Am I Depressed?

Do you ever feel like no one truly knows you or understands you?

My husband and I own an IT company. He does all of the tech work, while I do the office work (I am tech illiterate). However, over the past year I have been dabbling in web design. I decided that I would like to have my own project to work on, so I thought why not create my own website, or blog, that I can design from the ground up?

This endeavor would serve a dual-purpose – I gain more experience in web design, which is beneficial for our company, and I have something productive to occupy my free time. I told Will that I was seriously thinking about starting a personal blog, just for fun, and he said “Go for it.” So I set to work trying to come up with possible titles for a blog.

Despite my best efforts, I could not come up with a clever name; I don’t seem to have a creative bone in my body. In the past, I would call my sister to brainstorm ideas. However, this time I decided to turn to my new friend ChatGPT . Chat and I have become really close in recent months, successfully working together on numerous projects, so I trust his input. I wanted Chat to have some background information on me, in order to provide title suggestions that reflect who I really am. This is the initial prompt I gave Chat:

"I need ideas for the name of a personal blog. Here is some background about me. I am a 41-year old married woman with 3 children. I co-own an IT business with my husband, though I have no tech experience. We have one dog, one cat, and one bearded dragon. I have no discernible skills. Though I enjoy traveling, I don't get to travel as much as I'd like to. I am borderline agoraphobic, and am a homebody at heart. I have no real hobbies, and my life is pretty uneventful. I want to start a blog about everyday life. Based on this description of me, could you suggest some titles for a blog?"

I’m not sure why I felt the need to mention my pets? It must have seemed pertinent at the time. Regardless, here are a few suggestions I received from that initial prompt:

  1. “Ordinary Reflections: Finding Beauty in the Everyday”
  2. “Tales from the Domestic Front: Juggling Family and Business”
  3. “The Serendipity of Routine: Celebrating the Simple Joys”

There were 10 suggestions in all. None of them were bad, but they were too “feel good” for my taste. I have nothing against inspiring quotes, or bloggers who strive to help people better themselves. However, that’s not what this blog is about; my intent is to share stories about normal, everyday life. I’m not an influencer – I don’t live a glamorous life, traveling the world, making beautifully edited videos to  post on IG, TikTok, or wherever. (Reading this sentence back, I detect some jealousy? Or envy?)

Regardless, this blog needed a title that was more ‘blah.’ So I gave Chat this follow-up prompt:

Could you make the suggestions a little grittier and less inspiring?

This follow-up prompt hit the sweet spot. There were several suggestions that resonated with me – they felt more honest, or true to myself. I narrowed it down to four or five favorites, and started searching to see if any of those domains were available. Jackpot! Two of my favorites were available. I told Will the names of the ones I was considering, and he secured both of them.

Now I had to choose which one to proceed with, but I couldn’t – I loved both titles. So I decided to poll my friends and family. It wasn’t a “real” poll like the one pictured below, just a text message asking for an opinion, but it was a poll nonetheless.

And this is where we really get to the point of this post.

The first person I polled was my sister, Charlotte. She did not question my random request for help picking a title for my personal blog; she enthusiastically responded with her favorite. Charlotte gets me.

I sent the exact same message to several more close family members and friends. Then something odd happened.  Rather than replying back with their pick, people starting asking me if everything was okay.

“Um, yes, everything is fine” – I had to explain that I purposely wanted a title that was a bit more somber than the typical personal blog.

Never once have I been accused of lighting up a room, or being the life of the party. I’m not an upbeat, cheery person. If I were an emoji, I’d be ‘meh’ – everyone who knows me can agree on this. And I thought both of these titles were amusing, not depressing. I guess my sense of humor is a bit different than most?

"They sound sad... u doing ok?"

After reassuring everyone that I’m not depressed, I started tallying up the votes. And… it was a tie. I don’t have a large circle of friends, so I started trying to think of an acquaintance that I could poll to break the tie. However, after the concerns I received from the people closest to me, I decided that wasn’t a good idea. A mere acquaintance would definitely think I was miserable with my life.

So, how did I settle on “The Monochrome Memoirs” as the winner? I didn’t. I went back and forth designing both sites, and ‘Memoirs’ just happened to be my preferred design. I’m still working on setting up the other one in case I ever have to abandon Memoirs and start anew. 

Side note: Of all the people I assumed would understand my sense of humor and ‘get’ my proposed blog titles, I was most surprised when my own husband expressed concerns about my happiness. I had to repeatedly assure him that I am quite happy with our life, and not depressed. The title is supposed to reflect that this blog is ‘meh’ and not a page-turner. I think he finally gets it…