As small a feat as it may be compared to many other things, I’m sitting here beaming at the fact that my online brand is officially one year old. Yup, a year and two months ago, I decided (along with my wallet) to lay the foundation for what would be my little corner of the Internet. I couldn’t be more proud of it.
This hasn’t been my first foray into the ‘blogosphere’, but what is different this time around is the motivation behind it. Just under ten years ago, I was one of the many young women who had a ‘blog’ that was really a diary of sorts. Back then, blogging was not much of an ‘industry’, and nowhere near as popular (and oversaturated, yikes) as it is now. My first rodeo was nothing more than a mish-mash of teen angst, poetry and a rant sprinkled here and there about friendships, boys and whatever else was on my mind. I wrote whenever I felt like it (cheers to maturing and to consistency!), hardly ever proofread for typos, and rarely shared posts with anyone.
Aaahh, but thank God for growth, right?
At around twelve years old, I dreamt of changing the world when I grew up. I wanted to create solutions to every problem I’d observed around me. I wanted to fix things, and wrote the most heroic of plans to do so. I’ve since realised I’m no superhero, and what’s more, my life has had its own share of catastrophes that even I couldn’t save myself from. I traded in those super-girl dreams for the ability to just help at least one person I’d come across, who was going down a similar road as I did. Enter, That New Girl. (Read more about why I started the blog here).
Sometimes, the Healing is in the Helping
While my aim here has always been to help young women, many of my posts were written when I myself needed (as cliche as it may sound) a helping hand or listening ear. When I wrote about friendship failures and bouncing back from them, I was still down in the dumps about a long friendship that had fizzled out unexpectedly. And can I let you in on a little secret? That wasn’t a recent episode either. It had happened years before but still hurt in a way I could hardly put into words. Mostly because there was one question that had gone unanswered and it seemed like I wasn’t worth an answer by this friend I had lost. Sometimes, the whispers in my head told me it was best to just accept it for what it was and press on. Those whispers were drowned out many times by the loud voice blaming me for what had happened, convincing me that it must have been something that I’d done. It was only from writing and sharing that post that I was able to take a deep breath and truly let go of what had happened, and to make peace with the questions that had gone unanswered. Through my blog, I’ve come to realize that sometimes you heal by helping others.
Lives and Hearts Impacted
I’d read once that online blogs and print magazines have one particular thing in common. Magazine readers, when thumbing through the pages of their favourite fashion publication, don’t have an outlet to comment on an article or feature after they’ve read it. The average person treats a blog post like they would a magazine article; read, enjoy or take what info they need, then turn the page and on to the next. It’s rare that people leave feedback on a blog post after they’ve found the information they searched for.
That being said, every comment or feedback message I get here warms my heart. Each time someone takes a few minutes to share their thoughts with me is an open door to some of the funniest, most exciting and eye-opening conversations ever. The ones that have really left their mark on my heart, though, were those emails where a reader shares their story with me, a struggle or secret and ends with a simple ‘Thank you’ along with what a particular post has helped them with. Blogging here has taught me that there’s something that sort of whispers ‘maybe it was worth it’ when your own struggles and stories can provide someone else with just the words they needed.
Community & Connections Made
Saturated, oversaturated, just plain overrated, whatever some may want to call it, the ‘blogging community’ is one I believe in and adore wholeheartedly, for one core reason if none other; we are a community of men and women with endless stories to tell, countless experiences to share. As a lover of a good story, I gravitate to other storytellers (my bookshelves will vouch for me, of course).
There is a bravery in sharing parts of your lifestyle, views and experiences with thousands of people each day. Even greater, I think, is the drive it takes to be consistent with it.
I have shared a few times (here, and here) some of the content creators and influencers that I admire and whose work I adore. Hats of to all of you, all of us really, for the work and dedication that goes into your blogs and brands. The community and the connections made in the past year have made my blogging journey worth the ride.
Ready for Round 2?
So, here we are. Here’s to 2018-2019 then, my second year at the reigns. Some of my goals for the blog include upping my photography game, and being a bit braver in sharing more of the hidden parts of my mind with you all. Some of my favourite bloggers are faves because of their openness, their vulnerability, and yet I have been somewhat sheepish about the same. This year, I aim to change that though. You’ll be patient with me, right? Promise?
Till next time.