In my horrendously messyfreshman dorm room, perched against my lofted bed, thinking of a title to slap on the new blog I created on a whim. Little did I know, I was headed straight for the hardest, worst six months of my life. The phrase "when it rains, it pours" couldn't have been truer.
Rejection after rejection, failure after failure. I was bewildered and lost and insecure... and also, the classes at Stanford were really, really difficult! My grandfather passed away, and then a month later, my grandmother did too. I was sobbing in bed the day I turned nineteen, so convinced was I that there was not a thing going right in my world.
(Interlude: and here you thought blogiversary stories are not supposed to be depressing.)
Don't get me wrong, those six months brought plenty of goodness, too. But my heart breaks a little bit when I think about how sad and inadequate and scared I felt back then.
I didn't post much on the blog in those days. An update here, a collection of Instagrams there. Popping in every now and then when I felt like it. No, you see, it was the summer after those six months that I began to post consistently, that I started to blog with fervor about mostly stupid, sometimes thoughtful things that tickled me.
You don't see much evidence of those hard months, not even if you were to peek through the archives and find the handful of posts from that stormy season. I'd always meant for this place to be far removed from woes and worries.
But in many ways, I'll always regard this space as one that played a huge part in the rebuilding of me. The first half of 2012 sucked, but the months and years following were very much so the opposite. This blog saw that trajectory, and it is a documentation of the triumphs and joys that are sure to come after the times that aren't all rainbows and butterflies.
Perpetually Caroline reminded me to notice the little moments, to appreciate the every day, to revel in the ordinary. It's pushed me to try new things, explore new places, keep an open mind. It's seen me and my friends through college, held my hand as I lived in NYC for a summer by myself, and played a direct and indirect role in clinching not one, not two, but three real world jobs. It's been there as I visited USA cities new to me, as I survived Chinese summers, as I studied abroad at Oxford and seminar-ed in Croatia and gallivanted through Europe two years in a row. And now, it's so steadfastly and comfortingly there as I navigate my way through my first steps into the real world.
I'm not what you'd consider a professional / serious blogger. Please. I dabble in social media at best, I watch TV rather than crank out content if I'm tired, I'm an idiot when it comes to monetization or website upkeep or researching revenue streams. But I'll always show up – with my thoughts, a few pretty pictures, and hopefully some quips to make you smile. This blog – and you. All of you. – is priceless to me, and something I will forever be grateful for.
(Mostly because I'll always have an excuse to obnoxiously snap photos during brunch.)