What Is This Place?

A valid question, of late.

A lot of personal growth and change has been happening in recent months. I could go into the details of all that growth and change–a previous version of Britta surely would have–but now,  being so open on the internet seems incredibly invasive to me. While I may be one of over seven billion people in the world, and does it really matter what I write on this tiny corner of the internet?–the fact of the matter is, I’ve changed. What I’m comfortable putting out to the world–even to just a few readers here and there–has changed.

I’m not really sure where this blog is going. I’m not ready to be done with it, but I also don’t have a clear vision for its future. I have always seen this blog as an extension of myself–so I am perfectly fine with letting it mirror the changes in my life. I’m perfectly fine with taking time of off from writing to allow for further evolution in myself.

I suppose that’s okay, though. It’s okay to let ideas be for a while. It’s okay to let them form, mature, take differing and wildly imaginative shapes.

I have no idea what this place is right now, but it’ll figure itself out in time.

On Growth and Pain and Being Open

The thing about growth is that’s it’s fucking painful.

If you’re trying to grow and aren’t feeling some sort of ache or pain in the pit of your stomach (or wherever your internal hurt manifests), you’re probably not doing it right.

I haven’t been blogging a lot lately because I’ve been focusing on experiencing and processing my world and the changes happening in and around me. My mind has been overwhelmed with a lot of internal and external stimuli, and I haven’t really been interested in sharing my thoughts with the world. I’ve been journaling a lot to help with processing, but that writing is mostly incoherent and messy.

I’m finding that I really miss sharing my internal growth experiences with the blogosphere, though. As an introvert who (generally speaking) writes better than she speaks, and who has a tendency to get lost in her head, I love the conversations that I can spark up in the blogosphere. I also appreciate the way I can find commonalities in my thought processes with other bloggers. I all too easily forget that feelings are universal and that everyone has gone through tough times, and exchanging stories helps me remember that. I suppose that’s why I read fiction, too (as opposed to non-fiction). Through stories, we can find the universality of the human condition–and that is both awe-inspiring and comforting.

Anywho, I’ve been experiencing a lot of internal growth lately, but I also feel like I have very few outlets for expressing that growth.

When I look back on old blog posts, I used to be incredibly open about my feelings and experiences (perhaps too open at times). I think people admired that about my writing, but I didn’t think twice about it–to me, being open was natural. I’m the type of person that needs to write or talk through my feelings and experiences to fully understand them. As an INFJ personality type, my introverted intuition and extraverted feeling make me really good at understanding other people–but I often find myself so caught up in figuring out what makes other people tick, that I forget to pay attention to myself. It’s why two of the major realizations I’ve had in the past year came from conversations with other people. I realized I was unhappy in Thailand because a friend explicitly pointed that out to me. I realized I wanted to actually pursue teaching as a career in a conversation when a teaching opportunity was suggested to me.

So I write it out, I talk it out, and I usually learn something in the process.

The thing is, I’ve been actively refraining from doing these therapeutic excercise because I’ve found myself in situations in the past year where my openness wasn’t received well. In some of these situations, I would say that I jumped the gun in opening up to a person–mostly because I had been so self-absorbed that I failed to realize my relationship with the other person wasn’t at a level where they were comfortable with such forthright sharing. While these situations definitely allowed me to consider whether what I’m saying to others is mutually beneficial and worth  both of our while (in other words, major learning experiences), they have still left me feeling a bit cynical about the whole process of opening up. I’ve been wondering lately–why bother with these exercises when people don’t seem to care? This mentality has spread itself to the blogosphere, where I’ve remained pretty silent about my personal life in the last few months; in other words, I unconsciously translated a few negative interactions that I had with people into a “whole world” mentality. As in: “Because a few people didn’t receive my openness well in the last year and left me feel slighted, that obviously means the whole world is going to receive my openness the same way and continue to leave me feel slighted.”

Of course, that’s not true, and such a mentality is a bit self-absorbed in its own right. That said, the human psyche is a powerful thing, and we all too often develop negative mentalities without thinking. There are nearly eight billion people in this world, and there are surely people out Continue reading “On Growth and Pain and Being Open”

Don’t Delete

I’ve thought many times over about creating a new blog and letting this one go.

In 2.5 years that I’ve written at this site, I’ve grown a lot. If you ever go back into this blog’s archives, you’ll find that my voice has been consistently changing. My writing has improved significantly since I started this blog, and my voice has grown with me.

If you ever go back into my blog’s archives, you’ll also find some pretty embarrassing stuff (I won’t willingly provide those links for you, but you can find them if you do enough sifting). As I look back at them, some of the things that were taking up my thoughts during my senior year of college were quite immature. Even in the last year (damn, the last month) I’ve matured (and am continuing to mature) in a lot of ways, and the voice I utilize in my writing reflects that.

It would be easy to delete everything, to belittle my past thoughts and mindsets as not worthy of seeing the light of day ever again. Indeed, there are a couple posts I have done that with–in one way or another, I found them inappropriate to have on my blog. That’s a rare occurrence, though, and I prefer to not make that the norm.

When it all comes down to it, my blog is my story. Since my senior year of college, I’ve documented so much that is important to me here. While I haven’t been blogging a whole Continue reading Don’t Delete

Blogging Thoughts: May 2016 Edition

The other day, my blog had a total of one view.

Now, this view–it wasn’t even from a recent post. It was from a really old post, back from when my blog was a baby. For some reason–probably because it shows up in web searches regarding the ever-popular topic of Myers-Briggs personality types–this post continues to get a lot of traffic, despite its age.

Anyways, that’s besides the point.

The point is, my blog got one view the other day and, more importantly, my reaction to this was:

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Every now and again, I like to revisit my reasons for blogging. While I did this a lot more at the beginning of my journey as a blogger–writing numerous posts in the first few months of this blog’s existence on that topic–it’s still something that crops up in the back of my mind now and then.

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So, about this blogging business–lately, my stats have been terrible. Let me say that again. In the past few months, my blog stats have slowly petered down to almost non-existent. While I was never garnering a huge amount of views on my blog, my stats have really been terrible of late. T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E.  The number of likes and comments I’ve been receiving have been dismal. My followers are growing steadily, but I also know that the majority of those followers don’t even read my blog.

While I would have found all this exceptionally aggravating in the past, though, I’m finding now that I really don’t care. Part of me does wish my stats would pick up. It’s always nice to see the numbers get a little higher on any particular Continue reading “Blogging Thoughts: May 2016 Edition”

400

My blog has never been about the views or the likes or the follows.

(Well, except for the very early months of blogging on this site after I found the WordPress community. Then, it was. But only for a short time before I realized how unhappy trying to write for other people was making me.)

I created this site for myself. It is my way of expressing myself and quite honestly, it is the best form of therapy I’ve ever had. Writing is my release. It is how I  understand myself better and cope with my fears and anxieties and it is the best way that I’ve found for myself to learn and grow and push myself as a human being in this life that can be so damn hard sometimes.

My life has changed drastically since I started blogging….and I attribute much of that change to the blogging itself. I’ve written about everything. The good and the bad. I’ve learned so much in the process. I’ve met amazing people and their support is unending. I haven’t been the best at checking in with other people’s blogs of late (these things do happen when you decide to live an adventurous life abroad), but I have also loved exploring the work of others in the community and supporting them, as well.

So, the fact that this site just reached 400 followers doesn’t mean as much to me as it would have in those first few months of blogging. That said, it’s still pretty cool. When I first started this site in the waning months of 2014, I never imagined 400 people would find the incentive to click the “follow” button. Granted, not all 400 of those people follow along with me regularly–if at all–but still…it’s amazing to think about how far reaching my words are in this virtual space I’ve created.

With that, thank you to all who continue to read and support It’s a Britta Bottle! I’d still be here if it weren’t for all of you…but it wouldn’t be half as fun.

It’s My (Blog’s) Birthday!

My birthday’s in March, folks…remember? (yeah, it’s okay if you don’t)

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I registered for WordPress in May of 2014.

May 27 to be exact.

That’s when I started the blog that would carry me through my summer as a Smithsonian intern in Washington D.C…

…but that internship only lasted eight weeks. And I hardly thought it was appropriate to carry on a blog entitled “2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E.” (a.k.a the street address of the National Postal Museum) past the summer of 2014.

With the end of my summer, and the blog that went along with it, I found myself asking what I should do next with this blogging business…

See, I had a blog on Blogger, already. I initially decided to try WordPress out for my internship blog because I was curious…some of my Facebook friends were using WordPress for their blogs and I really was just so curious. Admittedly, I toyed with using it for my first blog, but was for some reason a little intimidated by it, which is why I chose Blogger instead. In the weeks leading up to the beginning of my internship, I decided I wanted to make a blog specifically to document my experiences living in D.C. So, given that I was curious about WordPress, I put my intimidation past me and signed up. I soon discovered that this WordPress place seemed pretty Continue reading “It’s My (Blog’s) Birthday!”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–Productivity, When Bloggers Meet, and Is It Bedtime Yet??

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that this summer has taken a lot out of me.

If not for these Weekend Coffee Shares and my Hump Day Haikus, I wouldn’t know what to blog about because…well, because I’m tired!

I’m working forty hours a week, running around all day in excessive heat. I’m exhausted and not getting enough sleep. I want to see too many people and do too many things. And it’s catching up on me.

I was supposed to go clubbing tonight with a few of my college friends. We’ve been planning it for months and  I’ve been looking forward to it all summer. I pushed the fact that I was exhausted and crabby when I woke up this morning to the side because clubbing was going to Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–Productivity, When Bloggers Meet, and Is It Bedtime Yet??”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–Boys and Blogs and Travel Prep

If we were having coffee, the first thing I’d tell you is that I’m just a wee bit intoxicated right now.

Not that that’s exceptionally important, but it’s how I roll…as in, I generally do not withhold the fact that I’m intoxicated when I am, indeed, intoxicated.

That Jameson and lime was really strong. Whoops!

(Really, I’m just a little tipsy right now. Nothing to worry about, folks!)

Well, now that that’s been established.

Oh baby, it’s been quite the week!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you all about how I got dumped this week! On my lunch Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–Boys and Blogs and Travel Prep”

Guest Post: Britta of It’s a Britta Bottle, On Choosing to Let Life Happen

Back in late November, early December, I connected with this blogger whom I have next to nothing in common with, but who none-the-less welcomed me into the blogosphere and made me feel like I could actually succeed at this blogging thing.

Eli, from Coach Daddy, was one of the first bloggers I connected with here on WordPress. A father of three girls and a general sports guru, he writes about parenting and sports, among other things, on his own blog. As a young twenty-something who has no intention of becoming a parent anyy time soon and who generally doesn’t follow sports at all, we really don’t have anything in common on the surface. Yet, we still made this awesome connection based on our shared love of writing and words.

When he asked me to guest post for him, again, wayy back around six months ago, I was thrilled. The knowledge that someone else wanted to showcase my work on their blog was a huge confidence booster for me, back when I was a baby blogger, and I eagerly looked forward to this summer guest post with fervor.

“On Transition Periods and Why I’m Choosing to Let Life Happen” was published today, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the way it turned out. I would love if you could all take a mosey on over to read it (the link is below). Seriously. I am so proud of this piece and Eli has formatted it beautifully. Writing this was such a pleasure for me. When it all comes down to it, this is what blogging is all about. These connections and the amazing collaborations that can come out of such connections. This is why I write and this is why I blog. This is why this community is such a beautiful thing.

Guest Post: Britta of It’s a Britta Bottle, On Choosing to Let Life Happen.

An Ode to the Community

…some of you are like a best friend or very close sibling–always cheering me on and giving advice when needed.

…some of you are like a mother or grandmother–offering sage wisdom and sometimes (only sometimes) gently scolding me for not seeing the bigger, better picture when I’m down on myself or uncertain about the world.

…all of you together are like a large, slightly dysfunctional, but always supportive extended family.

And so are my thoughts about the WordPress Community.

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I have been reflecting lately on how much I know you all…really know you. Even though we’ve never met in person (besides you three from college and you know who you are), through your own writings and our frequent exchanges, I see your unique personalities, your passions, the things that make you shine so bright as well as, sometimes, your struggles. Blogging can be and very much is an extraordinarily personal endeavor. I know some Continue reading “An Ode to the Community”