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How my life has changed in two years

Today is a special day. Well, technically tomorrow is a special day, but tomorrow I may not feel like waking up at 6 a.m. to write a blog.

I really struggled with if I should write this post. I do not want this post to be about my exes faults. We both had faults, he isn’t a bad person, but we weren’t right for each other. Please keep that in mind as you read forward.

Anyways…

Two years ago tomorrow, on August 25th, I made a really big decision to change my life because I was unhappy. I was unhappy in my relationship, in my job (not the nanny job. The nanny job was the only thing that kept me going most days), in my hobbies; the list goes on. I constantly told myself that I had to improve myself and I’d find happiness. If I worked out and ate better, if I read more self help books, if I learned to be appreciative of what I had, I would be happy.

Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

The things listed above are all good things. Actually, now that I think about it, they’re all things I do now. But there was one glaringly obvious thing I had to come to terms with before I could get myself out of that hole: My relationship was failing, I was unhappy, and I had to be the one to extract myself from the situation.

So I did.

Moving out of that apartment (leaving my two, sweet kitties behind as well) was the hardest thing I’ve ever done to this day. I had good friends who took me in and distracted me from the situation, but the following months were hard. I moved out the day before my first semester back in college started, so I was busy, but I was also broke and depressed. I constantly wondered if I had made the right decision. I felt guilty because I knew my ex was hurting. I made lists in my head of ways we could probably work through things, and felt like a terrible person because he was working on himself and I didn’t stick around.

But then something occurred to me. Why is general unhappiness not an acceptable reason for ending a relationship? Knowing that you don’t want to spend the rest of your life with someone should be a perfectly good reason to cut off a relationship, but for some reason we tend to lean towards thinking that we should stay so things will get better. You don’t need a reason like abuse or infidelity to leave a relationship (though those are two very good ones!). Leaving because you are unhappy is a reason. You owe it to yourself, and to the other person.

This is not to say that I feel any twinge of an unhappy moment is a get-out-of-relationship-free card. There’s a difference between moments of discontent and being unhappy in a relationship overall. When I came to the decision that this was no longer a fleeting moment of discontent, but a consistent, long-term unhappiness, I realized I had to be the one to go.

Over time, things got better. I moved back in with my parents, who sacrificed a lot to make that possible. This gave me some stability to grasp onto and made it a lot easier to get through that first semester back in school. My sister and I grew closer than we ever were beforehand. I started writing again, which was extremely cathartic. I started seeing people, and most of them sucked 😉 But it was fun, and I got to know a lot about myself in that time.

It’s strange to think that it’s been two years. On one hand, it feels like yesterday. On the other, it feels like that was a whole lifetime ago. Two years later I can honestly say that was the hardest, most stressful time in my life, but of course I wouldn’t change it. Moving on and taking time to learn about myself was the best decision I’ve ever made. Today I am happily engaged to the love of my life, and I wake up happier every single day. That’s not to say we don’t have our ups and downs, but the overwhelming happiness I feel as a whole makes even those bad times better than my best times a few years back. Going back to school to focus on something I loved gave me a newfound confidence I never thought I could have, and gave me friends and mentors who I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I was able to do something I never, ever thought possible: graduate college and get a job that I love. I have gained a fiancé, and a wonderful family that came along with him. And I even got to adopt some really cute animals along the way (not to mention the rats that live in our walls during the summer and the ghost that lives in our living room).

Don’t stay in a situation that makes you miserable just because you’re afraid of the unknown, and don’t let people treat you badly because you don’t think you’re not worth any better. Don’t hold yourself back because you feel like you owe it to someone else. Do things that will benefit you, even if they’re hard. 

Surviving My First Wild Summer’s Night Auction at SCWF

With most of the schools in my area starting back this week, quite a few people have asked me if I feel weird to not be going back to school, or if I miss it.

To be honest, I loved college, but I am so relieved to be done with it. Because of that, I decided I’d write a blog post about my new job, and surviving our first big event since I’ve joined the team (my boss is actually the one who came up with this idea, so I can’t take all the credit. ;))

About the South Carolina Wildlife Federation

SCWF works to restore and conserve South Carolina’s wildlife through education and advocacy. SCWF has been around more than 85 years (longer than even the National Wildlife Federation) to serve as a voice for outdoor enthusiasts. A large base of our supporters are hunters, fisherman, birders, educators, boaters, farmers; the list goes on. One of my favorite things about this organization is that people of all different backgrounds and belief systems come together over the fact that they love South Carolina and they want to preserve it the best they can.

I was hired to handle SCWF’s fundraising and event coordinating. As we are a non-profit organization, we rely heavily on fundraising. One of our biggest fundraising events is the Wild Summer’s Night Auction and Wild Game Feast, held at Seawell’s on Rosewood. This event brings in about 400 people, and a pretty big chunk of our total operating budget each year.

Planning the Auction:

The first I heard of the auction was during my interview, so it’s been on my mind for quite some time. I knew that as Manager of Events I’d have a very large role in planning it, and I definitely had some jitters about going into the process. Luckily, SCWF has been putting on this auction for a very long time and they had the planning down pat.

Everyone in the office helps out with the auction, but my first major responsibility was securing auction items. Most of the meat for the wild game feast and the items we auction off are donated to us, so there are quite a few people we have to reach out to in the months leading up to the event. The first thing I did was contact past donors to see if they’d be willing to donate again. This was really nerve wracking for me because I didn’t have any experience asking people for things like that.

I was pleasantly surprised, though, by how many people not only were willing to donate, but also were eager to do so. It never ceased to amaze me when I’d ask for a donation and be met with an excited “I’d love to donate!” By the time the auction actually rolled around, we had over 80 auction items that included weekend getaways, paintings, gift packages, gardening packages, kids packages, and pretty much anything else you could think of.

Pre-auction set up picture of some of our packages

In the weeks leading up to the auction, we spent our time confirming the wild game donations and arranging for them to be in the right place by the right time, marketing the event so people would actually show up, arranging corporate sponsors, planning raffles, and setting up our mobile bidding system. Though we were busy, the event planning is my favorite part of my job, and it was actually kind of exciting to have so much to do within so little time.

Day of the Auction:

I essentially worked around the clock getting last minute details in place in the days leading up to the auction, so I was somehow both relieved and horrified when auction day finally arrived. We had set everything up the day before, so I didn’t have to be at Seawell’s until later in the day. We had an awesome group of volunteers (and our intern, Max) who made set-up smooth sailing for everyone. It was a huge help to me, especially, since they had done this before and already knew what needed to be accomplished. Being able to trust that I could give someone a task and come back and it’d be done (and done correctly) while I worked on something else was a huge weight off my shoulders.

Around 5 p.m. our check-in volunteers arrived at Seawell’s, and I was able to show them how to use our new mobile bidding system for check-in. They seemed about as nervous about it as I was 😉 But they all got it down pat and check-in went really smoothly.

Some of our check-in volunteers, and our Director of Education (standing in the pink shirt) Sara Green

 

Right on time, at 6 p.m. guests started arriving, and from there it was a complete whirlwind. I thought the week leading up to auction went by quickly, but it was nothing in comparison to the auction itself. What I really thought was neat about this event was how much goes on at once; There were raffles, live-music, tons of food, an open bar, guest chefs and speakers, and of course, the silent and the live auction.

My friends Taylor and Giff came to help run one of the raffles.

Our Executive Director, Ben Gregg, thanking everyone for coming.

Volunteer Judy Cummings and Wildlife Habitat Manager Laura Blake-Orr

Just like with set-up, our volunteers really came through to help run the event seamlessly. We have a very, very small staff, so if it weren’t for the volunteers we wouldn’t be able to pull something like this off. My predecessor, Harley, was a huge help (as usual) because she knew how the auction had been run in the past, so she was there to help me with things I would’ve never thought to prepare for (who knew table assignments were so hard? Thanks, auction, for reminding me exactly why we’re skipping assigned tables for the wedding).

Director of Education Sara Green and former Director of Development Harley Carpenter

Even with all the help, I was running around all night. Right before the silent auction ended I finally had a chance to sit down and enjoy some of the food. (Thankfully, wine is easier to carry around). The wild game feast was incredible. We had fried gator, catfish, chicken marsala, quail perlo, mustard fried venison, venison chili, pulled pork, mac and cheese, coleslaw, and probably more than I didn’t even see. Shout out to Ian for getting me a plate and forcing me to sit down long enough to eat it because I’m really glad I didn’t miss out on that food.

L-R: Me, John Green, Will Green, and Ian

Before I knew it, the live auction was finishing up, people were checking out, and the night was over. The staff at Seawell’s is incredible; they handled all the clean up outside of what was ours to take home, and they were pleasant and easy to work with. The event was over at 10 and I was at home, eating a Sonic blast in bed by midnight (no ice cream has ever tasted so good).

I have to admit, the planning was stressful. So it was both a pleasant surprise and a “wait…that’s it?” kinda feeling when it all went by so quickly. By the end of the night, we’d raised over $37,000 (after expenses) for the organization and that felt pretty good. There are things I will do differently next year, and definitely some things I am more prepared to handle next year, but I feel accomplished with what we were able to do this year. I’m very fortunate that my first job out of college put me in a position I wanted to be in—doing something I love for a cause I care greatly about—and surrounded me with coworkers who made the (many, many) extra hours less stressful, and maybe even almost enjoyable 😉

All for now

This post has been cross-posted to the SCWF Blog

 

Catch up post: Jailbreak 5k & we got engaged! 5/27/17

I figured for my first official blog post back I’d kill two birds with one stone and write a race recap AND a recap of our engagement 😉

Jailbreak 5K Recap

I was not looking forward to this race whatsoever. I hadn’t ran in over a month, this race was about 40 minutes away and SUPER early in the AM, and I knew this course would be ridiculous. Ian, however, insisted (and now I know the real reason) saying that the really wanted to do a race that supported the police department. So, with much dread, I agreed.

We arrived out in Lexington around 7 AM. This is a very popular race so we knew it would be packed and wanted to get there early before the 7:30 start time. As usual, I took stalker pics at the start line.

When the race started, I actually felt really good. I was able to run the first mile in about 10 minutes, which isn’t my best time but also way better than my worst. There were lots of kids at this race, and this one dad even carried his son for about half a mile (and he was ahead of me the whole time).

Around mile 2 is when things got rough. My feet went numb?! This was the first time this has happened to me, but unfortunately, it’s been an issue ever since. I’m thinking it’s my shoes, so I’m in the process of breaking in a new pair. I even texted Ian right at 2.5 miles and told him I was struggling. I ended up having to walk most of the last mile.

When I got to the last 1/10 of a mile, I decided to suck it up and run. That’s when the fun began 😉 As I got closer to the finish line, I noticed a bunch of people standing on the other side of it. This isn’t abnormal, but as I got closer, I realized I recognized these people. 
The first person I honed in on was my childhood best friend, Britteny (holding the “Marry” sign), then my vision panned out and I noticed our other close friends, his  brother, his parents, and my family. That’s when the water works started.

 

I crossed the finish line and still had my headphones in my ear, so I actually didn’t even hear him ask me officially. Thank goodness for those signs 😉 I was so flustered he had to remind me to give him my hand so he could put the ring on it.

It was  honestly perfect. He worked so hard to keep it a secret and coordinate all these people in one place to be there for it (including his parents and brother who live in Pennsylvania). I had secretly hoped that he would propose at a finish line, but never told him that because I wanted however he decided to propose to be his idea.

It was so perfect to have some of our closest friends and both of our families there. My family is a major support system for me and I’m very lucky to be marrying into a family that already treats me as one of their own.

Of course, afterwards, we went to Le Peep to celebrate. Le Peep is where we had our first date, so it was fitting. As if the whole surprise engagement wasn’t enough, he and his mom had planned a catered engagement party for us, and even had the Dessert Cafe I used to work at provide two of our favorite desserts in cake form. 

To top it all off, two local news stations picked up our engagement as a story and put out really nice news pieces about it. It’s nice to have those to look back on in the future.

wistv.com – Columbia, South Carolina

Though, admittedly, the attention was a bit overwhelming, it was the best day I could’ve asked for. I’ve never felt so loved by everyone around us and I still get butterflies thinking about it. Because of who I am as a person, we immediately started wedding planning, booked our venue the next week, and set a date for 10/6/18. The wedding planning has been relatively stress free so far, and I’m looking forward to the fun stuff like engagement pics and showers and what not. 😉

All For Now

Where did Blossoming Columbia go?

 

If you are one of the three people who read Blossoming Columbia (my fiance, my future mother-in-law, and some random person in Hong Kong), you may be wondering where Blossoming Columbia has gone.

I started blogging at Blossoming Columbia for a class. I wanted to do a blog about things to do in Columbia. The good news with that is there are a lot of things to do (and things to eat) in Columbia. The bad news is: there are a lot of things I want to write about that don’t involve Columbia itself.

When I blogged at TheDonutRunner.com, my main focus was running/fitness, but because it was more of a lifestyle blog, I could also write about things I did for fun, issues I felt were important to talk about, and anything else I wanted to. With Blossoming Columbia, I felt really limited in what I could write about (not to mention I’d get points taken off of my grade if I wrote about anything off-topic than my original content idea) so I just didn’t enjoy blogging this time around.

Because of this, I decided to go back to my roots so-to-speak. I couldn’t re-purchase thedonutrunner.com, so I decided to buy kwdonutrunner.com to match all my social media handles. I’m going to go back to writing about things I want to write about: fun things we do, wedding planning, running, and whatever I want.

All for now

My Favorite Soda City Market Vendors

I have spent many Saturday mornings at the local Soda City market. Soda City takes place rain or shine, every weekend of the year. I love how Soda City brings together the local food and artisan scene into one big group of happy local people looking to eat good food and buy neat stuff (or just window shop) on a Saturday morning. Ian and I will often bring Ellie with us, and though the crowds are not her favorite, she seems to enjoy walking through the streets and smelling all the good food Soda City has to offer.

Here are some of my favorite vendors that frequent Soda City.

Gardens of Gaea

Gardens of Gaea, (pronounced gardens of guy-uh), is named after the Greek term for Mother Earth. Gardens of Gaea offers unique and beautiful terrariums featuring succulents (featured above) and cacti that also include cute little additions such as mushrooms and gnomes (two of my favorite things). The business has only been around since March of 2016, but you’d never believe that when visiting their booth. The owners are friendly and chatty, and they really make you feel good about supporting their local business. I am obsessed with succulents and I have to physically hold myself back from buying a new one every time I stop by their spot at Soda City. They have even done “create your own terrarium” classes in the past, something I definitely want to take part in some time.

Chill Out Pops

Chill Out Pops make handcrafted ice pops in small batches with seasonal, natural ingredients. They don’t use artificial flavors, stabilizers, or preservatives, and you can really taste how fresh and natural these popsicles are. They also have some really cool flavors, such as heirloom tomato and cucumber, and a champagne flavor. They even offer a “pupsicle,” to make all of us crazy dog people happy 😉

Nana by Sally

Though I do not own any Nana by Sally pieces, I can’t help but stop by and fawn over all of her amazing designs every time I see her booth at Soda City. All are one-of-a-kind and only run for a limited time. The leather and textile products utilize end-bolts of fabrics that would otherwise be thrown away, along with leather that has minor imperfections so that nothing goes to waste. Their products are well-made and sturdy, and everyone I know with a piece from Nana by Sally raves about its durability for years. (FYI: She also sells bags that fit the requirements to be allowed into a USC sporting event).

Avocado Toast SC

I could eat avocado toast every day of my life and it still wouldn’t be enough. Besides cheese, there’s nothing I’d rather top bread with. Avocado Toast SC sells super fancy combos, such as avocado toast with micro greens and hard boiled eggs, to more the more traditional option of avocado topped with grilled tomatoes. They sell out fast, so get to Soda City early to make sure you can get your hands on their signature creations each week before they’re gone.

Carolina Soap Works

Based out of Newberry, South Carolina, Carolina Soap Works is famous for their goat’s milk soap. They have a huge variety of scents ranging from bacon, rose lemonade, tea tree, and at least 1 million other options. I’m obsessed with how soft my skin feels after using goat’s milk soap. They also have other products such as african black soap, all-natural deodorant, and goat’s milk lotion. Their bars of soap are priced around $6, which is a steal in my opinion.

 

What are your favorite Soda City vendors?

 

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Movers and Shakers: Interview with Autumn Perkins

Autumn Perkins is the Executive Director of Sustainable Midlands, a local non-profit with the mission of encouraging responsible growth, ensuring access to local food, and establishing a healthy environment for all Midlands communities. Perkins is also a wife and mother of 3 children, along with many animals, including some goats that I regularly dream about having a playdate with.

I was fortunate enough to intern under Perkins at Sustainable Midlands last year, and in that time, she has kind of become my personal hero. So I figured there was no one better to do my first “Movers and Shakers of Columbia” piece about.

Autumn and I sat down at Green Olive on Main Street for a little Q&A, and I’m excited to share our interview with you today.

What is Sustainable Midlands?

“Sustainable Midlands is a local non-profit that’s somewhat of an umbrella organization,” says Perkins. “We represent about eleven counties in South Carolina and our goal is to focus on clean watersheds and a healthy, clean environment for everyone. That includes access to healthy local food, support for our local farmers, and responsible development.”

Sustainable Midlands is also over several local initiatives that focus solely on water, such as the Rocky Branch Watershed and the Smith Branch Watershed. They have programs that blend the farming and sustainable food aspect of environmental education and watershed ecology. On top of that, they have fun events that bring the community together, such as the Tasty Tomato Festival, Sustainable Holiday Market, Wine for Water silent auction, and the Midlands Farm Tour.

 

What local activism, besides her job at Sustainable Midlands, is Perkins involved in?

Perkins also volunteers her time with The Greater Columbia Action Together initiative.

“It’s kind of a post-election organization that is trying to identify very significant, specific causes and issues that are important to us as a voting block,” Perkins says.

“It focuses on local issues, but also includes lobbying for specific cabinet members or against specific cabinet members in our current administration, and trying to protect the EPA. In some ways, that overlaps our mission at Sustainable Midlands, but it also covers a wider range of things, too.”

How does that initiative, along with Sustainable Midlands, benefit Columbia?

“Greater Columbia Action Together has a 12 or 14 issue groups, so they’re similar to Sustainable Midlands in a way because we’re both umbrella organizations,” explains Perkins.

Some other issues that GCAT covers beside the environment are LGBT rights, firearm safety, voter registration, gender equality, and much more. (Click here to check out their full list of working groups to support.)

“Sustainable Midlands and Great Columbia Action Together are both community driven, and having this much outreach and opportunity to collaborate can really help the community come together. It can also help smaller non-profits become a little bit more vital, making it possible for them to leverage themselves to be more supported by the community.”

How have you noticed that Columbia has grown and changed in an environmentally friendly aspect over the years?

Perkins tells of her experience interning at 701 Whaley, where Sustainable Midlands is now located, 17 years ago while she was finishing up her undergrad studies. She explains that the owner of the building wanted to leverage the community around creating a protective watershed area from Olympia Park all the way down to the lake.

“That was 17 years ago, and it’s taken that long for the city to come around.”

Though changes have been slow, there has certainly been progress.

“We were notified first from the City Storm Water Department that certain permitting is going to change and asked what areas we need to protect before it changes,” Perkins explains. “The fact that we were notified ahead of time and asked to come to the table and set up specific protected areas for Rocky Branch and Smith Brach for development is big. That would never have happened 12 or 13 years ago.”

Perkins feels that over time, the way the city of Columbia looks at sustainability and the importance of the environment overall has changed as well.

“I think the ethos of our city has changed,” Perkins says.  “The city is now also part of an initiative called a ‘5-star community,’ in which one of the stars is sustainability and environmental protection. So since they want to be designated with this 5-star community award it’s important to them.”

What are the benefits of shopping local/eating local and why is that so important in the community?

“Every dollar you spend at a local business, 70 cents of it of it goes to a job that’s local,” Perkins says. “Keeping the local money local is really important, especially recovering from the recession which seems like a long time ago. But it really wasn’t.”

There are more benefits than just boosting the local economy, though.

“The more local your food is, the fewer carbon emissions needed to transport it, so that’s a benefit for the environment,” Perkins says.  “Plus you’re also keeping small local farms viable and important.”

Locally grown foods are often grown with fewer pesticides, making it a healthier product in general.

Perkins also greatly values the local artisan community.

“There’s a lot more value in finding a bag, or a purse, or a piece of jewelry and knowing where it came from and seeing that local artistic talent,” she says.

“I also like bringing together the community,” she says. “I take a lot of pride in that. I don’t care if I link someone to get tomatoes from Kroger, but if I link someone to get peaches or strawberries from a lady who lives a couple miles away, there’s just something a lot more significant about that.”

What’s Perkins’ favorite thing about living in Columbia?

Perkins loves taking advantage of all the local resources to create memories with her children. “Taking my kids to the local parks, to the local you-pick farms, to soda city, to the library,” she says. “Seeing that aspect of Columbia that doesn’t have to be a generic experience.”

She also appreciates all the artistic aspects of Columbia.

“The growing art scene with the Nickelodeon theater and the film festivals, that’s what I love to see grow. That’s been really special.”

 

How can you get involved with Sustainable Midlands?

Sustainable Midlands constantly has volunteer opportunities. They also collaborate with other organizations, such as the Five Points Association, to help with the recycling at their events, such as St. Pats, the Chili Cook-off, and Five Points After 5.

Besides their own events, they also collaborate with other organizations, such as the Five Points Association, to help with the recycling at their events, such as St. Pats, the Chili Cook-off, and Five Points After 5.

They also do monthly clean-up’s of local water sources. “Put your waders on, get in the water, and help us clean up!,” Perkins says.

If getting out and working with large groups of people (or children) isn’t your thing, you can also volunteer to do more behind-the-scenes work, such as calling or emailing farmers to check that their information is correct in the local farm and food guide that Sustainable Midlands helps publish.

If you’d like to keep up with Sustainable Midlands and their many volunteer opportunities, you can follow them on Facebook. Their Wine for Water silent auction takes place this upcoming Wednesday, April 19, so if you’re looking for a great cause to support this week, get your tickets here. 

Best Columbia Brunch Spots

It doesn’t take much to figure out how much I love brunch. I have no shame and I will not be stopped. On any given Sunday you’ll probably find me out to brunch with Ian and my sister, so today I wanted to share some of my favorite weekend brunch spots in Columbia.

The Original Pancake House

The Original Pancake House is located in Trenholm plaza next to Fresh Market. They’re famous for their colossal Dutch Baby and their equally huge apple pancake. Though the line can get long, this place is 100 percent worth the wait. I’m usually a Dutch Baby kinda girl, but sometimes I’ll stray and get a Bermuda Belgium waffle (a Belgium waffle topped with bananas, coconut, and fresh whipped cream.) Their coffee always tastes newly made, and their orange juice is fresh squeezed. They’re on the cheaper side, averaging about $8-$10 per plate. But they do not serve alcohol, so if you’re looking for a Sunday mimosa, this isn’t the place for you.

Liberty Tap Room

Liberty Tap Room, located on Gervais Street in The Vista, offers brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday. Their benedict’s are incredible, their shrimp and grits entree is what dreams are made of, and they give you free mini-blueberry muffins to munch on while you wait for your entrees. They also have a full bar and drink specials on brunch classics such as mimosas and their amazing bloody marys, which are almost a meal in themselves because of the many garnishes they’re adorned with, including a shrimp. Sometimes, I don’t even want the bloody mary, I just want the shrimp.

Motor Supply Co. Bistro

Motor Supply Co. is a favorite of mine, as their menu is the epitome of “farm to table” every day of the week. They hand-write their menu daily based on the freshest items they can get their hands on. They’re open for lunch and dinner, and on Sunday’s, their brunch lasts from 10:30 a.m to 2:30 p.m. Though their brunch menu changes weekly, I recommend the challah French toast, but I’ve heard great things about their breakfast quiche and Carolina crab cakes. They also have drink specials on bloody mary’s and other brunch classics as well.

116 State

I debated on if I wanted this place on my hidden gems post or if I wanted to save it for this one. 116 State is definitely a hidden gem of Columbia, and it’s one of my all-time favorite places to brunch. They offer both Saturday and Sunday brunch, making it a place we love to stop after our Saturday morning races. When I go, I either get the grown up kids plate, chicken and waffles, or the three potato hash browns topped with a fried egg. They have $3 mimosas and tons of fancy coffee drinks to go with your brunch.

What’s your favorite brunch spot in Columbia that I should try?

Writing for me.

Note: When I first started blogging, I did it because I was impressed by all the other bloggers I followed. Their layouts were seamless. They blogged about their days and the products they used and the things they cooked in all the spare time they had.

This was back when I had a lot of spare time. And I thought, hell, I love to write. Let me do that too.

So I tried. And I blogged for a few months. Writing a paragraph followed by a picture, commenting on other blogs to make bloggy friends (some of who I still talk to and who I still love. Some still blog, others don’t.) Then my life turned upside down because I left a 3 year relationship with a man I lived with and planned a life with. That’s when blogging seemed less fun.

I’ve struggled to get back to it since and I couldn’t put my finger on why. Then, a few days ago, it occurred to me: I don’t like lifestyle blogging.

Sure, I LOVE reading those blogs. But I want to write about life in a different way. I don’t want the cookie cutter “paragraph followed by picture.” I don’t want to write listicles. I want to write like I would write in my LiveJournal as a teen: bits of my life, and a lot of thoughts.

So, that’s what I’m going to use this space for. I am going to write how I want. It probably won’t be all about fitness (lord knows writing about fitness isn’t my thing anymore). It probably won’t be picture heavy unless I do something really fun and exciting.

But I miss writing. So here I go.