“Find your niche” is advice which is often given in the blogosphere but is also something I question in my life outside the Internet.
What is the thing that makes me different? What truly makes me happiest? What is my unique selling point?
The answer is: I have no idea.
I thought by my late twenties I would have my shit together way more than I do. I thought I would be career driven and focussed, but I am not any clearer on what I want from life than when I was 5. I still have that childlike curiosity where I want to see and do everything, and still cry with frustration when I am told that I can’t have it all.
I have never really had a ‘thing’, my brain just doesn’t seem to work that way; my mind restlessly flits between one interest to the next without having time to stop and take in all the information. Not having an attention span capable of focussing on one thing at a time means that I have never become an expert in any subject.
I have written down endless lists to try and become more focussed but I just can’t seem to narrow it down. There is no hierarchy to the things I am interested in and I don’t want to have to choose just one.
The only thing I can narrow down is that I have the desire to travel, learn and take in new perspectives, but they just open up more doors. Think of the landscapes, food, culture, fashion, makeup, people and art I would stumble across. How am I meant to choose just one to concentrate on?
I have asked people much wiser than myself how they seem to have figured out what their niche is and the recurring advice is that I just have to settle on something and go with it. This makes complete sense – the only thing is, the word “settle” never really appealed to me; although I can see other people that have who are truly happy and live in a blissful existence, I am just not sure that it’s for me.
I feel most uncomfortable when content, which I know sounds bizarre, but calmness and security makes me feel like I am wasting time and makes me even more restless.
I have no idea what the solution is to my agitated nature but blogging has definitely made me think more carefully about what I want to do with my life, instead of just plodding along and hoping it will get better. It gives me an outlet and, though I don’t like to focus on numbers, the drive to improve my blog has made me question my approach to what I do and how I share my life.
I have a great respect for both people that share everything and those who choose to have a highly curated digital life. The latter takes a type of discipline I just don’t seem to have. I have always had a little voice who wants to break the rules (even when they are self imposed), so the second I say I want my Instagram theme to be blue or I that must post 3 times a day I lose interest almost immediately.
I have not reached that level of maturity where I can make myself do something for the bigger picture rather than what is in my heart. I can see the formula of ‘success’ in terms of numbers but there is a stubbornness in me that pushes back again, acting for the long term rather than the passion I feel in the moment.
I totally understand why a niche is important in real life as it gives direction and purpose, and in blogging life it helps readers know what to expect, but, for now, I think I am just going to have to continue on as I am confusing people and hope that they enjoy following my scattered thoughts and interests.