Things I Love Thursday: Happy Fourth Birthday, galadarling.com!

Yes, it’s true! Today, December 16th, marks the fourth birthday of galadarling.com! On this day in 2006, I posted my first article–Fashion Help For Recovering Goths. Back then, the site was called iCiNG, & I was running it from the living room of my apartment in Melbourne, Australia.

I had been journalling online since 1997, & had learned a lot about writing for an audience. In 2006, blogging was a bit of a boy’s club. I wanted to develop something for sweet, rad women with an insatiable passion for life. The word spread: my site grew quickly & organically.

In 2008, enamoured with the bright lights of New York City, I changed everything. I packed & stored all my belongings, & lived the life of an international playgirl. I bounced around between NYC, Melbourne, Wellington, Auckland, Paris, Austin, Los Angeles, Toronto, & so many other places, while I sorted out a visa so that I could live & work in America.

Through my adventures in hyper-nomadism, the only constant was my blog. Boyfriends came & went, apartments changed, & I became a suitcase-packing expert! I learned a lot, including the fact that though they might look intimidating, even the guys working border control are not impervious to a spot of harmless flirtation! (A big smile & a little bit of cute attitude will take you a long way!) But whether I was in an apartment, on a train, a plane or a bus, I wrote every day. It brought me–& continues to bring me–untold amounts of pleasure.

In 2009, my wishes were granted by a sassy immigration fairy. With an O1 visa stapled into my New Zealand passport, I was free to call New York home.

When I started this website, I could have never imagined how it would evolve. I had no comprehension of the number of challenges involved in starting your own business (at age 23, no less!) & then moving to the other side of the world. I had no idea how much it would change my life–& best of all, I was completely clueless as to the number of incredible, core-shakingly wonderful people I would meet as a consequence of blogging.

I met about 95% of the people I love most through this website, & that’s what I am most grateful for.

I adore my readers. You are so good to me. I can’t tell you how many beautiful emails I receive on a daily basis. Even after four years, they are as meaningful as ever. The ones which affect me most are from girls who are in the process of recovering from eating disorders, who say that reading about radical self-love is helping to heal them every day. There are few things which could be more important to me.

It has been an incredible ride. I’ve attracted ebullient lovers & deranged haters (& everyone in-between!). I’ve travelled the world, shared what I know to be true & taken lots of pictures along the way! I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. Nothing could make me happier than writing for you–thank you so much for your endless support of everything I do!

If there’s one takeaway lesson from my journey so far, it’s this:

If you BELIEVE in what you’re doing, you can do anything–& if you do things with LOVE, you can achieve even more.

There will always be people who don’t get it, who can’t understand you, who openly ridicule you. What actually matters is the amount of people who DO get it–who want to come on the adventure with you.

Like Marianne Williamson says, “As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others.”

It has always been my intention to let my light shine. I hope that having me in your life, even in this small way, encourages you to glow, too.

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