31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 17

Hello, everyone! I know posts have been lacking for way too long. My apologies! Things have gotten way crazy with searching for a full-time teaching position, getting ready to move into Dan and I’s first home together (an awesome townhouse!), and finishing wedding plans (we’re less than two months away from the big day!!!). What have you been up to?

In March I began Tiffany’s 31 Day Blog Challenge, and I’d like to finish that up (and post more)! Today’s prompt: Why and when did you start blogging?

This prompt is kind of ironic considering it is the first one I am writing since being absent from the blog for almost two months. Or maybe it’s perfect for a return post? Anyway, I started blogging in the late fall of 2010. As I’ve discussed on the blog, I deal with anxiety. I had a very stressful sophomore year of college, which I followed up with a jammed-pack summer, which I followed up with a not as emotionally stressful but still extremely busy junior year of college. By the end of my junior year, I couldn’t handle it. I needed a break. Even something as simple and happy as coordinating time with friends would drive me to tears. I wanted freedom, and I wanted it in the form of time to myself. A rational and practical and normal individual would have taken maybe just one month off of work to indulge such desires and recharge. Since I was not being rational or practical (and let’s be real, I struggle with both of those concepts when I am not having a breakdown), I was like, “THAT’S IT I’M TAKING THE WHOLE SUMMER OFF NO ONE CAN STOP ME.” This would have been a great idea if the summer then involved tons of traveling to places I’ve never been, lots of late nights with friends, plenty of volunteering, crossing long-awaited tasks off my to-do list, etc. However, it didn’t involve any of that, because all my friends were either (a) completing an out-of-state/city internship, (b) studying abroad, or (c) working a full-time job and supporting themselves like responsible young adults. It also didn’t involve any of that because I was an idiot. I should have been volunteering or doing something meaningful with my time, but instead I was just sitting on my couch watching all the seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender and reading Glamour.com. I’m pretty sure I should have been seeing a counselor because I was totally unmotivated to do anything to enrich my life, I just wanted to shut down and hide from the world (which I found out later was a combination of being on the wrong medication for my anxiety and being undiagnosed with anemia). In any case, Glamour lead me to A  CUP OF JO, which is written by Joanna Goddard, who used to write for the blogs on Glamour. A CUP OF JO in turn lead me to a bunch of other blogs, and now my summer days also consisted, in addition to watching cartoons made for children and taking long naps, of reading blogs.

So far this story sounds like I am saying I had a nervous breakdown (true), became a lazy hermit (true), and blogs consumed my time (true). However, reading the blogs inspired me to branch out more. Not necessarily during the Lost Summer (which is what I call the months I wasted on my couch in 2010), but in the fall, when by default I had to rejoin the rest of the world during my last year of college. I became super busy again, but still read blogs whenever I could. Eventually, I was like, “I am going to start a blog! I love blogs! They inspire me! Maybe a creative outlet is what I need to manage my stress and not be driven to being a lazy hermit again!” So I started Beagle & Bear, and while I don’t always write consistently, I write. And whenever I do, I do feel enriched. I feel like I’ve had time to myself in a “friendly neighbor” way, not a “lazy hermit” way. It’s why I don’t let myself get worked up about missing posts here or there or for long stretches of time. Blogging is fun for me. I have enough obligations and goals, and I don’t want something I use to recharge to become yet another one. I think we all have a hobby like that in our lives. What’s yours?