February 2011

So what happened in February 2011? I launched this website, sharing my thoughts with the world. For most of the month, I did research on: how to make your blog better, how to monetize your blog, how to drive traffic to your website, etc. Downloaded and read so many manifestos and PDF’s and read how this person did it and how that person did it and so many offers to buy products to drive your website into the stratosphere….

So much research, and I’m drowning in it. There is nothing wrong with any of the things I’ve looked up, and it was quite helpful. But my brain is on research overload. I stepped back and had a much needed moment of clarity. I’m so focused on making the blog better or getting people to check it out that I overlooked the two most important things.

1. Why I’m doing this in the first place
2. The people

I write to tell my story. To share where I’ve been, where I am now, and where I want to be. I was such a hyper-religious, piously hypocritical jerk that thought he should “save all the sinners” while I was the biggest quote unquote sinner of all. Hiding behind a mask of Church and Religion. How I used to be.

Now, I see the value in people, see the good in others, regardless of spirituality, lifestyle, race, etc. The shift started in 2003, and is ongoing. What I define as life unrestricted.  That religious part of me still acts up from time to time, but now I can recognize it, work through it and move on.

So here I am with this new website, trying to find my place in the blogosphere. Trying to find my niche, because I don’t define this blog as a “Christian” blog. It is for anyone who wants to break free from comfort zones to be beautifully uncomfortable and free. And there is nothing more comfortable than religion. I’m not necessarily putting religion down, but for me, I was completely focused on form and function vs. loving God and loving people. For more about this, go here.

Some wonderful people have signed up, commented on posts, and read what I’ve written, I am so grateful and appreciative. That what it is all about: the people, making friends, maintaing relationships, helping wherever I can.  I can’t concern myself with being the next superstar blogger or figuring out the fastest way to making a living online or anything. All I can do is be Jermaine. The best Jermaine I can be.

There was a lot of fear and worry and doubt in February.  My wife and I announced we are having a baby in September, our first child as individuals and as a couple.  All the practical fears kicked in about how to provide financially for my family, what do we need to buy, and do we honestly need a bassinet.  I mean really, a bassinet?  That is why the baby sleeps in a crib right?  But I digress…

Emotionally, I try not to think about it.  About how I will be as a father, about how life will change (for the better, but still change), etc.  I haven’t found too many resources online for expecting fathers, but the search continues…

On a different note, I became a part of a brand new, non-profit foundation called Random Fingerprints. More on that later.

I’ve found some awesome blogs by really remarkable people: Colleen Wainwright, Joel Runyon, Katie A. Whaite, and Chris Guillebeau.  Their blogs have really resonated with me.

My side where I had my kidney transplant has been hurting quite a bit, I’m hoping it is my lymphocele acting up again,  but I’m still concerned.  I go see the transplant team on Monday, so I’ll see what’s up then.

I think most of February I spent trying to follow formulas about blogs.  There is nothing inherently wrong with that, but being the type of person I am, I focused too much on formula and not enough on being me.

I feel I need to get more personal with my writing, with my blog posts.  I’m trying to find that sweet spot between what I want to talk about and what you the reader want to read about.  I’m trying to reconcile between writing for myself and writing for you.  Maybe by writing more personal and beautifully uncomfortable posts, that will connect us all on a human level and go beyond faith or race or anything.

May peace be with you, may peace be multiplied.

 

4 Comments

  • Just bring it from the heart BROTHER! You are a good writer.

    And for the record, I don’t know anyone who has thought of you as a “hyper-religious, piously hypocritical jerk”. I’ve always known you to be a humble, caring person who is hard on himself sometimes 🙂

  • Great and vulnerable post, Jermaine (and thanks for the shout-out 🙂
    Love your writing-style and think your content is great. Just keep being YOU! Trying to reconcile between writing for ourselves vs. others is definitely a delicate (and difficult) balance — one I’ve struggled with, too. I think vulnerability and humaness (and staying true to ourselves) is always the way to go, and will draw people in…..excited to continue following your words!

    • Hey Katie,

      Thanks for the kind words. I agree, being true to ourselves and being vulnerable is what will connect our story to someone else’s story. Keep rocking the music and art world!

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