It’s hard for me to believe, but today is Life with Lauren‘s 5-year anniversary. I feel like I should send the blog an Edible Arrangement or something. It all started with this post about how I was in an “in-between” stage. I was 22 years old and, as Britney Spears once said, I was not a girl, not yet a woman as I tried to navigate the awkward waters of post-college life.
I can remember so clearly what my life looked like as I sat and wrote that post. I was sitting on my bed in the crappy apartment I shared with my then-boyfriend in Liverpool, New York. He had gotten super lucky in the first job department. I was fortunate to have a job, but felt like I was floating aimlessly through those first few months after graduation. It was a tough contrast. I had been hitting Google hard for answers about how to actually enjoy being a full-fledged adult. I also needed to know how to cope with the fact that my best friends no longer lived four doors down from me and available to hang out with me at any time because we had virtually no responsibilities.
It was at that moment that I decided I needed a hobby. My boyfriend was spending a lot of time at work, and even though I was living in the city where I grew up I had yet to make adult friends there. It was time to commit myself to something. I had always felt like I was a decent enough writer, so I decided to give blogging a shot.
So much in my professional and personal life has changed since that first post on March 23rd, 2011, but the ability to write about all of it and connect with other people has always been a comforting constant for me. I never expected to get to make a career out of writing, but this blog was a catalyst for that and I’m so appreciative.
Whether you’ve been reading since day one (you’re a brave soul if you have, some of those first posts were rough) or have found me more recently through Charlotte Five, my podcast, Twitter, or some other way, thank you so much for reading. I appreciate every comment, tweet, e-mail, and Facebook message. I know there’s so much you can be paying attention to today, so the fact that you choose to spend part of your day here means everything to me.
The other thing: I started this blog because I felt stuck and directionless. I knew I could be happier than I was, but I didn’t know what to do about it. If you’re in a similar situation, I know how overwhelming it can seem. Change is terrifying, whether you’re talking about switching jobs, moving to a new city, or something in between. Trust me when I say it’s absolutely worth it. Sometimes you have to just blow up your whole life (or certain aspects of it) and see what happens when the dust settles. If you still don’t like how things look, try again. It’s easy to come up with a bunch of reasons about why you have to keep things the way they are. You don’t. And if you’re only mildly to moderately happy, you shouldn’t just keep waiting for real joy.
Moving to Charlotte was the best decision I’ve ever made. It was also the scariest. But now I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I had just let myself stay where I was comfortable as I continued being “meh” levels of happy.
If you know you need to make a change but don’t know where to begin, start small. Meet new people. Discover a new hobby. Try something you don’t think you’d be very good at. Read different things and get different perspectives. Travel, even if it’s only a day trip. Rearrange your apartment. Change up your daily routine. Then tackle the bigger issues.
Thank you so much for reading. I hope wherever you are that you’re insanely happy or are working to get there.