I started this blog about a year ago. My original intention was for it to serve as the foundation of a "depressed cougar" empire.
I wanted to have "depressed cougar" merch.
I wanted to run "depressed cougar" workshops.
I wanted to be the embodiment of the "depressed cougar" brand. The depressed cougar is me.
Except I'm not sure it is me anymore. I'm still depressed, and I'm still a cougar. But I'm a lot more than that. I'm not sure "depressed cougar" is enough of who I am to be able to say that it's my "brand" anymore.
For one thing, I'm not actively "cougaring." I'm still on the apps, but mostly just to chat. I haven't had sex in a few years and I'm not holding my breath until the next time I do. So it seems a bit weird to so loudly self-identify as a cougar all the time.
Also, I'm still depressed, but not clinically. I have BPD and complex PTSD. These acronyms get lost in the "depressed cougar" moniker.
These days, I'm feeling more like a confused old maid than a depressed cougar. It's up for debate if that's a different way of saying the same thing.
I'm still depressed, and I'm still a cougar. But I'm a lot more than that. I'm not sure "depressed cougar" is enough of who I am to be able to say that it's my "brand" anymore.
I could just coast along on the "depressed cougar" name, but I'm not sure I should. It's not just out of a sense of personal integrity. My annual fees for my website and domain name are coming up, and I'll have to cough up $200 if I want to keep them. Nothing provokes an existential crisis faster than finding out you may not be able to afford to continue being who you've been (on the internet, anyway).
So maybe I should save my money and rebrand myself as something other than a depressed cougar. It would be a shame to get rid of a website I've been building for a year, but if I've outgrown the woman I was a year ago, it makes sense I may have outgrown the blog she's been writing, too.
It's just a pain in the ass. To create a new website. To change my Instagram handle. To come up with some new name to go by. I could just go by "mel bender," but where's the fun in that? Who is she? I have no idea.
Maybe that's the point. I need to step out of the box I put myself in to find out.