It’s me again, how are you all? I hope life has been treating you well, as it has been treating me, and that you all are growing and embracing life.
I’m happy to report I have been happily living and working in Minneapolis for the last four months, thoroughly submersed in a new season of life. I’ve been reading back on many of my own posts lately, reminiscing about the various places I traveled almost two years ago. I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to start this blog and upon reflection, I thought I would share why I started it in the first place.
Writing in a journal has been something I’ve done since I can remember. Going to summer camp I would make sure to bring my little spiral journal with polka dots on it and meticulously write out my day before I went to sleep. I never felt pressure to write everyday, just when something was important enough and deemed worthy of my efforts. This originally just meant writing down when I had a great day. A fun adventure, a sleepover with friends, a new activity I was doing, but slowly this morphed into an outlet for me to also write about my feelings. It became a bouncing board for me to work through my emotions. Choosing words to put down on a page forced my thoughts to become clearer, and more often than not helped me draw my own conclusion. My journals became a capsule of my life. They held my fears, hopes, dreams, experiences, and everyday thoughts. They spark memories and provide a different perspective for me as I learn and grow. They are some of the most valuable things I own.
Going into my study abroad experience, I knew my journal would be even more important since this was going to be a once in a lifetime experience that I knew I wanted to document. I bought a beautiful leather-bound journal that smelled like an old book and slowly but surely I filled it with all of the same beautiful things I was doing in South America. Pretty early on however, I felt some of my experiences were worth sharing with my friends and family. My trips deserved to be explained in more than just some photos on Facebook. Fully sharing my experiences would not only provide the detail they deserved, but it would also put my friends and family at ease knowing I was doing well.
Thus, Treads by Monica was born. Initially, it was a creative project I took on in order to fill my time. Many evenings early on were spent in my room watching Netflix and I knew I needed something to work on in order to break me out of that cycle. Being a creative person, I developed an entire visual identity with logos and official colors simply because I wanted to. I cared more about how my blog looked than what was written in it, which is kind of ironic. Having had no prior experience in web development, building a WordPress site was a long drawn out process of filled with many YouTube tutorials and visits to the FAQ page. It was exactly the project that I needed! It was creative, could be done on my own time, and held valuable skills that could be transitioned over into the professional world too (As a matter of fact I utilized these skills a few months later at my internship at Gastromotiva). For the first few posts, the blog effectively acted as an online journal. I didn’t tell anybody about it, so nobody read it but me. I had only ever written to myself, knowing full well what I was talking about and where my perspective lay, so my tone of voice didn’t need to change. When I finally got the gumption to tell people about it, I knew this needed to change. My work was now not only my own, but was posted out on the internet for anyone and everyone to see. It felt like putting a piece of my heart out there for people to freely judge and criticize. Actually telling people about my blog and seeing people view my posts was equal parts terrifying and thrilling.
Of course I hit bumps and curves the first few months, I didn’t know what I was doing! but eventually, as I became more comfortable, the fear started to subside and I recognized what a powerful platform this blog was for me. All of a sudden , I had a space to express things uninterrupted, and I wasn’t forcing people to listen. They had the choice to actively click on my post and read if they were genuinely interested. It’s not like a long post on Facebook that people feel guilty scrolling past. It’s an active choice to listen to my voice, and that is incredibly flattering and empowering. My words now held weight, and I grew into a talent I had kept my own for so long. My personal voice developed a bit more, expanding on topics became a bit easier, the overall act of putting myself out there seemed less daunting.
This blog has been so therapeutic to me, and has grown in purpose far beyond it’s original intention. It’s helped give me a voice on a platform I feel most comfortable in. It’s allowed me to capture the fun experiences I’ve had in a new way, and it’s kept me accountable to keep writing in general. Blogging is great. It’s something I genuinely enjoy doing, but now as I’m not traveling as much, it’s been a process of morphing the blog to still be relevant to my life today. That’s something I’m still working through. Thanks for hangin in there with me 🙂 My joy for writing has enormously expanded so I know I’ve got more words in me to share. This blog has really been a gift, and all you reading have played a part in that.
So here’s my thank you, to the great abyss of the internet. You’ve helped me grow into myself in ways I’ve never expected.
Keep your eyes peeled for more the come. as always, feel free to leave a comment below.