Our Year (and a half) with The Single Diaries

What The Single Diaries taught us in eighteen months

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In eighteen months, we left jobs, enjoyed funemployment, explored our cities, dated, traveled, moved, discovered more about ourselves, and learned hundreds of lessons. Every week on The Single Diaries, we shared personal experiences and life lessons we found along the way after college. As we prepare to start a new chapter, read on for the ones we learned from devoting a year and a half to The Single Diaries.

JEN

1. The most important thing is to just get started.

I absolutely love to ski and have been hitting the slopes since I was 5 years old. Regardless, to this day when I’m at the top of a difficult run I know that the hardest part is moving off the edge and taking the very first turn. Once I’m able to take that first step forward the rest comes naturally. In building The Single Diaries I’ve learned that the same lesson held true in creating the site. Taking the first step to go was the most challenging part but once we got going the rest fell into place. Whatever it is that you dream of doing, the most important thing you can do is just get started.

 

2. You’re better than you think.

I have a tendency to assume that everyone knows what they’re doing and is far better at it than I am. When we decided to launch The Single Diaries, I felt like we were a far cry from the bloggers whom we admired. I started going back to the very first posts of a few of our favorite sites to see how they compared to ours. What I found out was that our firsts posts were on par and often much stronger than those from the bloggers whose footsteps we were following. It’s something that I often have to remind myself but I’ve learned to be more confident in myself and the work I’m doing.

 

3. Be loud and proud.

When we first launched The Single Diaries I told very few people about it and only really talked about it with Catherine. I let my fear of what other people would think hold me back. As time went on and I grew more confident in what we’d build I started to open up more and openly talk about the site. I’ve learned that the most important thing you can do is believe in yourself and your work. Not only does this keep you excited about doing what you’re doing but it gets other people excited about it as well. No matter what it is you’re going after it’s important to be loud and proud about it.

 

CATHERINE

1. The lesson is the silver lining.

Our mission to live superbly single became a theme in my life once we launched. Every experience had the potential to become a story, and every story came with a lesson. Without The Single Diaries, I may not have effectively understood how a breakdown at work could lead to the life changes I needed or why a terrible hour of yoga wasn’t as much of a waste of time as I thought. It encouraged me to shift my perspective just a little bit to reveal the “a-ha moments.”

 

2. It’s good and necessary to slow down.

We had full-time positions, part-time jobs, packed social calendars, monthly trips out of town. Jen was in a committed relationship. I was on the board of two alumni groups. And on top of that, we were maintaining a blog. As anyone with a similar personal project will know, there was nary more than a couple hours we could spend truly relaxing after work and on the weekends. The sacrifice was worth it. However, as Jen said starting The Single Diaries started us down a road of self-discovery that led us to the happier place we each are now. And with it I recognize the need to put your health and well-being first. Sometimes you have to miss a happy hour to relax and reflect on your day. Sometimes you have to miss a deadline to unwind and share a cocktail with your friends.

 

3. Creativity is healing.

Jen and I each faced big obstacles over the past year and a half. When we looked back on this project after deciding it was coming to an end, we both realized how much we needed The Single Diaries. It was the creative outlet to balance out the stress and dissatisfaction we had at our last jobs. It gave us the deadlines we needed to stay on track when we took time off from work. It was the constant as we transitioned onto new paths. The act of writing and the response we got after sharing our stories demonstrated the importance of shared experiences and, in turn, helped us grow with confidence. Thank you for being a part of it!

 

What lessons have you learned from The Single Diaries?

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