The other day I clicked through to the blog of someone that had commented and read their latest post. It was interesting and well-written but I wasn’t sure how to take it. Was it intended to be a little humorous or totally serious? It reminded me of the importance of the about me section of blogs and how we can maybe do better job of filling them out so that readers can more easily sense of who we are.
Here’s what I usually include as a bio. “Wynne Leon is an optimist, an enthusiast of endurance sports and a woman intent in charting her own path. Which is a combination that has led to an unconventional life. When she was younger a life of adventure meant climbing mountains, traveling the world and being an entrepreneur. More recently, it’s been starting a family as a single parent at age 46, having another child at age 50 and adopting a highly-strung kitten, even though she really is a dog person. Her writing projects include technical computer manuals, articles about meditation and parenting, and Finding My Father’s Faith, a memoir about spirituality, solace and her relationship with her beloved father.”
I wrote it and then a friend of mine in marketing edited it. It’s more cutesy after that (the bit about the cat while I’m really a dog person) and less factual (who needed to know I have a degree in electrical engineering). It’s okay for when I need a short bio.
But I think we can do a better job of grounding people in our work. So for whoever wants to play along, here’s my suggestion. I’m going to try to write my story and do it in 1,000 words or less but with links to posts I’ve already written.
For anyone else that wants to do or has already done the same on their “about me” page or post, please link that page in the comments here. I’ll try to read and comment on as many as I can. If everyone who participates reads and comments on at least one other person’s link and references this W&S post so people know where you are coming from, I think we could have a fun project.
If I was a dog, I’d be a golden retriever: exuberantly joyful, family-friendly and always up for a walk. But I’ve done a lot of training so I don’t bowl people over with my enthusiasm and optimism. Especially myself. And that’s the key part of my story – that through meditation I’ve learned not to believe everything I think and I return to that every morning when I get up and meditate and then I do it all again.
I write about my kids a lot because I choose to become a single-parent and age 46 and again at 50, but I’m not a writer about parenting. Instead I’m aiming to capture the depth and meaning of life that I get to experience because my kids show me what it is like to be so Close the Source and unapologetically human. I write about what I learn when I look closely and see how they develop as people, as siblings, as my children and as a family. Wrapped in all of that is a core of pure love that I want to enjoy more deeply by sharing.
Spending the last seven years raising kids without a significant other has taught me self-compassion in a way that no relationship or practice ever has. It has also made me so appreciative of the blogging community because this exchange of creativity and companionship is so rich. Especially through the isolation of Covid, I am so grateful for the deep and abiding relationships that I’ve been able to make on this journey of self-discovery.
I’ve listened to my inner God voice for three significant decisions. First to start climbing mountains when I was in my late 20’s. Second to interview and record my dad’s stories which eventually became a book I wrote after he died suddenly in a bike accident and to figure out what made him such a joyful person. And third to have kids as a single person in my mid-forties instead of rushing into a relationship that wasn’t right. In all three, that deep conviction that I was doing what I was meant to do has carried me through the tough moments.
I am an endurance person. I can dig deep to take small steps with heavy loads on a regular basis. I’ve accepted that I’m not a high-speed athlete. But I have learned that I don’t always have to carry everything with me but instead lean in to what is weighing me down to unpack it and lighten the load.
The Back Story
I’m the youngest of three kids in a family with a dad who was a Presbyterian pastor and a mom who was incredibly smart and might be a CIA spy (now retired). Would there be a better cover for a spy than a pastor’s wife?
My brother is oldest. I adored him growing up and still do. My older sister hated me growing up –resented might be a better word. The lessons I learned from that adverse relationship are so powerful, especially as I parent my children to care for each other. In many ways, my sister was my first teacher about how instructive our wounds can be when we do the work to heal from them. When my dad suddenly died in a bike accident in 2014, it felt like all her complaints over all the years growing up, bubbled out. We’ve never managed to put it back together.
I’ve been divorced longer (10 years) than I was married (8 years) so it doesn’t feel like much of my story any longer except for two things for which I am so thankful:
- Going through divorce, or maybe more specifically the unhappy years of my marriage, drove me to meditation
- When I decided that I wanted to have kids post-divorce and I was in my mid-40’s, I didn’t want to rush into a relationship in order to have them. So I choose to have them as a single person instead. I still enthusiastically believe in love and that I’ll one day find the perfectly imperfect man when the time is right.
But because I don’t think often about my marriage, divorce and coming to choose single parenthood, I’ve gathered from some common questions that I get from people I’ve met later in life that I fail to give some proper background. So here are the answers to the questions I get:
- I got divorced when my husband’s best friend told me about his infidelities. In the aftermath, all my husband wanted to talk about was how his friend betrayed him. And I couldn’t sustain enough outrage to insist we talk about how my husband betrayed me because he could always outdo any dramatic fervor.
- That was the story I believed until I started meditating. Then in emptying the pockets of grief I realized that I needed to own how badly I wanted out of that marriage that both starved and suffocated me. Starved because my husband needed all the attention and suffocated because he needed all my attention. But in meditation, I discovered how freeing it was to own my part in the end of the marriage – and also a way to practice focusing my mind on the right stories and questions.
- I had my kids at age 46 and again at age 50 through invitro fertilization. I choose the sperm donor from a bank that provided more complete information that I’ve ever had for anyone that I have dated. Maybe even more than I know for my lifelong friends.
So, that’s my stab at About Me. What do you think? If you want to link to your about page or post, I’ll try to read and comment on as many as I can. But I think if everyone who participates reads and comments on at least one other and references this W&S post so people know where you are coming from.
For more posts like this – a little story-telling mixed with philosophy, please visit my personal blog at https://wynneleon.wordpress.com or follow me on Instagram @wynneleon
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(featured photo from Pexels)
51 thoughts on “About Me”
What an great idea Wynne and an interesting bio 😎
Thanks, Todd! Can’t wait to read yours if you do a longer version!
I had been thinking of updating mine. I’ll share when it’s done
Oh good – I’m looking forward to it, Brenda!
I enjoyed the read. I usually check out people’s “about” section to get their gist, but most (including mine) are scant. Here you go. Feedback is welcome. https://fromfaminetofeast-eatingdisordersandrecovery.com/about/
What a great idea to post a link to your very first post, Michelle. And I like your call out to your book and for reviews, especially the kind ones. You’re right that most are scant and I did find myself wanting to know more about you even it’s just a list of your interests of what moves you. I did get a sense of your sense of humor which was lovely (like you are like the tide, you ebb and flow) but I wanted more!
Thanks for jumping in and linking to your page!
You inspired me, so I’m going to work on making it a bit beefier. Maybe some cheese as well 😉
🙂 🙂 🙂
Everyone loves Golden Retrievers
I’m laughing, Sheree. What a clever comment!
I’m pleased it made you laugh. I’d be some sort of terrier, maybe a Jack Russell.
That makes me think of the dog from the show Frazier in the 90’s. Now I understand the clever comment – you must be filled with cleverness and tenacity!
I love this — and what a great way to weave in opportunities to read stories you’ve told…by referencing and linking to all of that good stuff within your ‘about’ page. Super cool idea…and yes…mine could use some work! 😉
Thanks, Vicki. It’s a hard project – this post took me the better part of 2 weeks to write and not because I was actually working on it but because it’s just hard to do so I had to “think” about it a lot! 🙂
Well now…that makes me feel better 😉 — I imagined that you…magical person that you are…whipped up that beauty of a post this morning!
I hear you…takes time to mull over what to link/reference/include. Well done! 😘
I’m intrigued with the linking posts on the About page and actually think that might be fun to try- other than going back to find appropriate posts! A new retirement project I guess. My page is very brief, an overview, but I do notice new people go there quite often. I think succinct is a good descriptive. I’ve laid out the basic me, a few core beliefs that allow folks to sort of know where I might be coming from in my posts. Now that I think of it I should check- I don’t remember for sure if I updated it after retiring.
I just checked it and it had an “updated February 2022” date and I think adding the date is a brilliant idea. Maybe just even for knowing when you last did it not to mention for readers to see.
I love this idea! I’m thinking it may be time to redo mine as well, though I think I could use some constructive feedback!
Here’s a link to my current About me page, if you or anyone else would like to give me some constructive criticism: https://tamarakulish.com/about/
I like how your About page walks us through your stories, what you healed from and how you did it. It has great links and I like how you included the narrator’s interview. I found myself wanting to know a little more about the you “now” and maybe a little more of a highlight of your art?
Hmmm, good questions to ponder on Wynne! I’ll take a look and see how I can improve it! Thanks so much for your feedback!
I really enjoyed your “About” section. You summarized your journey to date well and made me curious to learn more.
Creative idea Wynne. I like it. Perhaps their comment was both humorous and serious. The two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. But one thing I am learning about communication is that it can be freeing to ask. Maybe it opens up a mutual dialogue.
Excellent point, Ari! It could have been both – and started a nice dialogue if I’d asked!
I really liked your new About Me! Your voice and personality shine through. The writing is lively. The About Me page, also sometimes called the Landing Page can have different purposes depending on whether you use it solely as a personal blog, commercial site, creative portfolio, or author website (as I do). Since I’m actively pursuing publication opportunities, this gives me a place for editors/agents to see my work and for readers to find me. My monthly blog connects me to the blogging community and other kindred spirits interested in the topics of creativity, grief, and writing. So, my advise to those taking your fun challenge is to consider the purpose, tone, and audience.
One has to also consider how much personal information to offer. For example, I never write about romantic relationships (good or bad) on the blog. My children inspire some blog topics but I tread carefully in that arena. I’m also reserved about my extended family members, although there is rich material there! I’m sensitive to what is my story and what is theirs to tell. The line gets blurry, especially if you write memoir.
I think I updated my About Me page last year. You’ve inspired me now to take another look
Such great advice and wisdom you offer, Evelyn. And I like your Landing page. Particularly your lists of interests, the grounding of what your last name means and how that translates to your philosophy and the links to your work. Your invitation to connect is another great touch that both is useful and speaks volumes about your attitude of connection. Great example of how to do it!
I haven’t look at mine in a long time. No doubt it needs work. I’ll get on it as soon as possible and share.
Looking forward to it, Jan!
Beautifully penned, Wynne!
What a great idea. My About Me page hasn’t been edited in the past two years ! I have special mark this post and visit again since I have a lot on my plate this week. Anyhow here is a link to my page!! https://specialmomsblog.mom/blog/
I liked your info, Ganga. Especially this line, “throwing autism in the equation has turned me into a spiritual person.” And the line about not being interested in cooking but having 3 men in the house has forced you to become a decent cook. Funny!
Reading that, I find I want a little more. Did you continue your work as a habitat aide after your son graduated? Do you have a favorite Hindu scripture or poet?
And I love your “here I go….” It’s full of wonderful spirit! Thanks for participating in this exercise!
Thanks so much for reading all about me! With covid and lack labor availability I am still my son’s aide. Will edit the details soon. I can add a bit more about my scriptures.🙏
My “About Me,” is difficult as I began writing as a way of keeping a grip on myself through a dv situation (I am fully extricated from) which still has me keeping myself somewhat elusive to identify. Throughout my blog, I have stories of my family situation, but my initial introduction is my first post http://herisme.org/2016/04/18/when-you-run-my-5k/ and my alter ego-Herisme here https://herisme.org/about/ Maybe I should add more detail or? I’m actually not quite sure. Thanks for the rethink prompt!
Wow – that first post is such a powerful testament to what you’ve been through and I can understand why the “About Me” page is especially tricky for you. I love that on that first post, you provide a link to the update. And I like when you sign your posts, you point to the About page. That is some clever linking.
I’m glad to hear from your comment above that you are fully extricated from that terrifying situation with your ex. I think more detail – even if it’s about your alter-ego would be lovely but only you can say what is safe and healthy to share.
Thank you so much for commenting and for sharing your story.
I did an edit! http://herisme.org/about/
I feel like I have been reading your blog for a while now, but this “About Me” page filled in a lot of answers, and gave me a fuller story of your journey. I have been contemplating rewriting my “About-Me” page, perhaps this is the inspiration I needed, but I am going try it in 500 words or less, and with plenty of links. In the meantime I am including the link to the current one I welcome any and all feedback.
Oh, I loved reading these longer intros to you! The story you tell in your “about” page about the student’s shoulder slumping when the professor said, “the rest is history” is great. And I loved the links you provided to your other intros which I hadn’t read before. I would think they might benefit the reader slightly more if they gave a more specific description of what they were linking to in the about page but that’s a small point.
I know you have the bigger question of what to do with the blog while trying to preserve some anonymity to make sure your clients feel safe (at least that’s my distillation of what you asked a couple of weeks ago). That’s a hard balance. But I’d say that I love these longer pieces that you linked to that reflects more of your voice. As a follower of a couple of years, I love what you publish but I don’t always know how it sits with your larger story. But how that fits with the balance you are trying to maintain – that’s a hard one!
Thanks for commenting and giving me the links to ground myself better in your work!
Amazing bio Wynne, thank you for sharing. I am not sure if I want to update mine. I have always thought that people would have no interest in reading it, why should they read it? I am just a “normal” person. Or maybe this would be the interesting part, as many readers would recognize themselves in the “normality “ of being?
What an interesting perspective you offer here, Cristiana. I’d say that as I’ve gotten to know things about you like how you lived in Estonia for 2 years that it deepens my connection to you and your writing. I also would say that I think normal comes in a lot of different flavors and I think yours is very interesting! But we all approach this differently, don’t we?
Yes, we all have different approaches and this is beautiful!
I rarely read “about pages” and mine probably needs an update – especially since I can’t afford to have a paid blog and I’ve just spent the last few weeks deleting everything from late last year back to someplace other year. And still haven’t got the space for pictures. But then again I’ve also changed for now the way I blog, snippets when a day is interesting…
You’ve amazing woman to be so free with your past, thanks for sharing
Oh, that’s frustrating to have to delete to make room. On my personal blog, I haven’t run up to that limit yet but I know the time is coming. But you make an interesting point that you’ve changed the way you blog – makes sense.
Thanks for commenting, Catherine! I appreciate your input.
I enjoyed this reading and your suggestion.
You show how “about me” can be done in a fun way( even though we take ourselves seriously)
After reading yours, I am considering rewriting mine.
Thanks for the inspiration (even though I have redone it from time to time); it is good to go through it now and then to update that section.
Because we change and evolve ( I hope!! )
But for a gypsy like me ( We moved from Iran to Norway when I was 14 ), writing first in Norwegian and then translating to English, then getting my friend to go through my English version is a tremendous amount of work, also rewarding. Anyway, here is mine:
Wow, I love how you incorporated video and music along with your text and pictures in your about me page. I loved your quotes – especially “embrace the imperfection as perfection” and also the tenacity of picking a name you liked and sticking with it.
I loved that you included that you moved from Iran to Norway at age 14 in the comment above – it’d be great to see more of that info in your About Me page but I can understand from the above that it is a lot of work.
Thank you so much for participating in this exercise! Best wishes!
🙏🌺☘️I Will rewrite about me section and include my background there. Once again thanks for your post and words. 😊an inspiring post. Very much indeed☘️🌺
Hot off the Presses….https://fiveoclockshadow.life/blog/
I love your expanded bio. Bio-hazard cracked me up. I love the 10 random facts and am also surprised you are an introvert. The gas thing is a complete puzzler to me – why would you torture yourself like that?! 🙂 But most of all, I love how the longer version of your story helped me tie all the bits of pieces of what you’ve read and said together for me. Great bio, Todd!
Thanks for taking the time to read it and also for suggesting the project. I needed a new bio but you’re suggestion was what actually got me to do it. I don’t understand the gas thing either… 🤷🏼♂️😁
There’s so much to love about this, Wynne. Facilitating and encouraging readers to engage with other readers, the challenge itself of making our bios more informative (I have some definite work to do on that!), and of course, your great idea of telling a story with past posts.
There’s also the posts I got sidetracked with, because I just had to check them out. 😊 The one about your mom is so fun, and I loved the one about your brother. I’ll be looking into the book by Professor Emeritus Arlie Hochschild!
I regret that I wasn’t here to play along originally, but I still thoroughly enjoyed going back through this! 🤍