As we begin the third year of the Unexpected Ever Afters blog, we are excited to share another mini-series, this time on the topic of our blog journey. We hope you enjoy our reflections!
As we marked our second blogiversary of The Unexpected Ever Afters, it was fascinating to read through past posts and reflect on all the changes that have occurred in the past two years. I had a chance to reflect on life, the impact of unexpected circumstances, and how experiences have pushed me in different directions and shaped the ways I have evolved. While the posts I’ve shared reflect only a partial insight into my daily life, as there is no way to capture even a single day in its entirety, I still found it amazing to look back on all the unexpected aspects of life, to remember the challenges and unplanned detours I have navigated, and to also acknowledge how much good and joy there has been throughout.
Through the habit of writing, I have pushed myself to be more vulnerable in my reflections on life. By taking the time to assess my experiences through the lens of nuance and grace, I have learned to deemphasize the “highlight” reel and instead refocus on the ways the messy unexpecteds can still provide beauty and meaning in my life. I had an opportunity to articulate this perspective shift in my “The Beauty of Reality” piece. “By focusing on reality as being an imperfect version of my daydream…maybe I’m actually viewing life upside down.” I am thankful for how this blog has encouraged me to consider different ways to think about life.
In Part 1 of this series, I shared some of my favorite aspects of the writing journey, and how I primarily write for myself as a way to process life and share some of my reflections. However, one aspect I didn’t elaborate on in my previous post is how much I appreciate hearing from readers – especially our biggest fans who have supported us from the beginning. Receiving words of affirmation, reactions and insight into what was shared offers reassuring reminders that our writing has resonance. Because while it is true that writing itself is helpful in my life journey, it’s the connections and conversations that spark depth of personal growth. I enjoy sharing my writing, and I want to hear perspectives, personal experiences, and thoughts from readers. Being reminded over and over again how I’m not alone in my thoughts, emotions, and feelings is incredibly encouraging. My hope as this blogging journey continues is that we will resonate with our readers and develop additional connections.
Words have power. I know I’ve been affected by words expressed by individuals who probably had little to no idea they were impacting me with such profound depth. In many ways, I believe words have the ability to change the world; I know they have certainly changed me. Of course, the change is not typically immediate and often lacks satisfying, outwardly visible results, so the impact can seem, at times, minimal. Yet, words have the power to influence change, nonetheless. Different avenues for the expression of thoughts, ideas, perspectives, feelings, and emotions, whether written or spoken, provide a myriad of ways to connect with those around us, to engage with those physically separated from us, and to learn from those no longer with us. I especially appreciate writing as a form of communication as it allows for space and time to fully think through and create the most appropriate expression of emotions, feelings, and thoughts. Communication is integral to the human experience and has the power to either divide or unite people. From my own personal experience, communicating via writing opens avenues for dialogue with readers as well as expanding space for introspection and reflection within my own self.
As The Unexpected Ever Afters embarks on its third year, Jessica and I look forward to a continuation of the opportunity to reflect and communicate our perspectives, experiences, and life journeys. We are excited about the dialogue that writing can spark between each other and those who read our posts. We continue to extend an open invitation for guests to share their stories on our site and are excited for the possibility of additional guest posts.
The past two years of blogging have proven to be a reflective journey and I’m excited about the opportunity for personal growth and connection through the continuation of The Unexpected Ever Afters blog site. I’m grateful for the space to share my writing and for the support and encouragement we’ve received from our readers. Cheers to continuing this journey!
Wendi, her husband, and their two kids live in Minnesota and are currently perfecting their best “ya sure you betcha” accents. She is co-author of the blog The Unexpected Ever Afters and enjoys sipping extra hot coffee, sharing a love of reading with her kids, and exploring bike trails.
photo credit: personal photo