It’s been weeks since I have posted any real content on Hometown Betty. I wanted to write about our experiences of repatriating back to American life, but some of it feels too personal to write and other parts of it too mundane to share.
However, if I am completely honest, the transition to writing new content for the blog feels overwhelming. I feel lost in this new space. While I found a sense of purpose and focus on The Seoul of Cyprus, I feel like an undeclared freshman, completely unsure of myself, stepping into my first 8 am general chemistry class with about 800 other college students. I don’t know where to sit, who to sit with, or how to write down coherent lecture notes.
I’ve read a ton of blog posts on what you need to do to make your blog stand out, but from what I’ve read, there is no perfect formula to become an awesome, stellar blogger. The only message I glean from each article is that “content is king.” In essence, your personal voice has to stand out in a sea of millions of other bloggers trying to carve out a niche in a competitive blogging market. So what do you do when you are lost and need a little focus and redirection? You go back to roots of why you wanted to blog in the first place and that means going back to the beginning – my blog name.
I thought about why hometown clicked. Hometown encompassed everything I wanted to discuss: my home, my family, my town, my culture, and me in relation to other people’s home, family, community, country, and culture. One of the greatest lessons I learned from our year abroad in Cyprus was that once you understand another person’s hometown, you begin the process of understanding the person better. Let me try to explain some of my goals a bit further by dissecting my blog name.
When I think of home, I think of those fantastic home design/décor bloggers, like The Nester, Centsational Girl, and Maria Killam, that I read on a regular basis. They have provided endless design aspects and drool worthy photos of what I would like to tackle in my own home. However, my fear of sawing off my own digits with a miter saw inhibits me from taking a leap of faith and trying some of my own DIY home projects. If I ever get the courage, someday I might show a DIY home design project on the blog. But for now, I will stick with my DIY sewing and other craft-related projects that I have planned for the fall season.
When I think of town, I immediately think of community. I have to admit that I detested every part of our community when I first moved to the Midwest. Partly because of some of the backward racism I experienced as a newcomer to the area, but also because I didn’t open myself up to the other people who befriended me. It took several years before I made myself vulnerable and ready to accept the town we now live in. Once I opened my heart up to our community, I realized that I didn’t have to let the bad apples ruin my experience of learning to love this town.
Recently, I have observed a few people who needed help in our community and even encountered one homeless person who walked through our church doors. A few of us met him, ate lunch with him, and gave him some clothes and blankets to combat the cold weather (which has been probably one of the odder and unusually cooler summer weather climates we have experienced in the Midwest). This man has no home, and yet he looked for a place that would accept him as he is. This is an example of what I want to write about regarding community.
In addition to sharing about my local community, I wanted to write about our friends’ communities from Indonesia, South Africa, UK, India, etc. They have amazing stories about life in their home countries. Photos of their hometowns are breathtaking, and stories of their past are rich with cultural history. I want to share with you their stories and how beautiful the world is from their perspectives.
Finally, this blog is about finding my personal voice. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom since Piano Man was born. It took a lot of soul searching to understand why finding the right job wasn’t in the cards for me in the Midwest. Probably around the time I began to open myself to our community was when I came to terms with this new chapter in my life. After a lot of letting go and submitting to my greater God, I learned that I didn’t have to let my previous profession define me, nor did I have to let my new role as a wife and mother keep me from growing in other areas of my life either.
Living a year abroad and writing a cultural/travel blog showed me that I can have a voice and a place to share compassion through communal and cultural understanding. It’ll take some time to develop my thoughts and research about other friends’ cultures on Hometown Betty. Please be patient with me as I navigate through my way to becoming a blog I enjoy writing and one that you will want to read.
Oh, and I love to make things for others, so be on the look out for tutorials and DIY.
Thanks for reading!
From my hometown to yours,