How I got into blogging + Where and how it all began

I hit publish on my very first blog post on October 19, 2015. My first few words sent out into the blogosphere went just like this:

“I like to start my notes to you as if we are already in the middle of a conversation. I pretend that we are the oldest and dearest of friends–as opposed to what we actually are, people who don’t know each others names…..”–Kathleen Kelly, You’ve Got Mail (A movie that I know every word to and have watched over 100 times….so far. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks were just the best pair, need I say more?)

Those words successfully launched me into becoming the blogger that I am today. I had no idea as I hit the publish button what adventures were ahead, but I couldn’t be happier I had the courage to do so.

Let’s rewind all the way back to the beginning. In order to go back there though, I’ll warn you that as I’ve always said, I write each post with 100% transparency and real-ness and that’s exactly what you’ll get with today’s post! Of course, there’s no other way to be in my opinion, but that’s exactly what has to happen anyways in order to go alllllll the way back to the yester-years, raw real and ugly as it may be! πŸ˜‰ Just know that you’ve been warned.

The infamous Summer of 2011 for me. It was the Summer known as “dig-deep-find-out-who-you-really-are-and-what-you-really-want”-Summer. Oh and also, the months of my first ever experience with unemployment as a college grad. Yep, I am one of those millennial grads that proudly held my diploma up high on graduation day, but basically was slapped with a huge dose of reality just a few weeks later. The real world became my worst enemy right after I walked out of UCA for the last time that Summer. I was unemployed, lacking “real world” experience, with nothing to show but my hefty amount of student loan debt and down right disappointed. I spent my days applying for job after job, eyes glued to the computer screen for hours on end day after day after day….It was exhausting and tremendously discouraging to say the very least. I was struggling emotionally and mentally to keep my confidence up after being rejected by the countless jobs that I was so convinced of just a few months earlier, that I would (without a doubt), land with that trusty earned diploma.

Apply for admission, pay your tuition, pick your classes, survive the basic courses, choose your major, soak it all in, 4 years later-graduate, land your dream job and then live that white picket fence American dream. That’s what they all said, right? Right. Well, “they” just so happened to be wrong. Wrong, wrong and more wrong! The failing economy just wasn’t setup for that whole post-grad American dream thing anymore and I learned it quick fast, and in a hurry!

My story definitely did not turn out as planned, just like so many other millennial college grads I know and have heard of. But, the good news? I found something better! Something that my college degree never could have or would have prepared me for. I could sit here and say that I regret going to college and paying the money for the basic piece of paper I now have in a frame collecting dust, but I honestly can’t say that. While I didn’t land that “dream” job that my diploma stood for, I did get 4 years to find out what, where, who and why I was the way that I was, back then. Those 4 years on my own in “college land” taught me more than I could’ve ever learned in the classroom. It ignited my passion for writing, photography and creating that I can whole heartedly say I have those few years to thank for that. I’ll always look back and be thankful for the time I spent learning, pushing myself, stretching my confidence and packing my toolbox for the future “me”. I just didn’t know who that might be and what that “future” would entail…

That time spent earning my degree was NOT what led me to blogging. It was the above mentioned, months right after I turned in my last journalism project and closed the door on college. During the day when I wasn’t sending out my resume for the 50th time to another company with my fingers crossed and breath held, I came across the first blog I’d ever seen. That blog was Janae’s over at the Hungry Runner Girl. I, just like thousands of other people, was new to the idea of what blogging even was. I just stumbled upon what seemed to be this girl’s daily journal and became enthralled in her hiliarious storytelling and daily running chronicles. I found myself logging on each morning at 7AM when she would post a new blog for the day and find myself thriving off her motivation to get up and run every single day. She would post pictures of her lunches which were usually gigantic colorful salads, (healthy and delicious looking), her candy addictions (which made me feel better in knowing that I wasn’t the only one with that same problem), and her running workouts that she documented each and every day. I couldn’t stop reading it and I was totally hooked! It was an inspirational bright spot in my day that really did get me through some of the hardest days I’ve ever experienced. It sounds so weird to say, but I know I found blogging right at the very time I was meant to find it. I just didn’t know the profound impact it would have on me until years later.

The reason I felt so inspired by Janae’s blog, was because I felt like by reading her daily posts, I was able to draw from her motivation and drive to get my own self up and out the door for a run. Running at that time was honestly my saving grace (sanity wise), and while maybe jobs were turning me down left and right for lack of experience–running was NOT. Once I stumbled across her blog, I found myself running into more bloggers just like her all over the internet and the country! I realized that through these blog posts that these bloggers would share, they were not only documenting random running sessions that made them stronger and faster runners, but they were keeping memories in a written down, photographed form. I LOVED that aspect as I’ve always been one to keep my thoughts written down in various journals through the years. All I was missing was the picture part…(well and the website side of things.) I also loved the idea of being able to look back on the past dates and posts and see how much stronger you’ve grown throughout those tough workouts or how life in between unfolded in the meantime. It was all such an interesting world (or blogosphere) I’d found myself getting lost into every single day. The time I spent scrolling through and reading these different blogs, I was able to take my mind off my own frustrations with my career search and spark a little bit of extra motivation in myself to keep going throughout the day. It was an unforgettable, challenging Summer, but I can honestly say that time taught me more about myself than I could ever even dream of. To this day, I still read Janae’s daily blog at the Hungry Runner Girl and still love the inspiration she shares, along with so many other runner’s out there that love her posts just as much as I do.

Fast forward to 2015, when I finally convinced myself it was time to start up my own little corner of the internet. In October of 2015 “Chelsea Be Healthy” was launched with a whole lot of cluelessness, technical challenges, vulnerability fears and excitement for what it could really turn into one day. I knew how much blogging had changed my life a few short years before, and I just had this overwhelming feeling I should maybe see what it was all about and start one of my own. The passion I had for writing, journaling, photography and creating all never left me, even though my “day job” didn’t involve anything of the sort. (Oh, did I mention I did finally land a job that August of 2011? Yes I did, and NO it was not in my degree field, but I surely didn’t care at that point. I was employed for goodness sakes and finally felt like a human again! Hallelujah!!) I knew that running was my outlet and thought how fun it would be if I could just connect those two passions together and see what could come out of it. Well, that’s exactly when “Chelsea Be Healthy” was born into my own little hub of running entries, nutritional recipes, and random ramblings as our journey into flipping houses and real estate unfolded.

I quickly fell in love with being able to take the words in my head and lay them out into each of my blog posts. The creativity aspect of it in taking my dream of my blog and making it a reality was even more fun! I spent hours and hours moving, re-arranging, re-creating and plugging things into my actual website and learned it all on a DIY basis. It was a learning experience and one that I had no idea I was in for. But, I loved it then and still do today! The fact that I got to keep all of my race recaps, holidays celebrated, vacations traveled, running workouts completed and more all in one place was everything and more of what I hoped for when I started my very own blog in the beginning.

Fast forward to mid-2017 when I decided to re-brand from a health and fitness only blog to a complete and total lifestyle blog with “Just Me Chelsea B.” I was talking with Nick one day and just really wanted to be able to find a way to be able to share ALL of my passions in one place instead of having to leave some out just because it didn’t fit my so-called “niche.” I knew that our flipping houses world was just too much of our life to keep off to the side and I wanted a place to be able to share not just health and wellness, but everything in between too! So, when we were on a walk one day the name popped into Nick’s head and it’s just stuck ever since! I couldn’t wait to get home and get back behind my computer to get my blog updated with the new name and whole new site. Hours later, the new domain was purchased, with lots of re-arranging, re-creating, and re-plugging things in–Just Me Chelsea B. was launched and live! (My middle name is Brianne which is what the “B.” stands for, just in case you were wondering.) I was just so excited to finally have everything all in one place just the way I wanted it to be and finally felt like I had found my place in the blogging world.

I’ve been so amazed at just how many bloggers are out there and how small it can really make the world feel when you find people across totally different countries that all have similar interests as your own! I’ve also been so incredibly lucky up to this point to be able to partner with some amazing companies that I get to share my love for and why they’re so important in my life. But, the best part is pinching myself all the time because I know without a single doubt, that my blog wouldn’t exist without my amazing readers– just like you! I know that there are countless blogs out there but the fact that you have chosen mine to read this very post means the absolute world to me! I can’t thank you enough for stopping by my little corner of the internet as I pour out my thoughts onto this page each and every week, (random as they might be). While being vulnerable and putting your personal opinions and thoughts out into the world can definitely be pretty intimidating, being able to have readers turn into friends by making real connections near and far that I wouldn’t have made otherwise, is worth every bit! Finding community in things that mean the most to you is huge and has had such an impact on me in ways that I never could’ve expected or even hoped for!

The name may have changed, the images may have been moved around here and there, but the core of my blog has been the same since day 1. I’ve always had the hope of being able to share my passions with you from my heart, 100% transparent and honest while hopefully sharing my own little spark of inspiration for you to take what I did from Janae’s blog years ago. My wish is always that when you leave my blog at the end of each post that you leave with a little bit more happy than when you came, no matter how cheesy that may sound. I truly mean it, and I wouldn’t have started this whole thing if I didn’t really believe in that.

I never couldn’t have imagined that stumbling across that blog so many years ago that it would’ve sparked such a fire and lead me right to where I am today, but I sure am glad it did. Isn’t it funny how life works out that way? As I try to keep up with the ever changing, super technological savvy world out there–I’m going to keep learning the ways of this blogging thing and I hope you’ll stay along for the ride with me! College changed me, blogging changed me and I honestly can’t wait to see what else unfolds as the journey continues on. But, you know I’ll keep you posted on that, right? πŸ˜‰ I truly hope you know how thankful I am for being able to share my passions with you and for letting me keep this blog up and running up until right this very minute! I surely don’t know what I would’ve done if I never had the courage to hit publish on that very first post! And, let’s all just be real thankful that those Summer of unemployment feelings are long gone! May they never come back! Can I get an amen? (And they all said “Amen.”)

One last thought, I hope that if you take anything away from this post today, it’s that if you’ve ever had the inspiration to start your own blog that you’ll take this as a sign and GO FOR IT! Do it NOW and don’t ever look back! I promise you won’t regret it!

Questions for YOU today: (Comment below with your thoughts!)

Are you a blogger? If you are, drop your link in the comments and I will make sure to follow you!

If you’re not a blogger, no worries! Just drop your social links below and I’ll definitely add you!! I love connecting with my readers!

Thank you for stopping by today and taking the time out of your day to read my thoughts! Let’s chat again real soon, k?

Have a fabulous Monday night!