To some this will come as no surprise. To most it won’t be that big of a deal. To me, this is a huge thing, and part of a big life shift that will be taking place over the course of the next few months and years.
I’ve been blogging off and on for a little over 4 years now. It started with my first blog, “DaddyYo Effin Rox” which was short lived because I changed it to become “The DaddyYo Blog”. This was my most successful endeavor online. Running it for a little more than 2 years before I shut it down just after my cancer diagnosis in 2012. I watched it grow from little ole me writing nonsense complete with grammatical errors and atrocious spelling, to a network and a well known stop on the blog reading route.
During this time I was able to work with many kinds of brands. From Huggies to Samsung. I watched my social networks grow unbelievably. It was a point of pride for me. At the time, I was a food service employee. I worked the 60+ hour weeks in the kitchen of an Applebee’s and ran my blog on the side. I bragged about it at work, showed it off to people, and even negotiated paid gigs from the office on my breaks or during slow periods. I had t-shirts that I gave away randomly. Even sent one to a Facebook fan in Mexico. I had my own personalized hoodie and all sorts of fun stuff.
When I was diagnosed, it became too overwhelming to keep up with. I had let myself get swamped with sponsored crap and it took a major toll on me. So a week before I began chemo, I gave it up. I wrote here and there about my experience through cancer, but never really dove fully back in until long after treatment had ended.
Since that point, I’ve re-branded, redesigned, and tried this, that, and the other to try to make blogging a full time thing again. The only problem: I’m just not feeling it.
And as time has gone on, I find it harder and harder to have the motivation to maintain my own site, to marked it in an over saturated market that thrives on lists, repetition, and whether or not you’re picked up by bigger publications. It’s tiring, frustrating, and disappointing, all at the same time. I’m jealous of many of those I’ve seen go on to do great things. Jealous of those who have turned this into a living. I’m frustrated at seeing the state of the blogging world deviate so far from what it was when I first started. I’m tired of trying to force myself to write at times in hopes of seeing my stats improve, or keep people from unsubscribing. I’m disappointed that I can’t make this go anywhere other than here.
Most of all though, I’m tired of trying to force myself into doing something that my heart is just not in anymore. This is what leads me to this post today. Out of all the feelings that I get from doing this, the feeling that I’m not following my heart, but keep going with it, is what drives me crazy as I stare at my dashboard. Why I have tried to keep going, when honestly, I don’t want to.
So for the final time, I bid the blogging world farewell. I’m done. At least as far as how it’s being done right now. I’m not maintaining my own site anymore. I’m not forcing myself to sit and write when I really don’t want to. It’s taxing, and there’s no reason for me to do anything I’m not 100% happy with. Something I should have learned 2 years ago.
What am I going to be doing? First and foremost, I’m getting ready to go back to college in the spring. After 13 years of being a college dropout, I’m ready. It’s time to make a decision, head a different direction, and make steps to head to the future. If all goes right, I’ll be attending a local community college, and busting my ass to earn my Associate of Applied Science in Information Systems Technology. After all this time, it looks like I’m more like my dad than I thought. But it’s something that has always interested me, something I know a little about, something I think I could see me doing long term as a career. At least in some way.
Second of all, I’m gong to focus on what has become my biggest passion: Android development. I stopped doing my Android 101 series a while back. What a lot of people don’t know about me is that I am a hardcore Android geek. Recently, I have started building and maintaining two unofficial after-market firmwares and I don’t plan on stopping there. I’m learning about app building, java programming, XML, and a lot more. All things I hope I can incorporate into what I’m going to school for. If I can mash my passion for Android into what I get my degree in, then my life will be a complete win. But first, I have to graduate.
Lastly, I do still plan on writing. Just not like I do now. I plan on still contributing to the Dads Round Table website. I will probably drop posts on different sites about cancer and survival. And I may even use LinkedIn to write about tech stuff. I also want to spend some free time doing other things. Like pursuing more spoken word pieces and posting them to SoundCloud. Maybe doing short videos on YouTube. MAYBE even writing some music.
There’s much more that excites me now than running my own blog. And at this point, I think it is important that I focus more on those, instead of repeatedly tiring myself, disappointing myself, and doing things that just don’t make me happy anymore.
It’s been a fond 4 years. It really has. I’ve met many wonderful people, supportive people, genuine people, and I don’t hesitate to call any of them friends. I’ve been a part of pretty big things and done things that most of my local friends would never have done. I’ve fulfilled several dreams while doing this. And that’s the memory of my blogging career that I choose to want to keep. I don’t want to remember anything stressful or disappointing.
So I leave while the memories of great things linger on.
Thank you to every one of you that has been with me from the beginning or from last week. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my ramblings, and allowing me to share my life with you.
A toast to everyone:
May your days be filled with the glory that is life itself. May you never seek too long and hard to find happiness. May love be in your life abundantly. May you always be still in the heart, clear in the mind, and joyous in the soul. To life, to love, to happiness, and to health.
Be well. Do good. And spread some love into the world.