On September I shut down Finding Myself Inside Me for renovation and rebranding. I reopened the blog last month, with a new layout, a new logo and a new concept. The categories and the pages of the site were updated too, some even renamed. I unveiled the new concept slowly on my Instagram before reopening the blog, using parts of the new design and a reflective poem titled ‘Autobiography’. The illustrations and the poem aimed to subtly explain the new concept of the site. In addition, I also changed my pseudonym, from Emilie H. Featherington to Emilie F. Yaakaar, creating a Facebook page and a new Google + profile for my artistic persona. While I’m not obliged to explain these sudden changes, I want to do so, especially for those who have followed me as a blogger for months or even years.
I blogged for the first time back in 2013. It was on Tumblr and I believe the blog was Bitxina’s Treacherous Life, although I can’t remember it very well. I had recently moved to a new country and I didn’t have much to do, hence it seemed a good way to spend time. I wasn’t unfamiliar with writing, I had been a writer since I learnt to write: I finished my first books, short stories and poems when I was in primary school. But I had never shared my writing before with an audience wider than my friends. My first blog posts were reflections, describing, explaining and giving my opinion on the meaning of inspirational quotes I liked. At some point, I began to write about my daily/weekly life and about celebrities I liked. While I loved Tumblr, I ended up feeling like if my posts were too long for a micro-blogging site. I decided to open a new blog in Blogger, The Abstract Butterfly’s Sanctuary. Then, I started writing about social issues, poems and song lyrics too.
After a while, I decided to take my blogging to a new level and I launched The Witxina Project on WordPress, composed of four blog sites: 5 Words to Live By (for inspirational and motivational posts), Chronicles of a Rhacei Soul (for social and political issues), The Abstract Butterfly’s Sanctuary (for creative writing and literature) and Finding Myself Inside Me (for my personal life). Running four sites was not easy, but it was exciting and I liked doing it. However, after nearly a year, I realised I had neglected my non-blogging writing projects, particularly the novels I was working on. In addition, my first year of university was coming up and I knew I wouldn’t be able to cope with everything. I decided to end The Witxina Project and I closed down all the sites except Finding Myself Inside Me, where I shared the old posts from the closed sites. Since then, Finding Myself Inside Me has been the only blog I run.
If you follow my blog, you will have probably noticed that I no longer write inspirational and motivational posts. I used to recycle old ones, but I stopped. I also ceased writing articles about social and political issues, except for those directly linked to my personal life. Since the beginning of this year, my posts have been mainly poems, song lyrics and reflections, except for a few personal blog series about my university life and my trips abroad. None of these changes are random or senseless: they actually indicate a shift in my attitude, my personality and my outlook towards life. My writing reflects who I am. If it changes, it means I changed too. This can also be applied to the alteration of my artistic name. A few months ago I started feeling a disconnection between my pseudonym and my written work. Emilie H. Featherington had a meaning that no longer translated into what I wrote. It was meant to be about me speaking out, sharing my views on the world and trying to positively influence others. Yet, I no longer wanted to do that. I no longer wanted to inspire and motivate others. I no longer wanted to write deep pieces about politics. My will for all that disappeared, replaced by a need to write about myself and what’s going on in my mind and life.
The shift in my attitude, my personality and my outlook towards life has mostly been negative. This is noticeable if you have read my poems, song lyrics and reflections. To be honest, I have been a dark and sad person for a while, probably always, but I have never shown it as much as I do now. While this could be an innate aspect of who I am, I believe it is a response to severe changes in the circumstances surrounding my life. In particular, my personal life and the state of politics across the world. I won’t talk about these two issues, related posts will be published (or have already been published). However, it is important to know that a lot of things have changed since I began blogging, even since last year. The majority are negative and have had a severe impact on me, which hasn’t been only negative. I’m a more astute and more open-minded person, less naïve and more realistic. I have a better idea of who I am and what I want to do with my life. The problem is that all this has made me colder, less outgoing and more distant from everyone.
You might be wondering how all this affects my blog’s renovation. Finding Myself Inside Me will be personal (again) from now on, except for my poems (which are generally about social issues). That’s why the new layout of the blog is made up of objects with a deep meaning in my life. I can confirm that I won’t publish more political articles or inspirational posts, although these topics might come up when discussing issues surrounding my life. I will share more personal reflections, as well as more lifestyle and life experiences posts. I will also keep sharing my creative writing pieces. For the record: I still care deeply about social issues and politics, as well as emotional wellbeing and mental health (the concepts behind my inspirational and motivational posts). I’m still studying International Development in university and I work/volunteer in those areas. I’m just done with writing think-pieces and articles about them here. The current political and social climate where I live (UK) has affected me badly. I need a break from active involvement in politics and social issues. My academic work is too much in itself. And I don’t feel genuine trying to inspire and motivate others to be happy, strong and hopeful when I’m not that type of person anymore.
With making my writing more personal comes making my artistic persona more connected with who I am in real life. I won’t reveal how I came up with the pseudonym Emilie H. Featherington, but it always reflected someone I wanted to be and not who I was. I was inspired by others rather than by myself. That’s why I decided to change it to Emilie F. Yaakaar. The first name has remained the same because it is merely a different version of my real name, though I was actually baptised as Emilie. I also like the meaning behind it: hard-working. The middle name abbreviated as F. stands up for Featherington. I chose it to not forget about my old alias and because it eventually became a part of me. And lastly, the surname Yaakaar means “hope” in Wolof, a language from West Africa, particularly Senegal. While I have a diverse African ethnicity (my ancestors and my family’s culture(s) are from different regions in Africa), Senegal makes up the largest share. Wolof is the lingua franca in that country, a language that I’m learning. Hence, I chose it to show the importance of my identity in my writing. I selected the word “hope” because hope is something I never want to lose.
I don’t have much more to add, I hope this post made sense. From now on, my blog will be back to being updated regularly. I won’t delete my old posts, but keep in mind that they might not reflect who I am and what I think now, particularly those about social and political issues. If you have any questions related to this topic, please comment below or reach me out in my social media accounts!
Love and hugs,