This blog was born after I had shut down another that I had been writing on a different domain since 2001, under a different moniker. That blog got more popular than I ever imagined it would, and through it I made friends all over the world, many of whom I am still friends with to this day. But there came a point that I needed to retire it. It got too out of hand, too overwhelming for me to handle.
Always a writer, I couldn’t stay away from the internet for long. After all, I was technically blogging in the 1990s, way before the term “blogging” was even coined. So in 2008, I created this site under a different online handle. Not necessarily to be “anonymous,” because I had never hidden my identity. “That Damn Redhead” was nickname that my friends gave me ages ago, so I started using it everywhere online, and it stuck.
Like the one before it, this blog got way bigger than I ever expected it to. For a while it was fun, then it became a burden, as I seemed to constantly struggle with which “direction” it should take. Blogs eventually evolved into a topic-specific medium, and while I tried to conform to the (presumed) expectations of the ever-changing web, I never could successfully compartmentalize my writing here and pick a single topic and stick to it, likely to my own detriment. But I don’t like being pigeonholed; never have, and never will be. I jumped from the personal, to my insights on digital marketing trends, to music reviews, to business management strategy, to the all-out random. As much as my loyal audience and frequent commenters would say “write whatever you want,” whenever I would post (yet another) blogging identity crisis post, it never helped and I suffered “analysis paralysis” more than I probably should have, in retrospect.
I credit thatdamnredhead.net for many great things that happened in my life. Its catapulted popularity led me to meet many awesome people, first online and then off. It helped me score at least one great job. It gave me a platform for my voice that was amplified long before Facebook became as popular as it is today. For that, I am thankful.
Sometime in 2012 was its unintentional swan song. I don’t remember the very last post, although I do have archives that go up until January 1, 2012. I know there were posts after that, but I’m fine with not having them. I had a habit of only downloading archives at each year’s end.
Since the unplanned demise of this blog, my life became a roller coaster with more upside-downs and deeper valleys than peaks. I’ve wrestled with the thought of what to do with this site for more than a few years. I took it completely down for a long time, but I recently brought it back to at least revisit some of my archives “on the back end,” to see if anything is worth repurposing. Some people think I should revive this site, but I think it’s time for an “official” retirement. I will probably always own this domain (though for the right price, I’ll seriously reconsider), and maybe someday it will see a resurrection of some sort. I won’t rule it out; anything is possible. But don’t expect it to happen any time soon.
In this day of everybody wanting to become “internet famous” and many people doing just that, with plenty of others also vainly trying to justify their existence by the number of “likes” on any given social network, I’ve come to appreciate the value of privacy even more so than before. Maybe because I’ve been around that block a couple times, albeit inadvertently.
I quit Twitter a few years ago; I don’t miss it. My Instagram is private. I’ve “unfriended” a significant number of people on my Facebook account and intend to keep it much more “close knit” than I ever had before (though admittedly, this one is difficult, given the context). Nobody needs to know my exact whereabouts at any given time, thus I no longer use Foursquare/Swarm. Since I got a new computer and a new phone number, I’ve been locked out of my LinkedIn account. (This is an ongoing issue.) I’m not on Snapchat, and never intend to be. If there are other social networks, or newer ones in the future, don’t expect me to be there unless I find real value in it.
After nothing short of a tornado of the past six years, today I live a much “quieter” life in a small apartment in a boho neighborhood of Milwaukee with my two cats. I am back to “the old me,” before my life took a serious wrong turn at Albuquerque. Old friends agree. Milwaukee isn’t where I thought I’d ever end up, but I like it here.
I am still writing, and am an SEO copywriter for myriad companies across the United States. For that work, I have no byline. I’m totally OK with that. I also write elsewhere as a contributor to a few collaborative sites under a nom de plume or two.
These may be the final words of thatdamnredhead.net, but it’s not really a goodbye. This is me coming to terms with the current zeitgeist of there no longer being an intersection of “online life” and “real life,” as they are now one and the same. I just have a much higher price tag on my privacy these days.
Should you really want to find me, you can find a generic web presence at https://about.me/stacy.lukasavitz . . . but heed the copy.
Until we cross paths again,
Stacy Lukasavitz Steele
a.k.a. “that damn redhead”
26 September 2018