. Once upon a time Mahogany Drive housed my family and everything I loved and owned. It's also who I am. I can't think of a better name for a blog that will continue to house my pictures, memories and thoughts for years to come. I'm never changing my blog name again. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.