When I first started blogging about four years ago, my ex scolded me for being "too public." I had shared several personal things that I felt compelled to write, among them, depression (a familiar topic in this space), the suicide of a close family friend and my rape. I'm not ashamed of any of those things and would gladly talk to stranger and friend alike about them, mostly because I don't think we talk about the difficult things enough. And your response to yesterday's post is proof of that. Many of you shared your same struggles publicly, others shared them privately, but the fact of the matter is that far too many of us suffer in silence. We put on masks. We show only our happy faces. We strive for perfection. We don't give ourselves room and time to breathe and feel and just BE. Our true selves--stripped and bare and vulnerable.
After my ex asked me to remove that first blog (which I now know was just his way of controlling and isolating me, but that's another post), I started blogging under pseudonyms. And even when I added my name to this blog, I was uncertain. Not from a personal perspective, but from a professional one. I'm strong-willed and opinionated. I write about a lot of personal things. Would that make potential or existing clients uncomfortable? Less willing to hire me?
I was reluctant to even link to this blog to my professional website because I didn't think it was, well, "professional." And I had all of these preconceived notions about what a "professional" blog should be. Neat and pretty and upbeat, stocked with great photos and full of great tips about business and entrepreneurship and PR and social media. Not some free Blogger template filled with my late night angst and deepest fears.
And then I connected with inspiring, honest and REAL people like Allison Nazarian and Elizabeth Potts Weinstein, people that run successful businesses without losing their identities. Who write about anything and everything because that's who they are. The person and brand are one and the same.
And I threw out all of those ideas of what a blog "should" be. This is my name and my blog, and I can write whatever I want to. Because I AM the brand. There is no distinction between Laura Scholz, the person, and Laura Scholz, the writer/speaker/business owner. It's all part of the same whole, the same essence, the same being. I am who I am. No apologies. And no boundaries.
Thanks to you all for teaching me that very important lesson.