Woot woot! I'm celebrating the one-year anniversary of my blog. ♥ Flynt Floss is my spirit animal, and this is the dance I am doing right now, on repeat, just like him:
My blog-baby is one year's old! She's crawling. She's making noises that almost sound like words. She sleeping better at night.
Ok.... I'm going to stop with this analogy because I don't have kids yet, so I really don't know what happens at the one year stage. But I do know I'm very proud of The City Dweller blog and the difference it has made in my life in the last year.
Allow me to take a moment to pay homage to the blog that greatly inspired mine, The Londoner.
The Londoner blog is run by a girl named Rosie and she, as you might guess, lives in London. She was my true inspiration to start this, and I modeled much of my blog on hers because she was doing what I wanted to be doing... which I guess could be summed up as having the freedom in her life to do what she wants.
As far as me emulating her blog, she is gracious enough to know that using the flame from your candle to light someone else's does not take away from your flame. It only creates more light in the world. I appreciate her buoyant outlook on life.
I discovered her blog at a low moment in my life. I'd flown home to visit my family for a week... but ended up catching a cab back to the airport to return to Atlanta less than nine (9) hours after my arrival. Why, you ask? Because my family and I got into the biggest, most ridiculous fight ever.
Aaaand since my folks had recently moved to a small town with a small airport, there were no planes leaving at that hour of the night... so my pride kept me at the airport overnight.
I felt the disappointment that walking out had caused both me and my family. Not only had we lost a fun vacation that we were all looking forward to, but we were each bothered by what happened. But as I spent the night at the airport, I did not regret the argument, nor have I regretted it since. It felt important to me to stand my ground, and I have noticed an evolution in our family relations since then. So while I am not advocating getting into big ass fights, they can certainly have value sometimes. Painful and confusing in the moment, but important in the long run.
Another reason I don't regret the experience is because I discovered The Londoner that night, a blog which has changed the trajectory of my life.
As the hours ticked by, I got bored and started wondering what websites I should surf on my smart phone. I didn't really follow many blogs, and in that moment, that seemed like a major oversight; if I had a list of blogs that I followed on the topics I enjoy, then that would be ready entertainment during my dramatic exodus. I liked to travel, so I Googled "travel blogs" and found a top ten list somewhere. The Londoner's blog was on there because she does a fair amount of traveling; she was my first introduction to the blog world.
And so began my fascination with her blog, with a generous dose of life-envy. Her life seemed so fun! She was out and about, experiencing her city and the world, whereas somewhere along life's journey I'd developed a bit of myopia and could only see a few feet ahead of me, metaphorically speaking. It wasn't what I wanted, but at the time I didn't recognize my own power to make some changes.
Eventually I did, though. I wish I could remember the exact moment when it clicked that I could go from envying Rosie's blog to making one of my own, but I don't remember it. It just happened. I had experience with websites from my job and also from the book I published, and little by little I began putting pieces together: a name, a logo, content I wanted to write about. My blog became kind of an accountability standard for living my life more "out loud". I needed things to write about, therefore I'd have to get out and about.
Getting out and about was a good thing for me because at times I can be a very cerebral person, very much in my own head. So, it was all a win-win.
And indeed, I have won a lot with this blog. I've grown even closer to my roommate and friend T because of it. She was my biggest supporter in the beginning; I still remember us having hours-long chats about The City Dweller, neither of us realizing that so much time was passing because it was fun to deconstruct a project like this and do the work to build a brand.
Because this is indeed a brand. It had the humblest of beginnings and now it's something that I am very proud of. People write to me about it, invite me places, share ideas and tips and stories. I Google things to try out and learn the HTML to make it happen. The graphics, the layout, the social media, the content.... I've benefited a lot from starting this blog, a lot of usable, marketable skills. My blog-baby is very dear.
I've still got a lot to learn, but I'm having a great time thus far. Taking a camera with me to capture moments is very fun for me, so I hope you've been enjoying the content. If you stop by frequently but haven't commented yet, feel free to do so. I won't bite.
If you're wondering what some of my fave posts have been, here are a couple:
The East Atlanta Car Show:
Atlanta Caribbean Parade:
I am very thankful for all those who've made the journey with me. It's been a very fun collaborative experience thus far, and it continues to get better.
Some highlights of the year:
- I became a blogger for the Atlanta Convention & Visitor's Bureau, writing for Atlanta.net
- I attended the BronzeLens Film Festival, which was beyond incredible for me, as an aspiring filmmaker
- I became a samba dancer, which goes back to a love-affair that I've (mentally) had with Brazil for like a decade
- I've taken my love of crafting to a whole new level, selling my pillows and handbags online
Yep, all of this in 2013. Idk how I've managed to keep up with the blog (cuz I was working full time for most of the year; I've only recently gone part-time). I don't particularly have hordes more energy than the average person, but I suppose I am pretty organized.
Nah, that's a friggin lie. I'm just motivated, ha.
Alright, before this post goes on forever, I'll close it out with MAJOR SHOUTS OUT once again to my awesome photographer and friend T who gave me so much support and good ideas during the start of this blog. She's still around and awesome; she's just got school now and has different demands on her time.
Last thing I'll say is if any readers out there are on a journey to start a blog, I say do it! It is hard work, don't get me wrong, but very, very rewarding. ♥
Also, I just want you to know that I've appreciated each comment, email, Facebook message, Twitter tweet, constructive criticism, and high-five that you've given me. I'm not blogging to be self-indulgent, but rather to share the things that I enjoy with anyone who likes those things as well. The first year of the blog has been a blast.
Cheers to the next year!