Wowwwww… this little corner of mine on the interwebs has officially turned 3 years old!! Well technically, it was the beginning of this month! But I was a little busy between closing on our new home, moving, and juggling life with a newborn while still working… celebrating (and even remembering) the blogs birthday fell to the way side! SO here I am, a little late (but better late than never) celebrating and reflecting on what a journey this past year has been! A journey I'm SO grateful for, so thank you for reading and supporting.
Looking back on my first blogiversary
As I look back at my first blogiversary, everything I wrote in that post still holds true. Heck even this line, “Be prepared to have a “yes” turn to a “no” so quickly you get whiplash,” just happened to me this morning where a brand sent over a contract, I asked for one thing tweaked and they shut the entire deal down. No negotiation, no clarifying questions, no conversation – just a “No, thanks!” Oh well. I honestly don't know that I'll ever have better blogging advice or lessons learned than in that post. It's iconic (not to toot my own horn) and probably my all time favorite post about blogging I've ever written.
[RELATED READ] 10 Lessons From My First Year Blogging
Looking back on my blogs second birthday
Then I checked out my second blogiversary post and wowwwzaaa! What a total difference! That year was all about the rat race, forgetting the lessons I seemed to learn in the first year at points, and finding my way back to myself. And in doing so it opened up beautiful space to evolve this past year. Most of last years post was about the changes I needed to make to evolve – not so much lessons I learned. So this year I'm going to chat a bit about how that went and then some reflections and lessons from this past year.
[RELATED READ] An Evolution: 3 Lessons Learned From 2 Years of Blogging
So how'd this year turn out?
I said it was going to be the year of an evolution, and really feel like it has been. It's actually really beautiful to look back on that post, and see how much I stuck to it and held to my truth – even if things don't seem exactly how they “should” – more on that below though!
Reflections from three years of blogging:
Staying true to myself and my mission.
I've always said that I'm here to help others (and myself) embrace more of who we are while navigating this whole #adulting thing together. Which meant that when this blog launched, it focused SO much on career and business content since I was coming off getting fired twice in under a month, starting my company, and having a meltdown after investing thousands of dollars into a coach that left me more confused about my direction than before (or so it seemed at that time). With time, that evolved to focus more on my different stages of life, from career to entrepreneurship, to the home and finances, to spirituality, and now to motherhood.
It's so funny, before I got pregnant, I always kind of knew that I'd become a “mommy blogger” on some level – I write about what I'm going through after all. However, I was so afraid and actually kept holding off on having kids because I was so afraid of disappointing you all about a new direction in my content. The funniest thing happened though, when I published a post about my fears of getting pregnant, it quickly became one of the most read posts, and then I published another post in the mommy sector and again, one of my top performing posts.
My “mom/baby” content typically does twice as better, at least, than all my other content. I can't help but feel like once again, staying true to myself is the answer. The Universe is constantly guiding and supporting my evolution when I'm honest with myself and where I'm at. And while I know everyone won't be thrilled with the changes that have been happening, I am thrilled. And at the end of the day, like I said in my first blogiversary post, having fun is what blogging is all about, “If you aren’t having fun, it’s not worth the time (or monetary) investment. Life is too short to spend it doing something that isn’t fun anymore.”
Things didn't go exactly as planned with my evolution last year
Last year I talked about new services I'd be focusing on from life advice consulting to tarot readings. Neither happened. Instead, my blog and business consulting website got a face lift, I got even more blog consulting clients whom I loved working with, and I'm totally okay with that. A couple of months after writing about my potential new services I realized a) I was pregnant and b) it was a year about turning inward. I had been so externally focused for so long that I needed time to slow down for myself and to prepare for the arrival of our daughter.
An overdue apology to you
While sitting down to write this post, I realized I owed you all an apology. You all had asked me to start a YouTube channel last year and I didn't listen. Instead, I launched the podcast. The truth is, I was scared. I'm definitely not the most likable person. People either really like me or really dislike me – rarely is there a middle ground. Being on video felt SO vulnerable and like there was no way you guys would like me off the page where I can word vomit 2,000 words to get my point across. Video felt like it'd be easier to misinterpret what I was saying. The podcast was a great way to still hide and also divert the attention from me onto guests, all while allowing me to become a little more vulnerable. It was the exact stepping stone I needed to take to feel more comfortable on video.
I spent the past year building and growing The Confused Millennial podcast. Funny enough, most of my audience there is not my blog audience. In fact, there's very little overlap. And while I do love the podcast, I also started to feel a little bored by it. And remember, life's too short to spend it doing something that isn't fun anymore. So when a brand approached me to do a video campaign, I said yes. I had no idea how it'd go and then magically people watched! Then another brand had me do a video campaign, and people watched again! Once again, just like the mom blog content, I feel like it's the Universe guiding me to take the next step.
So where am I going and how is this an apology?
Well I'm sorry for not listening to you sooner. If there's one thing I'm really not great at as a blogger, it's listening to my audience if I'm honest. I didn't listen to you all sooner and give you what you want and I hope no one took that as a sign that I don't care about your input. It really was that I was just afraid. Other times, my schedule just gets away from me. I know I polled you guys about a month ago on which post you wanted to see “to blog to not to blog” or “how to start a podcast” and the results were so close I planned to get them both up within a week, and I got one up! But the other one took another week or two! So I'm sorry if it appears like I'm not listening and for slacking on my time management and scheduling at times. I want you to know that I do listen and hear you all. Sometimes, I just don't get to everything right away. I really do value your input and have to work through my own stuff sometimes before I can integrate it. Anyone who thinks blogging and content creation is easy, doesn't understand the juggling that goes on behind the scene or the internal struggle that comes with constantly creating.
So what's to come? What lessons do I want to remember from my third year blogging?
This past year felt so much like being in a cocoon. Both from the sense I was growing a baby and also because I had my eyes on my own lane in a way I've never done before. Seriously, last year felt like no one else existed on the internet other than you all. I didn't read other blogs, I felt totally disconnected from internet friends and just focused on myself, responding to your DM's and emails, and getting as much work done as possible to prepare for baby girl's arrival. Spending so much time turning inward taught me a few things:
1) Turning inward is okay.
There's this trend in the digital world where it's lonely and we all crave community and colleagues (if you work remotely by yourself). For the first couple of years blogging, I thought I needed tons of internet friends because I'd see people posting pictures and meeting up with blogger friends or readers. It almost seemed like a stamp of success – like you're doing things right if you have blogging friends you meet IRL.
But, this past year I realized I don't need to have a ton of internet friends in order to be happy or successful. I thought if I didn't have that I'd be missing out on something or something was wrong with me. But in reality, I felt happier and lighter than I have in a while. I also got so much more done productivity wise, felt better about the content I was creating, felt closer to my mission and audience, and made more money than ever before.
2) But you still have to listen and act accordingly.
I'm not saying it's okay to be totally alone and not care about the outside world at all. In fact, one thing I promise to do better at this year is to actually take action from your suggestions quicker. I try to respond to everything and I do read and see everything you guys send me. I really do take it all to heart, but in the past I've focused too much on my own schedule and keeping my life easier, which has meant taking action sometimes months or even a year later on your suggestions. This year, I plan to act a lot quicker going forward.
3) Keep staying true to yourself.
While I know TCM has changed a lot from it's first few posts, I plan to keep staying true to myself with every stage I'm at. No, I'm not going to be a full blown mommy blogger, but yes I will have weekly or every other week content on the blog about motherhood. It's just such a big part of my life- and like I said, I always write about what I'm going through. In fact, any non-mom or time-sensitive content you've been seeing on the blog so far this year is content I wrote before having our daughter in preparation of her arrival. I always want to keep a healthy mix, but I also know I need to feel inspired to write and in this “fourth trimester” my only focus has been my family.
What I'm nervous about this year
If I'm being completely honest, I'm a little scared going into this next year. I never thought I'd build a business or career that'd allow me to do exactly what I want to do each day. I'm beyond grateful to you for reading, sharing, and connecting with me. This year, I'm stepping wayyyy out of my comfort zone and getting personal. I'm going to be doing more and more (and consistent) YouTube videos, sharing my family, and just trying to do better in all areas of my life. I'm scared to be on YouTube still – I definitely don't have the thickest of skin at times. It has gotten thicker from blogging and Instagram – but I hear you have to have really thick skin for YouTube.
I've already dealt with mean comments about my daughter, about myself on the blog and Instagram, and I'm sure many more will come. So I'm just nervous about navigating it all. Finding the sweet spot between sharing vulnerably, but not so vulnerably that I allow myself to get hurt by someone I don't know. I do feel ready though. This past year really allowed me to grow and not take things personally for the first time in my life. I feel clearer about which negative comments I'll leave and which I'll delete. So I guess I'm just nervous about new territory so, wish me luck! Which leads me to the final lesson from this past year…
You choose how you feel and your experience
This is something I had heard in the past but never really understood or lived until this past year. I realized that no one can “make” you feel any type of way. You choose to feel every emotion you're experiencing for a reason. You choose and call in every experience you have in your life. Every person, every pain, and every joy. I know that's a heavy concept but I really do believe it's true. It's why I could finally stop feeling responsible for everyone else's emotions and start taking responsibility for only my own. I finally understood that final missing piece between victim vs. owner mentality.
So while I'm nervous going into this new year, I also recognize that nerves and excitement feel the same in our bodies – so in reality, I'm excited! The most recent negative comments I got I let roll off my back in a way I had never done before because I chose to, and will continue to choose to because I love creating content. I love what I do for a living. I love hearing from you guys and documenting my life in this way. So thank you for giving me your time, energy, and support. It means more than words will ever do.