Monday, May 19, 2014

Back to Blogging


Back in December of 2013, Kyle Jones published a post called Don’t Give Up on Your Blog: Advice for First-Six Month Bloggers. When I read it, I thought about blogging again. However, after several attempts to write a post, I decided that I had managed to disappear from social media and was content to remain that way for several months.

A few months passed, and I re-visited Kyle's post because I really did miss the creative and emotional outlet that writing provided. I missed many of the people in my social circles, but I still wasn't ready to publicly deal with the fact that I had to drop out of college due to lack of financial aid and establish a new focus for the blog. I kept following Kyle's posts; he kept publishing articles about blogging, and I started thinking about what I could do with this blog. I ultimately decided to keep this blog active, but the blog will be more focused on my personal journey rather than my professional journey.

The New Look

In case you didn't notice, I created a new logo and made some changes to the color scheme. Since I'm focusing on my personal journey, there are reasons why I made these changes:


The Logo

Insects.org discusses the varied cultural views of butterfly symbolism; however, when I think of butterfly symbolism, I immediately think of transformation/metamorphosis and Grave's disease.

Transformation/Metamorphosis

 I've been through a lot this past year: I dropped out of college, experienced financial difficulties, searched for a job, and finally started working. These changes were profound for me because they affected me both physically and emotionally. My sleep habits changed, the type of physical activity that I engaged in changed, the amount of physical activity I performed increased, my stress level increased, and my outlook on life became quite negative. I stopped writing because I didn't want to share my negative outlook and then release it; I was punishing myself for mistakes that I had made, and events that were completely out of my control. I felt like a failure for not being able to complete college, and I allowed that feeling to completely overwhelm my life.

I finally got sick of hating myself, feeling ashamed, and feeling miserable all of the time. I realized that these behaviors and thought patterns were preventing me from doing the things I love, and were really holding me back from life in general. I know that my patterns of behavior and thought are learned, and I realized that I needed to get some help in order to change my life. I decided to seek outside help to help me get right with myself. I will probably discuss more about this in future articles since this is going to be a gradual process; I didn't learn these patterns overnight, and I am not going to learn new patterns overnight.

 Graves' Disease
  
Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with Graves' disease. Graves' disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes hyperthyroidism, a disorder that causes the thyroid to overproduce thyroid hormone.  Thyroid hormones help to regulate metabolism, brain development, cardio and pulmonary function, the nervous system, body temperature, muscle strength, and skin dryness. Patients with Graves' disease can also experience eye problems that include bulging eyes and dry eyes. In some cases, the swelling behind the eye becomes so severe that the optic nerve is pinched, and surgery is necessary to prevent blindness.

The hyperthyroidism can be treated by suppressing thyroid function through surgery, medication, or by damaging the thyroid using radioactive iodine. However, the effects of Graves' are not always completely mitigated by treatment, and sometimes the long-term damage caused by a delayed diagnosis cannot be reversed.

Since the thyroid is a butterfly shaped organ located near the base of the throat, organizations that sponsor, or conduct, thyroid research often use the butterfly symbol in their logos. For more information about Graves' disease, check out the Graves' Disease & Thyroid Foundation website.

The Colors 

Aqua & Blue

Several Graves' disease support/awareness groups use different variations of these colors in their logos and ribbons. Also, since having Graves' disease affects the path(s) that I choose to take in life, I figured that it would be a great color to have in my "re-branded" blog. According to The Meaning of Colors, aqua symbolizes emotional healing and protection, while blue symbolizes healing and tranquility; which is what my current focus is on my life journey.

Purple

Purple is an interesting color; in some cultures it can symbolize spirituality, and in other cultures it is associated with royalty. I liked it for this blog because it has a little bit of red (passion and courage) and a little bit of blue (healing and tranquility). I like to think that it sometimes takes a little bit of passion and courage to find healing and tranquility.

I also chose the color combination because I thought it looked really cool. After all, it's my blog, and I have to like it so that I will actually write on it.

Keeping the Name

I thought about changing the name of the blog, but I just couldn't bring myself to do so because it is a part of who I am. I thought that changing the name would be just another way of punishing myself by dismissing the knowledge, and new perspectives, that I gained in college. At this point, my goal is to finish college; however, just because I haven't finished yet, it doesn't mean that I still haven't learned a few things. I can either use the knowledge that I gained to improve myself, or I can use it to hurt myself; I chose self-improvement.

What do You Think?

As always, I welcome comments and feedback. What do you think of the blog's new look and outlook? 

7 comments :

  1. Hi Charity
    Congratulations for making a great decision. Now I know more about you and wish you success in all the directions you are going. The blog format is great and this post has a tranquility to it although you are touching some serious topics.

    Very best wishes,

    Ian

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Ian,

    Thanks for stopping by and giving me some feedback about the blog's new look and feel. I'm glad that you enjoyed it, because I certainly enjoyed posting again.

    It's been a long time, and I hope that you are doing well. Thank you for the well-wishes.

    Take care,

    Charity

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  3. Charity,

    I apologize for not commenting sooner. (Work has been a bit busy lately.) Please know how utterly humbled I am to read this post. I am honored to know that something that I wrote - the words that I put to virtual paper - made an impact on someone. YOUR post has proven to me that what we do does make a difference. Please know that you are not required to write daily, weekly, monthly. YOU BE YOU! Write as the inspiration comes. We will be here to read it when you do.

    Again, THANK YOU!

    Do you mind if I share this with my readership?

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    Replies
    1. Kyle,

      It's always good to hear from you, no matter when! I'm very thankful that you wrote what you did, because it helped me to realize how much I missed writing. I also wonder if what I say or do makes a difference, so it's nice to be able to let people know that what they say or do does make a difference. I really appreciate the thought that you will be here to read what I write, when I write it; I find it inspirational.

      By all means, share this with your readers. I want people to read about my journey, because I want to make a difference; I want people who may be struggling with the same issues that I am struggling with know that they aren't alone, and that there are things that they can do to feel better about themselves and their lives.

      Thank you for being here for me as I deal with these issues. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to you.

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  4. Welcome back, Charity. I'm glad that you're writing again.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Victorio! Thanks for stopping by, and the welcome back. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of these days I'm going to get a camera so I can add my own photos to my blog like you do on your blog, instead of using Flickr.

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