I had intended to write this post weeks ago, but with moving and my impending departure for Miami I instead find myself typing this entry in the Minneapolis airport much later than I’d hoped. I’ve been busy and stressed and suddenly faced with a nearly five-hour layover I have the time to simply sit down, write and create some sense of connection with my thoughts. Now I can breath and look back on a successful move that included dramatically hoisting an oversized sofa over an ancient balcony and look forward to a week of work and play on the beaches of Miami. I have downtime for the first time in weeks and my mind still races with what was and what will be. But now I’ll just concentrate on the post I’ve owed you all and write what has been floating in my brain all that time. Welcome to 400.
Today marks my 400th blog post. Originally titled “Girl and Guitar,” what started as a personal project has grown and evolved into so much more than a simple hobby. In the over two years of its existence, it has changed names and experienced redesigns, but the concept has stayed the same – simple, humorous honesty.
When I began writing all those posts ago, my goal wasn’t to gain readership or some type of anonymous online notoriety. Having recently graduated college, I was planning on furthering my education. The only problem was I didn’t quite know what that meant and what path that furthering might take. So I began writing. The idea was to keep myself mentally engaged while I weighed my options and figured out where I was going.
But I had never been very good at journaling. In fact my childhood and adolescence is intermittently chronicled in dozens of mostly empty notebooks and diaries. While I was always pretty good at beginning, I wasn’t very good at turning those beginnings into anything remotely resembling a middle or an ending. And that’s what led me to blogging. For some reason the idea that my personal musings would exist in a setting as public as the Internet seemed like it might force me to follow through and actually stick with writing. Apparently I was right.
I created my blog and I began writing with no real direction or purpose. I had no idea what I really wanted to say, so I started writing simply what came to mind. Eventually, working full time as a Hooters Girls started to understandably infiltrate my blog posts. A few posts about my job turned into a few more and before I knew it “Girl and Guitar” was more “Girl and Hooters.” And to my surprise people started reading. I had unintentionally become the blogging Hooters Girl.
Looking back at all these posts, I am amazed at the reach this blog has achieved. I hadn’t anticipated having any audience yet here I am with over 1,000 followers and hundreds of page views – or more – daily. While I’ve certainly had aids to my success – such as being Blogger’s “Blog of Note” – in the end it owes itself to dedication, drive and discipline. Traits I initially thought didn’t exist within my writing.
When I really think about everything this blog has brought to my life I am utterly amazed. I took a simple personal project and effectively created something that helped my get into graduate school, freelance write, connect with interesting people the world over and perhaps most importantly develop myself as an individual. I effectively created myself an opportunity that has changed my life in so many dramatic ways. It’s a labor of love that has paid off like I could never have imagined when I wrote that first post. In fact if told me this blog would bring me to this very spot typing in the Minneapolis Airport now I never would have believed you. Ever.
Where all of this leads me is to the importance of going above and beyond and making your own opportunities. The world doesn’t wait for people. The world instead waits for people to pick up and do things for themselves. The world is about personal challenges. Sometimes these things are simple and sometimes they’re big changes, but all of them have to start within the individual. I am a firm believer that life is what you make it. It just takes time and effort. And trust me, I’m here to boldly say all that time and effort are certainly worth it.
So thank you for sticking with me and reading my journey. I am excited to see where else my writing takes me and I hope you’ll come along for the ride. I wouldn’t be half the writer I am today if I didn’t have so many people commenting, emailing and generally supporting what I’m doing. I can honestly say I don’t think I would have lasted this long without you and for that I am thankful.
I leave you on this 400th post with what is hopefully some small (or no so small) inspiration to go out there and do something for yourself and just see what happens. You might be very surprised at the places you could end up. The world is full of chance; hopefully you’ll take yours.