It’s been almost a year and a half since I last posted. WOW. I am actually the worst at this. I started this blog back in April 2015, so I should have celebrated 3 years of Angie Americana a few months ago. However, I’ve let my busy life get the best of me, and this blog as been dormant for far too long. The past 16 months have been whirlwind of stress and change, and it’s been a struggle just to survive. But now that I’m in a much better place, I’m ready to jump back into this. So for my re-entry into the blogging world, I’m going to give y’all a bit of a life update to hopefully explain where I’ve been and why I’m back.
I was severely unhappy in my relationship
Look. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. My relationship (and inevitble breakup) was the biggest reason I disappeared. The Viking and I were struggling, and it drained me of my motivation to blog, work, socialize, and basically do anything other than sleep. I tried so hard to make it work, but I had to face the fact that I just wasn’t in love anymore. I finally made the decision to leave the relationship in January, and I’ve been slowing putting my life back together ever since. (I might write a more in depth post about the break-up because –oh my god– that was a rough patch…)
Work was incredibly overwhelming, and I almost gave up entirely
My relationship drained me, but I poured what little energy I did have into my job. It was my third year teaching PreK at the same international school, and I should have been getting more comfortable in my routine, right? Wrong! I was thrown a few curveballs when my classroom was abruptly moved, not one but both of my grade level partners went on maternity leave, and I struggled with the some of the most demanding parents in my career. I was barely keeping my head above water, but thankfully, the two teachers covering for my coworkers were amazingly understanding. Once I opened up about my personal life, they supported me any way they could, and I will forever be grateful. Without them, I might have quit my job and moved back to the US.
I felt lost in the blogging world
When I started this blog, I didn’t really have a clear idea of what I wanted it to be. I started chronicling my life as an expat to pass the time, but the fizzled out quick because I sank into a post-move depression that drained me of all motivation. I tried my hand at travel blogging, but let’s be real. I’m too broke to do that regularly. Then I thought maybe I could pass as a fashion blogger, but that market is beyond saturated already. As hard as I tried, I struggled to produce content, and I honestly wasn’t passionate enough to keep it going. Right before my hiatus, I wrote a few posts about my classroom, and I felt like I was finally on the right track. However, it was a challenge to get views. I needed to put in work to reach readers, and I didn’t know where to begin. Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest were making me feel like an old dog trying in vain to learn new tricks. So I just gave up.
As you can imagine, this trifecta really did a number on my mental health. Since January, I’ve been making a real effort to climb out of this hole I fell into and reach a better place. I’m happy to say that I’m doing much better emotionally and professionally, and I’m ready to give this another try!
I don’t want to be a failure
Not to sound like a Debbie Downer or anything, but come on, who likes failing? I was never confident about my blog, and because of that, I got trapped in a pretty vicious cycle. I couldn’t produce quality content when my self esteem was so low. And I didn’t want to promote any of my blog posts because I was sure no one would want to read them. But without promotion no one was ever going to stumble across my blog. And my low views negatively affected my self esteem. And the cycle would repeat again and again. This time around, I’m to redefining success. I will feel successful if I post regularly on my blog (regardless of views). As long as I keep posting, then it will be impossible for me to fail. Even if it’s just once a month.
I think I finally know what I want to blog about
I’ve really struggled to find a niche in the blogging community. I never felt like I fit into any one category. I know what you’re thinking. Literally every blogger has had a similar existential crisis, and I’m in no way unique. Just like many bloggers before me, I’ve realized that I don’t care if I fit neatly into a category. I will blog about what I’m passionate about, and for me it’s the following things:
- My classroom and early education: After nearly walking away from my job, I realized how passionate I am about education. I can’t imagine doing anything else for a living. I plan on focusing heavily on my classroom and how I teach.
- Expat life: I have a unique opportunity to live abroad, and I plan to talk about it more. After almost 4 years, I’m finally starting to feel comfortable in Denmark.
- Travel: I know I can’t do that a lot on a teacher’s salary, but hey, I’ll take advantage of it when I can.
- Social justice and activism: All my life, I have been incredibly active politically. I’ve been passionately involved with issues like marriage equality, mental health, gun control, reproductive rights, immigration reform, police brutality, and racial discrimination. As an educator, I’ve brought these current debates into the classroom regularly, and it’s about time that I brought them to my blog.
For the first time in a long time, I am excited about blogging. I have a clearer idea of what I want to take place on Angie Americana, and I’m feeling motivated. A few months ago, I started a Youtube channel, and I’m hoping that I can develop that more as well.
Have you ever taken an extended break from blogging? How did you get back into it?
(If you’ve made it to end of this post, you deserve a cookie!)
See y’all soon!