In May of 2015, I was fresh out of undergrad and was entering a summer of transition. In just a few short months, I would return to school again. This time, I was setting out to get a Master’s degree. That summer was one of the best summers of life. I wasn’t taking any classes, but I was earnestly reading books, reviewing Greek, and starting to pick up Hebrew in preparation for what I had spent the past couple of years looking forward to: seminary.
I had been pretty active on Twitter during my senior year of college, and during that time began following many people in the “Christian Anon” community. People like Snooty Seminarian, Coolvinism, Christian Hipster, Back Row Baptist, and Calvinist Batman all caught my attention. There were Christian Anons for just about everything you could imagine. There was Lloyd Legalist (and family), the Bad Church Secertary (spelled just like that), and a Calvinist version of every popular Marvel character. I loved following and interacting with these accounts. As time went on, I thought it might be fun to start my own. I had seen seminary related accounts, but never an account run by a girl in seminary.
In May 2015, I launched the Seminary Girl account on Twitter. It didn’t gain instant popularity. However, slowly but surely I built a small following. I was never the most popular anon on Twitter, but at my peak I had over 2,000 followers and a good level of interaction from them. It was great. I started blogging here on WordPress under my handle. Then, in February 2017, at the height of my Twitter usage, I made a difficult decision: I deactivated my Twitter account. I was in my last semester of seminary, taking ten grad credits, and working nearly 30 hours every week. Oh, and did I mention I was planning a wedding on top of that? Or, at least, trying to. I was overwhelmed, stressed out, and just done with a lot of the drama that can come with being on Twitter.
So I made a decision. Twitter had to go. It was hard and I missed it immediately, but I knew it was the right decision. Life went on. My wedding day came and went, summer arrived, and with it my final course for my seminary degree. In August 2017, my degree was conferred and I was academically free. I was in an odd transition period, trying to figure out what I wanted from life, what I wanted to do.
After receiving my diploma, I began blogging again. And then, I reworked my blog into what you see today. I started getting into freelance work (lightly), book reviews, writing about theology, discussing Navy spouse life, and more. I began thinking even more seriously about what I wanted to write about in my first book. And as I started writing more, I began reconsidering Twitter. And so, in October 2017, I jumped right back into Twitter. I reopened my Seminary Girl account with the same handle and began tweeting again.
But things were… different. I’m not in seminary any more. My tweets weren’t like they were in the past, because my life had changed so drastically in such a short amount of time. I was doing well with blogging, I started writing my book in November, I tweeted regularly, and I kept drifting through life.
I have been struggling recently, though. Trying to find direction, figure out where I’m going with writing, if I’m even going anywhere. It’s been frustrating, overwhelming, and filled with many rants and ramblings to my husband about how to not feel directionless. Growing pains are hard. I have realized over the past couple of weeks that I have felt like I am not being taken seriously. And I realized, that I am not taking me seriously. My schedule and routine are all over the place, no matter how hard I try. I am watching from the sidelines as fellow writers are getting requests to write articles for websites and book deals. And while I am overjoyed for them, the almost complete anonymity was overwhelming. Sure, people read my blog. But they don’t know who I am.
But, as I was talking to a friend the other day, she pointed out something. I was putting myself out there without putting me out there. My Twitter account was a character in a life situation that I am no longer in. My life is completely different from what it was a year ago. And a huge part of my online presence was not reflecting that. She suggested that I unmask. It didn’t take me long to make a decision: it was time. I needed to unmask. I needed, for once, to be completely myself.
So I did. I took a quick selfie with the Belle Funko Pop that has been my persona for over two years. I changed the name on my Twitter profile. I uploaded the new photo. I posted a sassy tweet with my new profile picture. I even rewrote my bio. And I was officially unmasked.
So, where do I go from here? A lot of places, hopefully. I want to make writing my career. I want to write books, I want to reach people with my blog, I want to make a difference. And it starts with not hiding behind anonymity. It starts with taking myself seriously, so that others can take me seriously. I have some things in the works, that were already in the works but are being influenced by my unmasking, that will improve my visibility and hopefully make me even more personable to anyone who cares to listen.
Thank you to those who follow me on Twitter, read my blog, and even who share it with others. It’s encouraging to know that even a handful of people want to read what I have to say. Soli Deo Gloria.