I did a blog audit last weekend to clean up old posts and delete ones that just aren’t relevant anymore. While I did it for site maintenance purposes, it was an unexpectedly therapeutic walk down memory lane. I’ve shared so much on this blog, and you’ve all watched me go through and grow through some thangs.
I have written somewhere between 1700-2000 blog posts since I started Fresh Jess. Whoa! Because I’ve written a lot about Seattle events, I deleted a good few hundred of them before moving from Blogger to Squarespace in 2015. It felt good to part ways with even more posts to make way for the future.
My very first posts are still among the nearest and dearest to my heart. When I read them, I remember the excitement and nervousness that came with the newness of blogging. The blogosphere was a lot quieter then too, so every blogger friend, every post, every piece of advice, and every business or thing I wrote about was extra special.
I was so uninhibited in my writing back then; I didn’t start this blog thinking about how brands would perceive me. Brands working with bloggers wasn’t a thing back then!
I wrote about my favorite places in Seattle. Still do. I wrote about the 2008 election cycle, and how excited I was about President Barack Obama. I wrote about fun things I was learning at the chamber of commerce where I worked, like sustainability and our carbon footprint.
I can tell when I started making fashion blogger friends, and when I got more involved in the Independent Fashion Bloggers community. My first outfit posts are so precious and endearing, they’re almost painful to look at! I loved and still love writing about independent designers, small businesses, and the thrill of the find. The stories behind the fashions are often so much more interesting than the clothes themselves.
This blog has seen me through many a professional transition - including a foray into full-time blogging. I loved all the projects, talks, conferences, partnerships, and lessons learned (and still take on, to a much lesser extent.) I just started to feel like I wanted to be part of a team and a greater cause again. I’ve been in my non-profit foundation gig for over three years now and still love it!
You’ve seen me fall in and out of love with my health and fitness journey many times over. Still a work in progress. LOL
You've seen a few bright young talents sharing their voices alongside mine. Every single one of them made an impact on me in real life. I'm so grateful for Emma and all of my other contributors for their bravery and for sharing their lives here too.
Thanks to this blog (and just us living life), I’ve had the opportunity to travel to unfamiliar places (and experience new things in my own city) and document them here so that others can take my advice if they want it. I’m constantly grateful, awestruck, and a little dumbfounded that brands and organizations want to work with me. I’m much more guarded with my free time and say ‘no’ to a lot more partnerships and events than I used to, but for each ‘yes’, I work mad hard to make sure it’s something both the brand and I can be proud of.
Through this blog, I’ve also celebrated the lives of - and processed the grief over losing - our bulldogs Spike and Meatball. This is easily the single thing I’m most happy to have documented on here. Our two angel babies have brought us so much joy and happiness, and it makes us smile to know that they’ve brightened many others’ days too.
I started this blog nine & a half years ago to share all that’s fresh - here in Seattle, and in my life personally. I like to think I’ve stuck to that, and hope that you feel those vibes when you read my posts. Vulnerability and authenticity have laced my writing and my beliefs - even when they’re hard for me to convey.
In a world where followers and brand work can be sold to the ones most willing to sell their soul, I’m grateful to have my little corner of the internet to keep it real - for myself, and maybe for you too.
Thank you for riding with me!