A Look Back on Blogging and How It Changed My Life

July 6, 2015
Flashback to 2012 when I really wanted to start a blog, but was scared to do so.  I was worried for a number of (dumb) reasons, but the main ones were: 1) Blogging + working in public education do not  always mix 2) Would people judge me? What if I wasn't good enough? 3) I don't know how to do it. One of my friends, Courtney, had recently started a blog in order to document her life in Seville, Spain when she studied abroad for a semester.  I really enjoyed reading about her experiences, and when she came back the two of us started talking about blogging.  She wanted to start a new, lifestyle blog and I wanted to start a blog of my own. Courtney promised that it was super easy to start a blog by using Blogger, and if it wasn't for her encouragement, I'm not entirely positive that I would have ever gone for it. 


Initially, I was way too paranoid to really write too much about my life. In education, they kind of instill (justified) fear in you that teachers are seen as role models and to really censor what you post on the internet. It's not like I'd be posting anything "bad," but teachers who are bloggers do have to be more careful.  Do I want a picture of myself in a bathing suit on a trip to be potentially viewed by my students' parents?  What about the fact that I love to drink wine?  My sister's former co-worker posted a picture of herself drinking wine on Facebook (on one of her days off), and she got reprimanded by admin and was told to take it down.  Of course, I would never add members of administration to my personal Facebook and kept quiet about this here blog at school, but there's no denying that some crazy things have happened to teachers because of seemingly harmless content they post about themselves on the internet.  That's why at first I just decided that I would have a review/beauty blog. However, over time I started becoming more interested in reading lifestyle blogs and grew tired of mainly posting reviews of subscription boxes and makeup. I decided to write more about myself, but toned it down and left out things that could potentially get me into trouble such as swearing, for example. Once I had transitioned my blog into a lifestyle one, I started making more genuine connections with other bloggers and found out about a Cleveland Blogger Meet Up organized by Rachael and Jess. Courtney already "knew" Rachael because they were paired as each other's partners though the Bigs & Littles Blogging Network, so Courtney and I decided to drive up together and meet other bloggers in the area. and that's when I met Rachael.  The two of us decided to stay in touch and became great friends over the past few years. 


Meanwhile, in real life, I had graduated from OSU with my Masters in Education and was looking for a full-time teaching job.  I decided to move down South to get one since there seemed to be more openings down here and I didn't have to have the reading endorsement.  I thought briefly about going overseas to teach again, but wanted to find a job in the U.S. first and see how that went. Last September, I ended up snagging a job that I thought was going to be a dream job...If by dream I meant a terrible nightmare, then yes, I guess I got my dream job.  Maybe some day I will open up about my trials and tribulations, but for now just know that I did not have the best experience.  I considered quitting many times through out the year, but decided to tough it out til the end and managed to do so. (For the record, yes, I got my contract renewed by the school and yes, I passed South Carolina's induction course for first year teachers.) On the bright side of things, some of my students were seriously the most wonderful students I could have ever asked for and I'll never forget them...They are the ones that made it worth it and I tried to think about them when I was having an especially bad day. After a few months in, I started looking at other positions because I did not think that I wanted to stay another year. I knew that I wanted to work overseas again because teaching ESL in Korea was where I fell in love with the profession. Like I said, I kept in contact with Rachael and you'll know if you read her blog that she is teaching in Shanghai. She told me that her school is always looking for new teachers each year and she has told me multiple times that she loves teaching there. From what she has described to me, it sounds similar to what it was like when I taught in Korea. Of course there will be some differences, but I did some research on the school and it is well-established which is a good sign. Plus, you know, Rachael is amazing considering that she is part unicorn and all, and I trust her opinion! I ended up applying and I got the job, so I'll be starting in August! 

So, in a nutshell, if Courtney hadn't convinced me to start blogging, then I never would have gone to the Cleveland Bloggers Meet Up, I wouldn't have met Rachael, and I would not be teaching in Shanghai next year--isn't that crazy how I'm making a huge change in my life and it can all be linked back to blogging? I'm so glad that I didn't let some silly fears stop me from starting a blog in the first place because though blogging I was able to meet so many other awesome people. 

On the subject of Shanghai, I am so very excited! Living in Shanghai this year will actually be my 6th year living abroad, which I haven't done since 2008 and boy do I miss it! On top of that, I told my  good friend Scott (he calls me his 4th best friend, ha ha) about working in Shanghai next year and he decided to apply and now is also going to be working there. I feel really good about this decision and know that it is the right one for me. 


How has blogging changed your life?
24 comments on "A Look Back on Blogging and How It Changed My Life"
  1. That's so wonderful! I'm so excited for you!

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  2. OMG working with Rachael AND your friend Scott is going to be so fun! I love that blogging worked into your life like that and when you started had NO idea it would, it's always wonderful how life is like that.

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  3. Congrats on Shanghai! That will be so much fun.

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  4. I'm so excited! I didn't know you taught in Korea! That's awesome. And it's cool how much of an impact blogging has had on your life!


    I look forward to meeting you :)

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  5. Laci Jamison CarlsonJuly 6, 2015 at 3:22 PM

    So glad you did it anyway !!! Both of my sister teach in our very small town @ public schools so I know all to well how almost un fair it is. But you rock at it a d keep on :)

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  6. Thanks for sharing! I just started my blog less than a month ago and I'm so enjoying it! I would love to be able to quit my day job ;) It's been invigorating to engage with the community and to do research on best practices for growing and engaging.

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  7. Wow that's so awesome! Blogging really opens up the door for so many opportunities! Can't wait to hear about your adventures in Shanghai!

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  8. Thanks, Lora! It was a big decision for me and one I did not take lightly, but in the end it's something I had to try.

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  9. It will be fun! Rachael is in middle childhood education, but Scott will be in early ed. with me. I'm pretty happy with the way blogging resulted in this great opportunity!

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  10. Thanks! I have high hopes for next year. I can't wait to meet my students, live abroad, and start traveling again.

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  11. If it weren't for blogging and meeting Rachael I would probably be in SC again next year...or maybe in another country, but probably not China. It just made sense to look into a school my friend was so happy working at!


    We are going to have a great year!! :)

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  12. Yeah, we all need a partner in crime, don't we? From the looks of it, I might have several. :)

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  13. I am, too! Blogging has been a really fun hobby for me and obviously my life would be really different if I hadn't started a blog!

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  14. There are definitely worse hobbies than blogging. :)

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  15. Too bad we all can't quit our day jobs and be full time bloggers! Wouldn't that be the life? What's amazing to me is how much I still learn even after blogging for years. There is always more to improve on, but the challenge of that is kind of fun.

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  16. Maybe we will discover some more of these great opportunities at BlogHer! I'm hoping so, anyway!

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  17. Blogging has really been a creative outlet for me! It made me realize how much I love photography and cooking! It's a whole new world to explore!

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  18. Aww this is an amazing story! In my case, I have been able to meet bloggers who come to visit Slovenia. And it has been great to meet them IRL!

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  19. ElleSees.blogspot.comJuly 7, 2015 at 8:42 AM

    nice to read more about you and your story. i love blogging and love helping others with beauty info through mine.

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  20. loved reading about your story! i think it's crazy about how teachers can get in trouble for things like that, my husband is a teacher and he ended up deleting facebook and his students parents try and add me and i'm like no way! i don't think they should get into trouble for posting things, but then again i would never post a picture of me holding a mug of beer that my boss could see, you know? anyway! i'm glad blogging has been such a good experience for you - good luck in Shanghai!

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  21. I am so proud of you. This just made me feel a little emotional! You've made such a big impact on my life and I'm so glad we will be TEACHING AT THE SAME SCHOOL next year! I am just so happy!!

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  22. That's so awesome that you're going to Shanghai next year and teaching abroad with Rachael. It's crazy how something as little as a decision to start blogging can change our lives in such big ways eventually! I can't wait to hear your stories from abroad next year.

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  23. Wow, big news! Good luck with moving abroad again... I'm sure you'll do well though. :) I'm still waiting to see if my current blog will be totally life-changing, but it's definitely forced me to tap into skills I didn't even know I had. Like using a camera, lol.

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  24. I love how it helps us build our skills. It has helped me with some basic graphic design, however that is something I still need to work on!

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