Grab a flotation device because the proverbial Sloagan dam is ready to burst…
Never again will I remain silent. I will use my voice and speak my truth– even if my words shake. What other people think of me is none of my business. Fear and uncertainty no longer hinder me. I feel liberated. I feel confident. My core values reaffirm my worth and dignity. I deserve to scream it from the rooftops.
The sole purpose of Cocktails With Hemingway is to be a conduit for sharing my most authentic self.
Such a rousing battle cry, no? I am Sloane, hear me roar! If somebody unfamiliar with me read only that first passage they’d think I was combating oppressive forces willing to go to any length to prevent me from exposing them. Quite the opposite actually. Scrolling through my past Facebook statuses [the ones that survived deletion] reveals a tendency to say exactly what I’m thinking. Off goes the filter and out comes the word vomit. Sometimes this translates into an empowering experience– the overwhelmingly positive feedback I received when I went public with my struggles with addiction. Countless people praised my decision to be transparent, calling it an inspiration. Those affirmations transformed the way I view my platform.
But not everyone cheers for me. There are lots of cruel people in this world and they love nothing more than picking you apart online. Quotes get taken out of context. Liking a certain page makes a value statement. An unflattering teenage photo puts your credibility in question. It’s easy enough to root for a recovering addict bettering themselves– who can argue with a feel good success story? Add religion, politics, and other socially impolite topics to the mix and even an inspirational figure becomes polarizing. Those who disagreed with my liberal views spewed vitriol.
So I played it safe. A self-imposed set of guidelines kept things relatively PC in the circus that is social media. No need to give the ‘haters’ ammunition.
Maintain that facade long enough and it takes a toll. I felt like such a phony, a total fraud. Censoring my own words felt like creative death. Production all but stopped on this blog. In person, my energy is palpable. I am fiercely opinionated and passionate about my beliefs. From the moment I could stand I marched to the beat of my own drum. I fight for the underdog. My little family is many things–conventional isn’t one of them. I gravitate towards the eccentric. Don’t take life too seriously because none of us make it out alive.
I never shy away from a spirited debate; however, controversy is not what I seek. I offer substance, not shock value. You don’t have to be an asshole to get ahead. The Golden Rule embodies my philosophy. Bullying is unacceptable. Every single person can teach you something and I love to share the stories of people.
Are my thoughts even coherent at this point? I feel like I’m rambling and have gone on multiple tangents. Let me try to reel it in and wrap it up so
I can get lost down the ADD rabbit hole you can resume whatever it is you’re doing.
I spoke of the purpose for Cocktails With Hemingway and now I want to further expound on my vision. First and foremost this space gives me a scrapbook to document my life. The kiddos think it’s so cool their mom is a Blogger with a capital ‘B.’ It’s also my sounding board if I need to vent and an open forum if I want to share essays, articles, and opinion pieces. Many moons ago it was an opinion piece that thrust my blog onto the national radar and grew my readership exponentially*** and I look forward to creating content that gets people buzzing. I don’t want to get too big for my britches but I’d love to have sponsors provide a steady stream of revenue. Maybe even go to that Fyre Festival. If only I could be an Instagram Influencer….
Supposedly niche blogs garner the most success. This is not that. Unless of course you count yours truly as a niche….but even then I’m all over the place. Committing to a single idea or theme just isn’t possible. My interests range the gamut. As do my emotions. You’ll find poignant juxtaposed with trivial, seethe with fury on one post and wet your pants laughing the next. Regardless of the topic at hand, I guarantee I will always stay true to myself and won’t ever hesitate to go there.
I realize these are lofty ambitions. Even more so for a professional procrastinator who lacks a penchant for proofreading. Throw in some daydreams, distractions, and all the other things a space cadet may encounter– undoubtedly I’ll fall short a few days. Maybe even miss the mark entirely. Yet my commitment to you, dear reader, is 30 minutes to one hour of time six days a week. I crave so desperately the Cocktails With Hemingway I outlined above and bringing it to fruition will be cathartic for my soul. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who supports my writing and encourages me to continue the pursuit. Much of my life is far more entertaining than fiction. Stay thirsty!
*** Two words: Fox News [but that’s a tale for another day]
With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,