27. Another Year Around The Sun

 
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Happy Friday friends!

Tomorrow is a great day, because it’s my birthday! I’m one of those people who loves their birthday, because it’s the one day that you truly get to feel special. As a kid, I didn’t have many parties but my parents always made my birthday special and fun. In my 20s, I was really into doing it big for my birthday with trips & stuff, but now in my (late) 30s I’m more chill about my birthday. Honestly, I just feel blessed to have made it another year and to get the opportunity to do better and be better.

This year I turn 37 and I’m really chill about it all. Life is legit great - I have a beautiful family (both immediate & extended), good friends, a good job with lots of perks, and the ability to indulge my passions. The only thing that I’m less than happy about is my weight/body size, but I’m working on loving myself as I am and sustaining the motivation to get myself where I want to be. It’s a process and I continue to remind myself to give myself grace through it all.

A lot of people do New Year’s resolutions but I like to do them on my birthday - I prefer to think about what I want to accomplish or experience in the next year of my life. This year I’m thinking about what I want to start, stop and continue.

i want to start and maintain a regular yoga practice; making regular time for necessary self-care; actively advertising for clients.

I want to stop devaluing my skills and experience; bombarding myself with negative thoughts; letting fear stop me from pursuing the things I want in life.

I want to continue growing my businesses; sharing my story on JTM Writes; deepening my relationships with family and friends; being a good wife and mother.

I’ll be celebrating my birthday tomorrow with friends, my family and food - all my favorite things!

Here’s hoping that this next year will be just as excellent as the last one.

Things I Read This Week:

Paris Is Burning Is Back—And So Is Its Baggage (Vanity Fair)

The Photographer Who Captured 20th-Century Queer Life (The Atlantic)

22 Perfect Dresses for All Your Summer Invites (Shondaland)

Female sports journalists still face rampant sexism on the job (Quartz)

These Donors Helped Give Beto O'Rourke A Historic Start. They're Disappointed With What Happened Next. (Buzzfeed)

Where to Find Petite Clothes Over Size 10 (Wardrobe Oxygen)

Here’s what a good LGBTQ ally looks like (Vox)

The Hidden Cost of GoFundMe Health Care (The New Yorker)

The Worst Question You Get Asked When Applying For A Job (And What To Do Instead Of Answering) (Chief Mom Officer)

The Problem With Diversity in Computing (The Atlantic)

The Boomers Ruined Everything (The Atlantic)

10 Women Talk About HOW to Learn From Failure (Design*Sponge)

How to Find Better Podcasts (Lifehacker)

For all the mamas who need it: A thread of only happy viral videos 😍 (Motherly)

Alanis Morissette's "four boundaries" are so good (Just Good Shit)

Why Those Plus-Size Model Mannequins Matter (Glamour)

Search And Destroy: How Google Search Results Are Being Manipulated By Shady Online Reputation Consultants (Buzzfeed)

When Fandom Is the Problem (The AV Club)

Ghost networks of psychiatrists hinder patients' access to care (STAT)

Other Stuff:

My staycation is coming to an end, but its been a glorious week at home! I really enjoyed the time off.

This week I started knitting new items for my Etsy shop! If you wear knits during the colder months, I’d love to know what kinds of things you wear! Right now I’m making scarfs, hats, mittens and maybe some earwarmer headbands.

Have an awesome week!

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.