Thank you, Internet

When I went through a break-up that rocked my world and tipped it upside down, I started reading a lot on the internet and discovered a whole world that I never knew existed: the blogosphere.

The hundreds of relevant, interesting and encouraging blogs for women, singles, travellers, Christians, or whatever your interest is. Written by a melting pot of people from all over the globe, each with their own story.

I was feeling more alone and misunderstood than ever but after reading some of these blogs, I realised I wasn’t alone at all. Others had been in my shoes and it was a welcome relief. I started writing everything out on my own space of the web, and it was a way for me to process the pain and draw out a gift at the same time.

Recently I was sailing through Croatia and my mind was battling against me. I was supposed to be on holiday, but it’s true that the wicked never rest and my fears were running riot. I think too much and sometimes it gets a bit much.

Happy from the travel but weary from the worry, I hung out in Istanbul airport for 5 hours on my way to Athens. While sipping my ice-water and sweating it straight back out, I caught up on my favourite blogs. There were two posts that day which changed the course of my thinking for the rest of my holiday.

Written by women that I don’t know personally, but whom basically gave me a virtual hug. They opened their hearts and shared stories of their past, and essentially said ‘I’ve been where you are and it sucks, but I got through it and so will you’. When you’re alone in a foreign country and fighting the devils of your mind, reading such pieces of writing are exceptionally helpful and comforting. There is nothing like it.

We are a self-documenting generation. The internet has exploded and plays a massive part in our lives, and people will debate all the good and bad of it. Yet I can only speak for myself, and for me the internet is a profound blessing. It’s connected and enlightened me.

Thank-you bloggers and readers, one and all, you rule!

In the spirit of sharing, here’s a categorised list of my favourite blogs:

Faith/Life
Modern Reject
Allison Vesterfelt
Prodigal Magazine
Good Women Project
Ruthie Dean
Sammy Adebiyi

Travel
Twenty-Something Travel
Nomadic Matt
The Great Affair 

Funny
I Can’t High Five
Why Am I Weird

Photography
The Big Picture
Canadian Hiking Photography

What are your favourite blogs? How has reading blogs or writing one yourself helped you? What do you love or hate about the internet? 

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My LinkedIn Freak-Out

I joined LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago, a little behind everyone else. I only signed up because I was told it was a good way of getting freelance copywriting work (which I feel shy even admitting to you, since I feel like a phony calling myself a writer). I was under the impression that LinkedIn was for impressive, awesome professionals that were way cooler than I. The ones that, y’know, had it together.

So with this in the back of my mind, I started the process. I had barely typed my name and cue the internal voice in my head that screams

‘You aren’t good enough! You haven’t done anything worthy of listing on here. The only education you can list is high school! You can’t get paid to write, you silly silly girl!

She’s mean, isn’t she? Did her parents not teach her manners? Oh of course they didn’t, since her father is the devil himself!

I almost stopped. I considered listening to the witch and quitting right there and then. Then Florence spoke to me. Really, truly, that crazy redhead popped into my head and said, Micaela, shake it off!

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa
-Florence + the Machine

So I did. Screw you devil and thank you Florence.

And hey, do you want to like, connect on LinkedIn? I’m right here.

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Looking for Purpose & Writing About It

It’s raining, again, and I am rushing, as usual, through the City to catch a train (it’s all we ever do in London!). I’m struggling to balance my umbrella, my swimming bag and my handbag, while stomping my way to the station. And all I really want to do is yell into the empty rain what I’m thinking:

‘GOD, I WANT TO DO EPIC SHIT! Where is my epic purpose hiding?’

I’m pretty much a broken record with this, and have been since I left school. His response was frustrating, to say the least. ‘You should write about that.’

Clearly the only thing He wants me to understand right now, is that I should write about it. The funny thing is, I don’t even know why I have this blog. I never wanted to be a writer! I don’t have dreams of writing a book, like many other bloggers, and I haven’t been writing stories since I was a kid. I’ve just been talking too much since I was a kid. I don’t have a category, niche or target audience. I’m not a well versed Christian with loads of knowledge.

I’m just a 20-something girl figuring it out and writing about it honestly, in this little corner of the web. I don’t know why I write it and have no idea why you read it, alas, it’s working. (Seriously, thank you!)

What I’m learning is that it doesn’t matter that I don’t know what I’m doing, or why I’m doing it. All that matters is that I’m doing. I’m moving, albeit in an unknown direction, it’s still progressive. God is weaving busily in the background, and even if I never write again in the future, my efforts here won’t be wasted. In the process, I am finding my voice. Not just as a writer, but as a sister, friend, twenty-something, and daughter of Christ.

Lauren Dubinsky, one of my favourite bloggers and creator of Good Women Project, says it perfectly.

Go, do, make, create. Keep experimenting and taking risks until you find what makes your heart swell. Oh, and make sure your passions aren’t birthed from a place of proving yourself to others, but rather as a result of God giving you the freedom to play.

With all my whining, crying and pleading, I think God gets it. I want to do ‘epic shit’. However, perspective is important. I can bloom where I’m planted and recognise the awesome position I am in currently. Blessed job, travelling often, incredible friends, living abroad. It’s not so bad!

Truth be told, I’ve felt frustrated and stagnant recently. But in the mundane of daily life, God is preparing me and using me. The last year has been the hardest of my life, but it’s also been the making of me. Every piece of the mosaic has a purpose.

Whether it’s a fancy career, or writing, or speaking, or having a family, or solving world poverty forever, or traveling across the world on a donkey. God knows what it is, and I know that it’s good.

As of today, God can do what He does best: work everything out for good. My failures, my successes, my fears, and my dreams. All I need to do is live in the day by prioritising my relationship with God, my character and integrity, and the people around me. To believe in myself and take opportunities that come my way. That’s my responsibility. Everything else (i.e. the ‘epic shit’) will fall into place.

In the meantime, I’ll write about it.

Have you found your purpose or are you still looking? Does your life look how you thought it would? Leave a comment.