18. It's Never Too Late To Start Over

 
Photo courtesy of Pixistock

Photo courtesy of Pixistock

 

Yay, it’s the weekend! How’d your week go?

If you go back into my archives, you see they stop at 2015. That’s because this week I deleted everything that was published prior to mid-2015. When I originally set up JTM Writes, I imported all the posts from my previous blog, which went all the way back to 2007! In those 8 years, a lot of life happened to me - I moved, I changed careers, I met my husband and got married. Those old posts were part journal, part time capsule, but I felt them like a weight around my neck. I wanted to be free of that history and embrace the future, not be bogged down with the past. And so after a quick Google search on “how to mass delete blog posts in Squarespace”, I deleted all my old posts.

Sometimes it can be hard to let go of things that you worked on for so long, but its also freeing to just drop everything and start over. Most of us get caught up in the fallacy of sunken costs, and it holds us hostage to situations that aren’t serving us, because we feel we “wasted” the time we spent already. I choose to look at life as a continuous learning opportunity, and therefore none of my time is ever wasted, because I’m always learning. My early blogging years gave me the confidence to apply for a writing fellowship and to become a freelance writer, and I’m forever grateful. And now its time to retire that part of my journey.

I’m also reminding myself that it’s not too late to start over as I embark on my third career, starting a consulting firm. Learn about how you can work with me at JareesaTuckerMcClure.com.

Things I Read This Week:

The best $16 I ever spent: Old Navy pajamas after my husband left (Vox)

Why is framing a picture so expensive? (Vox)

Reviewers Wanted (Smart Bitches, Trashy Books)

Twitter Could Ban the Nazis Whenever It Wants, but It'd Rather Blow Trump All Day, Everyday (Pajiba)

How In Living Color Tricked Fox’s Censors to Get Jokes on Air (Vanity Fair)

The Underlying Messages That Screen-Time Recommendations Send Parents (The Atlantic)

When Did Celebrities Get So Bad At Taking Criticism? (Buzzfeed)

How to Find Band-Aids That Match Your Skin Tone (Lifehacker)

Halima Aden Is The First To Model A Burkini In Sports Illustrated (Refinery 29)

How to Help a Friend Facing Infertility (A Cup of Jo)

The Best Money-Saving Beauty Dupes (The Everygirl)

From Defendant to Defender: Theo Shaw, Once Almost Railroaded by the Justice System as One of the Jena 6, Is Now Officially a Lawyer (The Root)

In Defense of Fashion Criticism (Pajiba)

'We Would Not Have All Been White': Cynthia Nixon Reflects on Sex and the City's White Feminism Problem (The Root)

People on Twitter Are Sharing Their Fake Cookbook Names and It's Hilarious (The Kitchn)

More than 100 LuLaRoe sellers have filed for bankruptcy (Vox)

Two HIV Cases Linked to Spa That Gave Trendy 'Vampire Facials' (Jezebel)

The Conversation We Need to Have About Mental Health and Women of Color (The Everygirl)

Avengers: Endgame's Women Deserved More (Gizmodo)

She was the “queen of the mommy bloggers.” Then her life fell apart. (Vox)

What It's Like to Pay 50% of Your Income in Taxes (Lifehacker)

Other Stuff:

It’s wedding season! This weekend I’m attending the wedding of a dear friend, and I’m legit extremely excited. I know it’s going to be an epic party and I’m also really excited to celebrate their union. Plus I just love weddings!

I haven’t baked in awhile - I just haven’t felt the urge - but I want to try this olive oil cake recipe.

For the past month or so, I’ve been taking the time to do my face in the morning, and I’m actually enjoying it. It takes 5-10 minutes in the morning and my routine is pretty simple: foundation, fill in brows, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, blush and lip gloss. I’m also skipping setting powder and using setting spray instead, because of my dry skin. I’ve gotten several compliments (yay!) and it makes me feel more put together.

Have a great weekend!

Taking My Talents (And Blog) To A New Home

Yes I know, it's been a long time since I've written for myself. I've had lots of thoughts, and a few Twitter rants, but each time I sat down to write on my blog, something felt...off. It didn't feel right. I lost motivation to write even though I needed to. I did write for a few freelance gigs (yay!) but writing for myself just wasn't something I was interested in doing...at least not on the old blog. 

I finally figured out why I had such an aversion to blogging - my site didn't feel like it fit anymore. Both technically and thematically. I'm not a girl anymore, and I'm definitely not lost (or unlost). I've figured a lot of things out between when I started that blog and now, and I needed my site to reflect that. I also grew really tired of dealing with self-hosted Wordpress, and I wanted a new solution. 

You know how you hear about something for awhile but it takes a bit to finally try it out? That was me and Squarespace. I heard their ads every week on my favorite podcasts, but I didn't think I had a need for their services. I started casually thinking about trying them out once I began to secure freelance writing gigs - I knew I needed to set up a personal portfolio site and I didn't want the hassle of Wordpress or self-hosting once again. By sheer coincidence, my friends at A Practical Wedding reached out and asked if I was interested in doing a piece for their series with Squarespace, about setting up a portfolio website. Talk about serendipity! That was finally my kick in the pants to test out Squarespace and see if setting up a website was truly as easy as they claim. 

Turns out, it was easier than I expected. I spent weeks building my Wordpress blog, but setting up my Squarespace site took only a couple of hours. My biggest delay was convincing my husband to take a few photos of me for my new website. The clean templates are totally my style, and they provide a ton of tools to help you. In one day, I had a brand new site complete with domain registration - score!

After the ease to put together my personal site, I was ready to move my blog over as well. Originally I planned to transfer my domain as well, but when I really thought about it, I knew that I needed to start fresh, with a new name and branding. Black Girl Unlost chronicled some important years in my life, but I've moved on from that place. I stopped blogging semi-anonymously, and I no longer fear writing under my name. I don't want to be niche blog as I plan to continue to write about whatever strikes my fancy. After spending a new hours thinking of a name, I settled on JTM Writes - simple, right?

So welcome to this new place! My goal is to write on a regular schedule, about a variety of subjects. There will be some personal stuff, but also my thoughts on a variety of subjects, from pop culture to intersectional feminism. 

Welcome to JTM Writes - thanks for reading!

Is It Time To Let Go Of My Pseudo-Anonymity?

anonymous blogger Back in the Internet Dark Ages, aka 2004, I started my first blog. Back then, Facebook was just a thing for Harvard students, Twitter was a long way off, and even Myspace was still just for musicians. AOL and AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) were a big deal, and if you did any interacting with anyone online, it was probably on a message board. Blogging was just becoming a thing, and lots of people were doing it just for fun - the idea that you could blog as a career hadn't been conceived yet. It was in this environment that on a whim, I went to Blogger and set up a blog. It took like 2 seconds, and there I had my own little corner of the Internet, which I called Confessions of a Grad School Slave. During setup, I had to choose a name, and I decided to go with Jubilance, which is my line name (and now a nickname, since I've used it so long). In a split second, I decided to be anonymous on the Internet, or at least as anonymous as I could be. I figured it would be a good idea to keep my online presence separate from my offline life.

Years of Blogging Anonymously

Honestly, I don't even remember what really motivated me to start blogging in the first place. I've never been a "diary" or "journal" kind of girl. Growing up I was addicted to young adult serials like The Babysitter's Club, Sweet Valley Twins, and Sweet Valley High. Every book, movie and magazine geared to tweet and teen girls all mandated that you must have a diary. Where else were you going to confess your love for the football star or lament how much your parents didn't understand you? As much as I tried, I just couldn't get the diary bug to stick - it just didn't appeal to me. But blogging somehow felt different. Perhaps it was the public nature - the idea that anyone could find it and read it. It wasn't just for me, it was for everyone, a public experience. But by using a pseudonym, was able to keep my blogging separate from my everyday life. It was an "extra", a thing I did on the side, when I felt like I had something to share.

I could never keep a diary, but the blogging bug has stuck with me over almost 12 years now. For most of those years, I wrote when I felt like it, mostly when I was struggling in some way and needed an outlet. Blogging was always an outlet for me, and never something I took seriously until a few years ago. I always looked at it as a fun outlet and not a practical career move. With the encouragement of friends, I'm finally taking my writing seriously.

Time To Let Go Of the Pseudonym

I realized the other day that while I started blogging with the goal of anonymity, I've done a really bad job of it. Anyone who knows how to use Google can figure out my real name, find my LinkedIn profile, my Twitter and other identifying information about me. As the 2016 writing fellow for A Practical Wedding, I'm publishing content regularly, under my real name. My goal has been to gain experience and build my portfolio, and hiding my identity here doesn't fit with that. At the same time, I love the Jubilance nickname and it will still be in use - on Twitter, my Disqus account, etc. But I don't feel the need to keep my online life separate from my real world life anymore. In the beginning, I felt that I needed to keep them separate for my corporate career, but now I see that writing IS my career, and I should embrace it.

Moving forward, I'm making changes to Black Girl Unlost, including updating the About Me page to reflect my true identity. It feels a bit daunting to put my name here, but also encouraged. Stripping the anonymity from BGU is step 1 as I move towards a freelance writing career and building my brand.