What It’s Like To Be An Introverted Blogger

Why I Struggle With Blogging - How To Survive When You Are An Introverted Blogger

Hey there,

Lately I have been asking myself a lot of questions:

Why do I struggle sharing my life with others?

Why am I so hesitant about telling people about my blog?

I obviously feel the need to share at least some of my life with the public, so why can’t I share it with people that I actually know?

The list goes on and on.

I am so tired of beating myself up over things that I can’t change or questions that I don’t have the answer to. I don’t know why I am the way that I am. All I know is that I struggle to make the changes that I feel I need to make.

I have said before that it is okay to be an Introvert. But it is SO hard living in world where everyone expects you to be an Extrovert.

As children we are forced to raise our hands in class because if we don’t the teacher will call us out in front of the class or we won’t receive any participation points. I always felt like I had to sit in the back of the classroom in order to be able to learn anything. Just because I am silent does not mean that I am not listening. In fact, when I am silent and not worried about being called on, I am actually learning so much more.

It is so important to understand the different types of personalities instead of trying to cram everyone into the same category. I, for one, am exhausted of people trying to tell me how to act or how to feel.

When you market yourself as a blogger, it seems to be assumed that you are outgoing and personable.

I struggle with blogging because I love the creative outlet but I hate being compared to everyone else. I hate trying so hard to fit in a box with everyone else when I feel so different.

I just need to keep reminding myself that it is okay to be an Introvert. And it is more than okay to be an Introverted blogger.

Does anyone else out there struggle with blogging?

Thanks for readings!

 

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Image via Unsplash

 

 

 

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Friday Introductions

 

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Hey friends!

Since I re-launched my blog in late 2017 after taking a year long break I figured now would be a great time to introduce myself to my new and old followers.

For starters, my name is Hayley, hence Life of Hayley. If I had to categorize my blog I would say that it is a “Lifestyle Blog”. I love to share my favorite products, books, travel, and most recently, wedding planning. Not only do I love blogging, but I also love reading other people’s blogs. I am also looking for new bloggers to follow!

I began this blog in November 2013 right when I was turning 20 as a way to document all of the things I wanted to accomplish before turning 25. It’s been four years and I am so proud with how far I have come! I will be 25 next fall and I feel more than ready. I have accomplished far more than I ever thought possible and am in love with the way my life is turning out.

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My biggest accomplishment was studying abroad in London in 2015. I was SO scared to move to London for a semester but it turned out to be the best decision. I made life-long friends and cherish the memories that I made along the way. London will always feel like home!

I graduated from college in April 2016 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. I majored in Electronic Business Marketing and minored in General and International Business. After I graduated, I began looking for a full-time job in my field. I ended up accepting a position at a financial company in September 2016. I expected to like the job but never expected to fall in love with it! I love my company, my co-workers, and the work that I am doing every day. I really feel like I am making an impact on my community and our client’s lives.

Wedding Planning - Wedding Pictures

On August 19th, 2017 I married my boyfriend of six years, Brett. Our wedding day went by so quickly but it turned out better than we could have ever imagined! We got married at a Lake where I spent most of my summers growing up. We were surronded with all of our favorite people; our friends, family, and co-workers. Everyone who joined us had made an impact on our lives in some way. It was so special to start our married lives with all of the people who we love the most.

Brett and I went on a two week Honeymoon in London directly following the wedding. It was just like coming home. Brett proposed to me in London so the city holds a special place in both of our hearts.

Now I am just enjoying life with Brett and our cat, Lucy. We live in a cute little apartment and love spending time with our friends playing trivia or old PS2 games. I love tea, The Crown, Harry Potter, and reading. I’m an introvert who greatly values my alone time. I am also a Target addict and a wannabe interior designer.

Welcome to my little corner of the internet. I hope you stay awhile!

 

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Book Review – I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives

I Will Always Write Back Book Review by Caitlin Alfirenka & Martin Ganda

 

Hey friends,

I am back with my first book review of 2018! One of my New Years resolutions is to read more so I figured I’d start out the year with a review of my favorite book of 2017, I will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives. I can honestly say that this book changed my way of thinking and made me reflect on the changes that I can make in order to give back to my community and make an impact.

This book was a recommendation on one of Jansen’s (Everyday Reading) blog posts. I was initially drawn to the book because one of my co-workers is from Zimbabwe and I have always enjoyed hearing his stories about growing up. He talked about the reason he went into Finance was because of the Financial crisis that occurred while he was growing up in Zimbabwe. He came to America to learn all he could with the goal of going home one day and using his experiences in finance to make a positive impact. This book goes into detail about the same Financial crisis that my co-worker experienced.

 

I will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alfirenka & Martin Ganda

 

I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Martin Ganda and Caitlin Alifirenka with Liz Welch

 

The New York Times bestselling true story of an all-American girl and a boy from Zimbabwe and the letter that changed both of their lives forever.

It started as an assignment. Everyone in Caitlin’s class wrote to an unknown student somewhere in a distant place.

Martin was lucky to even receive a pen-pal letter. There were only ten letters, and fifty kids in his class. But he was the top student, so he got the first one.

That letter was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives.

In this compelling dual memoir, Caitlin and Martin recount how they became best friends –and better people–through their long-distance exchange. Their story will inspire you to look beyond your own life and wonder about the world at large and your place in it.

 

Martin was from a small village in Zimbabwe. He greatly valued his education but his family struggled to pay for his schooling. Caitlin was your normal 12 year old from Pennsylvania. Her troubles included boys, clothes, and friends. They started writing letters to each other because of a school assignment.

It took a while for Caitlin to realize just how hard Martin’s life was becoming. His worries were vastly different than his. She would send gifts, $20 here and there, that would feed Martin’s family and send him to school. The books spans years and details the daily struggles, and what Martin had to overcome in order to get his education and take care of his family.

I read this whole book in under 24 hours. I could not put it down and I could not go to sleep until I knew that everything was okay. “Wow” is the only word that comes to mind when I think about the experience I had while reading. It was thought provoking, emotional, and I was honestly cheering Caitlin and Martin on as I read. I felt invested in the outcome of the book.

As an American, I know I am lucky. I am lucky to have grown up with a roof over my head, food in the cupboards, two parents with jobs, and a free public education. It is very easy to take all of these things for granted. We see the news and hear about the troubling times in other countries but we may never have to directly deal with any of these issues. This book puts everything into prospective.

I could say so much more but I will just leave you with this:

One letter changed Caitlin and Martin’s life. One book changed mine.

As always, thanks so much for reading!

 

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2018: First Quarter Goals

2018 First Quarter Goals

Hello again!

I am back with my goals for the first quarter of 2018! I like the idea of New Years resolutions. However, I have a hard time sticking to them because 365 days seems like a long time. I eventually forget my goals and by December I haven’t really accomplished anything.

That’s why I love setting quarterly goals. So much of what I do at work revolves around quarters so I have an easy time thinking this way. It’s a great way to break the year up into four manageable sections.

With that said, here are a few things that I am hoping to accomplish over the next couple of months:

  1. Pay Off One Credit Card. Brett and I are super lucky because I have no credit card debt and Brett has very little. We have been reading Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and it has given us the inspiration to start small and pay off our lowest balance credit card. I would love to go into 2019 with no credit card debt!
  2. Start House Hunting. I LOVE renting but the finance lover in me hates throwing our money away on something we don’t own. Brett and I sat down with a realtor this week and agreed to start taking baby steps towards purchasing our first home. We will start to look at houses in our price range and figure out what we like and dislike. We will shop around for different home loan lenders and find the best fit for us. We will not feel pressured into buying a house. We will buy when we are ready.
  3. Continue to make my health a priority. Guys, I have struggled for YEARS with migraines and daily headaches. I went almost two years with a constant headache and the pain has been debilitating. I made it a goal last quarter to really work with my Neurologist to find a solution that will work for me and my liver. The past month has been amazing. I still have headaches and the occasional migraine but the pain is finally manageable. I know I still have a long road ahead of me but this is the first time since 2011 that I have felt this good. *Knocks on wood*
  4. Being more productive after work. I am always exhausted after work. My days are stressful and I never feel like cooking or cleaning after work. I have made it my goal to meal plan and prep in order to make work nights easier. I will try to always go to bed with a clean kitchen, my lunch packed, and my outfit prepared for the next day.
  5. Focus on Healthy Living. I have gained a lot of weight since the wedding. I stopped eating healthy and working out. It was nice not to have to worry about fitting in an expensive wedding dress or looking good in pictures but it’s gotten bad. I am having a hard time looking in the mirror, fitting into my clothes, and having positive thoughts about myself. I just want to start eating healthier, walking more, and drinking more water. I don’t want to doing any extreme fad diet because they are bad for my mental health. I just want to respect my body again.
  6. Finish Our Wedding Thank You Notes. I am such a slacker and I hate myself for it. Writing all of these thank you notes stress me out. I am so grateful for everyone who helped us decorate, drive shuttle cars, and clean up after the wedding. I am thankful for everyone who brought us gifts or gave us money. It’s just so hard for me to convey how grateful I am in a note.

So there’s a few things that I am working on in the beginning of 2018. Financial freedom, healthy living, and future planning. It’s going to be a great year!

What are your goals for 2018?

Thanks for reading!

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Image via Unsplash

Our Engagement Pictures – 10.27.2016

Engagement Pictures - Planning Your Engagement Pictures

 

Hello again,

Since I took a year off of blogging I missed out on sharing a lot of big life moments. Brett and I spent a lot of 2016 and 2017 planning our August 19th wedding. One of the many steps in wedding planning was getting our engagement pictures taken.

I was so anxious to pick the perfect wedding photographer. I am very happy to share that our wedding photographers (and videographer) were beyond amazing. Josh, our lead photographer, really took the time to get to know us and our style. Our engagement and wedding pictures turned out better than we could have ever imagined!! If you are getting married in Michigan, I would be more than happy to share the company that we worked with!

Today I’ll share some of my favorite engagement pictures. I plan on posting more wedding related content over the course of this next year so please let me know if there’s anything you would like to see.

We decided to have our engagement pictures taken at the University that we graduated from. We spent the majority of our relationship in college together so it felt very fitting to have our engagement pictures taken there. Plus, the campus is so beautiful in the fall!

As you can see, Brett and I have so much fun together and have a hard time remaining serious for long. I think our engagement pictures really capture our relationship and personalities.

Thanks for reading!

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Dancing Our Way Into 2018

2018

Hey Friends,

I am sitting on my couch, in my apartment, with my husband, cat, and best friend. We have played Just Dance, Mario Cart, Wii Sports, and Guitar Hero. The boys have made pizza, buffalo chicken, and countless other snacky foods while I have enjoyed a bottle of my favorite wine.

I am sitting here reflecting on how there is really no place I’d rather be. 2017 has been really good to me. I love my husband, our apartment, our friends, family, and cat. I have a job that challenges me every day. A job where I can imagine staying at until I retire and never growing bored.

I know that I am lucky. I am content. I am overjoyed with the prospect of another great year. And mostly, I am grateful. I am grateful for my family who encourage me and support me. I am grateful for my husband who makes me laugh and smile every single day. I am grateful for my friends, those new and old, who I can always count on. I am grateful every single day for the life I live.

So here’s to 2018! I hope this new year brings you everything that you need and hope for. Work hard, play hard, and always remain humble.

Love,
Hayley

Life of Hayley Instagram

Cheers to Twenty-Four

 

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Hey, friends!

Today I turned 24! I started this blog for my 20th birthday which means I have officially been blogging (irregularly) for four years.

This blog started as a way to document the 25 things I wanted to do before I turned 25. The truth of the matter is that I didn’t keep track of my goals and accomplishments over the past four years. I stopped putting pressure on myself and really started to live. With that being said, here’s a list of 25 things that I’d like to accomplish before I turn 25.

  1. Buy a house (or condo!)
  2. Create an emergency fund
  3. Exercise regularly
  4. Kick the pop (soda) habit once and for all
  5. Invest more into my 401(k)
  6. Read at least 1 book per month
  7. Create photo albums for our wedding pictures
  8. Buy a new computer or laptop
  9. Start meal planning
  10. Blog more
  11. Spend more time with family and friends
  12. Start listening to podcasts
  13. Be more productive after work
  14. Consider going to grad school
  15. Go to more seminars for work
  16. Do something social with co-workers at least once per month
  17. Read a Dave Ramsey book
  18. Travel more!
  19. Have at least 1 date night per month
  20. Create an instagram for the blog
  21. Buy a pair of jeans that I actually like ( I HATE jean shopping, any recommendations?)
  22. Be healthy (mind and body)
  23. Work on getting my migraines in control
  24. Read all the Harry Potter books again
  25. Visit somewhere new with Brett

I don’t expect to finish this whole list in a year. You can see that they aren’t necessarily “serious” goals. I am completely in love with the way my life is right now and don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. I want to continue enjoying life!

I’m off to enjoy the rest of my Birthday! Today I am working and then hopefully enjoying a relaxing evening with my family and friends.

Cheers to 24!

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