On my original blog, I described how remaining an anonymous entity on the Internet allowed me to feel comfortable enough to discuss my personal experiences in an authentic way. I then went on to give a vague description about who “Linla” was in the real world. Well…

Twenty-eighteen has been an eye-opening process of self-discovery, change, growth, hardship, and healing.

Anonymity mixed with authenticity felt comfortable… for a while. As much as I am proud of what I’ve shared as “Linla” on the internet, I can now recognize the self-stigma that I have been sustaining, and the cognitive dissonance it has created for me as I try to grapple with being authentic but anonymous online, while remaining uncomfortably vague about myself and my personal experiences in my real life.

So let’s get honest for a moment, shall we?

My real name is Lindsay, and I am a 25 year old, bi/pan/queer, cis-female, of Scandinavian heritage, and I currently live in Thunder Bay, ON, Canada. I enjoy mountain biking, going for walks/hikes, fishing with my dad, hanging out with my family, friends, and dogs, drinking iced coffee, listening to music and podcasts, watching YouTube videos, colouring, reading, going to church, volunteering, traveling, and writing (just to name a few things!) I also spend a lot of my time doing therapy related stuff, which is challenging but helpful. I previously had a diagnosis of bipolar II disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, but in January/February 2018, I was re-diagnosed during a 24-day inpatient hospital stay, with major depressive disorder and anxiety (in many forms, but primarily social anxiety).

You may be wondering where the name “Linla” came from…

The name “Linla” came from my dear friend, Shayla, in a little poem that she wrote for me when we were laying on my parents couch, procrastinating studying for our grade 12 exams back when we were 17 years old. I love the nickname as it reminds me of her, so I will continue to use it on my blog as my “sign off” name and on my social media. Just know that moving forward, I am totally comfortable with being addressed as either Linla or Lindsay, as everyone has gotten to know me by a different name, and I do love both names!

What can you expect from this blog?

If you choose to follow me (or continue to follow me) on my journey, you can expect to read stories about my life (for example: content related to my mental health, journal entries, recounting adventures I go on, learning about where I live, or even a themed thought that’s on my mind). My stories will be written in a similar writing style to my old blog (you’ll know what that’s like if you followed my old blog). My personal goal is to blend my two worlds as both Linla and Lindsay, put a face to my name, and unapologetically speak my truth without letting my anxiety, fear of judgment, and fear of vulnerability get in the way.

As always, I use writing as a creative outlet, and for my own enjoyment, so I will post when I feel like it and won’t when I don’t feel like it – hence the “spontaneous storyteller” title that I’ve given myself. If you do choose to follow me on my journey, I hope my words will entertain you, help you, inspire you, resonate with you, or expand your world a little bit more. If you’ve read this far, know that I appreciate that you’ve taken time out of your day to get to know the real me a little more.

And finally…

To my OG blog and Twitter followers, thank you for your patience, love, and continuous support. I know that I’ve been distant, but self-discovery, rewriting my narrative, growth, and ultimately, healing, takes time. You have been amazing supports. Thank you for investing in my stories: for being the best cheerleaders during my struggles, and celebrating my victories no matter how big or small.

Welcome to the newest chapter in my story.