Of Life and Men is now officially Nate in Progress. I racked my brain for a couple weeks trying to come up with the perfect name, and it turns out there isn’t one. Instead, I think I’ve found one that encompasses my new focus, and where I see my writing headed. I wanted to share with you why the name changed, and how I finally decided on this one.
What Exactly Do I Want?
A few weeks ago I knew there was a change coming, and I wrote about it here. There were a few reasons that I wanted to change the name of the site. One is that getting other writers to join in never took off, and I don’t really blame them. I established a site, with my point of view (whatever that is), and to most people, it’s probably weird trying to fit in with that. I’m sure if I had a couple million followers on whatever social media site, people would have been a lot more interested. But I don’t. I’m just a guy with a keyboard saying things, and hoping people appreciate it and find it interesting.
I did get a couple guys to write for me, and I really appreciate them. In a way, having them write and do the thing I thought I wanted the site to be about actually helped me realize that’s not what I want the site to be about. We all have our own distinct voices. How we write, how we want those words to sound, and how we want the reader to feel when they read those words. I slowly started to realize that I wasn’t interested in starting an online magazine with all sorts of articles and viewpoints.
What I really wanted was a site about me.
This is My Voice
It took me a while to accept that I wanted a site by Nathan and about Nathan, because I push back against ego really quick. I didn’t want the site to be about me, but about the ideas I was exploring and writing about. I needed to stay in the background, if for nothing else, to not be a selfish attention maniac. That seemed like a noble goal. I’ll write about life and how to do it better, but I don’t want to lose my head, or lose focus of what’s important. This is a perfect balance!
Turns out it’s not.
I started a #30DayHonestFacebook challenge on, you guessed it, Facebook. The idea was that we make social media into a sort of fictional version of our real lives, so I thought it would be cool to do the opposite of that. Every day, for thirty days, I decided to post something honest. It might be good, bad, or in the middle, but I wasn’t going to worry about whether or not it made me look good.
The response was amazing. I had people at work stopping me in the halls telling me how much they appreciated the posts. Sometimes it was about a specific topic, and sometimes it was simply because they enjoyed the honesty. It made me realize that people are craving honesty, and I can’t be truly honest unless I’m being myself.
Now the voice of the site is my voice, and I already feel free. This expectation that I need to be profound and transcend myself has been lifted off my shoulders. This is just me, thinking about life, and working through it like everyone else.
Why Nate in Progress?
I had a list of probably 20 names I was throwing around. Even when I settled on this one, I immediately had second thoughts. But a week or so later and I’m feeling really good about the choice.
I wanted a name that was inviting. Nate Knows Everything seems like it would draw people in, to hear my wisdom and drink from thine fount of knowledge. Uh, no…it doesn’t. In reality, it pushes people away. When I look at where I was in my twenties, and where I am now in my thirties, I love seeing the progress I’ve made. In fact, if I looked back, and me from 15 years ago looked identical to present day me, that would be downright depressing. I’m not the same as I was, and I don’t want to be. I’m in progress, and I’m OK with that.
The other big thing I wanted the site to embody is that I’m not here to point a finger at people. These are simply my thoughts that I’m working on. I want to be both loving and truthful. I want to welcome people to come and listen to the ongoing dialogue in my brain. I want to be honest, because that’s what people want to read. I want people to see me, and the way I treat others, and come away with the conclusion that there must be something different about me. And spoiler alert, it’s not because I’m special, it’s because Jesus is.
We’re all in progress in some way. There is some area of our lives that we’re not happy with, and we want it to be better. Maybe we don’t know how to make it better. Maybe that first step is being honest, and admitting we don’t know what comes next. Or maybe part of the journey is talking about the things we have experienced, and unpacking where we go from here.
And to be honest, I can’t tell if that all sounded awesome, or like I don’t know what I’m talking about. Told you I was in progress.