Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Until We Meet Again

UCLA 2013 Graduation with the Proud Parentals

I've been debating this for a while now.

If you haven't been able to tell by the four month break in posting, I've been trying to figure out what exactly I want to do with this bloggy of mine. I love it and I still love having a creative outlet to share my adventures and observations... but.

But PaperLanternLane itself isn't me anymore.

It's just the name. Every time I see PaperLanternLane, as proud and protective of it as I am, it always brings up feelings of resignation and unfulfilled old hopes. There's backstory, I swear. And since I like to start at the beginning, settle in for the long version. {Moohahaha}.

See, I started blogging back in middle school, before blogging was cool {dear goodness, I sound like those stereotypical hipster memes... yikes}. I used that blog like a diary, made it non-viewable to the public and everything. It was just for me.

Then I hit junior/senior year in high school and there just wasn't time for blogging amidst college apps, extracurriculars, and APs. Plus, I'd mostly exited that angsty-drama-teen phase of life and had found my niche in the social strata that is high school. That blog fell by the wayside, living only in fond memories and a few late night rereadings by moi.

Freshman year of college, I found myself with a lot of extra time. Turns out, as a North Campus major, you have more free time in college than you did in high school. So I started reading blogs. Started with food blogs {because, really, fooood}, then I realized I don't cook. So then came style blogs {very eyecandy}, but after a while, they're all the same. Finally, I discovered DIY and lifestyle blogs.

These blogs were different. More confessional, behind-the-scenes, storytelling. If you know me at all, you'll know I love a good story. Books are usually my medium of choice, but people are a pretty great source for stories, too. Getting to know people from all over the country, learning what their normal/everyday was, reacting with them when they made big life decisions-- it's fantastic. But as a freshman in college, what did I have to share with the world that was worth reading?

So I waited. Something interesting had to happen someday, right?

As I've said on here before, sophomore year was an emotional rollercoaster for me. And I had high high hopes that junior year would be so much better-- I had two awesome future roomies who shared the same ideas and excitement for the new apartment as me. We spent most of our time together sophomore year, had a bazillion inside jokes, had the same taste in decor/colors. We were going to have the best. apartment. ever. 

And yes, paper lanterns were considered mandatory for this new space. {Hinthint}.

When I started this blog midway through sophomore year, it was with all the enthusiasm and innocent anticipation my little heart could handle. PaperLanternLane was to be the name of our beloved apartment, home base for tales of undercooked {or burnt} dinners, late night study parties, and the joys of living on our own. Where we could sing along with whatever was on Pandora because we all had the same taste in music, bake cookies at two in the morning because we were all nightowls, and walk to class together every morning.

Yet that following year, very few of those high hopes and big plans came true. Don't get me wrong, I love those girls to pieces to this day. It takes joint effort to make a living situation work and I wasn't fault-free in this. I learned a heck of a lot that year about myself and my friends, patience and God's will, but I also left that year feeling tired and hurt, neither of which are feelings that coincided with the ideal image of apartmentlife I had the year before.

PaperLanternLane has bittersweet memories for me. It represents the confusion, heartbreak, and disappointment that follow unmet expectations and unrewarded optimism. It was a learning experience, a growing pain, a transition. It happened.

There were still fond memories mixed in with the life lessons though, excellent moments I look back on with uninhibited smiling and residual laughter. Nothing's ever ALL bad. I grew up a lot these past two and a half years and that's something I wouldn't ever trade for that "perfect" vision I had of apartmentlife.

Which is why I've really been wanting to rename this bloggy. I would never delete it because it's a part of my history and it demonstrates the kind of progress I've made {from overdramatic/oversensitive sophomore me to a *hopefully* slightly more mature me}. However, while researching what would happen to my old posts and this blog domain if I changed the name or tried to automatically direct y'all to a new site, I discovered that I'd lose a lot of past links and that people could use the PaperLanternLane url to spam others. So.

All this to say, that while I won't be deleting PaperLanternLane, I also will be rarely updating it. When I get the new bloggy up and running, I'll post the link here and I'd love for you to come along for the adventures! Sharing those with you is one of my favorite things and I've missed it during my self-imposed blog break.

This is starting anew while retaining and recognizing that the past happened and shaped who I am today. There will always be a place in my heart for the college student I was, but that stage is over and life moves on. I intend to embrace that.

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