Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Saying Goodbye to ChatterBox Christie

About two weeks after I wrote my most recent post, I pulled up my blog and discovered that every single image was missing.
Header image, post photos, profile picture… everything… gone!
For no reason!
I hadn’t touched it since publishing that last post… changed no settings.
It was the strangest thing.

You would think this would send me into a complete tizzy trying to figure out what went wrong and how to get it back in order.  But it didn’t.
In fact, I didn’t attempt to fix anything until a couple of days ago.
I put back my header and sidebar images and restored the image from my latest post.  (If you scroll down a bit, you can see what it looked like before I fixed things.)  
For nearly a month, my blog sat in that disheveled state and I didn’t care.
Even more interesting... nobody contacted me to say, “Hey Christie, what’s up with your blog?”  Not one single person.

I saw this as a sign.
The looming inevitable that I’ve been afraid to face...

It’s time to say goodbye to ChatterBox Christie.

It's been coming for a long time.
I've been alluding to it and you've undoubtedly sensed it...
Especially with the long absences here and on my social media profiles.

I can no longer deny that my days as the blogger you've come to know and love for the past 7 years, are over. (my God... has it really been SEVEN years???)
I can’t continue to straddle the fence.
I keep trying to hold on but there is no point… because there’s nothing to hold on to.
The more I try, the worse I feel.
This blog represents a life I truly loved, but have now outgrown.
Trying to make it fit is an unnecessary struggle.

ChatterBox Christie is not what it used to be.
It’s no longer a blog.
I’m no longer a brand.

ChatterBox Christie is now, JUST ME.

^^^ The hardest thing in the world to say out loud. ^^^

I will miss this.  I already do!
I miss my blog-buddies… the amazing relationships I’ve created and treasured.
I miss my radio show. I miss the conferences. I miss the opportunities.  I miss the fun.
It’s not about not having the time anymore… and let’s face it, I really don’t.
Now, it’s about not having the desire.

This may sound strange to you but it is an evident truth for me:
As long as I’m a “blogger,” I will never allow myself to be a “writer”… the kind of writer that I really want to get back to being.
I once prided myself on managing to be considered “influential” while remaining “niche-less” and refusing to be labeled a “mommy-blogger” (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Who knew this seemingly vast open space I created for the purpose of freely expressing myself boxed me in… confined me in ways that are now only visible with hindsight.

This blog represents the "pressure" of a brand that I can no longer support.
I've tried ways to make it fit my new "lifestyle" and, as you've noticed, it's not really working.
I tried to blame my lack of creativity and writer’s block on my job.
The truth is... trying to be a brand and blogger (with all that it implies) has been the culprit.

It’s hard not to run down the list of experiences I’ll no longer have.  The perks I’ll no longer get.  The invitations that will no longer grace my inbox.
It’s hard not to wonder if I am making a colossal mistake.

The bigger mistake is remaining shackled to this blog out of fear… afraid to let go of something that no longer positively serves my soul to grab onto something that will.

I feel as if I have severed a limb.  
But like with most amputations, it is necessary… evasive, but life-saving… and it will be better for me in the long run.
(I just keep telling myself that... and pray that it's true)

I’m not going to lie to you… this is effin’ hard!

Letting go of something I've built...a dream I dared to pursue.
The last time I did this was in 2007 when I shut down my highly profitable corporate relocation business to be a writer and full-time mom.
A niche that I created... a business I ran on my own for 7 successful years!
There's that number 7 again… Something about it... like an itch, I guess.

(big heavy sigh)

This post was more for me than it was for you.

I needed to say this... and while I wanted you to hear it... I needed to hear myself say it out loud.
And I need to tell myself that it's okay.

Every evolution the ChatterBox has made over the years has always been a good one.
“My Life, A Work In Progress” 
"The ChatterBox Show"
“Inside the ChatterBox” and “The ChatterBox Reviews"
“ChatterBox Christie… (and everything in between)

I appreciate every single one of you who have been here for any or all of them.
I hope to take you with me on the next leg of this journey.

My adventures in storytelling are just getting started...