Fresh, Muddy Waters

Change is one of the most guaranteed things in life, and for someone as rigid and calculative as me, it is also extremely hard to navigate without an adjustment phase. That’s why I closed down my blog back in May this year, when I realised it is was time to not only update this site but to reinvent my online presence after over half-a-decade active as a blogger. I felt a need to compartmentalise my professional, artistic and personal lives, which until then I intermixedly shared without much care or thought on this site. How did I come to this conclusion? Through different interconnected occurrences that can be summarised in one word: growth.

For starters, my professional life really took off towards the end of 2018. After years of building it slowly through a variety of volunteer positions, temporary jobs and internships, my career is now more stable and purposeful within a particular lane. I’m currently working on initiatives in which my role is vital to their overall progress and outcome. With this comes an element of seriousness and commitment, a push towards being more “professional” and more dedicated to my job(s). This does have its share of personal shortcomings and internal dilemmas, but I would be lying if I said I hate it: I’m enjoying it and I’m grateful for it, particularly considering my background and everything I have gone through to get to this point. I hope to expand on this topic soon through a deeper blog post.

On a more personal note (though still career-related), when I shut this blog down, I was on the last steps of finishing my undergraduate studies (say hi to this proud 1st class graduate!). After a weird transition that is yet to properly register, I’m now in a new academic phase (postgraduate student!) which might end up lasting longer. I will also write about this issue more extensively soon. In addition, whilst my health continues to improve and be more stable, I’m still recovering, or better said, learning to live with certain chronic and long-term issues that won’t go away. All this deeply affects the time and energy I have for this blog.

Last but not least, in regards to my artist persona, it was just time for me to get serious about properly releasing some of the creative projects I have been working on since I was a tween and/or a teen. Due to personal and financial circumstances, formally publishing original work was out of my reach for the longest time, but now it is a real possibility. However, it is not an easy one. It is requiring significant research, training and/or learning in relation to certain creative industries and artistic abilities. And, I’m coming to term with the fact that in every sphere of my life, for things I truly care about, I’m a perfectionist. At times even a control freak, a big flaw I have been learning to manage lately as I spend more time working with others, and less on my own. Still, if I’m going to officially release any of my artistic projects, I want to do it properly. And, this requires more than my creative writing skills.

Because of all the aforementioned reasons, I decided to close down my blog and to think about how I was going to address my professional, personal and artistic lives online from then onwards. That wasn’t the first time I was going to make changes to my website(s) and social media presence: I have been active online since 2010, a blogger since 2013, and have undergone a variety of transformations. But, unlike other times of change, how I did things this time actually mattered: I am no longer just a teenager with plenty of spare time to spend it online and/or write posts about whatever crosses my mind.

Whilst I want to keep blogging, I want to dedicate this site to mainly personal things, such as reflections on my selfhood and my everyday life, posts on my travelling and other remarkable experiences, thoughts on my hobbies and studies, and takes on popular culture I enjoy. I can finally confirm I will no longer share posts on here about political and social issues (unless explicitly related to personal issues or popular culture). Nor will I write advisory/inspirational posts on wellbeing and self-care topics, something I stopped doing much earlier as it is not the type of person I’m anymore (for the good and for the bad). Whilst I still write articles and essays on global issues, as part of both my professional and academic lives, I share them via separate and more appropriate platforms.

Another important change is that I’m detaching my artist persona from this site: I won’t blog anymore as “Emilie F. Yaakaar”, but just as “Emily/Emilie” (yes, both my real name and my pen name). I’m currently working on another platform specifically for my creative work. When it is ready, the poems, song lyrics, prose and (relevant) photo editorials I have shared on this site will migrate to it. Something else to note on this topic is that my (currently closed down) Facebook page will also be just for my creative writer persona, meaning I won’t be sharing personal updates or personal posts on there anymore. My Twitter and Instagram accounts will remain as they are (after giving it much thought, I didn’t see the point of making an account in each of these platforms for each of the spheres in my life), just as my Tumblr blog, where I normally simply reshare posts on popular culture I like (e.g. films, tv-series, music).

On top of everything, I won’t try to follow anymore the rigid blog scheduling and categorisation which I once used to have (and which I unsuccessfully tried to gain back during the last couple of years). It is simply not realistic (since my free time varies a lot each week) and also unnecessary (since I don’t take blogging that serious). I rather just blog when I have something important to say, something significant to write. That’s also why categories will no longer be that important to how the blog operates, although you can still search posts thematically if you want. Additionally, many of my older blog posts (which likely don’t reflect fully, or at all, my current views) under deleted/gone categories will remain on this site, under the “Archived” tag.

So, in conclusion: following developments in different aspects of my life, I’m about to embark on the difficult task to try balance each of these areas, keeping them as separate as possible. The issue is, it is impossible for the personal to not be related to the professional or to the artistic, and vice-versa. It is impossible for me to clearly define “the personal”, to begin with. That’s why I understand if you really didn’t get what, why and how I’m trying to change things. I don’t really get it either, yet. I’m venturing into fresh, muddy waters, with a lot of trial and error involved. The easiest way to go about it is to look at this blog as if it was a personal journal/diary, in which I might talk about travelling experiences related to my career or identity issues related to politics or social justice, though in a personal, descriptive and reflective way, relating  it to my everyday life (rather than deeper analysis and/or explanations). Still confusing? Well, stay tuned to see how it plays out!

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