things i've learned from blogging

My blog is two years old now! I've raised a toddler. A perfect metaphor, since I treat this thing like my baby.

I started this blog for a lot of reasons. I've always loved writing, for one. I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't composing sentences in my head, and this blog was the perfect way to articulate them.

New York, July 2015

New York, July 2015

I've never been a very open person, and somehow writing about my personal life was a lot easier than talking about it.

And thus, the third reason I started blogging. I started writing this the quarter I was at home, after my study abroad plans fell through. I was a little lonely. I had just gone through an intense breakup. So this blog became a place of solace, and a way to stay connected to my friends back at school.

Everything considered, it's pretty wild to see how things evolved. I sometimes still can't believe how different my life is now. I never would have predicted that I would be living in Singapore one year ago. Every year, I'm always amazed by how much has changed since the last, and since its conception, this blog has unexpectedly developed as an incredible way to document everything in my life that I love.

Santa Barbara, June 2016

Santa Barbara, June 2016

For the two-year anniversary of this blog, I decided to write this list, inspired by this post from The Sunday Chapter. I loved the idea of sharing all of the little pieces of wisdom I've collected from blogging, because it's honestly become such a significant part of my life.

Thailand, July 2016

Thailand, July 2016

THINGS I'VE LEARNED FROM BLOGGING

1. Blogging is good for the soul

I've said it before, but I wholeheartedly believe it. I learned in my Body Language class that writing in complete thoughts actually helps the brain form new connections and develops the complexity of the mental "scaffolding." But in a less technical sense, writing affords you the luxury of clarity and perspective. It's freeing; often cathartic. It can make jumbled messes of words into beautifully-composed thoughts, ones that set fire to the mind and awaken the soul. It can frame the world in an entirely new way. It's amazing. Hemingway said once, "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." And sometimes you need that. So many of my friends have started blogs, or started free-writing (check out "Blogs My Friends Write" down below!), and it makes me so happy, because not only do I get to read their thoughts, but I'm just excited that it's helped people the way it's helped me.

2. Progress over perfection

I stole this one directly from the list, but it resonated with me a lot. I'm a strange kind of perfectionist by nature due to mild OCD; I fixate on tiny details but often neglect the whole picture. But blogging forced me to learn to let things go. As much as I'd like to second-guess the placement of every comma or rewrite every sentence until each one reads of overwhelming loveliness, I can't. Sometimes you just have to pull the trigger and walk away. I actually get pretty shy and nervous easily when it comes to public writing, but each blog post is a tiny step further out of my comfort zone. Self-improvement is a process, and if you waste time stuck on your mistakes and what you could have done or second-guessing yourself, it will make it much more difficult to move forward.

3. Vulnerability is underrated

This one is a bit more personal, and it's not for everyone. But for me, it's a lesson I've acquired from my relationships, from my work, and from blogging. Opening yourself up to people and opportunities can be great. There's a difference between being independent, and closing yourself off to people. And it's tempting to convinced yourself that you don't need anyone, but you don't make a lot of friends that way. And it gets exhausting. People appreciate vulnerability; it makes you more relatable, and it ultimately leads to self-fulfillment, or at least that's what I've found. But most importantly, vulnerability is not weakness or naïveté; it's human.

4. you do you

Being a part of a generation fueled by social media and oversharing can be overwhelming. It can feel like a lot of pressure. It's easy to get caught up in what other people are doing. But it's important to remember to do things just for yourself. The opinions and "likes" of other people don't validate or invalidate your existence or your choices, so don't let them interfere with you living your own life. It's also equally necessary to support other people. Creativity is infinite, and I'm lucky enough to have so many amazingly talented friends that have taught me to appreciate it in all its forms. Remember that it's not a competition; that kind of mindset only limits yourself. Instead of feeling pressured or threatened, focus on your own personal growth and happiness.

5. there's beauty in everything

One of the best things blogging has taught me is to keep my eyes and mind open. I think you can find some meaning, something to appreciate, in almost anything. Go live life and do things. Learn everything, and enjoy it. It sounds a bit bohemian, but the truth is it's as simple as noticing the world around you and maintaining a sense of wonder. I have a lot of introverted tendencies (i.e., blogging), but every once in a while when I'm tempted to stay in and watch Netflix or something, I'll force myself to go outside and walk around, just to get fresh air or take pictures, or say yes to going out with people. And I've never regretted it. Life is too short to simply go through the motions of living.

Singapore, October 2016

Singapore, October 2016

As always, thank you so much to everyone who supports me and follows me halfway around the world by subscribing to me, and to everyone who has encouraged me and read this blog from day one. I genuinely appreciate every single one of you, and I really do treasure the conversations we have because you take the time to read my writing. If you're not subscribed, I highly recommend it, but thanks for reading, liking, and sharing all the same. I love you all.

To many more years :').

 

HAPPENING MEOW