Today is my ONE YEAR BLOGIVERSARY!
I'm taking a look back on my 12 favorite looks from the entire year and talking about my dreams as well as what I've learned about blogging and myself.
Look back on my VERY FIRST POST here!
Wow! One year! It's party time haha:-D
So originally my sister (the photographer behind this blog) and I decided to do an anniversary shoot, but sadly the photos didn't turn out. :-( On to plan B, a recollection of my favorite 12 looks from my first year of blogging. Interestingly enough, a lot of these posts are from my first three months of blogging. I also see the common theme of bright colors, tulle, fun prints, balloons, bows, and flowers....all of these elements that are very much ME. You can see the progress of my blog through these posts: Introduction, The First Three Months, The First Six Months, and The First Nine Months. I'd like to share with you all what I have learned so far through this experience...as real and raw as it may be.
On starting my blog:
I'm tearing up a little as I read back my very first post. I was vulnerable and scared. What would people think of me? What if I failed? I'm not sure if you all know this, but this is actually my second blog. My very first blog was a bust. I started it many years ago when blogging was gaining traction...maybe 2012? Anyway, I kept it a secret. I didn't tell anyone. I didn't participate on social media marketing my blog. My photos consisted of phone pictures taken in front of a full length mirror (which works for some, but mine were not the greatest quality). I felt embarrassed of my blog and closed it out soon after I started. For next three years, starting another blog was always in the back of my mind. I finally decided to just bite the bullet and go for it, whether people make fun of me or not. I spent countless hours researching and planning for this new blog until it went live on this day last year. I haven't looked back since! Blogging has been one of the best things to happen to me. Thank you so much for believing in me.
On Blogging in General:
When I started this blog, I didn't think anyone but my mom would actually read it. I came in with absolutely no expectations. I try not to compare myself with other bloggers because we are all at different stages, but instead compare where I am right now with where I was previously. I feel that's the only true way that you can measure growth. I have made so many friends through blogging...yes, I'm talking about YOU! You are my friend and I'm thankful for you! I have learned who I am, what I am capable of and what my dreams are. I have also learned a lot of useful things that I will share in a later series of posts.
On Time Management:
This has been, by far, my biggest challenge. When I was 18, I was working three jobs and going to school full time just to survive. At one point, I was homeless and knew that I never wanted to be in that situation again. Since then I have always worked multiple jobs and I believe that this situation had a lot to do with it. This year I realized something....Life will pass you by if you are too busy working all time. In the past, my insane works hours (65-80+ hours a WEEK) have kept me from doing a lot of things that I love such as... spending time with my husband, family and friends...going on a vacation (or really, just going on an actual honeymoon)...learning to use my sewing machine....going to the yoga classes that I adore...taking a walk in the evenings...being able to actually cook dinner...actually sitting down and just RELAXING. Do you see my dilemma? I was so scared of being put in a situation that I sacrificed everything in order to avoid it. This was definitely not the way I had envisioned my life.
Blogging has brought about some peace into this chaos. It has taught me to manage my time better and showed me that I simply cannot do everything. Society puts this Superwoman mentally on us ladies saying that we can be the successful working woman, wife, friend, mother, that also has hobbies and a business...and somehow still has time to clean the house, cook dinner and get time in at the gym. These are unrealistic expectations. Time management is something I am still working on, but I have taken the necessary steps to get there.
I have cut down my schedule to a more manageable 40-50 work week (still too much, but Rome wasn't built in a day). I quit my Lularoe business altogether which was very hard and humbling but in reality, I didn't even have time for it to begin with. I have stopped extending hours for my guitar lesson business and have started a waitlist. Funny thing is...the moment I told myself I would NOT take any more lessons for the time being, I got 8 people wanting to sign up in the course of a little over a week. I think that God was trying to challenge me because I have a hard time saying no. Challenge accepted! I am so proud that I did not give in.
On Blogging Goals and Dreams:
I had two main goals for this year. The first was buy my own domain by Year One....Check! The second was to be accepted into a certain blogger affiliate program that I have literally been trying to get into all year....Check (just barely though)!
Along the way I started making other goals: Growth in all areas of social media and my blog. Through collecting data, I can now see which networks to focus more of my energy on and what works best for my blog. If you haven't been doing this, I highly recommend it!
Goals for the future, you ask? I want to go to New York Fashion Week. Although, I think this is more of a life goal than a blogging goal. I always wanted to be a fashion designer (still going after that dream) so I figure if I'm not at NYFW showing off my designs on Project Runway (a girl can dream, right?) then I sure will be there blogging about it! And if I can't do that, I will make my own Fashion Week locally....how fun would that be? And I'd be lying if I said that meeting Tim Gunn wasn't on that list (he lives in New York, right?)...so Life Goal #2...as far fetched as it may seem. And just like any other blogger's dream....make this a full-time job someday. Or a part-time job. I want to keep the blogging fire alive and continue on this path to see what amazingness lies ahead. I'm so intrigued by what this next year of blogging will bring....Who will I meet? Where will I go? What will I do?
Not only has this blog been a place for me to show off my love of fashion in the form of a visual diary, but it has also served as a journal of sorts of my last year. Through my photos, I see myself finding my true style....through my words, I am just finding myself and exploring the successes and challenges of what it is to be a human. I have faced heartbreaking trials and incredible successes as well as the emotional opening and closing of my business. Through all of this, I have seen tremendous growth in all areas of my life that I am beyond thankful for.
I'm so happy that I took the risk in starting this blog and stepped out of my comfort zone along the way. It has been more than I could ever dream of! In my first post, I said I wanted to be inspired and inspire others. I sure do hope I have done just that and hope that my outfits continue to inspire you to be very best you!
Thanks so much for all the support you have shown! I appreciate you so much <3
Looking forward to sharing my future outfits with you!