That “Skinny” Dress In Your Closet, or Hopeful Hoarding

red dress with black beltIf you’ve never gained, then lost (then regained) weight, this metaphor may be meaningless to you. If you have gone through that experience, you’re probably familiar with holding on to an item of clothing that no longer fits, but you hold on to it because “It might fit again someday if I go on a diet/eat healthier/work out more.”

That’s what this blog has become.

I’ve been blogging across several different domains, across multiple platforms in some form or fashion since 1993. There are people who follow me on Twitter who weren’t even alive when I wrote my first blog post. And to spare you my middle-aged reflections about how things were so different back in the early days of blogging, I’ll simply say that my attention span, willingness to write, elevated professional profile, and fear of writing something that might run afoul of work supervisors doesn’t really make it seem worthwhile anymore. Still, I held on to this domain and to my web hosting the way I held on to that skinny dress at the back of my closet. It’s probably crumpled on the floor, buried under a mountain of other stuff by now, but I know it’s there, and it nags at me.

I think the time has come to throw this dress away.

All Moved In

I must say that moving back to WordPress from Jekyll was far easier than moving to Jekyll from WordPress. Because I made sure to structure URLs the same way on both platforms, all links should still work. If you happen across any hiccups, do let me know.

Finding Myself through Code

Just a note to let you know that you may experience some downtime and/or 404 not found messages while trying to access this content over the next little while. I’ve decided to move away from WordPress and give hosting a static website a try.

Why am I doing this? It has nothing to do with WordPress; not really. I (mostly) enjoy working with WordPress and will use it for many other projects in the future, but I need to challenge myself as a budding developer, and deploying static websites using Jekyll is one such challenge I’ve taken on.

So far, I’ve managed to run the site for Maptime Vancouver on Github Pages using Jekyll. Even though the configuration process left me scratching my head and swearing a few times, I enjoyed the work and, perhaps more tellingly, I loved how that success made me feel. Instead of running away the moment I ran into a problem I couldn’t solve, I persevered and eventually worked my way through a solution.

Somehow I managed to make it through this long life by sidestepping most intellectual and professional challenges that came my way. I’ve learned that I didn’t do this out of feelings of inadequacy, I did it because I allowed myself to create a world where I’m afraid to fail. Failure wasn’t an option for me, I thought, because as a black woman, I had to be twice as good as anyone else if I expected to get half as far. So rather than putting in the hard work, I checked myself out of the race, out of life and experiences. I let myself believe that I was okay accepting less.

Eventually the lie caught up to me.

I grew tired of hitting professional roadblocks and recommitted to strengthening my code skills. Thanks to a boss who has known me for a long time (and is probably long tired of my bitching and questioning), opportunities were recently created that allowed me to put some of my code skills to the test. More amazingly, even when the project went sideways, I didn’t view it as a failure. It’s the worst type of business-writing cliche there is, but this “failure” became a learning opportunity that revealed strengths and commonalities instead of reinforcing divisions and silos.

I’m learning. I’m growing. There are possibilities all around me, and my brain is crackling with excitement. Sure, I swear a lot more, and my brow may be permanently furrowed, but trust me when I say I am blissfully happy to be doing what I’m doing.

This was a long-winded way of saying that if you’re looking for specific entries on this website, you may not find them for a few days (hopefully not weeks).  You might be mildly inconvenienced, but hopefully the mental image of yours truly happily hacking away in the background will extend your patience.

Thank you.

Care and Feeding of a Blog

I’ve been at this blogging/online journaling thing for over 20 years now. Maybe it makes sense that I’ve reached a point in my life that I’m not sure what the next steps for this blog will be. Maybe that’s actually OK.

Elan Morgan‘s slide deck from the BlissDom conference came right on time. I battle with wanting to be more like everyone else, particularly as it relates to my career. But perhaps it’s OK if I’m not like anyone else. Maybe it really is OK if I’m just me from here on out.

Respond Via Twitter?

I enable comments on a post-by-post basis on this blog because I don’t tend to get very many comments these days. I’d like to keep some sort of feedback loop going, though. I’d love it if there were a way to replace the comment form with a “respond to this on Twitter” form. Does such a thing exist?

The New Blog Order

In case you’re wondering what’s going on around here these days, I’ve decided to split my blog into two domains. I’m planning to use this space to talk about professional pursuits, librarianship, digital services, and content strategy. If you’re interested in the personal side of Cecily (including bikey posts) head on over to Skeskali.com.

A few days ago, my friend Erica wondered what it would be like if all us old heads who have been talking and thinking so much lately about blogging started to actually do it, so I’m trying to rise to the challenge.