Collector of Memories

I'm so excited! And I just can't hide it!  I got a new blog design and I think I like it.  I remember when blogs had multi colored unicorn dust popping off every page, but now the trend seems to be black and white minimalist.  There seems to be a pervasive fear of color now, but I like it.  All the better to showcase words and photos, because let's face it.  That's the main reason I'm still here. The bonus is the connections I've made with other bloggers over the years.
I've been at this blogging thing for going on nine years in this space, and I am still quite happy with my address.  I'm not ready to be a .com.  This is technically my 5th blog design including my rinky dink original blogger template design, but who's counting.  At least I'm keeping the same name, which incidentally has been changed four times.  The fourth time was a charm, and I don't think I'll ever change it again.  My childhood home was on Mahogany Drive.  I moved in at age five.  It was the last place my family all lived together under one roof, and with the exception of 2.5 years of on campus housing it was the only place I lived until my first apartment as an adult.  Mahogany Drive is a street, but it's also the place where I grew up.  It's the place that housed all of my childhood memories, and I can't think of a better name for my blog, because that's what I am. 

I'm a collector of memories.

I was that kid with the Polaroid at Camp Winnaka  I was always the one with a camera, when you had to have a camera on hand and you had to go the store and pay money to get the film developed.  I painstakingly arranged the photos into photo albums, and toted them off to school to share with everyone. When it became an option to mail in the roll of film, I did it and then when it was an option to get the digital images processed online I did that too.  I was always that person among my friends with a camera in my bag, before having a camera on hand was as simple as whipping out your cell phone.  Eventually my memory collecting became virtual.  The Cabbage Patch Kid diary and spiral journals that date back to age ten turned into online journals.  The actual photo albums with the hard pages and plastic film to protect the photos became virtual photos on my hard drive.  I transitioned to virtual albums on MySpace and Face Book, allowing me to take my memories off the shelf, and share them with a wider audience.  Then social media came along.  Taking pictures just so you could share them is a thing, and sometimes I get caught up in that, but when I think back to that kid with the Polaroid camera I'm reminded that I don't really do it for social media, I do it for me. 

Blogging is no different.  I blog because I love to write, and I post things on social media because I've always posted pictures somewhere even before you could actually post.  Whether it's that time our entire JV cheer squad went to the beach and did a three high pyramid in our bikinis or that time I traveled Europe for six weeks, it just doesn't feel right for me to do anything that means anything to me, and not have a picture of it. I absolutely would regret not having those pictures to look back on if I wanted to.

When it comes to blogging, for me it really is about being organic. It's been that way from day one and I think the longer I do it the more content I am with that.  For a while everyone was organic, and it was great, but right around the time when popularity contests, and commercialism took over the blog world is when I started to feel really disenchanted with blogging in general and myself as a blogger.   That would be 2010-2011 ish.  This was before social media was rampant, when blog buttons, blog swaps, blog giveaways, and blog link ups were all the rage.  In those days Blog sponsor meant something totally different than it does now.  It got to the point (and kind of still is) where I didn't consider myself a real blogger because I didn't do all of the blog biz things other bloggers were doing.  Can you really call yourself a blogger if you don't post on a consistent schedule, get lots of free stuff, and make money?  I dabbled, but I don't like the idea that over time it is likely inevitable that the line between authenticity and click the link so I can earn money begins to blur.  It really wasn't a good fit for me, so being a success in that way was not realistic.  Now?  I just don't care that much.  I have a blog, I blog, therefore I'm a blogger! I really love it that I don't have to worry about sponsors, photo shoots, and an editorial calendar.  I like it that I show up here and write what's in my heart and that this blog is truly a reflection of me, and where my life is at any given moment.

Sometimes I don't feel inspired to blog or feel like I have nothing to write about.  Sometimes I'm tired, I'm busy, or I just don't feel like it.  Sometimes I don't hit publish because my post feels pointless or dumb; like everything I write needs to be some kind of literary masterpiece.  It doesn't!!  Sometimes I'll have a post that's ready but it doesn't go up for a while because I don't have a picture to go with it.  I won't put up a pictureless post.  I just can't.  That's the same reason I haven't posted on Instagram in a while.

Ha! Maybe I do need a photo shoot.

I love having a snazzy new look for this space that houses so many of my precious words and memories.  I might start blogging more, and I might not, but it's good to be in a place where either option feels okay.


Bre said...

I used to love link ups. Getting good to read all types of new blogs. I still enjoy it but so much stuff in sponsored. I understand the hustle but you're absolutely correct. I have a blog, therefore I am a blogger. I have to own the space to put my thoughts into the world.

Faith said...

I love your new design, IT looks great! I was always that person in my group who carried a camera way back in the day too. I've always, always loved taking pictures and know that even if social media didn't come around, I would still be taking pictures and printing them to put in albums too.

I'm grateful for these spaces that we have to write about whatever we choose to write about. I'm not ready to be a dotcom yet either but maybe one day.

I'm still searching for blogs that are still doing things the old way. I miss the organic way people blogged in the beginning. I miss the days when everything wasn't sponsored and it didn't feel like you were being sold something.

Amanda @ said...

I am so glad that I found your blog however long ago it was that I did. Back in the early 2000s, long before social media, I used to read personal blogs all the time. I even had my own on blogger back then! Now most of the blogs I follow are churning out the same "top 10 ways to do x" posts, and they are just not that interesting. I want to read about people's lives! I want the personal touch. I want more like this :)

Catherine Gacad said...

i love the simple layout. font easier to read too!

Theodora Ofosuhima said...

I enjoyed reading this so much. There was a time blogging was not a pressured activity. I'm trying to get to that time, to just go with my own flow. Yesterday I wrote something similar to this "it just doesn't feel right for me to do anything that means anything to me, and not have a picture of it. I absolutely would regret not having those pictures to look back on if I wanted to."

I'm just like you when it comes to camera and note taking.

Toni Dreist said...

I love your new design! Looks fun and fresh! I miss printing off photos and organizing them in photo books. Now I upload them all to Snapfish and create my memory books. Not sure it’s easier. Keep up the good work.