Thanksgiving, as my aunt would say, will take anyone far regardless of their background.
As a human being, 2020 threw a lot at me, and I am sure you too, but here we are, five days to 2021, and we are still standing. As a blogger, I had many down moments, but I am grateful for many things.
In the same vein, yesterday was Christmas Day, and I can’t help but be thankful for the Sacrifice Jesus made on the cross when He died for us. I wouldn’t be joyful without what Jesus did despite the chaos in this world.
See, the life of thanksgiving is filled with reflection on the biggest matters and the tiny ones. You scrutinize every life happening, whether good or bad and still find a reason(s) to stay grateful.
Last Saturday, four bloggers around the world and from different niches introspectively looked at their 2020, shared their good and not-so-good moments, and how they were able to navigate challenging situations. From their stories, many, including non-bloggers, have been inspired to stay thankful against all odds.
Today, I have four other bloggers’ responses as they share how the year has been for them, what they are grateful for in their line of work, and how they’ve been able to navigate difficult times. I know you will be inspired once more, so carefully read long.
You might want to grab a cup of Juice, just saying, hahaha.
ADJOA: DASH OF EVERYTHING.
Your name and blog name: My name is Adjoa, and my blog is ‘dash of everything.’
Location: Based in London, and I am a Ghanaian.
What do I blog about? My blog is mainly centered on motivating my audience and also on all things self-development. The primary aim of my blog is to provide helpful tips to my audience through research and my personal experiences, so we can all become all-rounded better individuals.
How has your traffic increased this year? Or by what percentage or number? I embarked on my blogging journey in 2018 but didn’t take it seriously as I was barely consistent, which didn’t produce my expected outcome of traffic.
With this new blog and rebrand, I have found my traffic increasing a lot, as I have been using different social media platforms to push my content such as Facebook groups, Pinterest, and Instagram.
How do you feel now as a blogger compared to when you started? Any changes? I feel a lot more confident in myself and my abilities as a blogger. As mentioned previously, I have been using social media platforms for my blog, which I didn’t do previously. In utilizing social media, I have been able to connect with other bloggers who have similar niches like me, and it’s been motivating seeing that I am not the only person currently embarking on this journey.
How have you channeled negativity this year? Thankfully, I don’t think I have received any kind of negativity this year regarding my blog; however, I have had not-so-pleasant moments, and the way I deal with these moments is by accepting what has gone down for what it is, moving on, and being productive.
Were there times you felt down? There have been lots of times this year when I felt down. I have felt every different emotion there is to feel this year; I have had moments of extreme happiness and also unfortunately moments of extreme sadness, but in all things, I give thanks to God.
Share your most memorable experience as a blogger this year. What are you most thankful for? I have had lots of memorable experiences as a blogger this year, and I am super grateful for them. My main one is hitting 1000 followers on my Instagram page and also gaining 700+ monthly views on my blog last month! That was a first for me, and I will forever be thankful for that.
Share some of the best comments you received this year. I have had some amazing comments from people who follow me and/or are in my network, and the comments that always stand out to me are comments about my posts being helpful. One of my primary aims since restarting my blog is putting out content that can be extremely useful to others, so whenever I see comments like that, I get extremely happy.
How do you keep rising regardless of all the things that seem not to be working? I keep rising by reminding myself of the long-term vision I have! I understand that sometimes things just don’t work out for you at the time you want them to, as it may not be your time or the right time. I am certain that with hard work and consistency, I will reach all my goals, so things not working out presently do not bother me at all, to be honest.
ANTHONIA: BRITISH BLACK GIRL
Your name and your blog name: My Name is Anthonia/ My platform is @britishblackgirl on Instagram
Location: In the UK/ from Nigeria.
What you blog about: I offer discussion, motivation, and advice to students, graduates, and young adults.
How has your traffic increased this year? Or by what percentage or number? I started my page on Instagram in May during the lockdown, and presently, I almost have 2,000 followers on Instagram.
How do you feel now as a blogger compared to when you started? Any changes? When I started creating content and engaging my followers, it was trial and error, which also involved a lot of learning! Now I have things I enjoy doing regularly, such as trying the new Instagram features and developing my content.
How have you channeled negativity this year? I have channeled negativity by focusing on what I can control and making progress rather than expecting perfection. I also like to think of solutions rather than just focusing on negativities.
Were there times you felt down? Yes, when I started my page, I was on furlough and unsure about the financial future, but all the supportive people I met through my page took me through that time.
Share your most memorable experience as a blogger this year. What are you most thankful for? I am most thankful for the opportunities and ideas the page has given me. I am in the process of writing a book.
Share some of the best comments you received this year: I like comments and messages about how helpful my content is in real-life scenarios.
How do you keep rising regardless of all the things that seem not to be working? I rise by continuing to work towards small and bigger goals.
ROBYN JONES: ABOVE RUBIES OR PEARLS.
Your name and your blog name: My name is Robyn Jones, and my blog name is ‘Above Rubies or Pearls.’
Location: Los Angeles, California (African-American)
What you blog about: I am a Christian lifestyle blogger. I blog about the value and worth we have as daughters of God, and I share inspiration and tips on becoming a Proverbs 31 woman.
How has your traffic increased this year? Or by what percentage or number? I have only been blogging for 8 months. My blog traffic has remained the same, except that I am getting about 200,000 more views on Pinterest per month, but it has only translated into little link clicks.
How do you feel now as a blogger compared to when you started? Any changes? I now feel like I have more direction as a blogger than when I first started. Now, I see more of what blogging is involved unlike before, so I feel more focused on specific goals than when I first started.
Were there times you felt down? There are times when I have wondered why I blog because my blog traffic has not increased, and my blog hasn’t yet made money. It has been overwhelming because of the amount of content that I have to create, which sometimes made blogging less fun, so I have definitely felt down.
Share your most memorable experience as a blogger this year. What are you most thankful for? My most memorable experience has been working together with other Christian bloggers and businesses on a new Christian Bloggers Giveaway initiative. We not only came together to do one giveaway, but we also created a website (with other social media channels) to do regular giveaways and to work with charities; we wanted to share the Gospel with others through our giving. I am most thankful for starting a blog and for all the blessings it has led to, including being a founding member of the Christian Bloggers Giveaway initiative and for all the new friends I have made as a blogger.
Share some of the best comments you received this year: Some of the best comments I have had include:
“I love this! So well made!!!”
“Just found tomorrow’s specific Bible study with my kiddo.”
“You are a wonderful writer!”
“I love your voice when you are retelling Bible stories.”
“I have never seen anyone write about Proverbs 31 from this perspective. Thanks! God bless ya.”
How do you keep rising regardless of all the things that seem not to be working? My completed work is rewarding, so it inspires me to continue, especially when I think about the big picture and how my blog is turning into a resource for when to draw knowledge and inspiration from. Also, I remind myself that I am just starting out and that it will take time, but I will eventually see the fruits of my labor.
GLORIA: THE NAME IS GLORIA.
Your name & blog name: My name is Gloria and my blog name is @thenameisgloria on Instagram
Location: I live in London, and I am Ugandan/Rwandese
What you blog about? My platform is about motivating and inspiring people. I created this platform as a room where people can tap into their true potentials and realise their worth. As an advocate of self-care and love, I wanted others to know they are not alone in this journey. I provide motivational content through affirmations, daily discussions, advice, and quotes. Essentially, I talk about our everyday struggles in life and ways to overcome those obstacles.
How has your traffic increased this year? Or by what percent or number? I rebranded my Instagram page to a motivational platform during the first lockdown. Since then, there has been an increase in engagement on my page with my content and followers.
How do you feel now as a blogger compared to when you started? Any changes? I feel more confident now compared to when I initially rebranded my page. I now understand the type of content I want to put on my platform and how I want my platform to be perceived. When I first started the platform, my primary goal was to motivate at least one person, but now my goal is to create a community.
In doing so, I’d like to create a space where we can all come together to help encourage one another on different aspects of life. I also feel more supported, as I have met more people through my page who have similar platforms providing motivation. This has allowed other pages and platforms to encourage me.
I used to struggle with creating content on my page, but now I have a structure that I follow. I have also learnt the importance of taking time off social media for myself because I’ll do no good to the community I am trying to build if I’m not at my best. Also, I’ve become a Canva junkie and have found ways to create more engaging content through this. My content style has transformed and as you go through my posts, you will see my growth as a person.
How have you channeled negativity this year? I have learnt that in life you can’t control what happens to you, but you can control your reaction. This is obviously easier said than done, but learning to be slow to react to situations and thinking them through has helped me a lot this year. Take time to digest and understand the healthiest way to react.
For example, the job application process this year has been hectic. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had many short internships lined up, so I wasn’t out of work. However, this year was supposed to be the year I finally start my career with my permanent role, but application after application and still no results. I felt defeated. After a while, it would’ve been easier for me to give up and say, “maybe I’m not good enough,” but I knew what I wanted, and I would not give up. I took the feedback as an advantage to future applications. I continued to be persistent and determined for the role I wanted, and eventually, I got the job of my dreams.
If I had accepted the rejection and allowed that to consume me, I would have given up and never applied for the role I’m about to start. I had to understand that negativity does not control my life, but my reaction to it controls me. As a result, I’ve learnt not to attach the negativity in life to my identity.
Also, I’ve always been someone who loves journaling, but this year I have taken journaling to a new level, and it has changed my life, especially in channeling negativity. I believe it is crucial to confront how you feel. As someone who often finds it difficult to articulate my feelings/emotions, I now take the time to digest what is going on; I write about how I feel towards the situation and then come up with healthy steps to move forward. Journaling and trusting God have been my saving grace this year.
Were there times you felt down? This year has been difficult: mentally, it has been draining. There have been days when I just didn’t want to speak to anyone, days when I didn’t want to do anything, and days when I wanted to give up. I have definitely had my low moments, but I always pick myself back up.
I’ve learnt that it’s normal to have bad days, and it’s normal to feel down. I have learnt to give myself that time and space to feel down, but also channel that energy to motivate me to keep fighting. To properly heal, you need to allow yourself to feel those emotions from that situation. I know this can be extremely uncomfortable, but this is where you do the most growing.
Please remember that feeling down is not a crime, you’re allowed to feel sad but just remember you have to get back up because you have so much to offer.
Share your most memorable experience as a blogger this year. What you are most thankful for: I’m most thankful for the community I am building on this platform. I never expected to be in a position where people would message and thank me for the content I have produced. I can’t put into words how grateful I am for a platform where people can be honest about their thoughts and views. I’m just thankful that my content is actually helping people.
To know that I am living in my purpose is the greatest feeling ever. My most memorable experience was being included in @fyvsuk, a publication about black women to watch out for. This was such an amazing piece to be a part of, especially because their platform resonates with me so well, creating a space where black women’s talent can be celebrated.
Share some of the best comments you received this year:
- “Hey Gloria, hope you’re well! Just wanted to say I love what you’ve done with your page! I follow so many accounts that do quotes like this so it’s great that someone I know is doing similar! 🥰”
- “Your posts are so insightful and refreshing, so needed on this app🥳”
- “Thanks! After my friend mentioned your account last week, I’ve been obsessed with your posts! Been really helping me and my journaling actually! 💖”
- “Hey, I just wanted to say your content is amazing. You have honestly helped me battle so many things this year and I’m soo thankful for this page. I love how transparent you are on this page. I don’t even know you personally, but I can tell you’re such a genuine person that wants to motivate others. Just Incase none has motivated you, please don’t stop creating content. You’re changing lives and you don’t even know it. God bless you honestly.”
- “This page is amazing. You’ve got me into Journaling, and I think this is the best decision I’ve made all year. Thank you soo much 🤍”
How do you keep rising regardless of all the things that seem not to be working? First, I remind myself that no one ever said life would be easy. Through every adversity, there is a lesson learnt and a blessing in disguise. I can’t give up because I know my goal. If something doesn’t work out, I learn from that situation, and I try something else.
Giving up will not help me get to my destination, but trying will. I have to keep rising because I’ve come so far, and I know there is so much more to give. I try to find the good in every situation. For example, I mentioned before that the job application process this year has been draining and mentally defeating, but I took every rejection as redirection. It gave me time to focus on other passions.
When something doesn’t work, that is not a sign to give up, but a sign to stand strong and go harder for what you believe in. I know my goal and my setbacks are my fuel to keep rising. Every day is another opportunity to be a better version of yourself, So I can’t give up, it is not an option.
- Here’s a quote I came up with that I live by “In your patience, there’s growth and in your growth, there’s a testimony.” – @thenameisgloria
THANKSGIVING: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
Remember my aunt’s quote?
Thanksgiving will take anyone far regardless of their background.
You’ve read these bloggers’ heartfelt reflection and thanksgiving moments, and I am sure that they will keep rising no matter what. Why? Because they understand the importance of reflection and staying grateful.
My dear, we have five days left before 2020 run out. Instead of thinking about the plans you didn’t get to tick off this year, how about you accept what has gone down for what it is, move on, and be productive with what is in your hands? Not a bad idea if you want to remain grateful, right?
Keep this habit in the remaining days of 2020 and 2021, and you will be astounded at your growth when you look back at how far you’ve come.
I wish you a Happy New Year in advance, friend.