It’s been nearly three years since I started blogging.
Which is weird cos it feels like soooo much longer, but there you go.
After last week’s meltdown, I took a bit of a step back creatively, and decided to focus on some admin stuff. I started fixing broken links and reformatting some of my really, really old posts, and it was so strange to look back on what I was writing back then, and see how much has changed. How much I’ve changed.
I’ve met new friends, lost old friends, changed jobs twice, moved house twice, lost weight, gained weight (and then gained some more). I’ve dyed my hair about 6 different colors, and my personal style is totally different (no orange flatforms for me anymore thank you very much!). Still the same boyfriend – but then ya gotta keep some things consistent right?
Blogging itself has changed a lot, even from when I started. And I think I’ve changed a lot because of blogging too.
I’ve learned a lot of new skills: from photography to coding, from cooking to design. And I’ve also learned a lot about myself. How I work, how I relate to other people, what I want from life.
And I’ve also learned these five very specific things, which I’ve (very appropriately) turned into a blog post…
1. I like taking photos more than I like writing words.
I’m a super visual person, but for some bizarre reason I’ve also always considered myself more of a writer than a photographer.
Recently I’ve been trying to relax into blogging, to just take things as they come, and go with the flow. And it’s become really obvious that between the two, the written word is my biggest struggle. (Which is hilarious, cos if you know me, you know that VERBAL words are so not a problem for me…).
I love reading, and I love writing, and I’m going to be super un-modest here and say I actually think I’m a pretty decent writer. But I’ve finally kind of accepted that I just don’t love it in the same way I love taking and editing photos. And that’s OK.
2. Writing for an audience is good for my brain.
Sooo despite point one… I do always feel better once I’ve got all my thoughts down on paper (screen?).
After last week’s meltdown post, my parents asked me why I chose to put something so raw and personal online, and reminded me that I didn’t have to hit publish if I didn’t want to, I could just keep those entries to myself. Which is totally true. And it got me thinking about why I DO keep posting that sort of post.
And I’ve realised it’s because writing my feelings down only really works for me if I know I have an audience. Having to clarify my confused thoughts to you, makes them clearer to me, which makes it all easier for me to handle.
They’re basically my selfish indulgence, and I’m using you all as free therapists. So thanks for that!
3. Good at ideas, not so good at strategy.
So something that’s really become obvious to me in the last year or so, is that I love coming up with new ideas and plans. I’m constantly thinking of the next big project I can work on, the next improvement I can make to my design, or my photography, or my content.
What I’m not quite so good at is deciding what to do first, so that things get implemented in the right order, at the right time. Usually I just try to do everything at once and ending up burning myself out.
Luckily, I’ve got some brilliant friends who’ve been helping me improve in this area!
4. Creative surroundings are important to me.
Apart from my 8 month hiatus last year, most of my blog posts have been written at a reception desk (where I work on weekdays).
I have to wear an ugly uniform (the girls have nicknamed it “The Spacesuit”. I’ll just let you imagine what that looks like). The offices get little daylight, and are lit with fluorescent bulbs. Basically: it’s corporate, impersonal, and totally uninspiring.
And it’s made me realise how much of a difference pretty surroundings make to my creativity. One thing I noticed from re-reading my old posts, is that my absolute favourite ones were all written in my own home, whilst wearing my own clothes, and being surrounded by sunlight, color and soft music.
5. I care too much about what others think of me.
I crave validation. This won’t come as shock to absolutely anyone who knows me even a little bit, but yeah.
I’ve always cared what others think of me. I like to be liked, and sometimes that’s led me to make choices and decisions that don’t exactly line up with who I actually am. (See exhibit A: my post last week on how that’s been messing with my blogging…)
I’m a lot more confident in myself now than I used to be, but it’s something I’m still working on. It helps that I have excellent buddies, and a brilliant boyfriend, who I know accept me for me, with all my quirks, weaknesses, and failings. ♥
PS. I LOVED this video from Victoria and the Prince’s Trust about self-worth and learning to love yourself online.