Why "A Cheerful Life"?

....and just what is a cheerful life? 

I am a planner, an organizer. I don't attempt new things on the fly. There must be careful thought and background research into everything that I do. I know everyone doesn't operate in that manner, and that is ok. I actually admire people who can tackle something without worrying about the million things that could go wrong. That person is just not me. Never has been, and probably never will be! 

I wanted to start my own blog for a long, looooong time. Years and years. I did thorough research on how to create one, even secretly tried my hand at "A Cheerful Life" blog once before, 5 years ago. I settled on that name after much deliberation, after trying to think of a way to describe myself and what I wanted my content to be. I've always loved writing and photography, reading blogs and searching for new ones. I never dedicated myself, plagued by inadequacy, denying any talent or strength I possessed to actually go for something.

So even now, why did I wait so long to start my own blog? I had done all the research, planned, plotted, and weighed the pros and cons for so long. What held me back from pursuing such a creative, reflective hobby when it embodied so many of the things I was interested in?  

The same things that made me quit the first time. Anxiety. Judgement. Lack of self confidence. FEAR. 

I've lived most of my life in a shell - building a wall around who I am with each passing year. I've never been outspoken, or extroverted, but even more than keeping quiet because of personality, I deliberately chose to keep quiet and hide a lot of myself because I didn't think that I mattered enough to be able to have an opinion. It's sad admitting that now. 

My very first Instagram photo, circa 2011. Around the same time I started a blog the first time. Hiding, even then.

My very first Instagram photo, circa 2011. Around the same time I started a blog the first time. Hiding, even then.

There was a series of events last year that finally made me face the truth about myself, and how I was operating my life inside that shell, broken down and disconnected. I started therapy, went on medication for generalized anxiety disorder, and made many strides to strengthen my relationship with God. I am still trying to work my way into living my best life possible - a life that consists of seizing opportunities when they present themselves. Not only dreaming and envisioning, but carrying out those dreams and visions into reality. Embracing the struggles, stepping outside of a victim mentality. Living for what I feel is most important - loving others and loving God. 

A cheerful life.

When we discussed establishing hobbies for myself during therapy, of course blogging was one of the first things that came to my mind. It was so far out of my comfort zone at that point, I had to work up to it, and it took me many months to make a commitment to try. When I finally did pull the trigger once again, I knew no other name for my blog could be any better than the one that I first chose many years ago. It now even more embodies all that I hope for and strive for. 

Happy girl. Life is good :) 

Happy girl. Life is good :) 

This blog reflects the steps I am taking to live life more fully and openly, hoping to relate to others and be able to share myself without fear of rejection. To exercise my creativity and focus on something productive that I am passionate about. Just a girl, traveling one day at a time, striving to make the most out of the many blessings she's been given. Living life under a blanket of grace, not false perfection.  

I would love it if you would enjoy me for the journey!