Looking Back: Then and Now*

This post is a part of 20SB’s Looking Back Blog Carnival, and Ben & Jerry’s is awarding free ice cream to lucky bloggers and readers!

As you may (or may not) know, I recently found a wonderful little online community called 20 Something Bloggers. I have found some of my most favorite reads through that site, and for those looking to expand their readership, it’s a great way to introduce people to your blog / who you are.

This fabulous little community also puts on “Blog Carnivals” from time to time. I’ve never participated in a Blog Carnival before, but I really liked the theme of this one, so here I am! This carnival is titled “Looking Back”, and the idea is to go back to your very first posts and see who you were / why you were writing way back when. I started writing at the end of 2006 because I needed an outlet… I was really struggling in many areas of my life and I needed to find myself again. After countless hours of writing and reading (and lots of love and support from you) I eventually did and love who I am now.

So, thank you. I really am grateful that you visit my little site. :)

This is a post I wrote on December 16th, 2006, just three weeks after I started this blog. It was late one evening and this is what came out… it was titled “Struggling”:

I’ve been sitting here going through some of my previous blogs, and I realized that I have done exactly what I intended not to do. I set out to have a place to write my opinions and thoughts on different things, and instead have been writing out recaps of my daily activities because it’s much easier. I have a lot of trouble talking or even writing my opinion because I constantly struggle with what people think of me. I’ve somehow settled into this mentality that what I have to say is never good enough and so I just say nothing it all, unless it is something I am ferociously passionate about.

I think that a lot of it has to do with the many immense changes that have taken place in my life during the past 5 years. I have moved 4 times, attended 3 high schools and 2 universities, got married, been through family struggles both with my own and with my husband’s, and have struggled to find myself in the face of each of these changes. I guess I’ve never sat back and realized the toll it has taken on who I was and whom I am becoming. The strength, motivation and courage to not be afraid to be myself somehow got tangled in the process and I have to admit that I now have low self-esteem, or at least lower than I did before. I’m not blaming that entirely on all the changes I’ve been through, I know it’s also a large part of my finally accepting that I am now an adult and face adult responsibilities. I feel as though I am constantly struggling with how people perceive me and am afraid to be myself in fear of offending or turning someone ‘off’, as ridiculous as that sounds. I’ve built this huge shell an am terrified to let new people in.

I don’t know how it started, but I want it to stop. I need to find a way to rebuild myself, maybe completely from scratch. I need to stop worrying about what other people think about me. I have no reason to– I have a wonderful family who loves and supports me, a husband who loves me unconditionally for exactly who I am, and a strong network of friends who have seen me through thick and thin. So where is this coming from? That’s the million dollar question. And maybe when I figure that out I can do something about it. But I’m hoping that admitting it will help me. So, there it is.

Shop Girl*

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