50,000

Date: August 5, 2014
Location: New York, NY

My dear sweet readers,

Today marks my blog's second birthday.

In just two years, you took me from 0 page views to (almost) 50,000 page views. In two years, you took me from 0 readers overall to 42,728 views from the U.S., 606 from Uganda, 361 from the U.K., 290 from Germany, 261 from Russia, etc. etc. Needless to say, I am beyond grateful for each and every one of you.

I've always loved writing, even when I was a little girl. Writing, for me, has always been an escape. Family difficulties, friend drama, spiritual doubt...no matter the circumstance, to the pen and paper I would flee every single day.

Family members and friends noticed this passion for writing in me long before I noticed it myself. I want to take a moment now to thank some of those who did.

To my cousins, Brittany and Chrissy, (both of you...although Britt claims she's the only one who deserves the credit), thank you for encouraging me to start this blog. I still remember two summers ago, journaling and reading at Grandma's kitchen table, when Brittany sat down next to me and talked to me about starting a blog. What would I even write about? What if people make fun of me? The fears and doubts were endless, but so were Brittany's persuasions. Eventually, I gave in and wrote my very first post on August 5, 2012, "Redemption." Brittany (and Chrissy) thank you for giving me the courage to face my fears and start this blog. Thank you for your endless support and love every step of this journey. I love you both so much and admire you more than you'll ever know.
To Father Alfonse, my high school priest, spiritual mentor, and best friend, thank you for not only giving me the courage to face my fears and trust in a power greater than myself, but thank you also for giving me something to write about. And by thank I mean, thank you for giving me Jesus. There are a handful of people on this planet who I can honestly say "gave me Jesus" throughout these past 20 years. You are one of them.
To my best friends, Alison, Paloma, Emily, Sarah, Mary, Ellie, Kirby, Lila, Lisa, Emma, Aggie, and all you other crazy kids, thank you thank you thank you for be my rock. "I thank my God every time I remember you" (Philippians 1:3). The past two years of my life have been filled with some of my best and worst moments, yet through it all, each of you has been there for me every single step of the way. I'd rather have a handful of the greatest, most loyal friends on the planet than hundreds upon hundreds of surface-level friends. There's no better feeling on this planet than knowing that no matter what I'm doing or where I am in life, you are with me. You are always there to hold me while I cry, to make me laugh so hard I can't breathe, to guide me, to comfort me, to love me. Every. Single. Day. I love you all so much and will never be able to fully express my gratitude for everything you've done for me, especially my sophomore year of college. You are my rock. I hope one day I can become even half as incredible as each of you are.
To my parents, Mom and Pops, as long as I live I will never be able to find words to express how grateful I am for you two. I'll keep this short, sweet, and to the point: you are the sole reason I am where I am today. Thank you for teaching me to always take the high road. ILYBB. G+1.
To my sister, Rachel, you know I struggle with trusting people, especially in this past year. Thank you for teaching me how to trust again. You've always been my very best friend, the only person on this planet I trust with absolutely anything in my life. Words won't ever be able to adequately describe how loving and incredible you are to me, but all I can say is you are a gem. You're crazy and wonderful and flawless in all the right ways, and I can't believe how lucky I am to have a perfect big sis like you.
To my grandma, thank you for teaching me that there is nothing more important than family. "If you have family, you have everything you'll ever need." I never realized the truth of those words until recently. My dear sweet readers, even when you feel like you have lost everything and everyone you've ever loved, always remember that if you have family, you have all you'll ever need. And that family doesn't necessarily have to be your family. I know plenty of people whose parents are divorced, whose dads don't speak to them anymore, whose moms have abandoned them, whose families have kicked them out on the streets. Family doesn't have to be your actual family. In my opinion, anyone who shows you the love you DESERVE is your family. My family is my family, but I've also always heard that "friends are the family you choose for yourself." So to all of my friends, you are the family I've chosen for myself. "If you have family, you have everything you'll ever need."
And last but not least, to my dear sweet readers, THANK YOU. I don't write for myself, I write for you. Thank you for being there for me every step of the way these past two years of blogging. Thank you for reading and encouraging me two summers ago when I took a leap of faith and started this blog. Thank you for reading my posts and building me up with endless encouragement as I moved from Dallas, TX, leaving behind Ursuline Academy and everyone I love in Dallas, to South Bend, IN, where I currently go to school at the University of Notre Dame. I was terrified of this new journey, but you held my hand and read every word of my posts through it all. Thank you for journeying with me through the ups and downs of life, and the highs and lows of following Jesus. Thank you for reading about my homeless experience in Austin, TXmy summer of service at Hesed House in Aurora, IL, and my 9 weeks researching and serving in Nkozi, Uganda. I've said it a million times, and I'll say it again, I love you for reading.

So here's to two amazing years with all of you.

Here's to the many ups, and the many downs.

Here's to the moments of darkness, and the moments of the greatest joy I've ever experienced. Here's to writing, not for me, but for you. Here's to all of you.

And here's to many years more of writing and growing and loving Jesus with all of you right by my side.

I love love love you for reading,
Haley

Comments

  1. What a compliment it is for me to be listed among your friends and family. Love you little angel.

    ReplyDelete
  2. AWWW hankey! I'm so touched. I adore you, baby sis!

    ReplyDelete

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