One year of blogging. It seems unreal.
Think about the last time you did something for a year. Or remembered an event and went, “Hey, that was a year ago.”
Such a strange feeling.
I feel like I haven’t been blogging for too long, but when I think about it all together, it’s actually been quite a journey.
On March 9, 2016 I started Julia Does.
Now, my blog didn’t skyrocket in the last year, but I’m not complaining.
But the numbers aren’t what it’s all about. Blogging has changed my life, and I don’t know where I would be without it.
I am happier, healthier, and have more self-worth. I have found my vision and I have started to work towards it every day, something a lot of people don’t do until they’re much older.
But I won’t give it all away right here. Here’s the list of what I learned from a year of blogging.
IT’S A LOT OF WORK
Really. I had no idea.
I feel like there’s this stigma around blogging that it’s kind of floofy and emotional or whatever, but I can say it’s definitely not.
Running a blog is a lot harder than anyone who doesn’t do it might think. It can turn into a full-time job if you have one that’s super successful (This is a dream of mine).
But it’s so much more than just writing a bunch of words and posting it. Though I’ve had this blog for a year, I didn’t start really writing for at least a month.
Just the setup of having a blog was that complex.
Not to mention the actual writing, content creation, design, graphic production, and anything extra someone might to do promote their blog. It’s time consuming!
But it’s rewarding. And that’s what makes it worth it. It fosters a sense of accomplishment, productivity, and living life the best I can.
After all, nothing worth having comes easy.
FRIENDS ARE EVERYWHERE
Another extremely valuable thing I learned this year was about the concept of friendship.
A lot of times, friends are based on where you are. I think this is sometimes why young kids feel lonely or out of touch with the world, because the people available to become friends with aren’t exactly their kind of people.
The internet has changed all of this. Aside from what parents tell you under, “Don’t talk to strangers online,” (which is good advice generally, don’t go into situations blindly), I like to think that strangers are just friends I haven’t made yet.
I have found so many people through blogging that are as goal driven, positive minded, and open as I think myself to be. These people encourage me to work towards my goals, and give me a sense of who I really want to become.
And I’ve never even met them in real life!
I have a few of these wonderful people in real life, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world.
But additionally, what I’ve learned is that online friendships are possible, and very real, because the people directly around you may not be people who share your same values. But somewhere is someone who does.
(Meet my bloggy BFF, Peyton, over at Patience and Pajamas)
PHOTOGRAPHY IS HARD
Oh, and so is graphic design.
Yeah, don’t you just love reading black and white text blogs with no pictures or color at all?
No, I didn’t think so.
Pictures are so essential to running a blog if you want people to read it. People write entire blogs on this stuff! From actually taking the photo to editing and everything in between, it’s not easy!
And I give a ton of credit to anyone who is actually really good at that kind of stuff, because that is not a talent that I have.
Contrary to what some people might think, ART IS IMPORTANT.
And I am saying that as an academic with minimal talent. However, I do have a ton of appreciation.
If you are any type of artist, thank you.
HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE
I used to hear this quote and I used to hate it. I used to hate it a lot.
There was a time when I was suffering from depression, before this blog, and I would see that on the internet and think, “I wish they would stop saying that! Don’t they know I want to be happy?! If I could choose to be I would!”
I would be so angry.
But through the process of recovery, I learned the true meaning of this quote, and I understand it more and more every day.
Happiness is not a light switch. It’s not something you can turn on and off. It’s also not permanent. Or temporary. Happiness is not a condition, it’s a mindset.
No, I couldn’t just turn my happiness back on. But I was thinking about it the wrong way.
Happiness is what happens when you dedicate part of your life to nurturing your soul.
There will always be work, responsibility, and so many obligations we all have to deal with.
But when you become able to remove yourself from the hustle for a minute, and be real with yourself on what makes you feel good, that’s when you can start to find happiness.
When you take a minute to realize, hey, I’m important, and my wellbeing is important, and here’s what I’m going to do to work towards it every day, that’s when your life becomes better.
Because you start to withdraw from things that are irrelevant. I stopped worrying about what everyone else was doing, and that taught me self-respect and self-worth. I stopped taking things so personally, and that taught me patience and understanding. I recognized that my emotions are valid, but not the end-all-be-all of a situation, and that taught me emotional control.
So it’s not easy. It’s really not. But you can achieve happiness once you come in tune with yourself. It’s the only way.
So I chose to work on myself each day, and I continue to do so.
Happiness is a choice, in that you can choose to change your life for the better, or you can choose to stay where you are.
Being happy is hard. Being unhappy is hard.
Choose your hard.
THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO LEARN
In short, I have learned this:
I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing
In any course of work, hubris will be your downfall.
When you think you know everything, you are just setting yourself up to fail.
I have learned so much about the blogging and business world in one year, and I still know nothing about it!
But it is the fact that I can realize that that will give me a higher chance for success.
Now I will be willing to learn, to fail, to take risks, because I don’t know what is going to work the best, and that’s okay!
There is no shame in being wrong. Only in not being able to take responsibility.
I’m not perfect, no one is, but that doesn’t mean one can’t strive to be the best they can possibly be.
So in the next year(s), I will keep learning, and the more I learn, the less I will know.
And I can’t wait.
Thank you for being a part of my journey, and I hope you are enjoying your own journey as well!