I've been wondering what to write for my blog's fourth birthday post. It's my birthday too(!) - an event which I am always stupidly excited about every year - so I always have double the reason to celebrate. With every year that passes I totally embrace my age, always thinking that my new age is better than the last. (Except that I'll be saying I'm 44 as soon as I can because I don't like being an odd number...!)
Such a lot has happened in the last four years. The blog started out as a little project to give me something creative to do and it's now what I do full time. No one is more surprised than me.
THE BLOG STARTED OUT AS A LITTLE PROJECT TO GIVE ME SOMETHING CREATIVE TO DO AND IT'S NOW WHAT I DO FULL TIME. NO ONE IS MORE SURPRISED THAN ME.
If sometime had told me four years ago that blogging was something you could do as a full time career my reaction would have been "Huh? How?" If I’d known then that I’d one day be self-employed I’d never have believed them. I was a 9-5 girl all the way, and being self-employed was probably the most frightening, never-do-it-in-a-million-years career choice for me. If you work full time and think working for yourself is something you'd never, ever do, believe me: You're still more likely to consider it than I ever was.
It goes to show that change is something we SHOULD embrace. The things that we fear - including the fear of the unknown - can be what makes us when we look back. Had I not chosen to take the plunge, I wouldn't now be sitting on a train writing this blog post after spending a day with a fabulous bunch of bloggers working on a major brand campaign. I wouldn't have gone to Paris last year as a brand ambassador for a clothing range. I wouldn't have appeared in the Sunday Times Style or had a feature written about me and my blogging BFF in Woman & Home.
I could have stayed in my 9-5 that I didn't enjoy and still be sat at my desk wondering "What if...?", but I took a risk and it paid off.
I COULD HAVE STAYED IN MY 9-5 THAT I DIDN'T ENJOY AND STILL BE SAT AT MY DESK WONDERING "WHAT IF...?", BUT I TOOK A RISK AND IT PAID OFF.
Doing things outside of your comfort zone is something I've written about before. It keeps you feeling alive. Even if it doesn't work out quite as you’d hoped, you’re always the better person for it. Life should be about occasionally taking risks.
Not necessarily crazy, stupid, death-defying ones, just steps of varying size towards an end goal.
That end goal? To enrich your life. To fill it with people you want to spend time with. To learn new skills. To help someone else achieve something. To see new places and have new experiences.
THAT END GOAL? TO ENRICH YOUR LIFE. TO FILL IT WITH PEOPLE YOU WANT TO SPEND TIME WITH. TO LEARN NEW SKILLS. TO HELP SOMEONE ELSE ACHIEVE SOMETHING. TO SEE NEW PLACES AND HAVE NEW EXPERIENCES.
I took another big step with the blog (a business decision) just recently. I ummed and ahhed about it for quite a while and of course discussed it with the husband. Eventually I realised that I’d only regret not at least giving it a go. It's early days still, but I'm pretty sure long term it will be the right decision because it feels right.
Something else that's a welcome bonus as a result of doing the blog: The development of my personal style. Sure, I had a bulging wardrobe and a knack for putting together some pretty creative ensembles when I first started out, but I feel that the practice of styling, photographing and studying outfits for the blog has really honed my style. I've always said there's no better way to improve your style than to photograph what you wear and study the photos - not what you (think you) see in the mirror.
I'VE ALWAYS SAID THERE'S NO BETTER WAY TO IMPROVE YOUR STYLE THAN TO PHOTOGRAPH WHAT YOU WEAR AND STUDY THE PHOTOS
So to get all reflective on you I thought I'd pick my four favourite outfits from each year to show you (July '11 to July '12, July '12 to July '13, etc.) - it's interesting that my favourites are all skirts and dresses... I guess that tends to be what you wear to dress up and feel special, doesn't it?
L-R: May 2012 wedding guest outfit | April 2013 Bath in Fashion Blogger Awards outfit | July 2014 sightseeing outfit | April 2015 UK Blog Awards vintage gown.
I guess that's kind of it really for a rambling post that's void of a main subject (except for wishing myself a happy birthday and blogiversary!) - but it's safe to say that I hope the next four years are as fun, rewarding and exciting as the first four.
I couldn't have got this far without the support, loyalty and friendship of all my readers. I've said it before but it's the relationships I've made along the way - both real and online - that have made it all worthwhile and so enjoyable. Thank you for coming along for the ride.
Who knows what the next four years will bring... I can't wait!
P.S. Like this post? You might also enjoy reading what I wrote on my third blogiversary (What 3 Years of Blogging Has Taught Me)!
P.P.S. You have until 25th July to nominate your Blogging Hero - the results will be published on the blog on 2nd August :)
Photos: Silver Londoner (except lead image: pixabay.com) | Linking up to: Visible Monday, Let It Shine, Share in Style, Monday Mingle, Style Sessions, Turning Heads Tuesday, Trend Spin Link-Up, What I Wore Wednesday, Brilliant Blog Posts, Throwback Thursday, Passion for Fashion Friday, Friday's Fab Favourites