On January 1st, I announced to the Facebook world that I would attempt to blog every day for the month of January just to get myself out of the habit of blogging for a couple of days and then skipping half a year, and into the habit of blogging a few times a week. How did I fare? And what was this challenge like for me?
Well, for starters, I did it. I can’t believe it, but I actually did it! It seems that making challenges public are a good motivator for me to actually complete what I set out to do (case in point, completing Insanity). It’s like…built in accountability. Or maybe it’s the Asian shame of not fulfilling a public goal that motivates me. Either way, it got done!
Here is the categorical breakdown of the posts I’ve written in the past 31 days:
- Spiritual truths (7): Fresh, New Starts, Liberated Christian, Hoping in the Plan, Fruitful Living: Leaving a Legacy, The Dirty S Word, Proverbs 10:22, The Waiting Game
- Personal posts (12): Highlights and Resolutions, Throwback Thursday, 30 Before 30: Recap, Let’s Take Time To Answer Why, Sandals FIT, Day to Night Look, My Dog is Funny, 30 Goals for 2013, The Ink, On Motherhood, Date Night…or Day…or Weekend…, 31 Days in Review
- Dating and relationships (5): Let’s All Just Chill Out a Bit, Okay?, Expectations and Standards, What Pornography Has Done To Us, What Chick Flicks Have Done To Us, It Takes A Village
- DIY projects (4): DIY Baby Food Jar Soy Candle Favors, DIY Garden Boxes, How to Hem Your Own Pants, Gray and Yellow Themed Baby Shower,
- Recipes (3): Easy Apple Butter, Dumplings With My Dumplin’, Green Lemonade
Here were your top five favorite posts from the past 31 days, according to number of views:
- Sandals FIT – My story of recovery from anorexia, exercise bulimia, and binge-eating, with incriminating photos and all.
- What Pornography Has Done To Us – An in-depth look at the ways in which pornography may be affecting us as individuals and in relation to one another, based on RJ and my story and written from a Christian framework.
- Let’s All Just Chill Out a Bit, Okay? – A look at the ways in which the prevalent Christian culture “date-only-for-marriage” mentality doesn’t only NOT make sense, but can be damaging to individuals and couples.
- On Motherhood – An open and honest look into my fears of becoming a mother, and the ways in which God has been meeting me in my fears.
- What Chick Flicks Have Done To Us – A sequel to the post on pornography, an in-depth look at the ways in which chick flicks may be affecting us as individuals and in relation to one another, also written from a Christian framework.
And the runner up was The Ink, an explanation of why I get tattoos and what my tattoos mean to me, with only one view less than “What Chick Flicks Have Done To Us.”
In the past 31 days, I have learned that:
- I have a wider audience that I originally thought…and that is crazy!! I just assumed that I was writing for the same 10 people for the longest time, and that those 10 people were all either Asian or Christian or both (how narrow-minded, right??). So imagine my surprise when I find that new friends to friends back from elementary school to strangers are reading my blog, friends from all different ethnic and faith backgrounds. I’m just amazed! Which leads me into the next lesson…
- I have learned that old insecurities die hard. I write about my general fear of white people (you know, let’s just say anyone cooler than me, which is everyone) in a previous post, Popular White People, which I thought I had overcome. However, once I realized my audience spanned beyond just Asian Christians, I might have felt a little panicky. Okay, like a LOT panicky. Okay, like high school angst panicky. o_O Like, “Oh no, what if other people think I’m a crazy religious freak for believing what I do??” or “Oh no, what if people think I’m one of those judgmental Christians?” or “What if I come off as a spaz??” (which I totally am…) or “What if people think I’ve devolved into a hot mess over the years??” or “What if people are thinking, ‘Can you believe she’s wearing that??’?” And I find that I am wanting to change the way I write so as to not offend others, look crazy, or come off as a religious nut job. But maybe that’s why so many people read my blog, because of the open and authentic way in which I (attempt to) write. Maybe there is something refreshing in that. Or maybe I’m a train wreck, and that’s okay too. I am learning all over again how to live free from the approval of others, how to separate my sense of security from other people, and to not change who I am or how I write based off of what I think other people want from me. I am learning that it’s okay to be me.
- People will be offended and people will disagree with you, and sometimes quite forcefully…but that’s okay. While there is initial anxiety where my old insecurities of being unsure of myself and what I believe have cropped up, I am able to re-center myself on the foundation of Christ and His Word and what I know to be true for myself, to respectfully hear out another side, and yet also respectfully allow room for disagreement. And I think these are valuable life skills.
- Blogging is time-consuming and exhausting! Goodness, when I first set out on this challenge, I had no idea that some posts would take a few hours to write! I know it’s partially due to my obsessive compulsive need to edit and re-edit, but really, mad props to all you bloggers out there for coming up with new material and living your lives intentionally so as to be able to document them on your blogs. I have come to have a new respect for you all.
- I guess I am a writer now. I’ve always been insecure about my writing, especially since English was technically my second language (Mandarin being my first) and I’ve been worked by English class for as long as I can remember, my grades always trailing on the lower end of the spectrum. (What if the curtain is blue just because the curtain is blue?? Why does the writer have to be depressed???) But I have been SO encouraged and SO blessed by all of your comments about my writing! Truly, they mean so much to me, to the point where I may even start calling myself a writer now! :)
Seriously, what a whirlwind of a month! I have learned so much, I have grown so much, and I have been super blessed to reconnect with so many friends from the past, and to share my story with many new friends in the present. I am still so amazed that a couple of my projects have actually been pinned on Pinterest, that my post on pornography somehow made it to the world of Twitter (and even got re-tweeted a couple of times!), that people have shared my posts, that random strangers are finding my blog and commenting, that my previous record number of views in one day was demolished and nearly doubled…THIS IS NUTS!! And it is far greater than anything I could have imagined it to be 31 days ago.
So thank you!! Thank you so much for reading and for making this what it is now. Thank you for your encouragements. Thank you for your kind comments. Thank you for letting me know you are reading, even if we haven’t talked or seen each other in a few years (or even decades!). Thank you for sharing my posts. Thank you for pinning. Thank you for your suggestions. Thank you thank you thank you!!! I can’t express how much I appreciate you all.
But I really do. :)