It’s a special day here on Miss in the Midwest! Two years ago today, I launched this little blog of mine – I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, and I figured that not a soul would ever read it with the exception of my mom (who still reads every single one of my posts – hi, mom!). It was a tad terrifying to put myself out there on the Internet, but I am so glad that I did and haven’t looked back since.
See, a majority of people don’t know why I started Miss in the Midwest in the first place – Ryan had just graduated pharmacy school after six years; I left my first, full-time job with a company and people that I’d been with since senior year of college; we were making our first (of many) moves; and we were in the midst of our engagement and planning a wedding. Needless to say, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed – of course, I was excited for our wedding and having the time of my life with all the planning and details, but I also was feeling lost with not being at work in an office everyday. For the previous three years, I had been the “breadwinner” of mine and Ryan’s relationship, and I took a lot of pride in that – I don’t think I even understood or recognized that then, but I certainly do now when I reflect back on that time.
I was lucky enough to do contract work for my previous employer for a few months after our first move, and in the meantime, I went on a few job interviews and worked with a couple headhunters. Unfortunately, I really struggled to find a job that meshed well with my qualifications, and I was downright unhappy (and at times, frankly, rather depressed) about the situation. I felt like my entire worth and other people’s perceptions of me were based on where I worked, what my job was, and how much money that I made. After all, that had been my way of life the previous few years.
After we got word and made the decision for Ryan to take a full-time pharmacist position in Fond du Lac, Wis., (where we currently live, in case you’re new here), I also accepted a job in a suburb outside Milwaukee, so we opted to rent a house that was somewhere in the middle between our jobs (move #2). Well, before we even moved into that rental house, I chose to leave my job after only a week – the position was poorly misrepresented by both the headhunter that I was working with and the company, and I essentially was being treated as a waitress for a bunch of executives. I’m talking going out to get their lunch, cleaning up their dishes at the end of the day (yes, not kidding), etc. Seeing as I worked in a corporate communications office since college, editing and writing for employee newsletters and global publications, that wasn’t going to fly with me. I, of course, recognize that I am beyond lucky and blessed that I even had the choice to do this since Ryan and I are financially stable, and we’re able to live a comfortable life off one income – I know that not everybody is that fortunate.
After many sleepless nights, lots of tears, and long, tough discussions with Ryan, this space was reborn (I had started it before our wedding, but I never really got it off the ground), and it really has become my saving grace. (If you want a good laugh, check out my very FIRST post!) This blog allowed, and still allows, me to have the outlet that I so desperately needed during that trying time in my life – here was where I could go to be creative, talk about things that I love and make me happy, and more than anything, be a part of this amazing community. And, because of that, I’ve been able to start and continue on my path as a freelancer, working for different brands and clients so that no day is the same and I get to work on things that I really enjoy.
So, there you have it – my blogging story. As I continue to grow and improve Miss in the Midwest, I never want to lose sight of where it started and why it started in the first place. Sure, I now treat certain aspects of this space as a business (let’s face it – we all have to when we reach a certain point), but the occasional sponsored post, compensation and affiliate links never deter from the fact that I blog to create, share and teach about things that bring me joy. Some of my very favorite posts from over the years include life lessons that I learned from one of my favorite autobiographies, the first part of our home to be renovated and finished, a tutorial on how to use my favorite hair tool, and an outfit that I still wear to this day.
This tight-knit community continues to surpass my expectations every. single. day. To each and every one of you that have and continue to contribute to the success of this blog, thank you. Here’s to (hopefully) many more years of inspiring one another.