Getting Started: The Hardest Part

Two weeks ago, I wiped the slate clean on this blog in an effort to start building a cohesive online identity that supports my present goals. In contemplating the process, I’ve been admittedly overwhelmed by the various points of consideration that have crossed my mind. I’ve more or less decided not to engage in any extensive reputation management efforts and clean up the traces of my past scattered about the internet. Being an internet user for so long and having delved into so many different services and technologies over the years, doing so would be a time-intensive endeavor that I cannot afford. This leaves nuking all of my profiles and content as the only feasible alternative, and it was hard enough to do that with my prior blog posts; I simply can’t bring myself to support the notion that all of the experiences in my past and the time I invested in documenting them have to be eliminated for the sake of appearances.

Moving beyond the past and shifting focus to the present & future, I find myself similarly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of goals I want to accomplish and the various knowledges I aim to acquire and master over the the next few years. It’s a lot easier for me to come up with ideas for things that I should write about than it is to stay focused long enough to translate the ideas in my head into text — this is something that needs to change immediately.

Luckily, this weekend is a three-day holiday weekend. I have nothing scheduled, and am free to utilize it for productive purposes to get caught up with myself. This is something I’ve been in desperate need of, since the hours my current job had me working up until the start of this month have been taking up the majority of my time and leaving me too mentally exhausted to use my free time productively. I’m really feeling the pressure and necessity to upgrade myself and my life to get myself to the point where I need to be, and this is where it all begins.

Boxed, Sealed, and Archived

Some time around the middle of July, I decided (after giving the matter lots of consideration) to temporarily un-publish all of the posts on the blog. After my last post, I kept reading through the archive and decided that I needed to wipe the slate. When I first decided to start keeping a blog a couple of years ago, my intended outcome was a lot different than it is today. At the time, I was struggling with a lot internally and had started actively reading on the topic of personal development/self-improvement. I imagined compiling, over time, a kind of public online journal chronicling all of my internal/external changes as I sorted things out. Unfortunately, what I ended up drafting wasn’t as progressive and meaningful as I’d hoped. Instead, I ended up writing would have best been kept as offline DayOne journal entires — the thoughts and feelings that shouldn’t be readily available to a search engine query.

Personally, I’d have no personal issue with leaving them publicly available. I’m constantly cognizant of how much I’ve changed throughout my life, so much to the point where I’ve ended up externalizing different periods of my past and see them as the different people I’ve been over the years. In turn, I treat the things I write as what’s one day going to be the past of my future self. I’m human and imperfect, but not ashamed of myself in any way. Same goes for photographs; I don’t subscribe to the idea of deleting all unflattering photos of yourself. I don’t see a point in creating a record of your life if it’s not going to be honest.

However, in this hyper-networked era of social networking, mobile computing, and evolved search engine technologies, it’s imperative to put your best foot forward and craft an online presence that leaves a good impression. All of my existing content doesn’t support that goal, and it’s certainly not what I’d want a neighbor or prospective employer seeing first. Not only that, but that narrative doesn’t suit me anymore. I’m not the 17 year old that developed that writing style over years on LiveJournal. With all of the information available on the web, it’s time to step up the game and start creating things that are worthy of consideration.

So, now that that’s settled, let’s get this show on the road.