There’s a lot to say about someone letting you in on their lives. Usually, those are called friends. Those people are willing to share themselves with you, knowing full well that you won’t judge them. It’s almost as if that’s a pre-requisite to life. Then there’s something to say of someone who’s sharing themselves with you, on a social platform. Someone who allows you to watch their successes, showing you the “good” parts of their world that they want you to see. Lastly, there’s people who share it all. The people who put their successes, failures, relationships, fears, and journeys on a platform as to give people something to relate to. That is blogging. That is me. 

When I started blogging I had one mindset: “Be the skinny fashion girl” that I idolized on Youtube and Instagram. Show the world that even though you moved out, have lost most of your money, and have your no idea what you’re doing, that your life is really together. These girls on the internet make money by posting about their cool lives, perfect complexions, and really awesome bodies. Then I realized, I couldn’t do that. 

I was struggling every single day to get out of bed and look in the mirror. I started blogging in August. In July, when we went home to visit, I jokingly asked a friend if I looked like I had gained weight. “Honestly, yeah” was the response, even though it was the brutal honesty I thought I needed. So in August, when I started  blog, I thought “Oh yeah, I’ll show you all at home that my life is cool.”

By October, I realized that wasn’t real. Still I tried to fit my blog into a mold & proclaimed “LOOK AT ALL THE ORGANIZED POSTS I’M DOING FOR YOU”, as if ANYONE cared about some shotty workmanship on a Pinterest project I did. I also recapped my entire weekend, every single weekend, where I did nothing for a solid 48 hours. “But this is what the real bloggers do”. Then, after literally struggling to throw together 12 days of Christmas blogs, or whatever God Awful name I chose, I had an epiphany.

I am a real girl. A real, relatable, girl. I have this platform to be able to actually have someone say “I’m not the only one“. So, December ended and so did my five months of trying to fit into this box. Here we are, in April. You’ve seen four months of Jen. The real, unfiltered, weight losing, Pinterest failing, super sassy, and pretty disgustingly in love Jen.

What has blogging taught me? Well, for one, I can never be one of those girls on the internet. I think it’s funny to burp when Dylan leans in to kiss me. I fart regardless of if he’s home or not. Some days, I don’t even brush my hair. I get really impatient if someone doesn’t text me back, but don’t answer my own texts for six weeks. I will wear the same shirt, two days in a row, if I nanny at different houses. I eat popcorn in bed, and there’s always kernels. Some days I work out at the gym and have to leave because the guys won’t leave me alone. Most days, I just want to wish away the cellulite from my thighs and loose skin from my stomach. I can’t ever be the girl who tells you “my life is sunshine and rainbows and butterflies, be jealous of me and then use my 5% off code to do a tea detox”. That’s not real.

Blogging has taught me that failure connects you. Not that success doesn’t, but it’s different with failure. You guys message me every single day asking for workout tips, thoughts, opinions on life, and sometimes just someone to vent to. If I always told you that my life is perfect and awesome, it wouldn’t be approachable. You don’t want to bug someone who has their shit together. You see that my bank account has no money, my thighs hold lots of nachos, and my neighbors upstairs teach step class in their living room and you relate. You say, “this girl is just as much of a hot mess as me, let’s chat”.

It’s funny isn’t it? At first, I took always, ampersand to mean “life’s best connections are made with an ampersand”. In reality, the ampersand means more. It connects me & you. So, what is the most important thing that blogging has taught me in the last eight months? None of us are alone, and we’re all just trying to stay afloat. If I can provide you with an ear, an opinion, or a story that brings a smile to your face, then this blog is doing everything right. Sure, I may not have sponsors, free stuff, or a million followers on my instagram (11.3k thank you very much), but I have a whole community of little ampersands, who are now all connected.

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