I was stuck in bed with a middle ear infection. Movement was painful and the antibiotics made me feel woozy. The view was pretty monotone, too: staring at my closet, desk, and dresser. My room has a very distinct layout, which limits the way you can arrange the furniture. The longer I spent staring at that same arrangement, the more fed up I got with not being able to move without getting a headache.

When I felt better, I immediately moved my furniture into the only other arrangement that my room accommodates. Every morning that I've woken up since, I've rejoiced in the "newness" of my view. Even though the changes were relatively small, the effect was immense. That feeling of rejuvination, of new beginnings and a fresh start, is irreplaceable.

Sometimes, we can get caught up in wanting change. We think that if we have the latest version, the newest model, the best possible edition, that things will magically better. Chasing that change, that feeling of "newness", becomes an obsession. Instead of sitting down and dealing with whatever issue we are facing, we try to gloss over it with a better phone, a faster car, a new blog design.

Last year, when I ditched the old blog, I revelled in the new name, the simpler design, the sleeker feel. It was like I had finally found something that was more "me", without ditching the whimsy-ness and mystery I felt I needed. In reality, I was just adding another layer of gloss on top of my dissatisfation. "Marvelous Musings" made almost as little sense as "Dear Life, We Need To Talk": no one really knew what it meant, it left me with very few options to expand or include different content, and it didn't really define what I want this space on the internet to mean, for others as well as myself.

My unhappiness wasn't with the blog name or design specifically: it was with myself, for having spent a lot of money and time on something that I had never really, truly, 100% thought through. I always laughed off all those "define your brand" worksheets, thinking that of course, I know best what I want and need. Mission statement? Pff! Brand message? Meh! Professional logo? Who needs it! And so I ended up with something that I just kept pushing along, slapping on a new layer of gloss as needed, the discontentment growing with each time I saw it, like the furniture arrangement in my room.

Like the furniture in my room, I finally decided, enough is enough. I worked through lots of different workbooks and worksheets related to branding, I crafted a proper mission statement and vision for my brand, and then I turned to a professional for help with my logo and visuals for the brand, because a) I knew I wasn't qualified to get it where I wanted, and b) for the first time, I was crystal clear on what I wanted. Which is so refreshing! And Maru, the designer I worked with, was a dream.

So now, here we are. Every time I click on my blog, there is a feeling of relief. Of having arrived. Which, I know: it's just a blog. But somehow, finally listening to that inner voice of discontent, ripping off all the glossy layers, and doing things properly? Feels pretty damn good.

Welcome to Johanna Documented!