It is almost hard to believe it has been four years now. I had no expectation or anticipation that this blog would last this long or that it would have the impact it has had – not on the life of anyone else, but on my own. I had no idea where it would lead me, or the places it would take me. I suppose what I truly never expected was that I would somehow become McMurray Musings.McMurray Musings was always meant to be the name of the blog, not of the person behind it. Over time I realized I had inadvertently created a brand – and the brand was me. I found people who actually referred to me as McMurray Musings, and those who told me they “knew me” because they read this blog – although of course the person they knew was a persona, not the person.
It is a bit startling to realize you have become a brand of sorts, and that your persona has taken on a life of its own. There were times when I struggled with it deeply, feeling trapped by the persona and image I had created, and there were times when it was a convenient shield to hide behind as McMurray Musings was far brasher and bolder than the person behind it ever could be – or at least that was true at the beginning, when I was still tentative and finding my way.When I began writing I was a stay at home mom and was told I shouldn’t share my opinion because I didn’t know enough about the world. When I got a job I was told I shouldn’t share my opinion because I was employed and there were those (thankfully not my employers) who felt it was a conflict. But McMurray Musings always had an opinion and fought for her right to express it, even when others thought it was misguided or outright wrong.
And somewhere along the way something happened. I became McMurray Musings, or maybe she became me. It was no longer a persona, but part of the person. And we changed.The readers of this blog have seen me go from being a married, stay at home wife to a divorced single parent woman working full-time (plus some) and flying-by-the-seat-of-her-pants-most-of-the-time. But the changes that they saw were the external ones, not the internal. And it was the internal changes that were the most impactful.
In the last couple of months I began to consider ending this blog. I had mentioned doing so in the past, but always in a reactionary way, often stung by some avalanche of hate mail and pondering whether I had the desire to continue. Those were the times when McMurray Musings carried me through, as she always moved forward regardless of how daunting things seemed. But things changed as I began to realize that I am not the same person who started this blog four years ago. I began to think that perhaps I had outgrown the blog, and that maybe it was time to walk away from it. Maybe it was time to stop being McMurray Musings at all.And then late last night I realized something. Maybe it was not time to end the blog, but maybe it was time for the blog to change a bit, too. Maybe it was time to explore some of the other things I find myself finally ready to write about – divorce, single parenthood and the like – while still undoubtedly penning pieces that may be political, unpopular or controversial. Maybe it was not time to stop being McMurray Musings, but to embrace what she - what we - had become.
Thank you for reading for the last four years. I may not post as often as I once did, as my world has become a whirlwind of words, and I while I may write less here I am writing more than I ever have before, just in different places. And this blog may not stay the same, as I cannot promise that I will not take it off into new tangents in areas that have less to do with McMurray and more to do with Musings, but I hope you will gift me with your patience when I do, because as much as I love Fort McMurray there is more to life than just this place, no matter how special it is.Last night as I came to a decision about this blog I realized something else: I do not have a single regret about starting this blog four years ago. I would not change one moment of the journey, as it is what has brought me here. It has been four years and yet it feels like yesterday when I settled on the name – and when McMurray Musings began to muse.