Have you heard the one about the cobbler’s children not having any shoes? It’s a tempting but oh-so-unsumptuous (yes, that’s a word) scenario that many business owners find themselves battling. We’re so damned wrapped up in doing for our clients and community that we rarely stop to do for ourselves.
We place everyone else’s needs before our Musts — those things that nag at our guts, define who we are, and cry out to be acknowledged in the middle of the night. Our Musts are different from cats and dogs and for some, children — while all keep us from that sound sleep, our Musts are the ones we actually have control over.
Somehow, though, we find them worth ignoring.
Not so long ago, it became time to embrace my Musts — as they have everything to do with you and me.
There’s a Change Coming
Sometime between January 15 and February 1, I’m becoming…me.
Me. Erika Napoletano.
Y’all have come to know me as RedheadWriting — a brash, ballsy, fuck-it-all brazen persona. It’s no mistake — it was by design. From the day I published my first blog in 2006 until today, being RedheadWriting has been an amazing ride. I’ve been able to fuck up (royally). Learn. Shift. Grow. Bend, break, and otherwise morph. My online persona has been an incredible shield — it gave me permission to say what I felt needed saying and how I needed to say it.
It also gave me the most important piece of permission in the world: permission to be me. And that’s why it’s time to become me.
The blessings inherent with an online persona aren’t exclusive of equal curses. People form impressions, feel they know “you”, and otherwise take liberties. I get it. RedheadWriting has always been kind of a bitch who could give two and a half frog’s fine ass hairs what you think of her, her thoughts, and her choices in vernacular.
The best compliment I receive when people meet me, though, is: “You’re just like you are online — but a lot nicer!”
And that’s because using the word “fuck” like a comma and being a good person aren’t mutually exclusive.
So here’s where I’d like to thank RedheadWriting for a few things:
- For giving me the chance to fuck up. You’ve been an amazing broad with some big shoulders and helped me sort out what works and what doesn’t — daily.
- For helping me learn the value of my audience. When I started blogging, it was for me. It was an outlet to share and I could never (ever) have imagined that today, I’d have a community of thousands and have words published in books, magazines, and…well, shit. Published – period. You — my audience — are the only reason any of this happened and are the reason behind everything that will ever happen — I’m very grateful that RedheadWriting introduced me to you so I could come to love you.
- For helping me deal with the unthinkable. When Jason died, I truly discovered that there were people behind every avatar and comment in my community. RedheadWriting showed me (and clearly) the people I value most and helped me deal with the business of moving forward and finding happiness again.
- For showing me…me. It’s been a six-year literary journey, and while merely a sliver of my 40 years, RedheadWriting helped me figure out that there’s a person behind the persona. I like her very much, I’ve come to realize. I’m beyond grateful for RedheadWriting’s willingness to step aside/head to the spa/shut the fuck up every now and then and with greater frequency so I could be me in front of you. As this is who I realize I like being most.
A Sneak Preview
On a date still to be disclosed, here’s a glimpse of what you’ll see:
And of course, inside you’ll find Erika Napoletano’s RedheadWriting Blog — as there’s no fucking way I’d quit that.
So standby. It’s coming. And it’s all I can do every day to not Happy Pee a little bit at highly inopportune times.
I’m most grateful, however, that all of you have embraced RedheadWriting and helped me get from where and who I was to my own version of fuck yeah. RedheadWriting — she’s not leaving the building, but it’s high time I did “me” justice. I do cool shit for and with incredible people, brands, and companies. It gets me off. And I’m tired of being my own best-kept secret and hiding the work I love doing and the people, companies, and brands I love doing it for.
I finally kicked that lazy ass cobbler to the curb and bought a rockin’ pair of Donald J. Pliner stilettos —
Because this cobbler is never going shoeless again.
PS: Thanks again goes to my amazing photographer, Darren Mahuron. He’s been with RedheadWriting since you first met her, and now, I’m delighted to say he helped me show my real “me.” Thanks, Darren. A metric shit ton.