(originally posted on 23 August 2017)
A year ago today I posted my first blog post on The Brunette Blogger and I am so thankful that I stopped putting it off and finally sat down, created my blog, and started writing. Writing has become my favorite and most effective outlet and I love being able to share my life, my experiences, and my writing with others. This blog has seen many highs and many lows, some of my lowest of lows. This blog has carried me through the death of a loved one, a devastating heart-break, skydiving, my 21st birthday, a family cruise, two graduations, and the adventures and struggles that come with everyday life. This blog has been my personal diary that I’ve opened up for the world to read, which can be really scary. Which is why it’s taken me justttt shy of a year to actually start sharing what I write. Some of the hardest things I’ve ever written, some of the most painful things I’ve ever written, and some of the proudest things I have written live within this blog. Looking back at all the other 79 blog posts I’ve shared with the world, it’s very motivating to see how I’ve grown. Not only have I grown personally, but to see how my writing has grown, sparks a light inside of me and pushes me to continue writing.
Besides sharing my own personal writing, I originally started The Brunette Blogger to promote positivity which is something that is extremely important to me and something that I am utterly passionate about. But it wasn’t always that way, I wasn’t always a happy go-lucky type of person. In fact, I was quite the opposite. I feel like I had always sorta been that way, but I distinctly remember when I started actively noticing I was a debby downer. It was the winter of my junior year of high school, basketball cheer tryouts. I was on varsity for football season and it was so much fun! Cheering for basketball was my favorite. So I was totally looking forward to the upcoming season. Until the end of tryout week, when results were posted. And I had been selected for the JV squad.
Looking back now, it feels silly that such a small event in my life had such a significant impact on me from that day forward. But at that time it really did feel like the end of the world. Everybody at school, including people who I didn’t know (and didn’t know me) still knew I was a cheerleader. So when that was taken away from me (I decided not to stay on JV and I ended up quitting) it felt like I didn’t know who I was and I became super self-conscious. I turned my self-consciousness into hatefulness and began to hate everything, and (almost) everybody in my life. I used hate, kind of like a defense mechanism, and I just went downhill from there. This feeling washed over me, such a strange feeling that I don’t even know how to describe, and it stayed with me. And I let that one event negatively effect me for the next 2ish years.
Until December 31, 2013. New Years Eve. I had moved from Germany to Tennessee the summer of 2013 and that’s when Tal moved in with me. We were basically each others only friend, we didn’t really have any interest in making friends when we were leaving the following summer anyway. But, it was NYE and Tal had gone back to Connecticut to visit her family so I was home alone feeling sorry for myself. I was drowning in a pool of self-pity, sorrow, and sadness when I decided to look up “Mod Sun”, someone I had heard about from Meghan Hughes on YouTube. And I fell in love. Mod Sun and Meghan both promoted positivity and loved life. I wanted that, I wanted to be like that. I heard both Meghan and Mod Sun talk about “The Secret”, which is a documentary on Netflix all about the Law of Attraction. I ordered Mod Sun’s book “Did I Ever Wake Up” and pressed play on my Netflix screen. And in that moment, my life changed forever.
It’s so weird to describe, because it was literally like a switch flipped in me. And I started the new year as a brand new person. I remember that first month, my whole family (especially my mom and sisters) would make so much fun of me! I was over the top happy and positive all the time. But I felt so good. And I felt truly happy for what felt like the first time in years. On March 2, 2014 I left myself a note in my phone that reads, “Happiest from this point on.” And from then on, I have strived every day to find the good in any and every situation. I’ve been on my happiness journey for a little over 3 years now and I still struggle. That’s why it’s a journey, never a destination. “Happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.” This year has really pushed me to my limits and forced me to dig deep and find a reason to be happy. Going through heartache is awful and it was terribly difficult some days for me to find the good. And to be transparently happy. And although it’s been such a struggle, it has been such a blessing. It has reminded me of the strength and courage I embody. It has reminded me of the decision I made 3 years ago, a decision that turned out to be the absolute best decision of my life. It has changed who I am as a person, it has changed my mentality and my thought process, it has changed every aspect of my life for the better. It breaks my heart to look back at the girl I was in high school but my heart heals when I look in the mirror and see who I’ve become. And what I’ve overcome. Like I said, there are still hard days, days where I wake up and the first breath of the day feels like I’ve got pounds of bricks laying on my chest because the day is already so heavy. But I also know and whole heartedly believe that your mentality is your reality. I believe that every day may not seem good but there is something good in every day. I believe that there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for, and the more grateful that you are— the more you will have to be grateful for. I believe that your happiness starts with YOU and that happiness is a CHOICE. So choose it.
The Secret changed my life and I think everybody has something to gain or learn from watching, and I think everybody should watch. If you have a Netflix account you can find the documentary there or you can watch it HERE on YouTube.
As I reflect on this past year I also find myself reflecting on my entire happiness journey thus far. It has been a wild road for sure and I am grateful for every bump in the road as much as I am grateful for the smooth streets. Each day, each hardship, and each moment I’ve felt high on life has taught me a lesson. I can’t imagine what my life would look like had I never made a change on NYE 2013, and really I don’t want to. Because I’m positive my life wouldn’t look as good as it does now. 2014 was hands down the BEST year of my life, but I think 2017 has a good chance at topping it. And that’ll be my goal, my New Years resolution every year, to make each year the new best year of my life.
I want to thank those who have stuck by my side through it all…
My family. Even though you all made fun of me I’m glad you never discouraged me from what I was doing. An extra special thanks to my old man for being the biggest “happiness inspiration” in my life. I remember one thing you would tell me “every day is a good day” and now I can completely agree!
Tal. You’ve been there from day one, from 7th grade at Illing Middle School to present day as members of the USAF. I can’t thank you enough for simply being who you are. You’ve seen me at my best moments and you’ve seen me at my worst (and ugliest) moments. No matter what, you never judge me and you always love me. Even if I am being a brat. Thank you for never giving up on me and being my BFE for almost 10 years now.
Andrew. Thank you for being another positive influence in my life. You’ve seen me smile the brightest but also cry the hardest. You help me in my times of struggle when it’s hard for me to find the good and you love me unconditionally. You pushed me so hard to step out of comfort zone and leave my fears behind me, you pushed me and motivated me to start my own blog site. You are one of the biggest reason I am even sitting here writing this post. I appreciate you immensely, so thank you.
And a few thank yous to those to initiated my happiness journey…
Meghan Hughes. The content you produce and the message you preach has impacted my life so greatly, it is because of you I discovered Mod Sun, The Secret, and the Law of Attraction. You are a light in the lives of so many and you are leaving a beautiful impact on this world. I can’t think of a better way to end this than to say thank you and stay smilin!
Mod Sun. Thank you for sharing your music, voice, and thoughts with the world. You are the happiest hippie I know and I’m so grateful this world has a soul like yours! Never stop doing what you’re doing and never stop being who you are. We need more people like you. “If you woke up, that’s a reason to celebrate.”
And to all of you, whoever it is that reads my blog posts. Thank you. One of my biggest dreams is to have the same effect on someone that the people above have had on me. I want to inspire, motivate, and push people to be the best and happiest versions of themselves. This blog is my first stepping stone on that journey. And I don’t know if I or my words have had any impact on anybody yet, but I hope that someday they will. Thank you for taking time out of your life to read, like, comment, and share my posts. It really does mean the world to me.
I am so ecstatic to see what the next 12 months bring me. But no matter what, I know I will be writing and I will happy. And that’s really all the matters. Happiness is the most important thing.
Happy one year anniversary to The Brunette Blogger and here’s to the next 12 months!