A much needed refocusing on Why I Blog, including a discussion on how I lost my blogging focus and how I’m getting it back right now!
I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about my career and what I want my life’s work to be. My clerkships are wrapping up and I’ll apply for residency later this year, so it’s time to narrow things down and make a decision. I’ve been very introspective — thinking about my goals, my purpose, what I want my future to look like, how I want to be able to serve others.
My Blogging History
This career introspection has lead me to think a lot about the current state of my blog and social media presence, as well. I started this blog in 2010, fresh out of college and working in product development at a shoe company. I had a number of reasons to start writing, and I don’t think I fully understood them at the time. Looking back, they all boil down to three things: connection, honesty, and inspiration.
I was craving connection after feeling misunderstood with Anorexia, felt a strong pull to share the good and the bad parts of recovery so people would feel less alone, and wanted to provide inspiration to others going through similar things as me. I was just starting to figure out what the “real world” meant, and was navigating the messy road of finding health after an eating disorder. Anticipating that I would want to share about lots of different topics, and always having a million things going on, I settled on the name “Fitting It All In.”
Whenever people ask me what I blog about, I usually say, “Whatever I want!” And for the most part that’s true. It’s pretty awesome! If you’ve been around from the beginning you’ve seen my talk endlessly about marathon training and share almost every meal and outfit. You’ve seen me write completely ridiculous, self-absorbed posts when I was struggling with my health and unhappy jobs. I’ve lived in 4 different cities, broken up with boyfriends, went through a vegetarian phase and a Crossfit phase, got my period back, dealt with SIBO, and the biggest of them all – made a huge life change to become a physician.
How I Lost My Blogging Focus
And somewhere along the way, in the busyness of every day life and school demands, I lost track of my purpose. I started writing things because other people were doing it and I thought they’d be popular money-makers. (Of note – that’s not an entirely bad strategy since making money to help support myself while I’m in school is nothing to frown upon.) I don’t think everything I wrote was bad — much of my writing can still fit into my original purpose — but my posts didn’t feel completely intentional. It became so routine that I wasn’t thinking before I wrote. They were perhaps entertaining, but not always content that made my soul excited. ((Side Note: I highly recommend checking out The Desire Map.))
I think there are a few reasons for this.
- I am doing pretty well, health-wise! I’m feel very removed from my eating disorder, and have learned to manage my anxiety fairly well, so day-to-day I don’t have a ton of struggles. That’s not to say I they don’t exist, but they just aren’t so front and center in my life.
- Med school is busy! I like to be busy, but I wasn’t giving myself enough down time to reflect and think.
- I got scared. I’m naturally a very open person, but medicine is a conservative field. I can take it when strangers on the internet said mean things to me, but I didn’t want future colleagues, employers, or patients to make judgments about me. I let too many people scare me away from writing honestly. In many ways understand and appreciate the worry, but it just doesn’t sit right.
- I’ve been a career transition and I haven’t had a clear future. Med school means I constantly learning about something different, and often things I don’t find all that riveting. I’ve been in a place of exploration and learning all the basics before I decide where I want to settle down for the rest of my career. I haven’t had the time to hone in on my major passions, and that’s been challenging, frustrating, and made me a bit scatter-brained.
- Self-confidence. I struggle to think I could write something good or important. I’m sure a lot of this has to do with being a student and lowest-man-on-the-totem-pole in the medical system. I’m not at all the person most knowledgeable about anything, it seems, so I usually assume I’ll write something that’s wrong or lacking. There are so many amazing writers and professionals out there and it makes me feel unimportant and inferior.
How I’m Getting It Back
However, despite the above, I’m finally starting to make decisions about my career. I’m almost finished with the required rotations and will very soon be able to tailor my schedule toward what I personally find fascinating and important. It’s bringing me so much clarity and excitement! I’m eager to bring that same clarity and excitement to this space. I’m ready to feel confident, return to my purpose, and share intentionally. Though I’m still not 100% sure which specialty I’ll go into, I have found that my original reasons for blogging match quite well what I hope to accomplish with my medical career.
I want to note that my change in mindset might not translate into a drastic change in my posts. As I mentioned, I think a lot of what I already write can fit into my purpose and goals, even if in an unconventional way. I still love the things I love and have shared with you all a long! The changes may be slow and subtle from the outside. I just intend to be more conscious of what and why I am writing. I am feeling something shift, and I think it’s going to be good.
So now, finally, to get down in words why I blog:
Why I Blog
Emotional connection is a basic need. When lacking it can lead to depression. And I know how easy it is feel misunderstood or just that you don’t have someone you can open up to that truly gets you. I felt that way during and after my eating disorder, and it is so isolating. I have found that I am better able to share my true emotions and feelings in writing. Writing things out helps me to process situations and better understand myself. It allows me to connect with myself and with others, creating stronger and healthier relationships. I hope that by sharing openly about myself and my struggles, you feel less alone and more understood. I hope that I can connect with all of you on some level.
People say being a teenager is hard, but I don’t think adulthood has been all that easy, either! It’s important to me that I share, truthfully, how I live and grow and learn day to day. Constantly seeing and hearing about “perfect” lives can lead to guilt, sadness, and comparison. I share my own struggles and successes so that others know they aren’t alone in their own struggles and successes.
I have chosen to share, without shame, my experience with Anorexia and anxiety. These are incredibly misunderstood diagnoses that are difficult to understand if you haven’t experienced them. My goal is to help educate, advocate, and remove the stigma so that more people will get help, help others, and feel supported and understood.
I hope to inspire you, not because I am something to aspire to (goodness, no!), but because aiming to inspire pushes me to be better. It helps me make tough decisions, get over myself, move past fear, and focus on putting good into the world.
I want to inspire you to…
- Focus on your true, holistic health. That means all aspects of health — mental health, nutrition, exercise, relationships, and spirituality.
- Take ownership of your life and to dream big. To make the big scary change to do whatever lights you up. Who cares if it’s not the traditional path or if your timeline is a little different? You have the power to create the life you want.
- Accept and love who you are. To never feel like you need to hide or change part of yourself to please others.. People aren’t one dimensional. You can like fashion and still be intelligent. Love yoga and still believe in science. Be goofy, silly, and sarcastic and still be respectful, effective, and compassionate. You can believe in God. You can be unsure. And you can always change your mind.
- To show you that if I can do it, you can do it!