As today marks my blog anniversary, I deemed this an appropriate day to finally go ahead and hit publish on a post I've been working on putting together for quite some time now. It's crazy to think that I've been blogging for a whole four years now and I have to say, I've loved every minute of it. Just for funsies, this was my first post back in 2011 when I was using good old Blogger and my blog was called Vintage Machine. Oh, the memories! Not too long ago, I also reached 2000 followers on my blog and while I've expressed here before that follower count doesn't really mean anything in the grand scheme of things, I think it's only natural to feel happy, excited and proud when accomplishing those little milestones. More than that, it only makes sense to view this as a time of reflection and a time to appreciate being a part of this community. In the same format of Rebecca's wonderful post, The Joys of Blogging, I asked her if I could write something along the same lines and being the lovely person that she is, she said it was cool. I didn't intend on this post being similar, but it was easier to write with the headings and once I separated out the paragraphs, I realised I had read something like it before! As usual, it's long and I've rambled a lot, but I guess I just have a lot of feels when it comes to my love of blogging.
From colouring books to drawing, I’ve always been more of a creative person since I was a little kid. I took Art throughout the entirety of my high school years and never excelled in more left-brained subjects like Maths and Science. So much so, that when my Year 10 Maths teacher asked me whether I was continuing on with Maths for my Tertiary Entrance Exams, I said, “No”, to which she replied, “Good”. I wasn’t at all offended, it’s funny because it’s true!
Sure, at first glance, it can look superficial talking about beauty products, but as I mentioned in this post a year ago, we should embrace all those things in life that bring us creative happiness and joy, no matter what it is. I love applying makeup just as much as I love talking about it because there’s so much creativity within that alone too. I'm definitely no makeup artist, but it's just a lot of fun to me. I don’t wear makeup because I’m not comfortable without it, in fact, I can go days on end without wearing it and feel fine, but I guess within beauty blogging, I found something I love and take a lot of pride in. My blog is completely me and completely mine, and I think it's really important to have something like that in your life.
More than my love of makeup, blogging is about keeping creative and having an outlet to express myself. My writing skills have improved, as have my photography skills and I've learnt so much more about design, HTML and CSS. My blog is predominantly about beauty, but I really write about whatever comes to mind. The more you create, the more ideas you’ll have. The more you push yourself, the more inspiration will eventually start to come to you naturally and when this happens, I find I’m not looking at other blogs for ideas the more I feed my own creativity. It’s a place for me to share what I love, document my life; scrapbooking bits and pieces of it here and there, it’s a journey of progression, but also one about remembering how far I’ve come. I used to have thoughts about starting a new blog, but I’ve come to learn that it’s actually quite fun to look back through the archives, remembering little snippets of your life. We all started somewhere and a blog should be about anything and everything you want it to be. As I've said before, there really are no rules here, so let your mind wander.
Community and friendship
Blogging is all about the connections you make. When I first started, I used to think about how cool it’d be to have lots of followers and interact with all the “popular” bloggers, but now I look back and think about how silly that was and realise I was going about it all the wrong way. I stopped commenting on those kinds of blogs because the one-sided interaction got boring after while and though I understand that replying to comments isn’t always possible when people receive a daily influx of them, if they can’t comment, why should I? I don’t necessarily look down on bloggers because of it, I just like being able to properly talk to people and establish something more meaningful. When I first installed Disqus onto my blog, I did it with the purpose of being able to reply to my comments and talk to you all. I’m not going to lie, my initial thought was, ‘What am I getting myself into?!’ because I thought it’d be so time consuming, and while it can be, it’s actually a lot of fun and now a part of blogging that I really look forward to. I love hearing your opinions whether we agree or disagree, knowing where you all come from and what we have in common. I truly appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and comment on my blog, and I can only show that by replying back to the thoughtful and interesting things you all have to say to me.
The thing that has made blogging the most worthwhile are the friendships I’ve formed. Jennifer, Jess, Kat, Brodie, Tamira, Rebecca, Grace, Jen, Jaye and Natalie are the biggest bunch of babes here and make me so happy to be a part of this little blogging community. I’m lucky that I’ve been able to travel interstate and meet my fellow Australian bloggers, and Jennifer is beautiful girl from my hometown who I didn’t think I’d become such close friends with, I’d be sending her texts that literally take an hour to reply to and crying saying goodbye to her before I left for Melbourne. As for my UK girls on the other side of the world, I only wish I had known you all when I was in England a few summers ago. One day we will all meet up for a cup of tea (because I don’t drink coffee, not because I’m stereotyping British people!) because I will make the 30 hour flight back there one day! Who better than to accompany me on my first trip to Space NK?! Always so supportive, I truly respect these girls as bloggers and I have to pinch myself that these talented ladies enjoy my blog just as much as I enjoy theirs.
Confidence, finding yourself and opportunities
For the longest time, I lacked confidence and direction in my life and after getting my heart broken by a boy, I knew things needed to change. I had absolutely no idea where to start, but one by one, I started accomplishing goals I only ever dreamed about and I think them becoming a reality all started with my blog. I guess at that time, it was the one thing I felt sure and happy about in my life and when I found out working in social media was an actual thing, I finally discovered where I wanted to take my career. I studied Advertising at university and there were so many different avenues that I just didn’t know which one to take or which one suited me best. I didn’t feel like I was good enough for anything. Through blogging, I landed myself an internship at a digital marketing agency in Sydney specialising in music and I became a contributor to A Little Opulent. Very small accomplishments, but accomplishments nonetheless. Last year, I moved to Melbourne all by myself for better career opportunities, as well as a little change of scenery. I never would have expected someone like me to have lived in three different cities in the space of less than two years. Right now, I am totally and completely out of my comfort zone and everything feels so uncertain, but blogging somehow gave me the confidence to go out there and find myself, and made me realise that your passions in life are worth pursuing.
I think as you get older, you become more confident and sure in yourself, and really learn to just stop caring about what others think when you discover what brings you joy in life. Of course, I still have my doubts - not just about blogging - and while it’s so easy to feel jealous and compare yourself to other bloggers, at the end of the day, we’re all the same here. Instead, I feel proud when I see fellow bloggers producing such awesome content because it inspires me to be better and to keep pushing myself. I can only hope people feel the same about my blog too. Whenever I start comparing myself, I try my hardest to snap out of it because it only gets me down and when I’m down, I don’t want to blog because I feel like I’m not good enough. It’s so important to just keep doing what you do. Feel proud of what you have achieved and don’t worry about the rest. There’s always going to be someone bigger and better than you and when you stop caring so much, blogging becomes a whole lot more enjoyable. It's so much fun coming up with blog post ideas, taking photos and being able to say, "Hey, I'm actually really proud of that", especially when I get such humbling feedback from you all. It's totally not a conceited thing to say about yourself because that's what working hard and loving what you do should make you feel.
Through blogging, I found my personal style, I have more sense of who I am and from typing away to snapping away, the whole process of blogging is enjoyable, comforting and something I really look forward to. There's nothing more I love than coming from work to scroll through the Bloglovin' feed with a cup of tea and chat with you all on Twitter. Blogging is just a really awesome hobby that I can work on at any time, any day, in bed and in my pyjamas. It's pretty sweet. I wish I had it in me to blog more frequently, but when I do, I put my heart into every post I publish and I hope that suffices. This little online space of mine means so much to me, so thank you all for making this blogging experience over the last four years so, so wonderful. The first person I blog for is me, but to have you all here is an amazing bonus. I truly feel a sense of belonging here and Like Neon Love is a big part of my life that I hold really close to my heart.
What do you love about blogging?