Tuesday, June 13, 2017

8 Years of Blogging and What I've Learned

Striped Sleeveless Top (runs big, size down)
White Linen Shorts (on sale for just $18!!!! runs big, size down)

This month marks 8 years of Summer Wind; my little corner of the internet named after my favorite Frank Sinatra song. It's been a long time and such a part of me, now occupying about a quarter of my life- I almost forget what life was like before Summer Wind. Also- where did all of that time go? How did I get so old?!

I was 19, had just finished my freshman year of college. I wasn't sure what I was doing or who I was and Summer Wind brought a sense of calmness. It was a place where I didn't have to think about whether I wanted a bachelor's of science or a bachelor's of arts, did I want to eventually get my MBA or Law degree?, did I want to graduate early?, did I want to study abroad?, where would I want to live next year (on campus or off?), will my 8am class suck as badly as everyone says, will switching my major put me behind my peers? These were all thoughts that occupied my 19-year-old mind... quite comical now, but so real then. But Summer Wind? That was all mine and I could chat endlessly about what I loved and was interested in while connecting with others who shared similar interests.

This past September I wrote a post talking about how Summer Wind was born, so definitely check that out if you haven't. Instead of telling a story, I wanted today's post to be more of a reflection. To say blogging has changed in the past 8 years is an understatement. And to say blogging changed my life is also an understatement. I don't know when certain things happened, but it's a lot different than it was back in 2009! I grew up and became an 'adult' and blogging became an industry!! If you asked me in 2009 if I thought I woud still be blogging in 2017, I might have laughed... and probably said 'HA, I'll be old then!!'.

Summer Wind was my respite from making adult decisions, my hideout if you will. But now, in 2017, the internet can be a very cold, lonely, harsh place. BUT, this is a happy celebration and I want to highlight the positives and let you all know what I have learned as a seasoned veteran in the blogging world. 

When I get an e-mail or a text/call from a friend and they are asking if they should start a blog, my answer is and always has been: YES! There are so many positive aspects of blogging and I want to be very candid about all of them with you today! So with 8 years, I figured I'd share 8 valuable life lessons that I have learned through blogging. 

Learning Is Priceless
To have been able to watch an entire industry come to fruition and to be a part of it is one of the most interesting and biggest learning experiences. You can't put a price on being a part of something and learning from it no matter what that 'something' is. Every single day I learn something new... whether it's how to negotiate, how to edit code, how to improve my photography, how to handle my accounting, etc. Everything is a learning process and as someone who is like a sponge with information, I can never get enough! To piggyback on that, you will never know everything and there will always be room for improvement. Michael Dell has said, 'If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.' It couldn't be truer, so surround yourself with those that you can learn from! 

High Self-Esteem and Self-Worth Are Essential
I don't know if this one is as huge as the others on the list, but it's worth mentioning. Blogging has made me become who I am today because I take the time to really refine what interests me and what I care about. I've always been a pretty outgoing and positive person, but I've learned to really love who I am, embrace it, and share it with everyone, unapologetically.

Passion Is Important
If you have something in your life that you are passionate about, then this needs no explanation, but I know a lot of people are lacking that passion in their lives. Maybe you're stuck in an unfulfilling job or whatever it is, the lack of passion makes life feel mundane and monotonous...I totally get it. But, if you find something that you truly love and want to give your all to, I cannot tell you how much brighter life can be. Whether it's a sport, or a craft, or a charity, or whatever it may be, finding something that you are passionate about deep down to your core is part of what makes life the best it can be! Blogging is a passion of mine and I think the reason I've been able to keep up with it for 8 years is that while it's definitely a lot of work, I'm always enjoying myself and always feeling fulfilled. 
Saying No is OK
To be honest, I'm still not the best at this and it is something I work on every single day. But I used to be way worse and the improvement is definitely there for me. As a blogger, I get some pretty incredible and fun opportunities. It can be so easy to fall into a 'yes, yes, yes' situation, but I have burnt myself out way too many times than I'd like to admit. I've learned to be selective with my time and give out yesses less and less. When you say yes less, you have time to focus on things that are truly worth your time and things that truly matter to you and do them to the best of your ability. 

Digital Detoxing is a Wonderful Thing
Being a blogger, my life revolves around the internet and social media... needless to say, it is exhausting. I've learned that detoxing, taking breaks, and separating myself from the online world is crucial to my happiness. Yes, sharing on the internet is what I have signed up for and you can really get sucked in playing the comparison game and reading the mean comments, etc. etc. But, it's much more important to live my life and be present, and then share it afterward.

You Can't Please Everyone and That's OK
This kind of fits in with having self-esteem and knowing your self-worth, but I wanted to make this its own thing because it's SO important. Not everyone is going to like you and that is more than ok. Just because someone doesn't like you or doesn't agree with you or has different tastes and opinions, doesn't decrease your own self-worth. 

Accepting Constructive Criticism Is Necessary
Like I said, the internet can be a cold, harsh place, but it's also filled with truly wonderful, kind people. While mean, hurtful comments are a dime a dozen on the internet, it has made me learn to appreciate the truly kind, constructive criticism that can help you to learn and grow as a person. I think it takes some real eloquence and grace to convey your displeasure about something in a polite way, and I feel so lucky to be surrounded my so many wonderful readers who are able to do just that. You all help me to learn and better myself and Summer Wind, and for that, I cannot thank you enough! 
Having Support is Crucial
Your life, my life, everyone's life is built on support. Support from family, from friends, coworkers, your 4-legged BFF, whatever it is, you are the best you can be because of the support of all of the wonderful people you surround yourself with. I may be the person behind Summer Wind, but Summer Wind is made up of my family, my friends, the industry, other bloggers, and all of you. I'm not a one-woman show, and I'm so proud of that. I'm so lucky to be supported by so many that love and care about me and my only hope is that I can offer the same type of support to others.


Amanda @ Anchored to Sunshine said...

Congrats on 8 years! That is amazing it is sounds like you have learned so many important things along the way. Day to day blogging can be a bit draining so it's always important to keep it in perspective.

CeeCee said...

This is super sweet. That said, I'm dying to know about your new car! Update us, girl! :)

Unknown said...

So happy to see you still blogging! It's a happy place for me to visit everyday. And I love your Snapchat, too! :)

Ashley said...

Loved this post! It was great to hear about all that you've learned. Congrats on 8 years that's amazing!

Ashley // MyWellDressedLife.com

Gold Clutter said...

Congrats! I've been reading your blog for the last 6ish months. I'm always impressed by the amazing content. I also celebrated my blogging anniversary recently. Gold Clutter is now one years old.


Laura Baker Busic said...


3 Peanuts said...

Congratulations. I think January was my 9th or 10th year but I have completely lapsed in posting this year. it is such a lovely community most of the time. I have enjoyed your blog from the very beginning I think.


Unknown said...

Congrats, Sydney! I think we can all tell that you are wise beyond your years, even in the case of blogging! These are some great lessons for those of us who are trying to grow our blog. I've had a personal blog for about 8 years myself, but I'm trying to expand it and this post was a good reminder to keep going! Keep doing what you're doing. I'm hoping for at least another decade of Summer Wind!


Grace said...

I'm impressed! I just posted my one month recap (😂) on Monday, so I have a long way to go but I'm enjoying it! Thanks for the advice 🙂

Meg T said...

Beautiful! What size did you go with for this top?


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