LESSONS LEARNED - 30 DAYS OF BLOGGING

Well, I did it! Thirty consecutive days of blog posts. Awesome! I didn't think I could do it. I almost quit once or twice. I spent so much of my life this month doing blogging things. And I learned a lot.

This is going to be a pretty honest post. Not that the rest of them aren't. But usually I'm sharing happy and positive vibes 24/7 and it's not that this is a negative post; it's just honest.

August started out great for me. I was on vacation exploring the beach and the mountains. Two of my absolute favorite places. So much happiness and exploration. I came back from my trip feeling okay, trying to get back into the swing of things. And here's where we run into the brick wall... because that didn't go so well. Honestly, I feel like I'm still swinging, trying to find that good balance but being swayed back and forth by unexpected wind storms or something crazy like that. Ever since I got back things have been tough for me. But I've been charging along and doing my thing. I'm not sure if the business of getting a blog post up everyday was a good distraction or an aid in destruction. 

That probably sounds dramatic. Let me back up a bit.

I'm okay. I still have my job, my boyfriend, family, house, car, dogs, money, food, etc. that I am obviously very grateful for. But my mind has been a bit shaky. I have "it all" but I feel uneasy. Things have been a struggle. Tense. Anxiety provoking. Not fun.

There are a few things that I can point back to these feelings and after this past weekend I have addressed them. Communication. That's the ticket. Taking steps in the right direction. Good deal. Smooth sailing from here, right?

Yeah, no.

Yesterday came along and I was feeling wobbly again. Not in a physical sense, just in my head. I wasn't as calm and centered as I know I can be. I drove home from work, threw myself a pity party, and then I had somewhat of an epiphany. What an afternoon!

I'm doing all of the things that I want with this blog. I'm into it. I like the things I post about and it's typically fun for me to share. The problem is that I was surrounding myself online with people that didn't necessarily align with my beliefs. Everyday I was checking social media accounts and blogs of people that weren't on the same page as I'm on. I'd look at this content and feel bored, uninspired, or just plain bad about myself because I wasn't doing what they were doing.

Here's the deal. I use the internet as a place to learn, be inspired, and feel good about myself. Yeah, that means sometimes binge watching YouTube videos and getting sucked into Buzzfeed articles. That also means investing time into others lives, connecting, supporting, and just enjoying the content that stumble upon out in the online world. 

I'm pretty particular about my social media accounts. And my relationships in real life, but that's a story for another day! I like to follow people that I want to invest my time and energy into. At one point, those people that I followed did inspire me and make me happy. But that's no longer the case. That simply changed over time and I've veered into a different direction than they have. Which isn't a bad thing. Variety is the spice of life. It's not that I don't like these people or think they're bad. I'm just not in a space where I'm able to absorb their content in a positive way. So I unfollowed them. Created space. Took care of myself. I think that's exactly the direction that I need to be going.

Okay, recap of what I've learned and valued the most over these past thirty days.
Surround yourself, online and in real life, with people that inspire you and help you grow. If someone makes you feel inadequate or bad for anything that you're doing differently let them go.
Communicate with those around you about how your feeling.
Don't give up on the goals!
Work hard and put your all into what you're trying to achieve.
Smile and have fun.

I've changed a lot over the past year and I think this blog easily reflects that. Change is good. It equals growth. And I feel like I've grown so much, especially over the past month of struggles. I'm not out yet, but I'm on my way towards the light once again. And this time around I'll be shining a bit brighter than before. 

LINKS TO LOVE // AUGUST

Hey you! August is coming to an end here in a very short amount of time. I'm sure you're well aware of that by now though! I figured that in celebration of the last month of summer that I'd try something new; Links to Love. I'm just going to use this as a series of things to share that I've found around the internet and ended up enjoying and/or finding beneficial. Fun, right?!

Let's start out on a positive note with a little inspiration!

The all or nothing approach isn't the best approach to success.

Okay, you must try this yoga video. It was absolutely delicious. Bonus points if you do it outside on a sunny day!

Taking steps towards your life purpose. New motto, new project. Awesome, awesome.

Why yoga should be like your kitchen. I. Love. This. 

Such a good message about listening to your body and moving from a place of ease rather than stress and tension.

Massive emotional progress. Because mental health is so important.

Chocolate chip cookie dough overnight oats. YES PLEASE.

And just some healthy chocolate chip cookie dough to keep the theme going!

The Appalachian Trials website (and Instagram!) and reading all of the hiking adventures shared my various people is so good.

I'm obsessed with making to-do lists. Here's a great way to get into it and get things done!

Let me know what some of your favorite things floating around the internet have been this month!