Time to move forward!
Yes, even amid the utter chaos out there in the world right now. That’s in addition to my own personal chaos since late last year that has nothing to do with the pandemic. Finding myself suddenly stationary is providing a tiny bit of space to pick up where I left off several months ago. And doing something “normal” under the circumstances provides some sense of groundedness in uncertain times.
The particular project that has been furloughed through all this is giving Val in Real Life a facelift. It’s needed it for some time now as you’ve probably noticed. (Thanks for sticking with me in the doldrums for so long, dear readers.)
So with that, thar she blows! A new logo, with a new tagline.
It won’t surprise you that I’m a roll-with-it, stay-flexible, adjust-as-necessary kind of person. As that personality type, I often use the phrase “this was not in the brochure” when life goes askew. A series of f-bombs usually follows, whether they’re of a positive or negative connotation.
Because, let’s face it—our notions, anticipations, and plans in life rarely play out as expected. Sometimes that’s for the better, sometimes not. That’s the beauty of life. How we roll with those changes and surprises determines a lot of our happiness and satisfaction through the years.
Do you resist the unexpected, clinging to your vision of what it “should” be—like a glossy, perfect brochure of life? Or do you adjust, seeing the surprises as opportunities to live an unscripted life?
I was mired in the existential crisis of this rebranding effort for months. It was driving me mad. Not only what direction I want to take the blog from this point forward, but also finding the new look and tagline that gives a sense of that vision in a few short words.
And as usual, it was my dear man, being the dude he is, who figured it out. Seriously, one night over happy hour—the time we do our best work—he just threw it out there. It was a Eureka moment to be sure. It was so obvious once he said it. Of course, that’s the tagline! Because I say that all the damn time!
And the core value here at Val in Real Life is to be real and honest about the successes and challenges in the process of living the best life I can. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don’t. Or sometimes it’s just different than what I set out to do.
I’ve finally landed in a place of clarity and peace now though after all of my mental gymnastics to get to this point. I’m making a deliberate change in content. I abandoned doing product reviews and sponsored content ages ago but the shift will continue.
I hope to embrace more storytelling in between talking about things that are important to me and that I have a lot to say about. Time will tell what old content I update or what I archive. It’s a big job when you’ve been doing this for as long as I have.
I’m a rebel
As far as blogging goes though, I don’t fit into a tight niche. I’m sure you’ve noticed! Being broad in my topics breaks the rules about having a wildly successful blog. I experimented with different “blogger” things over the years in my attempts to follow the rules of success. It didn’t work for me. It felt unnatural. I spent a lot of time being frustrated with playing that game.
Plus, my content has evolved dramatically over the 11ish years I’ve occupied this little corner of the internet as I’ve responded to life’s plot twists. So I’ve always struggled to nail down what I wanted Val in Real Life to be. That breaks the rules too. (Apparently I’m a rebel.)
Don’t fence me in
I have few but very deep passions—all of which I want to write about. I never wanted this to be a single topic hub. Or start multiple blogs to cover the different subject matter. Screw that.
As a Nevadan now though, I have context to why niches and rules are a struggle for me. It’s simply “Don’t fence me in.”
Because the reality is that my brand is me, a messy amalgam of my passion for adventure of all kinds. And I don’t need rules about how to be me. It took me a long time to realize that and accept the blog for the natural direction it has taken without me trying to force it. I’m happy to have a small following of people who like what I do and enjoy following my adventures, sometimes even finding inspiration. (Thank you, you totally rock by the way!)
So with that, I’m excited to dive in to what’s ahead, taking delight in rule-breaking and pursuing an adventurous life without expectations. It’s like my little blog is all grown up now.
Adventure on, friends!
PS – I love my graphic designer
PS – If you like the Val in Real Life and Sierra Mountain Passes graphic designs, they have all been created by the fabulous Mike on 99Designs. If you need great work (and affordably priced) give him a shout and tell him Val sent you.