One year of blogging? Um.

As promised on Twitter, here is the “official” blog post acknowledging the momentous occasion that is my blog hitting its first year(!!!). Basically, this is where I’ll be going through the typical teary-eyed outbursts of sentimentality and whirlwind of intense emotions, i.e. “My god, has it really been a year?”, “I didn’t think I’d make it this far!”, and ultimately, the very Shealea-like, “What even. I can’t even!!!”

Not going to lie, I don’t even know where to begin. The gravity of this personal milestone has yet to completely sink in. With everything going on outside the virtual world — last sets of academic requirements, final exams, political issues (re: Ferdinand Marcos is still not a hero), globally impactful events and loads of personal stuff, my blogging anniversary was at the farthest corner of my mind. I almost forgot about it, really. Nonetheless, here I am, finally writing this and finding myself absolutely overwhelmed and inexplicably pleased.

Unfortunately, as I was kept busy by my personal life, I was unable to organize a giveaway. Maybe I’ll somehow be able to whip up something before the year ends but I can’t exactly promise anything either. This is quite sad on my part because I think a giveaway would have been an excellent way to extend my thanks to all of you. Despite not having any free stuff to give out this time around, I hope you’re all aware of how infinitely grateful I am to have each and every one of you!

I specifically want to thank a number of wonderful people.

To my college friends: I don’t want to drop names because I’m pretty sure you know who you are. When I first started blogging, I was low-key embarrassed about sharing this with personal friends. But you’ve all been so unbelievably encouraging! Whether you are an active reader of what I write or whether you occasionally visit my page just because you know seeing my blog stats grow makes me feel all mushy inside, thank you! Whether you’re here solely because you support my attempts at poetry (keyword being ‘attempts’) or whether you actually take the time to read my book reviews even though the last novel you read was probably The Hunger Games, thank you! Whether you’ve had to put up with much of my blog-related fangirling or whether you’ve had to put up with my fussing over more than 15 different color palettes when I was in the middle of revamping, thank you! Your support — in whatever way you decide to show it — means so much more to me than you realize.

To the Filipino friends and acquaintances I’ve made through blogging: Bea @ Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic (one of the friendliest people ever, tbh), Joanna @ Fiddler Blue, Christine @ Tine’s Reviews, Aria @ Aria Stuck in Wonderland, Shea @ Bookish Wanderlust (we have similar names and similar tastes in books omg!!!), Jam @ Heartscent Reads (hi girl, look we made it!), JM @ Book Freak Revelations (aka the person responsible for converting me into a solid Nicola Yoon fan), Bianca @ The Ultimate Fangirl (such a qtp2t + it’s always great to find someone who appreciates a lot of the TV series that I’m also into), Eunice @ Nerdy Talks, Blessie @ Mischievous Reads (also a qtp2t), Allie @ A Literary Wanderer, Trish @ Heart via Pages, Jay @ A Lovelorn Virgo, Alyssa @ Diary of a Book Maniac, Rafael @ The Royal Polar Bear Reads (still can’t thank you enough for featuring me on your blog!), Fay @ Bibliophile Soprano (yay UP Diliman represent!), Louise @ Genie Reads, Beatrice @ Beatrice Learns to Read, Mark @ Bongbongbooks, Cara @ Periods and Semicolons (Yay, #MarcosIsNotAHero!!!), Gem @ The Book Weirdo, Louise Ramos (or alternatively, my blogging and ahrt goals) and many others who probably won’t fit into just one blog post. I was actually pleasantly surprised to find so many PH-based bloggers! All of you have made the blogging scene a whole lot more welcoming and less intimidating. I probably wouldn’t have stayed in the blogging world for so long without your comforting presence. Salamat!

To my blogging friends from different parts of the world: Anthony @ aVeryAwkwardBlog (first friendly face I’ve encountered in the community), Jonas @ Other Things (I obviously thank him way too frequently but I can’t help it), Summer @ XingSings, Em @ The Argle Bargle (an absolute sweetheart), Claire @ Blank Slaters, Sara @ Freadom Library, Sumedha @ light up the shining night stars (unbelievably friendly!), Shela @ She Latitude (her book looks are always on point), Becca @ Becca and Books, Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books, Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout, Sam @ RiverMoose-Reads, Tash @ The Bookie Monsters, Warisha @ Warisha Reads, Charley @ A Writer Named Charley, Flavia @ Flavia the Bibliophile, Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra, CW @ Read, Think, Ponder (basically the other pea in my pod but simultaneously everything I could ever hope to be as a blogger), Melissa @ BookNerdMomo, Yarravy @ hiraethforthepages (too nice and wonderful for my life), Melanie @ MNBernardBooks and again, many others I probably forgot to mention in this list (I’m a forgetful duck, sorry). You’ve made my first year in blogging incredibly worthwhile! You’re all awesome in your own way, and that honestly keeps me inspired. Thank you very much!

To all the authors: Prior to blogging, I never thought I’d be given an opportunity to connect and to interact with so many talented writers and amazing authors. I am still constantly overwhelmed by it!

Cary Denault, I’m not sure if I’ve said this before but you really are one of the kindest and most approachable authors I’ve ever come across. It amazes me how easy it is to talk to you, even though we’re just trading emails. As you know, I am in love with your debut novel and I won’t ever tire of shamelessly promoting Willow’s adventures on my blog. I can’t wait for Gambit‘s sequel!

Heidi Angell, you are the first author I’ve worked with and I won’t ever forget that! Thank you so much for believing in me, especially during the time my blog was still almost totally experimental.

Tom Merchant, you aren’t an author yet, but I can promise you that once your novel is finally out there, I will definitely exhaust all bragging rights and let everyone know that I was lucky enough to read your initial manuscript before it was published. Thank you for your kindness, patience, and most of all, your unceasing encouragement!

Carole Avila, I received my first physical review copy from you, and I cannot thank you enough for valuing my insight (and whatever cockamamie thing I have to offer in reviewing books). I swear I’ll get right to it this Christmas break!

Nicole Loufas, Jessica Peterson, Danika Stone, Sarah Noffke, Colleen Halverson, C.J. Anaya, J.A. George, Pintip Dunn and Sarah Marsh — I am extremely grateful that all of you have agreed to work with me this year! I’ve never felt so fortunate. Be it a contribution to one of my giveaways or an interview with me, thank you so much! More power to all of you.

To the friends I forgot to specifically mention: As I’ve already said, I’m quite the forgetful duck. Kindly bear with me and my embarrassingly poor memory. If, at any point, we’ve interacted within this year, thank you! I hope we get to have more meaningful conversations in the future.

To all 1,337 of my followers and 7,712 people who have visited this blog since its inception: I can’t even with all of you(!!!). Sometimes I still have a difficult time convincing myself that all of this is real. I mean, my blog has been visited 22,656 times in just its first year? There are no words that can succinctly describe how insane that is. I never thought there’d be many people who would be interested in what I have to say or would actually take the time to read the crap that I write, but you guys have proven me wrong! I am immensely blessed to have all of you. Your presence and your unwavering support definitely keep both me and my blog going. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

P.S. My feelings summarized into one GIF photo:

Twitter: @bookshelfbitchInstagramGoodreadsBloglovin’

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Published by

Shealea

First of her name. Queen of millennials and the constantly caffeinated. Protector of books. Breaker of norms. Iskolar ng bayan.

119 thoughts on “One year of blogging? Um.”

  1. I AM SO SORRY FOR THE LATE REPLY BUT I JUST HAVE TO SAY, congratulations! This is huge and amazing and so great and I’m so happy for you! So happy to see you flaunting your awesomeness everywhere and I love it! And to that special mention, OF COURSE! No need to thank me but you’re welcome! You are so legendarily awesome that its always my pleasure! Again congratulations on such great hugeness and I look forward for the years ahead! ❤ ❤ this was such a sweet and thoughtful post and you are as always, so amazing! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s great to hear! Yeah, mine are pretty good as well. Things have been exceedingly hectic, though! But I mean that in the most positive way.

          Anyway. Happy New Year, by the way!

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    1. Thanks so much, Reg! 💕 I’m super happy to be here as well. And I’m equally happy that I’ve been given the opportunity to know you. 😊 Hope you’re doing well. How are your holidays going so far?

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        1. My reply is too many days too late, sorry! Things have been pretty hectic recently. I’m sure you can relate. Haha! But it’s great to hear that you’re enjoying yourself. Hope that continues for the rest of the year! Cheers to 2017!

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  2. I’m a bit late because of some Christmas craziness but… Happy blogiversary, Shealea 💕!! That’s such an exciting achievement. I honestly can’t believe you’ve only been blogging for a year because you’re blog is so successful. Here’s to hoping you have an even more successful second year. Also, thank you so much for the shoutout. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for your blog in the future because I bet it’s going to be amazing. ♥😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Melissa! Aww, thank you! 💕 I totally get what you’re saying. My first semester might be over, but it’s pretty insane and hectic around our household as well. Hope you’re having a great time, though! Happy holidays! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! 💕
        Same! That’s exactly how it’s been at my house too. I was planning so much blogging and reading during break but so far it’s been Christmas shopping and all of that 😂. I hope you are too and happy holidays to you as well!

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        1. And don’t forget the equally crazy reunions! 😂 Well maybe we’ll suddenly hit a well-spring of energy and be able to accomplish all our blogging plans. But god, it doesn’t seem possible. I still have 25 books in my review backlog. I have no idea how I’m going to clean that one up. 😂 Anyway. Good luck to the both of us then! 🌸

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It would be nice! Most days I find myself guilty for either not reading or not blogging because I’m behind on both 😂.
            And wow on the 25 books! And I thought I was falling behind. I hope you’re able to get it all figured out. Definitely good luck to both of us! 😊

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            1. Same here! That little nagging voice, am I right? HAHAHA.

              Yeah, it’s a long shot. I highly doubt I can write that many before the year will end, but oh well. At least I finished my reading goals for the year! What about you?

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Amanda! I can hardly believe it, to be fully honest. But nonetheless, I’m extremely grateful.

      Anyway. I feel like I haven’t had a conversation with you for the longest time. Hope your holidays are going well. How have you been?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy Blogiversary my dearest! This is such a lovely and heartfelt post, and I am HONOUREDDDD that I am among your mentions and I truly truly appreciate your words. ❤
    Now that it’s almost the new year, I guess now is the time to also wish you a happy holiday and that I hope 2017 will be an amazing blogging year for you!! All the best, Shealea!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much! As always, you say the sweetest things. ❤️

      I am actually pretty glad that my holiday break is here. I finally have the time to stalk everyone and read as many quality posts as I want! It goes without saying that I opened up your blog first. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Melanie! I can definitely say the same about you. 😉 Hope we get to talk a lot more this coming year. Would definitely love to get to know you more + your blog always has the most fantastic and compelling discussions. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

          1. With me? Hmm… Switching grad schools. Heading back to the frozen tundra of the North. ^.^ (So happy to see snow again!)

            And the Christmas feature is almost done. Thank goodness! Haha! I wasn’t nearly prepared enough for it this year. :p

            How are your Christmas preparations going? Done with the school semester, I’m guessing?

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            1. That sounds pretty exciting, although I’m guessing the process is quite paper-heavy and labor intensive? Best of luck with it!

              I’ve read most of the posts, though. They’re great! I just adore the variety. Hope you do it again next year!

              Yep, yep. I just got my grades yesterday, actually. It’s my highest grade weighted average thus far! So I’m pretty happy about that + finally being able to put this semester behind me and look forward to the next one. We’ll be having our family Christmas party later. We celebrate early because it’s also my little sister’s birthday.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Haha! Not a whole lot of paperwork, but a lot of stress and decision-making. And thank you! I think it’s the best choice for me. ^.^

                I’m really happy to hear you’re enjoying the Christmas posts. There really is so much variety. I wasn’t expecting that. :p Which is great for me and my readers.

                Congrats on your grades! And it’s good to always keep looking ahead. ^.^

                Oh! Enjoy your Christmas party and I hope your sister has a happy birthday! ^.^

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            1. I have pretty much the same plans. After months of living in a dorm (my university is in the country’s capital while my house is in one of the more rural provinces), I just want to soak up as much of home as I can. 😊 Aside from that, I’m hoping to finally get rid of my review backlog as well.

              Are you anticipating a white December?

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Really? XD Yay! It’s good to be home!! And cool!! XD
                Also, nope, we’re really close to the cost there where I live, so we don’t get snow usually. 😦
                Are you meeting your family on Christmas?

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                1. Oh, I see. We don’t have snow here either. Philippines only has two seasons.

                  Yep! I went home a few days ago and I’ve been with my family ever since. We had a gathering with our other relatives last night. 😊 What about you?

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Yeah, in Spain it’s almost always winter, LOL XD
                    And that sound so cool, you must have had so much fun! And nope, my family lives in Mexico and we only go to visit in Summer. It’s just gonna be me and my parents! But no big deal, it’s nice too!! XD

                    Liked by 1 person

        1. Same here! I’ve been trying to drop by all the blogs that follow me, but god, I never realized it would be such a Herculean endeavor. 😅 Anyway. I’d totally support you if you do decide to make blog changes. I’m willing to help as well! I adore blog makeovers. ❤ My door is always open, should you want a second opinion on anything. 😊

          Liked by 1 person

            1. That sounds terrific. Feel free to send me a tweet or a direct message on Twitter if you need anything! I’m incredibly excited for you. 💕 I just know you have a lot of brilliant ideas in mind! Good luck. 😊

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks! 💗 I’m willing to bet that my first blogging year is awesome partly because I had you! 😛 Now that my break’s here, I’m totally up for any Twitter chat you decide to host. Really hoping there’s a Christmas edition.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Aww, that’s too bad! But I completely understand. Studies are naturally in our top priorities after all. Wishing you all the best in your finals!!! 🌻 Let me know how they go (but I’m certain you’ll ace them 😉).

          Liked by 1 person

  4. OMG YAY, so we usually throw a tiny party right here in the comments, but I feel like this deserves a little bit more than that. So um, I’m just thinking over here, but how do you feel about a slightly bigger party this time? Let me know how you feel and I’ll get started on the preparations for the festivities.
    That aside, CONGRATULATIONS SHEALEA, this isn’t even my own blog, but it still makes me very happy and excited! You’re doing an amazing job here and I can’t wait to see what your second year will bring! Again, congratulations 🎉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay, I am kind of curious. What do you mean by a slightly bigger party? I think I’m up for it, to be honest. I mean, why not? 😂

      Anyway. Thank you so much, Jonas! I’m still kind of bummed that you’ve been inactive blog-wise, but I also feel incredibly lucky that we still get to talk every now and then! 😊 You haven’t shared your opinion on Doctor Strange yet, you know!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I should’ve put some more thought into this, as I’m not really sure what I consider a slightly bigger party 😅
        Ugh I know, I’ve been quite a mess. I planned to take a small summer break from blogging, but that break has been taking a bit longer than I expected. College is killing me right now. HOWEVER. I have been working on some things and, when I finally find some time to actually do it, you may be seeing some new things coming your way!
        Well, definitely shame on me, because I still haven’t seen Doctor Strange 😰 They don’t even play it anymore, so I guess I’ll have to wait for the dvd to come out, which I hope is soon, because I really am excited to see it!

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        1. HAHAHA, it’s cool! No need for a bigger party. I’m perfectly happy with everything. 😊

          God knows I understand your college struggles. When will your break start though?

          And oh! I’m extremely excited for your new stuff. 😊 As always, you can expect the same from me. Well hopefully, that is.

          Regarding Doctor Strange, it’s impeccably awesome. I loved it! Hope you get to watch the film soon! Would love to exchange thoughts. 💕

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          1. I’ll just put some more confetti down, just in case 🎉🎉🎉
            Well, Christmas break starts tomorrow evening, however, our finals start right after break, so we have to study the entire time, unfortunately. I’ll have some time off at the end of january though 😅
            I’ve been working on the new stuff for a while now, though there’s still a lot more to do. And since college is busy right now, progress is nowhere to be seen. I’ve been trying to keep up with your new posts and let me just tell you, as I don’t always find the time or words to comment on them, but they are great! Your poems especially, keep up the great work I’d say 😊
            I will definitely let you know when I finally get around to watching it. From what I’ve seen and read, it looks like a marvellous (pun-intended) movie. You’ll be the first to know what I thought!

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            1. What. That sounds very tough! Personally, it’s not much of a break if you still have some studying to do. But that’s beyond our control, I guess. You’ll do great though! I know you will. 😊 I just hope you’ll be able to retain all of your sanity by the time January comes around.

              Yep, yep. I get that. I have a lot of untouched drafts myself. And my review backlog still has 25 books in its collection. Anyway. Thank you so much! ❤

              Yay! Sounds great. While you’re at it, watch Moana too. 😛

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              1. Yeah, it’s not the most pleasant way to spend Christmas break and I’m not in the Christmas spirit at all thanks to college. Though I guess it’s good that we at least get some time to prepare for finals. I do reckon to make till the end of january, I’m just not sure what state I’ll be in haha
                Moana is definitely on my watchlist as well!

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                1. Best of luck, Jonas! 🌸 I’ll be cheering you on all the way. And I’m always here if you need a break or a distraction from studying. Just hit my DMs up!

                  Moana is beautiful. What I like most about it is how the movie employs tidbits of Filipino culture and history. I’ve thought of writing a post about it but I’m not entirely sure.

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                  1. I appreciate the support and I’ll definitely take you up on that offer 😅
                    Oh really? That sounds interesting! I’ve heard such great things about it and the trailers look amazing. I’ve already been listening to the soundtrack and it’s great!

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                    1. Yep, yep! Not sure if that was intentional, but yeah, our ancestors were initially nomadic, too! And traveled by seafaring. “How Far I’ll Go” is my latest life anthem, tbh. But all the songs in the soundtrack are fantastic.

                      Happy holidays, btw!!!

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                    2. So quite a few similarities, I’m really glad Moana is being received so well as it depicts a different culture than what we usually get in Disney movies. I think this gives some great opportunities and chances for the future!
                      Yes, I’m also really enjoying “We Know The Way” and “You’re Welcome”. The entire soundtrack is just so fun and joyful.

                      Omg yes, happy holidays to you too!

                      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Marie! 💖 It feels like we haven’t talked in forever. College took up so much of my time that I’m still four episodes away from the Season 10 finale of FRIENDS. THE ENDING IS SO CLOSE I CAN ALMOST TASTE IT OH MY GOD. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! That’s really kind of you to say. 💓💕

      My reply is, like, four days late. So I’m assuming your semester has finally finished? If so, congratulations!!! 🎉 I totally get where you’re coming from. College has really taken its toll on my blogging routine. I’ve had way too many hiatuses than I did not anticipate. It’s great to finally have some room to breathe, recollect and write freely again. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem! Haha, I finally finished yesterday. Thank you! ❤
        Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. Definitely! I'm going to make the most of it during these holidays. 😀

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            1. That sounds great! I’m planning pretty much the same, except less going out because I’m more of a homebody. 😂 I also hope to finally get rid of my review backlog. I still have 25 unwritten reviews at my disposal, it’s crazy. I don’t suppose you have a backlog, too? 😅

              Liked by 1 person

      1. They’re going well so far! I’m catching up on all my reading and just relaxing as much as I can before I return to college prison haha 😀 I hope you’re enjoying your holidays as well!

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