It’s weird to think today marks three years exposing my life on the internet. When I started The Fairy Princess Diaries initially I had no idea how important this space, or the people I met through this space would become to me. Not only is The Fairy Princess Diaries my creative outlet, but as I’ve mentioned before, it’s a form of therapy. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without this space to vent, reflect and create for the past three years. It’s been an adventure!
So much has changed about me over the past three years, I’ve gone from being a college student to navigating the world of adulthood. I’ve shared love stories and break up stories. I’ve cried out in pain, and you guys have comforted me. I’ve documented failures and successes, happy times and times of darkness. It’s been a monumental three years and I am so glad I created this space on January 13th three years ago today.
I can talk about everything I’ve learned about blogging from photoshop to wordpress plugins, commenting, networking and beyond, but to be honest I’ve never truly enjoyed blogging about blogging. I appreciate the bloggers out there who like to write about tips and tricks, but I’m a little selfish. I like writing about emotions. For me growth, and feelings and interpersonal relationships are the MOST real thing, and I feel the most compelled (the most alive) when I sit down and let myself discuss those topics.
Blogging hasn’t just taught me about networking and photo editing and being the best instagrammer I can be. In fact, many of the lessons I’ve learned through blogging transcend to my life outside of the internet. I don’t remember exactly what I hoped to gain from blogging three years ago, but I certainly never realized blogging would teach me the lessons I’m sharing today.
Three Life Lessons I Learned from Three Years of Blogging:
Don’t Try to be Someone you’re Not
Coming from the girl with “This above all to thine own self be true” tattooed across her hip, you’d think this lesson would be a no brainer. In life there are a plethora of circumstances that beckon you to change who you are. Time after time you will fall and for a moment (or several moments) you won’t feel strong enough, or pretty enough or smart enough and you’ll be tempted to be something different. In my day to day life I’ve never quite fit in. On my cheer team, in my sorority, in the lunch room, I’ve always felt a bit like an outsider. Something in me felt different, and depending on my mood I could never quite decide if that “differentness” was good or bad. I was exasperated because I never felt like I could express who the “real me” was.
Blogging is such a gift, because of the acceptance, kindness and support all of you have given me I’ve found a space I can be 100% authentically me. Though I still walk through life feeling misunderstood, quirky and a little outside the norm, in this space I feel accepted. I truly believe everyone deserves a place to feel accepted.
Similarly, I started this blog striving to emulate some of the other bloggers I appreciated. I think with anything new you start by “copying” (even if it isn’t on purpose) before you can eventually settle into your own skin. As I’ve learned to feel more and more comfortable in my skin it has translated to my blog. I’ve found my voice, and though somedays it is clearer than others I am so grateful my blog has enabled me to be more of who I am.
Sucking is part of the Journey to Success
My first year of blogging was a hodge-podge of unintentional rants, selfies and subpar writing. Looking back I can’t believe how much my blog sucked. I’m surprised I received a single comment, let alone felt compelled to publish. Over time my blog has started to suck a little less (somedays are better than others). I’ve realized the importance of proof reading. I’ve started searching for focus in each post. I’ve established a voice. My writing has grown. My blog still is nowhere near perfect, but there are days it sucks less than others. Blogging has helped me to be okay with sucking, it’s helped me to be okay with publicizing less than perfect work and I think a solid relationship with failure is crucial to success.
Every time I sit down to write a post I hope it will suck a little less. By keeping myself on a fairly rigid writing schedule and holding myself accountable through blogging, I’ve realized the key to growing as a writer is consistent writing. Now, I force myself to write as often as possible. In all the rubbish there might only be a few good posts, and even fewer great posts but without the free flow of thoughts and emotions there might not be anything worth reading. Beautiful writing doesn’t just happen, it’s an art and a skill. Sucky writing is part of the journey. Recognizing that without sucky writing I wouldn’t be capable of good writing has been a game changer for me.
Reflection is a Key Component to Growth
The comments you leave, the emails messages I’ve received and the friendships I’ve formed from this blog light up my life on a daily basis, yet, the real reason I blog is for me. I’m too introspective for my own good. More often than not I’m wrapped up in my head, overanalyzing something or another. Never settled, never sure, I’m jittery, lost and anxious. Blogging has given me a space to write down my thoughts, my pains and my goals. So often, I’m not really sure what I think until I write it down and reread it. Rereading my posts both in the moment and looking back months later I have learned so many invaluable lessons about myself.
I’ve been told I am incredibly self-aware and I can’t say I would have been given that same feedback three years ago. I am so much more sure of my ideas, my opinions and my feelings because I have an accurate log book of my mind. Since I treat this blog as somewhat of a journal, I can peek back at some of my most intimate and vulnerable thoughts. Through this analysis and reflection I’ve become more self actualized, a trait that cannot be overvalued. I truly preach “knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”. I hope to continue utilizing this space as a method of realizing my desires and potential.
The past three years have offered so much growth and change in my life, I love that I have my blog to look back on and remember the good (while learning from the bad). I can’t rave about blogging enough, this space has taught me so much that I can apply to my life outside of the internet world. I can’t see how blogging continues to surprise me in years to come.
Has blogging surprised you at all?