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I recently finished my 6-week blogging challenge that encouraged me to recommit to my passion project that I started in 2013, The Awkward Years Project. I want to first send out a big thank you to those who supported me on my journey. I appreciate all the love and encouragement I received as I rediscovered how to revive this project online and on social media. If you haven’t had the chance to check out the videos, I documented each week of my blogging challenge on my Instagram.

Each video differed week to week, but I had the opportunity to discuss different obstacles and revelations I encountered. Here are a few lessons I learned during my challenge:

  • How to recommit to a project your passionate about
    • Writing a plan helped me to stay organized and manage my day to day goals. It was important for me to develop a schedule that was flexible and practical because I have a full-time job.
  • How to design a website and logo
    • I’m a designer, but if you aren’t, some great resources to check out are Canva, Google Fonts, and Unsplash. Get creative and experiment with different fonts, color schemes, and logos that reflect the tone of your project.
  • The importance of staying organized so you can post on a schedule and manage a good work/life balance
    • Don’t feel guilty for not working when you are spending time with your family or friends. Balance is an important aspect of maintaining your goals and you don’t have to work 24/7.
  • Why you should work outside of your comfort zone and never be afraid to try something new
    • Good things come from working outside your comfort zone whether it’s with how you create your content or using a new social platform. 
  • How to overcome imposter syndrome
    • Be confident in your abilities and skills. Never forget that even if your passion project helps one person, you are making a difference.
  • The various WordPress plugins that can help enhance a site such as Yoast SEO for site optimization & SEO and Akismet for spam
    • WordPress has a variety of plugins that can assist with the functionality on your website which you can install from the plugin directory.
  • How to become involved with nonprofits that focus on bullying and how you can make an impact
    • When you become involved in a nonprofit every little bit helps whether you are posting, donating, or sharing the news.
  • Being a perfectionist isn’t always the best and to give yourself a break when things don’t work out
    • We are all a work in progress. Don’t be hard on yourself, every day is a new opportunity to try again.

When I started The Awkward Years Project, my goal was to make a blog that was fun and that showed people who were going through a rough time that their greatness is in the making. I wanted to show them that their lives are only just beginning, to see their potential, and to not let bullies get to them. It’s the differences that set us apart from everyone else and we should celebrate that. One of the main reasons why I chose to do this 6-week challenge was not to only revive my passion for this project but to bring awareness to bullying. Whether it’s a child who’s struggling with growing pains or an adult who is still learning to embrace their awkward years, we should not stand for bullying in any capacity. 

The following nonprofits are great resources that are specifically focused to provide an inclusive and supportive community for victims of bullying.

WP & UP– WP&UP encourages people to #nevergiveup by providing holistic support through counseling services, community support, and 1:1 help with trained professionals.

To Write Love on Her Arms– To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is dedicated to helping people who are struggling with depression, anxiety, and suicide by providing resources for treatment and recovery. 

Stomp Out Bullying– Stomp Out Bullying creates targeted campaigns to prevent bullying and cyberbullying through peer mentorship programs, social media campaigns, and celebrity-hosted public service announcements.

Don’t Be a Monster– An organization that hosts anti-bullying assemblies for students in 4th-10th grade by promoting inclusivity and discussion among their peers.

Random Acts– Random Acts encourages people to show small acts of kindness by donating, supporting an initiative, volunteering, and helping out in your local community.

I want to thank those who have shown interest in my blog over the years whether it was sharing their story or visiting the website. This blog will continue to be successful because of the brave, thoughtful, and amazingly awkward stories that people share. If you or anyone you know would like to be featured, please submit your story.

Thank you for reading and I hope to see you soon!

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