I’ve been writing this post for a number of months in my head. The idea will randomly come into mind when I’m on a train or walking to work or doing some mind-numbing activity that prompts my mind to wander elsewhere. The narrative always sounds perfect in my head, but when I go back and write it all out I’m never quite satisfied. Sometimes it’s too long. Sometimes it’s too short. And sometimes it just doesn’t say what I feel. For someone who calls themselves emotionless, saying goodbye hasn’t been as simple as I had thought. And that is what I am writing about today that will ultimately conclude the final post of Proper Kid Problems.
I’m not quite sure when all this popped into my head. For years people have asked me where I saw my “brand” (God do I give a massive eye-roll to using such word to describe a blog) going. In full transparency, I never had an answer nor plan. I certainly made attempts, but it always felt like a task and so I would eventually give up and go back to doing, writing, and posting whatever the hell I wanted – because that’s what made me happy.
While I may not have known where I would take PKP, I knew exactly how, when, and why I would end it: When I stopped loving it. It’s a selfish thing to say, but this was really all for myself. It started as a meaningless creative outlet to occupy the summer in between high school and college and was never supposed to turn into what it has today.
The past four years have been incredible. I could ramble on for pages about all the great things that have happened, but there’s one that outshines the rest – learning to accept who I am. Pre-blog I was an insecure person – someone who felt that they just didn’t belong no matter how they dressed on the outside or thought on the inside. I never felt people understood me and tended to either fly under the radar or to try and blend in as best as possible. It’s not something I ever succeeded at nor am proud of.
But having this space – this massive platform of people from all over the world – who were interested in me, who related to me, who appreciated me was the most humbling thing to date. I am amazed by the number of people who not just value my meaningless opinion, but who relate to many of the problems, challenges, or shortcomings I’ve encountered myself. It taught me that while following the crowd would always be easier, it wasn’t something that was ever going to make me happy. In reality, I cringe to think how I would have turned out without this blog and the accompanying experiences that it gave me starting in May of 2012.
Which brings me to the most important part of this whole thing: you – the reader. If there’s one thing I want you to read, it’s this – thank you. From the absolute bottom of my not-so-big heart, thank you. You have allowed me to have one of the most incredible experiences of my life. You taught me so much about myself and gave me the encouragement to be unabashedly proud of who I was – for better or worse. If I could thank you all personally over a cup of coffee (or a drink) I would do it in a heartbeat.
While I don’t know many of you, I do know some of you. Through emails, tweets, tumblr messages, or random bump-ins at the airport or train station, I’ve been fortunate to meet a handful of the incredible people who have given me a selfishly large platform to speak upon. You all really don’t know what you’ve done for me and I can only hope that I have the opportunity to give it all back tenfold at some point in my life.
We’ve come a long way over the past four years. For those who have been here since the beginning, I’m sure the contrast is night and day. From nantucket red pants to bowties to wildly patterned blazers, my personality (and closet) was undeniably preppy. But some massive changes take place between eighteen and twenty-two – the years of college. To put it in the simplest terms, I grew. A lot. I changed, morphed, and adapted into my own persona – Dean. While many associate me with Proper Kid Problems, the fit just isn’t there anymore. Like any great garment, fit is key. And while I can easily continue to alter and force myself into this blog, it’s never going to be quite as good as it was once before.
While the end is bittersweet, I’m not really going anywhere…more so just moving. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I love over the past few months and realized that writing, photography, and fashion were the things that made me happy. I’m nowhere near a professional nor scholar in any of the trio, but these interests give definition to who I am and so as I say goodbye to Proper Kid Problems, I say hello to The Dean’s List.
The website isn’t professionally made and the content is lacking, but it’s a work in progress. While I don’t have any kind of concrete plan in terms of content, I intend to bring back the profiles starting this fall and get back into writing posts that are a bit more meaningful than your typical outfit-of-the-day. In reality, I hate having my picture taken and walking around Georgetown at 6am on a Sunday with a tripod isn’t my idea of fun. At the end of the day, this isn’t my future and simply hope to entertain myself – and you – for as long as it lasts.
My social media handles will be changing over in the next day or so (follow, unfollow, whatever you wish), but this website will continue to stay live. While I cringe at some (alright most if not all) of the content with a post date of 2013 or earlier, Proper Kid Problems is a part of my history – something that can never be erased.
As I wrap up this final post, thank you (again) for giving me your undeserved time. It’s been an incredible experience.