What do you when you seem to outgrow your blog identity?
I first started blogging close to thirteen years ago. Back then, my very first blog was hosted in LiveJournal.
I was probably in my late twenties, I was sullen most of the time, a rebel-without-a-cause and a devil-may-care attitude. I was obsessed with Japanese culture (as I am still am today), and watched nothing but Japanese movies and doramas. Gokusen, GTO, Hana Yori Dango, Okurubito, Hana Kimi were all a potent mix of a drug for me and I would spend hours and hours trying to watch for snippets on YouTube.
Blogging was also on its infancy and was still not the media behemoth/monster that it is today. As a journal-obsessed girl, I wanted a piece of the action. I wanted a place where I can share my thoughts; someplace that would serve as an extension of the many journals I have amassed through the years. So, I went online – using that noisy dial-up internet connection we had back then and started crafting my online persona. I wanted something unique and distinctly me. Read: devil may care/ Japan-obsessed/a bit crazy and weird.
I was set on becoming another Makino Tsukushi because, at that time, I was convinced that I had a shot with Jun Matsumoto (my then-BF/now-husband knew I was crazy for MatsuJun back in the day) but it was too common for me. Until I chanced upon this crazy, quirky movie and yep, KamikazeeGirl was born:
These were the two original Kamikaze Girls” Momoko (L), a self-absorbed Lolita Girl who only cared about fashion and Ichigo (R), a yanki biker girl who fits the words “crazy and weird” to a T. To the twenty-something me back then, they were also the perfect personification of my personality. So, my online persona was born. I wrote about anything and everything under the sun and basically made KamikazeeGirl a repository of rants and cringey emo stuff. I didn’t care because I was convinced no one was reading my blog, and my early stats seemed to confirm this.
But life goes on and we grew old. Almost three years ago, and following a steady influx of visits, I made my blog public. The signs were there: paid collabs being offered, in spite the fact that I barely advertise or promote the site; there was free stuff coming in the mail and blogging was starting to become the very definition of new media. So, I signed up to join blogger groups, I started going to events and even joined some collabs. I started to post less and less also about my rants and dialed back on the Japanese pop culture reference.
On the personal side of things, I started a new job, handled more and more responsibilities, worried about my blood pressure and overall health, and became more engrossed with work. Updates became few and limited in between. Advertorials were written and press releases were accommodated.
To put it bluntly, the blog as KamikazeeGirl was losing its identity. I was growing old and I was no longer the young Momoko-Ichigo. Last night, while trying to meditate before going to sleep – it hit me. I was no longer KamikazeeGirl.
I am now a grown-ass woman who worried more about her bills, her investments, her job and the state of her mental health. I stopped following and obsessing about Jun Matsumoto years and years ago, so I was actually saddened to read over Facebook that Arashi (Jun’s band) will be going on an indefinite hiatus after 2020. It felt like the end of an era, and in this blog’s case, it was also the end of the online personality, “Kamikazeegirl.”
Yesterday, I started searching for tutorials on how to change my domain name. This blog is on paid-Wordpress hosting so I might contact WordPress support directly on how to do it. I am also thinking of how to bring the blog to the next level, given the rise of social media influencers and vloggers. Given that anyone with access to a platform and an internet connection is now calling themselves bloggers and writers — how do you set yourself apart from the crowd?
KamikazeeGirl was the kid with the journal, and with no plan in sight. This planner-wielding, penny-pinching, obsessive-compulsive middle-ager can no longer relate.