One year ago, I sat down in front of my laptop and had this overwhelming urge to write. I didn’t have any set idea or agenda in mind, but I knew that I had words in my heart bursting to have a life of their own and a place to live. I set up my account on WordPress, opened up a blank blog post and let the words flow.
I wrote about reaching a point in my life where I wasn’t sure if I was happy or not with the choices I had made or my achievements in life. I vowed to turn my blog into my diary of events, to capture the changes I wanted to make in my life and my attitude. I poured my heart into making it mean something and to teach others where I had gone wrong so that they could avoid making the same mistakes I did in my naivety.
My blog took off so fast; I connected to others in the community, and made some wonderful friends along the way. I had so much support and backing despite the hundreds of thousands of blogs out there, I was welcomed with open arms. We were all on a journey together – some starting out, others already way ahead on theirs. But we were all putting our love of writing into something and trying to make sense of our little part of the world. It was endearing yet empowering at the same time and I loved the freedom I had to write whatever I felt in my heart and my mind.
My blog was there for me when I was struggling at work and when I decided to leave my job; one of the first times in my life I had been assertive for myself. I shared a lot about who I was and what made me me. I was nominated for blogger awards by other members of the community, and helped other bloggers to gain some following when I had built up a good following for myself – passing on the kindness shown to me in my first weeks. I even contributed to helping other bloggers by collating a list of facts all bloggers should know – which ended up being my most popular post of the year. My second most popular – sharing what I found difficult about the blogging community and finding how to be a part of it.
As my life got busier with work, family and my personal life, my blog started to slow down. I kept my blog separate from my family and friends – I wanted my blog to be a place I could be honest and true self. Where I could say what I really wanted to say without feeling bad or risking hurting anybody. It became my own little world that I could immerse myself into when I needed to take a break from my life. I have so much going on at one time, I needed a place I could call my own and be myself. To feel my emotions without an overwhelming sense of guilt or without needing to limit what I’m feeling. I’m relied on by a lot of people – I am the person they go to and lean on and sometimes, that leaves me without having someone else to lean on. And so, my blog still remains my source of self-support and self-comfort. Writing is my release – it helps me to make sense of my thoughts and understand my feelings. It really is a therapeutic outlet I would suggest to anybody.
I saw a lot of changes in the last year – I lost and gained friends, I changed my perspective on a lot of things and entered 2019 with my mind set on making this year about me. I have spent the last 20 years worrying about everybody else but never taking the time to worry about me. I was obsessed with avoiding confrontation, being placid and because of that, I have anxiety about things I can’t even control. I vowed that 2019 would be the year I say ‘no’ more. That I stop fighting against what isn’t mine to fight, that I stop trying to please everybody and gain their approval. I need to work on earning my own approval; learning to love myself. I still have so many issues with confidence in all senses of the word that I’ve forgotten to love and accept who I am and instead try to gain approval in the eyes of everybody else.
I started 2019 wondering if my blog was still going to be coming along for the journey. I sat and thought about what my blog meant to others, whether it still had standing because of the time I’ve taken away and if I still had a place in the community. But I forgot about what my blog means to me. Writing this post has made me realise how far I have come within myself and with my blog. What about what my blog means to me?
I made the mistake others make of concentrating on the numbers and the view count and the likes, and once I stopped worrying about that, I started to relax more and my blog became an outlet for myself than a sort of business. It wasn’t what I got into blogging for – I got swept up in the moment I forgot what my blog intended to be. And it wasn’t as a venture, an income channel nor as rivalry. It was me, sitting down one year ago, to say ‘I’m about to enter my late 20’s and I don’t know what I’m doing with my life’. I used my blog to make sense of my world and it did just that.
And so because of that, I believe my blog is a success. It is a success in my eyes. It’s gained my approval and my love. I love what I have created. Within it’s pages and it’s words, it is me. Who else could I truly be?
So Happy Birthday to the Diary of a Twenty Something – one of my proudest achievements and creations. You have become an important part of me, you represent a time of my life and who I am, with the ability to change with me. Thank you for being my outlet and source of comfort.
And thank you to the many, many views, likes, follows and engagements. You drove me to push on, to not give up on my achievements and to keep going, despite my doubts. To the friends I have made, thank you for believing in me and standing by me through my blogging journey. You are an incredible community of writers.
Francesca – your achievement unlocked: