Happy Friday! This week has been emotionally wrenching and sad and difficult and hard. We live in scary times, but we also live in a time of love, humanity, and openness. I am very proud of our country.
To close out my week, I wanted to give another update on my 50 Guest Blogs goal for this year. I have been thrilled with the people who have let me hijack their blog for a day and let me do what I love to do: write. Currently, I still have 22 spots left until I hit my goal, so please fill out my form or just let me know if you want me to guest post on your blog. I’m up to writing anything!
Becky and I share a similar blogging style and one thing I love about her and her blog is that she is very open and honest about her feelings – the raw, messy, honest emotions of real life. When she signed up to let me guest post on her blog, I knew immediately I wanted to write about why I let it all out on my blog. I know I tend to be more vocal about my feelings and emotions than other bloggers and it’s just who I am. I do want to be clear that I’m only vocal about my feelings and emotions. As open as I am, there is a lot I’m quiet about – mainly things that happen with my family. I don’t bring family issues into my blog. There is a lot (A LOT!) of stuff I desperately want to talk about, but I know it’s not always my story to tell so I keep silent. When I talk about being vulnerable and open, it’s about what I am going through personally.
“Being vulnerable means accepting that what you have to say is going to be messy and not everyone is going to agreed with what you have to say. And being okay with that.”
Lindsey has been writing letters to her husband, which is something she started after seeing my letters. So I decided to write about the why of my letters. I wanted to explain why I feel so passionate about these letters. It’s a little weird, really. Writing personal letters to someone I don’t yet know is a concept a lot of people don’t understand and that’s perfectly okay. I don’t write my letters to please anyone. I write them for myself – and for the man I will one day marry.
“I wanted to be able to give my husband letters that I wrote when I didn’t even know who he was. I wanted to write about finding him, about our path to the aisle.”
Krysten is an old and dear blogging friend and she left the topic open for me to choose. Since we both share a love of cruising, I opted to write about a life-changing time on my May 2012 cruise: the time I zip-lined in Jamaica. The experience was out of this world and nothing has come close to comparing to that time. (Yet!) I wrote about my experience and lessons that I learned about myself. It was a really fun post to write. (Well, let’s face it: talking about cruising in any form is fun for me!)
“Zip-lining is about letting go and just letting the experience take over. It’s about trust, free-falling, and what lies ahead of you. Smashing fear in the face and being completely present and filled up with exhilaration and excitement.”
Kara, who has the most adorable little baby, asked me to write about my thoughts on having children and/or how I plan on raising my own children. I have very mixed feelings about having children, which I think mainly has to do with the fact I am single and don’t feel any pressure to get married or have babies just yet. Right now, I’m very happy being childless. (Very, very, very happy!) My post ended up differently than I had imagined, as I talked about the timelines we set for ourselves when we’re younger and how they change as we grow up and experience more of ourselves and the world.
“People are always going to tell you how you should live your life. No matter what stage of life you are in, people think they have the magic answer that will make your life worth living – even when you think you have a pretty decent life. Don’t buy into the “should be doing”‘s.”
One of the most common requests for guest posts is to write about writing. My process, how I find inspiration, why I love to write. It’s one of my favorite topics to talk about and since her blog is geared towards writing and supporting writers in their journey, I decided to talk about why I want to be a writer. The path to becoming successful at this is lined with rejection and false hope but there’s no other road I’d rather be on. It means doing a lot of work for nothing, but I’m up for the challenge.
“The thing about doing something you love is that it’s not always going to make you happy. Once you discover what you’re passionate about, the hard work starts. That’s when you have to start thinking about how to make your dreams come to life. You have to be willing to fail. You have to understand why you want this so badly.”
Karen asked me to write about a time I felt God’s hand on my life so I wrote about being a freshman in college. It was a hard, dark time in my life and I was very scared and very unhappy. I hated my roommate, hated being on campus, and all the classes I was taking were upper-level so I had no connection with anybody. (Imagine an shy 18-year-old in a roomful of 20-somethings! I felt so out of place.) It was during this time that I first began leaning on God and trusting Him to see me through this.
“It was those moments, more than ever in my life, that I felt God’s hand upon me. I felt Him guiding me, leading me, showing me that there can be light and joy. This crushing sadness was just a season – it didn’t mean my entire life was going to be this way.”
Jessica is in the midst of moving to Germany with her family and put the call out for guest bloggers. It wasn’t hard to say yes to the opportunity to get another post down. She was interested in a travel-related post so I, um, talked about cruising. (Are you surprised?!) With this post, I went through the day-to-day life of being on a cruise ship – from the day you embark to your days at sea and ports of call to the day you disembark. While my experience is specifically geared towards Carnival cruises, I think it gives a good glimpse onto what a cruise vacation is like.
“I think everyone needs to find the way they love to travel best – for some, it’s road-tripping around the country; for others, it’s planning exotic getaways. For me, it is cruising. Traveling had never been a huge passion of mine until I started cruising and now I want to cruise all around the world.”