“When██ hit the fan, is you still a fan?!”
— Kendrick Lamar, “Mortal Man”, To Pimp a Butterfly (2015)
I’ve felt lost for a bit with the #BloggerLife, rummaging deep within for something valuable to write about, but keep coming up short of anything that feels… complete.
There’s plenty I should be doing with the world I’ve built around myself — perfecting my media kit, cleaning up the redesign, getting rid of the stacks of half-finished blog posts cluttering my dining room table — but I’ve never felt so scattered, with all these things to do but no clue where to start, blindly jabbing in the dark, looking for that one idea that’ll reignite my flame and get me blazing through all this glut that’s clogged my brain.
It’s almost like for all the success I’ve had with years of effort invested into my craft, I’ve finally hit a wall so big that my usual tricks aren’t slick enough to overcome it.
In church, we were once asked “What is our Mongolia?”, or rather — where is God asking you to go and give up your lifestyle for the sake of the kingdom*? But thinking about it, it doesn’t really need to be a place — it’s a question we can all ask of ourselves: what do we need to give up in our lives to keep moving forward? Albert Einstein’s oft-paraphrased that the very definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results, so maybe I’m seeing the writing on the wall and it’s time to make some much-needed changes.
*The speaker obviously chose to become a missionary in Mongolia, hence the question.
The #DaddyLife — That Thing That Gets Me Putting the #BloggerLife on Hold
For a long time, I put blogging on a pedestal. I celebrated my time at events and away from leading a “regular” life like everyone else as my life’s highlights, making little room for anything else while I plastered Toronto every shade of red I could find. That Casey — the Casey who’d kill to get into the hottest parties — is little but a hazy memory to me; a relic of a past spent entirely too much away from the things that actually matter.
Two years deep into fatherhood, everything’s different. I come home to my kid running up to me, grin on his face as he gets ready to play together, eat together and read together in the hours ’til bedtime, head often nuzzled into my chest as we enjoy every minute together. The #BloggerLife’s still treating me well — better than ever, actually — but real talk, I never even expected to make it this far. I’d always thought that trips and phones and all the good stuff would be out of reach once becoming a Dad — but rather than keep me from growing as a blogger, it was a real wake-up call, helping me enrich my blog with better content and spend my time on better things.
This summer’s been crazy busy, sure — I’ve traversed the country, revisited parts of my childhood, and reconnected with friends I’d thought long gone… but I did all these things with my family by my side — things I never encouraged myself to do on my own, too focused on Toronto and all its trappings to notice the bigger picture. I might not exactly be the Casey I’d always imagined myself becoming as an adult, and life’s by no means perfect — there’s more than enough I’d tweak if I could — but my family ultimately makes me a better Casey, one that makes me smile when I see him in the mirror, because I know that no matter what life throws at him, he’s gonna be alright.
It’s Time to Get These Distractions Out of the Way — This Path Won’t Travel Itself!!!
I originally thought I had writer’s block because I’d run out of things to say. That my time away from “the scene” somehow made me less interesting, and that no one’d want to read what I had to say.
Turns out I was just forcing myself to write the wrong stuff.
The stuff I’ve written was from a place of uncertainty and nostalgia, looking in the wrong direction while I made my excuses for writing so infrequently. Sorry I’m so disorganized. Sorry my story’s not unique enough. Sorry for not being the Casey you expected, but this other guy who’s still figuring himself out after going through some major life changes.
But being apologetic and trying to return to the Casey Palmer who could write like a madman wasn’t what I needed — what I needed was to accept my new life and everything in it, finding my inspiration in the things filling my everyday schedule. The lessons we learn when things go awry at the 9-5. The rage we feel hearing parenting advice from those who don’t have kids of their own. There’re so many stories that unite us by the millions — it’s time for me to grow up and join the world, not try so hard to stand out from it.
So yes, it took a bit, but I think I’m back to the Casey I need to make this #BloggerLife matter. I’ve emerged from my old life as a lifestyle blogger intact, with a wealth of lessons under my belt and a new sense of purpose with my #DaddyLife in full tilt. The time’s long overdue to get my mind right — you don’t need to be in your early 20s to make an impact on the Internet, long as you create stuff people want. You don’t need the most popular niche, most attractive face or most exciting lifestyle if you’re providing value that people can’t find anywhere else. I want to prove I can create stuff that matters while remaining uniquely Casey E. Palmer.
I’ve spent enough of my life with people telling me what to do that a change wouldn’t hurt — I need more write and less gripe; these stories aren’t doing me any good just cluttering my mind up, so it’s time to create the #BloggerLife I’ve always truly wanted, with less excuses on why things aren’t the way I want, and more insights on what I need to do to get there.
To all of you out there — I hope you have yourselves a great weekend. I hope you stop to figure out what stokes your fire, and chase after it with everything you’ve got… life’s too short not to live it to its potential!
So get out there, chase those dreams, and until the next, I remain…