As noted plenty of times before, I fancy myself a minimalist. Not only do I try to be intentional about the things that I own or spend my time on, I attempt to be aware of my personal interest in things and cut out the cruft with abandon; my kids mention this every time I play a game on my phone with them and the next time we sit down, the app is nowhere to be found. One place where I have had more difficulty in the past was my web presence. Because, although I am a minimalist, I also am a person who periodically feels antsy and has the desire to start fresh. Here we go again...
I have always been interested in challenges, but my website needed to be stable for the handful of people who still even read it or the completely random situations where an old post might be of interest. My completionism wouldn't allow a 404 to occur when I want people to get to content; not on my watch! But that has led to a lack of flexibility in my writing. I always had to ensure that the entire back catalog of junk, stretching as far back as my first Tumblr space was still available. So when my Blot subscription notice comes up every year, I let it ride because it is stable and includes my entire archive. What a burden and how boring.
This year, when the subscription notice came across my email, I was struck by how little I cared one way or the other. More than that, I was feeling like the burden of old posts had started to take its toll. So here we are, on GitHub Pages (again), effectively starting over.
None of this is to say that my back catalog won't carry over eventually. I definitely want my recent foray into Leadership blogging to stick around, but just like my wardrobe, I need to be intentional about the things I keep and things I let go of. How often do people go to my 2014 writing, let alone my 2021 stuff.
CGP Grey stated it well in "I Have Died Many Times":
This is more difficult to perceive in adulthood: often a span of years less and less differentiated. But the further back you go the more undeniable it is. Would you and your 20-year-old self agree on career decisions? Would you and your teenage-self get along?
The fact that he is arguing is that the Internet (especially in our current social media-focused generation) never forgets, but we can and should. Leaders pick their poison, they choose their path, because no one else should for them. My twenty year old self got into technology support to help people which has kept me coming back to my work time and time again, but my online persona of the time was leagues shallower than the content I now want associated with my name. (And honestly, he was a bit of an immature jerk at times!)
So. Along the way, we have to let go. Even in those times when we want to hold on to everything, we need to ask ourselves about the interest and importance the things still hold. I am not going to rid myself of everything I own nor will I stop playing games on my phone entirely, but shifting perspective through simple actions will inevitably allow us to refocus on the most importance things, so that we can let go, if we so choose.