2019 was such a transitional year for me- there were so many changes in my life. I graduated college, moved far away from my friends and family, got a new job, became long(er) distance with Ryan, and was suddenly immersed in a whole new life.
I spent the first six months in a daze- adjusting to all the changes and throwing myself into my new, post-grad life. I made a rule to not say “no” to anything or anyone for the first few months- if someone asked me to get dinner, or join them for literally anything, I said yes. As a result, I barely slept, but I was able to make new friends and meet a ton of new people. I didn’t even have time to think about how tired I was- I was too busy trying to start off on the right foot.
By fall, I was starting to make real friends, but was struggling to balance my work and weekend life. It felt like on the weekends, I was a different person- excited about Atlanta, enjoying exploring the city, but during the week I was so drained. Maybe it was just adjusting to working full time, but I didn’t feel like myself during the week. On a free week night, I would force myself to go to a yoga class or simply crash on my couch, wondering, is this all I have now? Work?. After working so hard for four years to get a job after graduation, I had lost my sense of purpose after I met my goal. It was like I needed something to focus on- something positive and outside of work.
By the time winter came around, I realized that the changes were mostly over- I had all but completely adjusted to my new life. With everything settled down, I was simply left with a weekly routine of work, working out, and Netflix that left me wishing for more.
I knew that I needed to find a way to bridge my “weekend” and my “week”. I craved a creative outlet- working in finance as a naturally creative person left me feeling unbalanced. I wanted something to be excited about, outside of my 9-5, that would give me a deeper sense of purpose.
Internally, I knew that I had always wanted to start a blog. But I shied away from it- sharing your life with the world, which can too often be unfriendly, is scary. What if strangers read this? Worse, what if people I know read this? To me, this is so terrifying.
But I was aware that every time I felt myself get so excited, to the point where I could talk and talk and talk- it was about exploring Atlanta. I could feel a rush of enthusiasm when I shared with friends about the best new brunch I had discovered, and I knew that I had a reputation among friends for being the go-to person for fun spots to go to on weekends. People had actually even joked that I should make a list or a website of all my favorite restaurants. Every time someone made a joke, the voice inside of me said, you should do this.
By January I couldn’t ignore the voice anymore. One night after work after scrolling through old photos I had edited, I decided to try it. I wanted to see how it would feel, and cautiously test what the behind-the-scenes would be like. I’d never been one to follow the rules, anyways- why not give this crazy idea a try?
Around 7:30 that night, I challenged myself to go through a few places I had been in Atlanta, and write three “test” posts. I picked a few of my favorite spots, and started writing…And I couldn’t stop. I looked up from my computer and it was almost midnight, and I had written ten posts. I had papers sprawled everywhere- lists and ideas of everything I wanted to write about and share with the world.
And I knew, I just knew, that even if no one reads this, even if I get judged and criticized, or accidentally somehow embarrass myself in front of the entire world, that I had found my passion and a way to put my love for this city on paper.