My mom made a really interesting comment recently. I was talking to her about my work and she said something along the lines of “I think you’ve really found your voice.” Finding my voice?
She was referring to my fairly recent foray into sustainability – mostly in terms of it becoming a major niche here on LM.
I certainly didn’t disagree with her comment, far from it, but in a way, it caught me off guard.
Finding Your Voice in Your 30s
I’ve been talking and thinking a lot about change recently. I do think change is a good thing (click to read why). Of course, I also have some tactics for handling change when it’s out of your control, which certainly help!
And even though I’ve been a parent for over a year now, I still don’t think I’ve fully adapted to that change in my life.
In line with the change of becoming a parent, however, my concerns and worries have changed (not just related to C either).
As I spent all those hours sitting against the wall with my breast pump, I had a fair amount of time to google things on my phone (and play Blossom Blast of course). During this time I started looking for answers about cloth diapering, about having a more eco-friendly home, and how to save money doing x, y, and z.
So when it came time to write blog posts all I could think about was all that sustainable business!
Ten months later, I’m still talking about all that sustainable business and somehow it seems to be working.
Is it a New Voice?
I don’t know if I’m embarrassed to say that I asked myself numerous times why this newfound emphasis on eco-friendly living happened so suddenly. Was it because I was a new mom? Maybe. A new homeowner? Possibly. Because I had all that time to research? It didn’t hurt.
I’m embarrassed, however, because I’ve since realized that my focus on all these lifestyle changes happened after I became a parent and after we bought a house, but it wasn’t a new thing for me.
When I graduated college – 12 years ago – I bought a hybrid car. I’ve been using reusable cups at Starbucks for years (yes, partly because of the 10 cent discount). And I registered for all the cloth diaper regalia long before C entered our life.
At the same time, I realized that my mom and dad weren’t big on waste. They wouldn’t have considered anything they did as sustainable or eco-friendly, but waste just wasn’t acceptable.
Food was finished or saved, the whole broccoli was cooked and eaten (not just the florets), and they gardened a lot. Not to mention the clothesline we dried our clothes on for years.
So this “new thing” of mine is a mentality that’s really been in my life all along, I just finally had the space and place to go to town with it!
And crazy enough, while the blogging and social media component haven’t much changed, I finally feel as though it all has a purpose (besides being a happy space for others).
Do people like this new voice?
Late last year when I started writing sustainability posts, I truly worried if my audience would disappear. It felt like it was such an about face.
As it turns out, many people are interested in learning more about eco-friendly living too. When I did a podcast interview (listen to that here!) a few months ago about the business of blogging, I started to realize why it was working for me…
We started talking about adding new niches into your work. Without any rhyme or reason, I mentioned that my sustainability wasn’t the fanatical kind that’s full of angst, hate, and judgement. Nor is it perfect.
Rather, I’m sharing my process and being honest about the easy things and the hard things. And THAT is what’s resonating so well with just about everyone.
So while my new niche could have left me with crickets, because it was truly authentic and it IS my reality, it’s gone over better than much of my previous work. And maybe not everyone is on board with my ideas and approaches, but most people are listening. That is worth a lot in my book.
I’m willing to bet money I’ll be finding my voice again (and again?) in my lifetime, but finding this voice in my 30s is working out pretty well so far!!
So you’ve Got it all figured out?
Hah. Hahahahaha. I’ve been thinking a lot about this even as I’ve written this post. It feels great to feel that I’m finally getting comfortable in my own skin, our own space, and with my own voice. But I still have so much work to do.
It’s interesting, I think about all this stuff kind of all the time and yet I don’t share it THAT often on Instagram. That may not matter to some of you who aren’t on IG, or you think it’s superfluous… but if this is going to be my job, which it is, then I need to get on top of that too.
So now I’m working on sharing all these tidbits more casually on my social media channels. I’m trying not to get mixed up in making it seem perfect or just one way. Rather, just mentioning the idea, following up, and then continually mentioning things that work.
As humans, we should always be works in progress, so here are my marching orders for the foreseeable future! Thankfully my family and husband are super supportive of it all. Now we’re all trying to lead a bit more purposefully.