Where I’ve Been (and why I haven’t been blogging)

 

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Oh hi there. Sorry for being absent. I doubt you even noticed I’ve been quiet over here for some time. I meant to just take a few days off and then those few days turned into a couple of weeks. Ooops. 

So, where have I been? That’s the thing. No where. I’m doing my same old routine minus the blogging

. For the past few weeks the idea of blogging has gotten my kind of down. Blog is short for weblog, an online log of personal reflections, experiences, and thoughts. However, in the past few years, most blogs are shifting away from this original definition and turning into articles or advice pieces. There is competition to get more hits, expand your audience, and make a profit rather than simply sharing your story. Sometimes that fact discourages me from simply blogging about what I want to blog about. 

Lately I feel like everything is either “5 Tips to do this” or “10 Ways to Ensure this”. I share posts like these as well, but I feel disconnected when my entire feed is filled with posts like these where I learn nothing personal about the blogger writing them. In a world of over sharing, are we getting scared to share too much personal information? Are we too afraid to veer off on our own path? Afraid of losing readers and clicks? Are those aspects really more important than authenticity?

I like reading people’s stories and getting a glimpse into their life. The type of blogs that let me learn more about the human experience and how my little life fits into it. Simple and sometimes silly stories. For example over Super Bowl weekend when everyone was posting party snack recipes and game day fun, I could only think of this time back during Freshman year of college in 2002. While everyone else on my floor got together for beers and the big game I lied and said I had other plans. My “plans” were to hunker down in bed with a can of honey roasted peanuts and a Mary Kate and Ashley movie marathon on TV. I was equally content and lonely. 

That little story tells you a lot about myself. Much more than another “5 Tips to Beat the Winter Blues!” or “10 Way to Increase Blog Traffic!” posts. But that may just be me. I like people’s stories. The little things often are the big things.

So basically, what this rambling post comes down to is that I’m not done blogging, yet. I’m just done with a schedule or the pressure to post. I’m going to follow my own blogging path and share what I want, even if it’s not popular or Pintrest pinnable and even if it means this space remains empty for days at a time.  I want to share my story, however small and silly it may seem. I hope you’ll still be along for the ride!

What type of blogs do you like to read the most? Who are some of your favorite story tellers? What topics pique your interest? 

 

 

 

Go Big or Go Home

just messy make up free me

Some people wonder why I blog…

I started this little blog about 3 months ago and it has already taken me to places I never knew I’d go – or even knew existed!

I started this blog because a colleague suggested I write about newlywed life. I was hesitate and put it off for a month or so. And then, I started writing. At first, it was strictly going to be about wedding planning and newlywed life and my colleague was going to sponsor me. Very quickly, and I mean very, as in 3 days, it turned into something completely different.

The more I wrote, the more I read.

Before starting this blog, I never knew there was such a thing as the blogging community. I knew nothing about blogging – nothing about sponsorships, guest posts, giveaways, or how to best use social media to connect. There are millions of bloggers out there, connecting with each other on a daily basis. I have about 200 blogs in my bloglovin feed and there are many out of that list that I look forward to reading on the daily.

I love hearing others people’s stories, reading their words, and connecting. I love how I feel like they are speaking to me. Three months ago I had no idea how welcoming this blogging community was – that in just a few short weeks I’d be swapping ideas and connecting with other women across the country.

The more I wrote, the more self-aware I became

As a lifestyle blogger, I force myself to look at my day-to-day activities with a very intimate lens. I have learned to appreciate the small things more. This blog allows me to think more about my past, my future, and my choices.  Writing 4-5 posts  a week  forces me to be more creative. It has certainly slowed down my life and has brought a new perspective.

The more I wrote, the more I realized that I wanted to share.

Writing allows me to express myself.  This little corner of the internet serves as an outlet for me to be true to myself. The more I wrote, the more this little part of the internet felt like home to me.

I like to share my story because I believe in the power of words to connect people. If one person can relate to my story and have it make her (there aren’t any men that read this blog are there? If yes, then I’m sorry, keep reading!)  feel not so alone – that is enough for me.

I was inspired to write this post after Sarah at Venus Trapped in Mars discuss being open on the blog and asking her readers which type of blog they would rather read – “A blog without a face, so to speak, or a blog all about the face?”

My opinion?

Go big or go home.

This is my space to share my story and I’m going to be as personal as I can be. I want to connect.  I’m sorry but I just don’t connect with those bloggers that always have the perfect outfit on, with perfect makeup and talk about how perfect their lives are on the daily.

I’m not perfect and my life is far from it.

Sometimes I’m messy. Sometimes I’m broken. Sometimes I’m selfish and immature. Sometimes I’m insecure. But, I am me and this is my story. I titled my blog “A Beautiful Little Adventure” because everyone’s life is an adventure-there are going to be bumps in the road and you are going to get lost. But in the end, it’s always more about the journey and those moments when life’s little bumps turn into something beautiful.

I wrote a very personal post yesterday. It was my most personal post yet and it was also my most read post yet. A few family and friends may not understand why I want to put so much personal information out their on the internet. They just don’t get it, and that’s a okay! But this is my story to tell, no one has to read it. But some people keep coming back each day and it makes me smile.

I’ve committed myself to this little lifestyle blog – so I’m going to give it my all. Why only give little snippets of the story or allude to what really happened? Why mask the truth?

My most personal posts are the most rewarding to write. They make this big scary world into a smaller place. They celebrate the little messy puzzle pieces of our lives and connect them into a beautiful thing.

I’m committed to go big, to share it all, and to continue to write my little heart out.

Thank you.

xoxo katie

 

 

{Love Story Part 1} When I Lost Sight of Love

wrightsville beach, abla

After posting our “abridged” love story, I promised to one day write Ryan and I’s full love story. But in order to tell our love story, I have to start with my history with love. You see, every good love story has a good back story. It makes it all that more special when you know the journey that led the lovers to each other. So this is part of my story.

The part of my story that is all my own. The part of my story that has shaped me into the woman I have become. The part of my story that left me wounded.

The part of my story that in time redefined my definition of love.

Let’s go back in time to when I was engaged to a different man, no boy. Yes, I was engaged before during a time that feels like a lifetime ago. You see, four years ago I had a completely different life in Chicago and was preparing myself for a future that looks so different from where I am now.

My old story began back in 2004. I met my ex in college when we were silly and free – still kids at heart. We dated for 5 years. After I graduated I accepted a job in Annapolis to be close to him as he was still in college. Two years later, we moved in together. He was my first adult love. But, I was ready to grow up and he was still maturing. Things were not perfect, but after we had been together for so long the next logical step seemed to get married. We got engaged in the winter of 2008 and I was happy. I do remember being happy, it’s hard to see myself like that now, knowing what was to come. I dove into wedding planning. We picked a date, a venue, and vendors. We were moving ahead, together.

The future was looking bright. He had a job offer in Chicago and after some very careful planning, negotiating, and talking we decided together that this was the right move for us. I would quit my job and move to Chicago for him. So, in the Spring of 2009 I packed up my life and moved half way across the country, putting all my faith into our future together. It was so hard to say goodbye to my friends, my family, my beloved east coast. But, as the die-hard romantic that I am, I trusted my heart and my love.

My time in Chicago was a big adjustment. I missed my family, I missed my friends, I missed any sign of normalcy. Even he started to change. It was scary but I tried to stay positive.

Then, during the week of September 28, 2009, the world as I knew it ended. I was vacationing for a week at my favorite beach in NC, Wrightsville Beach with my mom and two of her girlfriends. During this time, my brother and his wife lived there as well. The beach is where I feel the most serene – so I was ecstatic to leave the already chilly Chicago on a plane to go see my mom at the sunny and warm beach.

katie all smiles at the beach

He stayed behind – as this as a girls’ trip. After my second day there, I knew something was up. He wasn’t answering any of my phone calls. Even after I left frantic messages and called his parents. As the worrier that I am, I was picturing the worst. My mind was creating images of him lying dead on the floor while Maggie cried and licked his face.

My fun in the sun was halted, because I just knew, in my gut that something was not right. Two days later and he was still not answering any messages, from me or his parents. I was mad, I was scared, I was full of rage.

Yet, I tried to keep smiling.

And then, 5 days into my trip I received the phone call that changed everything. We were out at a nice group dinner at a Thai restaurant. I loved this restaurant and was so mad that he was ruining this for me.

indochine dinner

It had been five days since I had talked to him. Every single tear filled voice message was left ignored. I must have left around 20. And then, during that dinner, my phone rang.

Writing this makes my hands shake and causes my stomach to do flips. Not that I’m still hurt – but just because I can still remember being that girl. I can still feel how it felt to step outside of the restaurant and hear my fiance that I love say, “I don’t want to marry you anymore. I don’t think I love you anymore.”

I no longer remember what I said. Or how I initially reacted. I do remember feeling nauseous. I do remember feeling like this couldn’t be true. I do remember feeling like everything inside of me turned into dust and disintegrated. I do remember walking back into the restaurant and trying to smile but the tears streamed down my face uncontrollably.

That evening, I sat on my bed and screamed and cried while my mom rubbed my back. What a blessing to be with her when I received this news. I was hysterical and nothing could help me.

After everyone else went to bed, I sat on the deck facing the ocean and it is so quiet except for the sound of the crashing waves which is competing with the pounding of my heart. My pain seems to take up the whole beach and ocean and I feel so alone, drowning in it.

beachview

I called my best friend around 2 am and she picked up and listened. She was so supportive and insisted that it couldn’t be over. But, telling someone else only made it more of a fact – I knew that this part of my life had concluded.

If only I had known then that it was only that, a part, a small segment, of my life that was over. In that moment it felt like all was lost.

I had built my life around him. I had left my job, a city I loved, my friends, my family, my everything to be with him. I had no idea who I was without him. It was like someone had died. Five years of my life vanished. The memories, the laughs, the love were all a waste. My heart was ripped out and discarded. As I sat there listening to the waves crash on the shore, I imagined myself as a lifeless piece of seaweed getting pulled under the current and pushed out to sea, never to see these shores again.

I couldn’t imagine facing him. I couldn’t imagine even facing my own heart. I had no idea how I was going to make my way back on a plane in two days and confront my future.

I didn’t know what love was anymore.

And, more importantly, I was afraid I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Stay tuned for {Love Story Part 2} Rewriting My Story 

xoxo katie