I’m writing this as I’m flying somewhere above Oklahoma on the way home from the Mom 2.0 Summit in Arizona. I spent the past three days learning, laughing, crying, drinking, and dancing. There are countless inside jokes running through my head that I’ll hold onto for longer than is probably considered normal. And I’ll tweet them to people and it will be awkward. It was an incredible three days for so many reasons. I FINALLY got to spend copious amounts of time with a friend who had only lived inside my computer for seven years.
I made new friends and reconnected with old ones. I probably inserted myself in too many private conversations. I spent too much time in the sun without proper sunscreen, didn’t spend enough time sleeping, and drank a little too much champagne (just kidding, there is no such thing as “too much champagne”.)
And yes, I went to sessions and learned things. I have a renewed vision for my YouTube channel thanks to Jenni and Jessi’s video session. But the most important thing I learned at Mom 2.015 didn’t come from a session. It was a discovery I made over the course of the experience and solidified itself during Friday night’s Iris Awards ceremony when I saw friends I love and respect honored for their hard work and dedication within a community I admire so damn much. It’s a decision that may change the landscape of FiddleDeeMe.com.
I learned that I need to just be me. All of me. It’s not that I haven’t been myself or I’ve been pretending to be someone completely different than I really am. But I have censored myself and allowed my fear of what people (and brands, yes) think of me to hold the full Ashley back. I had a panic attack the day I launched my new design because of the word “damn” in my tagline. And if you know me outside of this space, you know just how ridiculous that is. I have the mouth of a sailor. I probably say “damn” more than my kid’s names on a daily basis. Why was I so afraid to just be me?
I’ve also held myself back from writing about certain topics out of fear of creating controversy, not being taken seriously, stepping on toes, or sharing too much. Yes, there are still some things I can’t write about or simply won’t write about because those stories aren’t mine to share, but there are topics I’m going to dive into and see where it goes. I’m taking a leap of faith.
I spent time with a lot of new people this weekend. When I started thinking about how I they saw me this weekend vs how they’d see me if they ever visited my site (hey, you, hey) I started to wonder if they’d think to themselves “That is not at all the Ashley I met during a 2am swim session.” I prefer the person they met this weekend over the person I’ve been here. So that version of myself, the one who drinks and curses, loves and hurts, laughs and cries, dances in heels and a short dress, and knows her shit when it comes to Star Wars is the version you’ll see around here from now on.
Sure, there are some readers who aren’t going to like this non-filtered look inside my insane mind and there are brands who will walk away, but that’s ok. I completely understand. You may not appreciate a well-placed f-bomb or a post full of Chris Hardwick gifs. I get it (except the not appreciating Chris Hardwick gifs, that’s just not right.) But, I can’t make this space about what you want to read anymore, it has to be about what I want to write. #sorrynotsorry These are my stories to tell and I’ll tell them in my own way, even if I’m telling them to myself.
At #mom2summit, people asked me what my blog is about. It’s a normal conversation starter at a conference and I had this whole cute elevator pitch warmed up so I wouldn’t be stumbling over my words. After I threw that line out a couple of times, I realized that I didn’t need it. This blog is about whatever I want it to be about. And that became my answer. “It’s about anything I want it to be about.” It’s about me and it’s about damn time I realized that I don’t need permission to be myself in my own space.
Because this is my own space. I don’t treat this blog as an office. It’s not my job. I treat it as my living room. So watch your step (it’s like a LEGO minefield in here), grab a seat, and let’s chat, shall we?