This is a guest post written by Alicia Harris from Sunny Expectations.
It is my pleasure to share with you a little bit about my experiences as a new blogger. I created my blog, Sunny Expectations, nearly four months ago on Christmas Day. That morning, I had woken up early to a quiet house consumed with sadness and heartache. My daughter was with her father for the holiday, per our parenting plan, and I was a mess. Out of a tear-filled, lonely morning, Sunny Expectations was born.
How Blogging Became My Outlet
My decision to create a blog was based on two things: to provide myself with a project in which I could express my creativity, and to help other women who were struggling. With these two goals in mind, I jumped head first into the blogging world, despite knowing next to nothing about it. I was on a mission to create something meaningful for myself and for others - there was no turning back. Starting completely from scratch, I created something that I have become extremely proud of. Blogging became my outlet and has already made a tremendous impact in my life.
Coming up with a blog name was difficult for me. I wanted my blog to have a name that was meaningful and represented my goals. I had lots of different ideas but nothing seemed to fit. After several hours with no luck, I wrote a list of ideas for topics that I wanted to blog about. This list was pretty negative and depressing as it included my struggles, hardships, illness, etc. Who would want to read this depressing stuff?’ I thought. I knew that I wanted to use the negativity in my life, shine some light on it, and spread that light to others. A little while later, after contemplating many different options, I decided on Sunny Expectations.
Once I had chosen a name, everything else seemed to fall into place. I had direction, my blog had a purpose, and I had a vision of what Sunny Expectations could be. I began writing about my experiences with the intent of helping others. I poured my emotions out into my posts and the words just seemed to flow. From years of pain, heartbreak, and challenges, I was able to write about my experiences and discover personal growth.
Aside from the massive amount of information I have learnt about blogging, I have also learnt a great deal about myself. Writing about personal experiences has caused me to analyse the decisions I have made, as well as take a look at how I live my life. Blogging has caused me to think about those experiences in my past that I’ve tried so hard to bury and move on from.
What I learned:
1. I did not deal with my divorce in a healthy way. I was so consumed with taking care of my daughter and preventing her from being hurt from by what was going on that I didn’t take care of myself. I didn’t eat well or get enough sleep. I was under constant stress, forced to stifle the feelings I had. I kept those feelings of betrayal, abandonment, sadness, and anger inside, because I had a one year old to raise and provide for, and a full-time job. The health issues that I am struggling with today are a result of how I dealt with a significant time in my life.
2. I lack self-confidence. I have low self-esteem and often feel as though I am insignificant. Through writing, it became apparent just how much I needed to gain confidence in myself. Acknowledging my lack of confidence has helped me learn to change my way of thinking.
3. I am stronger because of my experiences. Until reading my own posts, I did not realise just what I have accomplished and how much strength I have demonstrated. I overcame obstacles, have succeeded in many aspects of my life, and have created a positive circle of family and friends to be my support centre. Through adversity, I have come out better than before.
Why I needed an outlet
For nearly 8 years I have carried around a huge weight on my shoulders. Blogging has removed that weight in a way that I had not anticipated. My initial thoughts on starting a blog were that I would have something to look forward to and have fun creating. I thought that it would be a great hobby to keep me busy when I had down time. What I didn’t expect was how therapeutic blogging about my experiences would be.
Keeping my negative feelings inside for so long has done so much damage. I have carried around a burden that has impacted my ability to be a mother, a friend, a family member, and a coworker. I avoided my feelings as best I could by staying busy, or so I thought. I walked around with a dark cloud over my head, in denial about how not addressing my feelings was impacting my life.
In the short time that I have been blogging, I have forced myself to address the many issues of my past that have been haunting me. This outlet that blogging has provided has removed the weight that I was carrying around. I feel renewed, hopeful, and have gained a new confidence in myself. I don’t have to hold onto the feelings that I kept bottled up inside. Through my blogging outlet, I can release them and move forward with my life.
Discover your outlet
I believe that everyone needs an outlet. Whether that outlet is through blogging, communicating with a trusted friend, counselling or therapy, or another form of expression, it is so important to get feelings and emotions out. What works for one person may not work for others. Blogging has never been something that I considered myself doing, until I tried it - and I am so thankful that I did.
Find something that sets your emotions free and discover your own outlet.
I, Alicia, created the blog, Sunny Expectations, in December 2015. I find inspiration for my blog through my experiences as a single, divorced mother of a beautiful nine year old daughter, a Middle School PE teacher, and a woman in my mid-thirties trying to navigate through life.
Blogging has taught me so much about myself and has given me a renewed sense of self-worth. My hope is that sharing my stories of struggles, accomplishments, and my journey to find happiness, health, and an improved quality of life will inspire others.