A lot can happen in 80 days–something Jules Verne proves in his novel Around the World in Eighty Days. While the past two and a half months of my life aren’t exactly out of a book, I’ve seen a season of my life pass by far too fast. In the last 80 days I have finished my second year of college; have toured England, Wales, and Scotland; have moved out on my own; and have experienced my first job promotion.
In the past 80 days, I have greatly neglected my blog.
At first, I was disappointed in myself. My stats were growing, my brand was coming together, and my first post had gone viral. I had planned to document my weeks in the UK through artsy, indie-style photographs. It was a good plan; yet, somehow it all seemed fake. My posts of the past several months felt like a cheap knock-off of yet another stereotypical college blog. I felt as if I was attempting to model my life after all the other lifestyle bloggers.
In the past 80 days, though, I’ve come to realize that I’ll never be able to pull off the popular, extroverted brand that catches the eyes of thousands of people. Sure, success sounds great. Once I removed myself from blogging, however, I realized that popular success sounded rather miserable–it would simply be another attempt to pass myself off as a normal twenty-something.
Turns out, I needed to take a step back from personal branding to actually recognize my true personal brand.
Perhaps, it’s a result of our fast-paced society where everyone is racing toward the dream of success. Branding is the best way to make yourself standout in that crowd. That is, until everyone is working toward that popular brand. Attempts to standout lead to another blending of the social standards. It’s something I’ve always had a hard time keeping up with–hence my general hermit-like existence.
And, I promise it isn’t an elitist viewpoint. It actually rather lonely.
When I’m with other twenty-somethings, I normally require a translator to fill me in on all the average pop-culture references and trends. Apparently, I’m irrevocably disconnected from the general ideals of my generation–I live in a world of literature, of theoretical discussions, of analytical debates.
Truly, I live in a world of my own. While my dedication to higher education, research projects, and the general essence of the liberal arts might attract professors and universities, it’s fairly dull to everyone else. Instead of tossing around the latest Drake lyrics, I give miniature lectures about literary theory over coffee. I frequent professors’ offices and the library more often than my own dorm lobby.
Honestly, I’m not sure what that means for Words On My Page. I can continue to shape a brand that follows most other collegiate lifestyle blogs. I can stop blogging altogether. Or, I can see where the next 80 days in my own little world decide to take me and share whatever thoughts and adventures come my way.