Welcome to the new Alvin Soon site.
Over the past few months, I quietly combined my photography blog Alvin Soon and personal development Starting Mind into this single place. I also brought back some posts from the older, and now defunct site, Life Coaches Blog.
It also represents all the time I’d separated parts of my online self, in efforts to ‘brand myself.’ It took me 10 years to accept that I was everything I was trying to separate into a niche — a writer, photographer, thinker — and finally bring them back inside a single home.
It also brings back a lost part of myself. I founded and ran the site Life Coaches Blog from 2005 to 2008, and eventually took the blog offline in 2013 because I found my early, starry-eyed writing too embarrassing to look at.1
When I resurrected those posts for this new site, I wasn’t surprised to find that most of them were awful. But I was surprised to discover that some posts weren’t as awful as the rest, and I’ve brought these back online.
Accepting Everything, Including Failure
The process of going through my old writing and uniting them into a single site was more emotional than I expected. I’d previously divided my online selves into parts because I was afraid I’d confuse readers and turn them away with my mishmash self.
But the more I considered the simplicity of bringing these disparate parts into a unified whole, the more I felt better about it. As the American poet Walt Whitman once wrote, “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself; I am large, I contain multitudes.”
Perhaps fewer people will visit this site from now on. Perhaps I can never have a successful niche, be a popular personal brand, or even a prosperous writer and photographer. Very well, then. I accept that. And I’m still moving forward with this, my newest creation.
Because even if I cannot write or photograph or be as wise as the people I admire, I will still make. Even if I never become successful, I will still make. Even if I lose my entire audience, I will still make.
It is an acceptance that neither life nor I have to be perfect for me to fully participate.
Welcome to the new, and old, Alvin Soon.
There is something wonderfully bold and liberating about saying yes to our entire imperfect and messy life. Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance