Listen to the podcast version of this post here.
As I shared my Haunting Comforts of Teaching podcast to my friends, I was asked, why “Haunting Comforts”? Another friend even made a comment about how the word “haunting” evokes a creepy vibe like sharing ghost stories, which seems a little disconnected to the current content that I am writing, which can make it hard for potential interested readers to search for my work. She challenged me to narrow down my niche, asking me:
What kind of stories or experiences will I be sharing? Struggles, hardships, complaints, funny stories, advice?
Eclectic stories through the eyes of a public school teacher?
Faith in a Public Classroom?
Am I emphasizing the teacher side, or my faith more, or perhaps the entire struggle of being a Christian in contemporary classrooms?
Maybe trying to connect teaching, life, and my faith is too ambitious for one blog. However, I do not want to limit myself to just one perspective or mindset on here. I hate feeling constrained, but I know I should be eventually be more focused. So, I am still trying to experiment around my niche.
In response to my friends, I found myself paraphrasing my blog’s “About” page and my social media’s bio section to explain:
I find comfort in the haunting crevices of the soul by sharing stories reflecting my teaching, faith, and life.
But what does this mean?
1. To reflect and channel the state of my mind and emotions
Seven years ago, I started this blog to house my creative writing pieces from my Creative Writing emphasis program as an undergrad. Many of my short stories and vignettes had a “haunting” vibe to it, where I explored themes of the darker nuances in human emotions. They were mainly inspired by my raw, angry, and depressing emotions that constantly swirled within me as a college student. I found writing about “happy” subjects hard—and I still do. Motivation and ideas flowed freely from my mind into words. However, as I stepped foot into my full time teaching career four years later, my soul was trapped in these dark emotions. And I couldn’t let it out. Stress and burnout reduced my writing energy into a barren stick, ready to snap.
2. To connect my past to the present
So blog remained stagnant for four years as I slaved away as a first year teacher, as a second year teacher, and as a third year teacher…
Until, I revived it the summer of my wedding, after finishing my fourth year of teaching. During this time, I wandered blindly into new blocks of free time where I didn’t know what to do with myself after the honeymoon, after my husband went back to work.
A new chapter in my personal life became the best time to also start a new chapter for my blog.
So, now I have this newfound energy, where I want to channel haunting stories and wonderings from my teaching career into my blog, hoping that other teachers or any readers out there in the world can find comfort from and connect to my experiences.
3. To Take a Chance
In one of my blog posts (or podcast episodes) from a few weeks ago, I discussed how I took a “chance” with podcasting. But, why did I even take this chance? It was mainly for a very practical reason.
It was to prepare for a podcast project assignment from my educational technology masters program. Prior to starting my own podcast, I never really listened to any podcasts, unless radio talk shows during my long commutes to and from work count. I had no idea what a podcast was, to be honest. I did not know the ins and outs, the structure, and the logistics of putting a podcast together. So, I knew I had to prepare and study it carefully. And what better way to start practicing how to create a podcast, with none other than my blog!
I am really glad I took this opportunity to supplement my blog with my new podcast. I decided to stick to the same name as my blog because Haunting Comforts has become a part of me. I guess you can call it my “brand.” Despite being extremely busy with teaching and being a “newbie” in the podcasting world, I am very surprised that I am still writing and creating right now! I did not expect I could keep this up. I still feel a little awkward sharing my writing and voice to people, but it is an exhilarating awkwardness.
Will I change the name of my blog or podcast?
Throughout this journey of blogging and podcasting so far, I have learned so much about the art of storytelling and sharing out personal experiences to connect to the world, and I hope to learn more from readers, listeners, and friends, and branch out to more topics where I can share insightful moments about teaching, life and faith.
As each day passes, I become more attached to the name “Haunting Comforts.” The contrasting words of “haunting” and “comforts” capture the dualities of darkness and positivity in life, so I am hoping that this name can still stay relevant to what I want to write in the future. As someone who identifies as an ISFJ personality type, I can be quite resistant to change. But the future is always changing. If there is a need to change this blog name, I will strongly consider it.
Here’s to ongoing growth and exploration!