I've been blogging for nearly three months now. Though it hasn't been very long in the grand scheme of life, I cannot imagine myself blog-less. Writing new posts has become one of my absolute favorite things to do. So when you read this post and you look up at the title and wonder what "it" is, "it" is my life. Over the past three months I've experienced great joy from starting and improving on my blog. Like Chania Girl over at Living Happiness, I have learned a lot as a new blogger. I've learned a lot about blogging. I've learned a lot about people. I've learned a lot about myself. I've surprised myself with how much I've learned in such a short time, and I've really been awed by the world a blogging, a world I'd heard of but never before visited. Perhaps it is the niche my blog is in, but I've encountered some really great, inspiring things as I've made my way through this new found world. Not only have I been surprised by what I've found in others' posts, but I've been quite startled, at times, by what I've found in my own. Blogging, I've discovered, is filled with surprises. And I, for one, love surprises! I love coming across an idea and realizing it would make a great post. I love coming across new posts that make me think about the world differently. I've learned so much from this experience (and it's been only three months!) and I am grateful for that.
This morning I went back and visited my very first post, positive and present (such a creative title, I know!), which I wrote on February 15, 2009 (or, rather, it was in the middle of the night on February 14, 2009 -- Valentine's Day -- which I think is particularly funny because I do love this blog quite a lot). It was so interesting to read it, knowing what I do about blogging now. First of all, I noticed that I didn't link to the two sites that inspired me to start this blog -- Think Simple Now and The Happiness Project (sorry, Tina and Gretchen -- the links are up and running now!) -- which is a major no-no. Though I didn't link to them originally, I realized what an impact these two blogs had on me. Never before had I thought so much about happiness or blogging. These blogs were truly, miraculously inspiring, and I cannot thank these two enough for pushing me in the direction of starting my own blog.
The next thing I noticed when reading back on my first post was how much I still agreed with it. Even after all I've learned, the words written there continue to be the foundation of this blog. They speak to me the very same way they spoke to me then. They also make me realize how far I've come in terms of my personal happiness in a very short time. I went from thinking, "Okay, I should start this blog to try to help myself be happier" to creating posts I love to write, meeting new, awesome bloggers, and diving headfirst into the wonderful posts of others. I research happiness now. I think about it. I do my best to embrace it. I'm certainly not Ms. Happy-Go-Lucky all of the time, but I've made a lot of progress -- and I still have so much more to learn.
Reading my first post reminded me of why I began writing this blog -- to find ways to cultivate happiness in my life. I've done this, but I had no idea how much the blog itself would generate happiness. Blogging -- writing posts, revising posts, reading posts, commenting on posts, receiving amazing support -- really does make my life better. Of course, this is just me. Blogging, for others, might be a pain. It might be a chore or an annoying thing to add to the dreaded To Do list. It might be something that's fun every once and awhile, not something that brings complete and utter joy. But for me, it is wonderful. I get to do what I love most -- writing -- and I get to write about whatever I want. I've chosen a niche and topic that keeps me focused on being positive in the present moment, something I've been needing to do for years, and that really helps make the whole experience that much more enjoyable. Whether or not you have a blog, whether you love it or find it just okay, take a look at the reasons I love blogging so much. Maybe you can relate...or maybe they will inspire you in some way...
The Benefits of Blogging
- Doing what I love.
I love, love, LOVE to write. When I created this blog, I gave myself the opportunity to write every single day. AND I gave myself a place to write about happy, positive things. No longer am I hiding behind my tragic nonfiction tales or spending hours and hours writing about sadness in my journal. Now I'm here, embracing positivity, and sharing it with the world (or, at least, with my loyal readers!).
- "Meeting" new people.
I've been blessed with some great, loyal, wonderful readers. Thank you all for being so supportive and for coming back to the site again and again. I love reading comments and I love finding new blogs through my own. Not only have I discovered new blogs in my comments sections, but I've also actively gone in search of new and interesting blogs. I've learned so much and gained quite a few online friends, who make my world a happier place (as do my real-life friends and family who are also loyal readers -- love you guys!).
- Exploring different ideas.
Creating this blog has helped me find new and different ways to think about the world. As I've mentioned countless times, I was the queen of negativity. I could see anything in a negative light and, clearly, that wasn't working so well for me. I was unhappy. I was making other people unhappy. Now that I'm focusing on living in the positive, present moment, I'm looking for the good in everything. I'm thinking about how I can turn situations into posts. I'm thinking about how I can embrace the negative and spin it around and around until it's positive. I don't know if I would be giving this much thought to positivity if it weren't for positively present!
- Learning more about technology.
Establishing domain names. Inserting images. Managing comments. Receiving link love. Retweeting. Stumbling. Creating links. Man, I'm learning a lot about blogs, the internet, computers, and websites. I can guarantee you that without this blog I wouldn't be on Twitter. I wouldn't know how to properly link to another website. I wouldn't have the skills that I do now. I've learned so much from experience, from trial and error, and also from other bloggers who have been kind enough to offer very helpful advice.
- Opening up to the world.
As you may have read in my post "unlock 10 ways to be more open," I'm not the most open of all the people in the world. I have trust issues. I'm scared of people for a lot of reasons. But this blog has REALLY helped me open up. I say things about myself that I wouldn't normally say. Because I am better at writing than communicating verbally (ask any of my exes if you want confirmation on that one!), I feel that I can connect better with people -- including people I see on a daily basis -- through my blog. I feel more open but somehow less vulnerable (and maybe this comes from all of the great support I get!).
- Sharing my insights with others.
As I mentioned in #5, I'm not all that open in general, but I feel that this blog is such an excellent venue for sharing my thoughts and ideas with the world. I get to be me, but not me. I get to open up and tell others what I think and they can read it at their leisure (or not). It's great to put my thoughts out there and have readers comment, saying, "Hey, me too!" I find it so uplifting to be able to share with others.
- Feeling connected to a niche.
Though I'm not entirely sure what my niche is (and I think this is because the niche I'm in is so broad and open-minded), but I love it. I love reading the blogs that are similar to -- and also so different from -- my own. I love learning new things relating to happiness and I also love coming across a post on the very same topic that I just posted on. I feel individual yet connected and this is a wonderful feeling.
- Believing in my purpose.
I don't know if this blog is my life's purpose. I'm not sure if I know exactly what my purpose is, but I do know this: I've always wanted to be a writer. People would ask me, "What do you want to write about?" I would fumble about, uncertain. A few years ago I concluded that I wanted to write something that people could relate to. I wanted people to get it, to connect with me, and to really enjoy reading what I write. This is happening. I am feeling connected with my readers and, from what I can tell, people enjoy this blog. I am living with a true purpose now.
- Developing myself personally.
You've seen this happening right before your eyes. I am growing, changing, morphing into a much better, happier, more open person who really does her best to live in the present moment. For those of you who know me, you know this isn't always me. I'm not always happy and I'm not always in the moment. But every single day I am getting better, happier. I really do believe that this blog has helped me grow as a person. Already I feel like I've grown so much and it's only been less than three months!
- Remembering to be positive and present.
The most important benefit, for me, is embracing positivity in the present moment. Though I can't always do it, I am doing the best I can to follow the mantra "live happily ever after now." Happily ever after isn't some distance fairy-tale future for me. There's no white knight or cheesy love story to bring me to the ultimate state of bliss. Happiness is right now, and every single post I write reminds me of this.
I hope you enjoyed reading why I enjoy blogging so much and, for those of you who have blogs, I hope you can relate to some of these benefits. I rarely ask my readers to take action, but today I am. I ask you, both readers and bloggers, to take a few moments to stop and think about blogging. If possible, I'd love to hear your insights. Every little comment makes me a better blogger, and writing comments makes you a better blogger or reader too. A win-win situation!
If you are a blogger:
Go back to your very first post. Re-read it. Think about it. What have you learned about blogging since then? What are the benefits YOU get from blogging?
If you are not a blogger:
Revisit your favorite blog. What do you like about that blog? How do YOU benefit from reading blogs like this and others?
Thanks in advance for your comments. I know it's the weekend so I may not get a ton of feedback (this whole idea seems a bit backward to me -- don't people have more time on the weekend? I guess I'm still learning all of the blogging kinks!), but whatever you can contribute would be wonderful. Not only will your comments help me grow as a blogger, but they will aid in the development of all the other bloggers reading this post. Share the blogging benefits love!