The definition of “Authentic” is:
1) not false or copied; genuine; real. 2) entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or
experience; reliable; trustworthy.
Before I totally get into the reason for me writing this, I need to give you a bit of background. This will help you see where I came from, and how I ended up where I am now.
The Early Years
When I became a blogger 5 years ago this month, I have to admit, I didn't know what I was doing. I floundered from one thing to another, trying to find my place. For 8 years prior to this I worked for my father in the insurance business. I learned from my Dad that being self-employed had a lot of advantages. It was natural for me to think after he retired, I would take over his business. When this didn't happen I left the stressful business and decided to work from home. My husband had his own daycare out of our home, so it would just make sense to help him. Right? Um no. I found out very early on, although I loved kids, it was not my passion. I had been trying to teach myself how to make websites, so I continued to teach myself with any information I could find. From there I decided to take over my sister's country business, but instead of doing it in a storefront, I continued online using my website skills and guidance from her. This profession was one that took many hours; I built the wholesale side of it because I found this is where I could bring in more money, buy in bulk and it made me feel accomplished. I was told once by a very smart woman named Sheri Kraft, that if I sold myself, selling the candles etc would follow. Boy was she right. After 5 years or so ( I lose count) I closed that business due to lack of interest, on the customer side; not mine. It was time to move on, so finally I decided to work on my hosting company, web fixing and this blog. With that I had started a new site here or there; which I lost interest in and either sold or closed. Finally I have come to the realization that I no longer want to be the ‘jack of all trades, master of none'. Now I am down to this site and my web site transfers, fixing and maintenance site. Condensing feels good and will allow me to spend the time necessary to move forward.
The Last 5 Years
Instead of telling you everything I have done in the past 5 years, I will focus on the point of this post. As you have probably figured out, my last name is Willis. When I was a kid, I always watched “Different Strokes”. I loved that little character Gary Coleman played named Arnold. What I loved even more was when he said “What You Talking Bout Willis?”. One day out of no where I found myself looking up domain names. I obviously didn't think that anything close to this phrase would be available; but it was. I purchased the .com and the .info thinking that my husband might enjoy using the .com (he didn't). That is why I used my .info. I kept thinking how cool would it be to write about life, my kids and our marriage. This didn't happen very often. Why? do you ask? The reason it didn't happen is because I wasn't allowing myself to be authentic.
Somehow, for some reason I forgot what the very wise woman told me when I was working my candle business. “sell yourself” or translated in this scenerio, show yourself, share yourself. Allow your readers to be a part of your life. I always felt that what I had to really say didn't matter to others. I wasn't confident in allowing the real me to shine through. It was easier to hide behind giveaways, reviews, blog hops; you get the idea. I have in these past 5 years shared some things, just not on a regular basis. Somewhere I lost myself, as parents may say to their toddler children “use your words”.
My blog is not really the only place I don't share our personal life. I do not feel that our personal struggles, for instance, belong on Facebook. I am not saying that others that do this are wrong, its just not my style. In not doing this I have found that I struggle with interaction on my fan page . Some people find that if they spur controversy they are able to get people riled up, and with that, they get tons of interaction. I am not controversial; but if I choose to be; it will not be online. I do not talk/post about my political views, religion or money (this is something I learned from my grandpa, and my father). I feel by doing this I would possibly alienate people that might otherwise feel comfortable being a part of my fans or friends.
Here I am. Coming upon my blog's 5 year anniversary. I am finding that it is really time to stop being so concerned about what I write on here; and just do it. I totally enjoy what I do with Disney and the other entertainment areas; but its time once again to allow myself to “sell me”, to “share me” and lastly to “BE ME”. For too long I have hid in the background. I have found myself always in the background looking in. Its obviously time, after this long, that I figure out connecting with the people that visit my site. It is time for me to be “authentic”.
Wife, mother, grandma, blogger, all wrapped into one person, although it does not define her these are roles that are important to her. From empty nesters to living with our oldest and 2 grandchildren while our house is rebuilt after a house fire in 10/2018 my life is something new each day.