I want to write more about real life–the things that uplift, the things that hurt.
Fred Rogers said “One of the greatest gifts you can give is your honest self.” If that is true–if my honest self is a gift–I must actively choose to give it.
I tend to view lifestyle blogs as too clean, pretty, and trendy, which I see as an inauthentic illusion. Real life is messy, fun, challenging, and beautiful. (Incidentally, this is precisely the reason I didn’t include my last name, Golden, into the rebrand, because “Golden” implies a level of perfection that I’m not comfortable portraying.)
So why Bright Neighborhood?
Three words: Mr. Fred Rogers. Three more words: I love him.
I grew up on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, but it’s only as an adult that I have come to connect with him and admire him deeply. He was a remarkable person, someone who was the same person on-screen as he was off: gentle, wise, unwaveringly kind, and genuine, exactly the type of person I strive to be. He never shied away from discussing hard topics with kids because they were uncomfortable, he knew that pain is part of the human experience as much as joy.
I want my brand to reflect Mr. Rogers’ principles and legacy, as I hopefully create my own legacy.
Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood connects childhood to adulthood. Having a young child and another on the way, that’s where I am in life. Fred Rogers connects my past with my present. I watched the original show, and now Stella loves Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, the animated spin-off for a new generation. It was the first television show she ever watched, and she sleeps with her Daniel Tiger toy every night. We sing the songs throughout the day–they help her to manage her feelings, as well as teach her to empathize with others, and interpret the world through song.
I want innocence and experience to collide in my work. I want my brand to be bold, youthful, and illuminating, full of color.
In Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, there are two worlds–the real life neighborhood and “the neighborhood of make believe.” I think this is a perfect example of the online world, the paradox of the lifestyle mommy blogger.
I want to make a clear distinction between the perfect pretty things we see online, and real, raw life.
There’s a little Woody Guthrie tune I sing to Stella, called Howdi-Do. In it, he says
“When you’re glad, I feel good,
You brighten up my neighborhood.”
So that’s that. I aim to cultivate a true-to-life, love-your-neighborhood feel that knits us closer, that uplifts and binds, that creates a ripple effect of sunshiny feelings.