Man - hard to believe it's been a year!
You read that right - Name's Not Ashley is now officially one year old. It still feels like yesterday that my husband and I were joking around about the idea of me starting a blog. Over 260 posts later, all I can say is that it has been one fantastic year.
And I've come so far in a year. One year ago, I hated my job. Let me say that again - I hated my job. I stayed up late on Sunday nights because I dreaded going to bed and waking up on Monday morning. I would sit in my cube day after day and feel so, so sad that I was dedicating so many hours of my life to something I found so dull. I had a mini-meltodwn on my 24th birthday because I felt like my life was passing me by, and I felt like my attempts to change my situation just weren't working.
That sense of helplessness and hopelessness is what inspired me to start writing this blog. I wanted to spend at least a part of my day working on something I believed in, working on something that I enjoyed. It only took a few conversations with friends and co-workers to discover that I never tire of talking about clothes, food, and fitness. So I centered my blog around those things.
When I started this blog, I had no idea what I wanted it to build towards. Did I want to become a famous blogger? Try to transition into the fashion world? Want to use it as a tool to keep up with my friends and family in Texas? I had no clue. I just wrote, and didn't think much past that.
And then the greatest thing of all happened. I heard about an open job at shopkick, and although my background in banking didn't really qualify me for the position at all, I had one major point in my favor: I wrote a fashion blog. Maybe the blog didn't matter, maybe it didn't make a difference in their decision to hire me, but I felt like being the author of this blog allowed me to go into my interviews feeling like I belonged there. Feeling like I could work at a shopping company, because I wrote and talked about shopping almost every day of the week. There is not a doubt in my mind that the confidence this blog gave me was absolutely essential to me performing well in my interviews, and ultimately landing the job. And you know what? Now I love my job. And I owe that wonderful state of affairs to this little project.
But you know who I owe the existence of this blog to? You guys. Like I said above, I had no idea who I was writing Name's Not Ashley for when I first put my hands on my keyboard. I hid this blog's existence from my family and friends for the first two months I was writing because I wasn't sure how it would be received. Then I finally worked up the confidence to share it with my circle of friends, and you know what? It was one of the best decisions I've made so far. All the positive feedback I've received from my lovely readers is what has motivated me to post five days a week for an entire year. I know I say this all the time, but every comment, text, Facebook message, and email I receive from you guys absolutely makes my day. I currently do not publicize this blog in any way other than posting it on my personal Facebook page. This is a blog written for my friends and for my family, through and through. At this point, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Maybe the only goal that I had when I initially started this blog is that I wanted to prove to myself that I could post five days a week for an entire year. Now that I've accomplished that, I think it's time for me to knock that number down to four. Week after week I feel like I have great material for four posts, and then scramble to put together a fifth. So, to ensure that I keep bringing you guys quality content and to give myself a bit more time to respond to all those messages I talked about before, you will now see updates from me four times a week. Hopefully you all won't mind too much :)
Since a year ago, there is one thing that has stayed absolutely the same - I still have the world's sweetest, most patient, most supportive, most wonderful husband. My husband takes all of the photos of me that you see on this blog, and he has never once complained about me dragging him outside to take yet another set of outfit photos. Even when I hated my job, my life was still indescribably wonderful because you were its central part, baby. I love you infinitely much.
So what's the take-home message here? It's "thank you." Thank you x 1,000. Here's to many more years of writing about how to be the happiest, snazziest, most confident version of yourself. I hope this blog has given you guys at least a sliver of the happiness it's given me. See you back here tomorrow as I kick off Year 2!