5/18/15: Hello, World

This blog has officially been around for nearly 6 months. Today, I have 78 followers and counting. In 2015, this blog has been viewed (according to WordPress) in 56 countries on 6 continents. I could not be more grateful, awe-inspired, or mind blown.

56 countries? My blog? That’s about 1/3 of the world’s countries, one of which I’d never even heard of (which, in my defense, was an island (although islands are just as important as any other country!)). Honestly, I’m shocked. When I made this blog, I anticipated a handful of followers, and for it to last about three months before I moved on to another project. Looks like I’m here to stay.

That’s not to say the number of followers I have is the most important thing to me- more important to me are followers who share their own thoughts, feelings, and opinions about the subjects I write about. So many of you have shared so much here, and I really, really appreciate it. I’ve learned so much from you and having this blog has helped me to grow and improve my writing and become a more global person in so many ways. Thank you all!

To those of you who are new (of which there are quite a few, thanks to Tiny Buddha), I’m Avery. I’m a tenth grade student in California. Pluto’s Journal is basically whatever I want it to be on any given day, but I focus mostly on self-help and my thoughts about growing up. I sprinkle in some art and science thoughts, photography, and my endless expertise on love and relationships (I wish). Mostly, though, it’s just me, thinking about the world and reflecting on my life, because I think it’s a) important to process your past to proceed with your future and b) I think we can all learn from each other more than we may realize.

I thought this would be an appropriate time for me to share a little more about my personal life and some facts about me, since many of you are relatively new and for the others, I haven’t been overly personal about my own life.

I live in Southern California, which isn’t much different from the rest of the Western US except for the eternal spring temperatures and very little rainfall (which has, unfortunately, left us in quite a drought). I have three younger siblings and a Tibetan Terrier named Will (he’s supposed to be the Buddhist of the dog breeds, and I suppose his independent attitude could be interpreted as peaceful). I do have a boyfriend, who lives in New Jersey (long story), and he’s rather wonderful. But I won’t go on about that.

My favorite things include vanilla scented candles, stuffed animals, artistic photographs, white roses and gardenias, well-designed book covers, Barnes and Noble, beach towns with cute little boutiques, Nordstrom Rack, the color blue, dapple grey horses, wolves, Costa Rica, and 80’s romance comedies/dramas/coming of age movies. I would say my guilty pleasure is either popcorn covered in Nutella (try it, you’ll fall in love) or online window-shopping for clothes. I align most closely with Buddhism, of all the religions, and I will be writing more on that soon. I also like meeting new people and speaking Spanish, playing my guitar, singing, and writing creative fiction (which I share here every so often). I wrote a novel recently, but decided it wasn’t very good or salvageable through editing, so I am just beginning my second. I may share the first chapter in the coming days.

I’m fairly shy when I meet new people, and I do not excel at small talk. At all. I spend a lot of my time thinking and trying my best to be nice to other people while keeping a little personal distance. I hate, more than anything, being in conflicts with people. I very much value interpersonal harmony. I will go to great lengths in my relationships to avoid fighting and tension, even if it means withholding necessary constructive criticism (which I’m trying to share more, because withholding often makes a bigger problem than the original one). Once people get to know me well, though, I talk freely, although I have a hard time sharing much personal information for fear of boring others or pushing my problems onto them. I like (and sometimes grow to hate) being the giver in relationships.

I used to be dead set on a path towards neuroscience, and I still would like to study it in college, but I’ve realized that there are so many other things I’m interested in learning about. I would love to continue to blog and become a professional writer of some sort (ideally New York Times bestselling author, but unfortunately they aren’t exactly handing out spots on the list). We will see where life takes me, whether into brain surgery or journalism or mathematics or mostly parenthood. I will most definitely be a parent.

As for this blog, I’m going to keep it up, for myself and for you. I love writing here and receiving feedback and getting to know people from all around the world, if you can call it getting to know. It’s really opened my eyes to see all the countries highlighted on my blog Stats map, and I want you all to know how special I think you are.

Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing your time with me. I appreciate it so much. Here’s to another six months and more of Pluto’s Journal, and hopefully some more readers to learn from along the way. Thank you all!!

23 thoughts on “5/18/15: Hello, World

  1. There must have been a reason behind your blog getting views from all over the World. The reason is quite clear, those who write their heart out always deserve appreciation and praise from the readers. As a reader, a critic, a blogger, a student, a human (social animal), I really admire the way you share your own thoughts here. This is just a perfect way to get out of depression (when it happens). Many of us, including me, see you as an inspiration in the blogging world. Your blogs are fascinating and the experiences you share surely help all the teenagers with their issues in lives. You never know what you write may be a life changing thing for any person in general!

    This is just amazing to see that you stay honest with yourself and with us too! I guess, it’s one of the toughest things to do – Being honest to yourself. And since you’ve covered this part, I’m glad to say that you deserve all the appreciation and love you’ve got till now. I’m now looking forward for your future posts, hopefully, I’ll be able to share my own thoughts too and learn a bit from your experience.

    God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! That’s one of the sweetest things I’ve heard. I’m so glad you enjoy it. This blog has, as you said, helped me get through a lot of emotions I’ve been feeling and working through in the last six months, and I’m grateful for that. There’s something about blogging that makes the honest, subconscious opinions and feelings I have come out; when they do, I’m generally able to work through, understand, and get past them much easier while I’m writing here. I’d be honored to have you comment and share here, and thank you so much for this!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing more about yourself Avery! And thanks, Tiny Buddha, for leading me to you. I’m one of your new followers and wondered what part of California you’re in. I’m a California native and live in Santa Cruz.

    I am so impressed and touched by your insights and grateful for your sharing via writing. Your future has already begun and it is wonderful! You are positively affecting so many people. Hooray! And best wishes!

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    1. Of course! I’m a little north of San Diego, but I did used to live in the Bay Area. I have very fond memories of the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk, which you may know of. It was our favorite place to go as kids on weekends and during the summer.
      Thank you very much! And thank you for following.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, yep – I’m familiar with the Boardwalk Before I started dating my guy, all thought all Santa Cruz was was the Boardwalk. 😉 I was surprised and happy to learn there are neighborhoods and grocery stores and schools here!

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  3. Avery, I truly wish there were more people like you.; raw, honest and vulnerable. Your spirit and heart are deserving of nothing short of everything your heart desires. You remind me so much of myself.
    I cannot wait for your first published novel. I wish I had the time to write a book. I write a monthly article that is great for my spirit but I often wonder if anyone takes it seriously…
    Keep up the tremendous work you’re doing. You are a gift and have ferocious tenacity.

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    1. Thank you so much! I think everyone is amazing inside, just afraid to show it to the world, but thank you. It means so much. And thank you for the support of my writing! I know becoming published at my age is a long shot (or more like winning the lottery), but I figure all I can do is practice, practice, practice, and do my best with the writing. Whatever comes of it, I’ll still know I completed a manuscript. I’d love your feedback when I share parts of it on this blog.
      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Avery,

    I’m about the same age as you and I’m from the UK. I found your blog through Tiny Buddha when I was going through a tough time, but since then your posts have caused me to reflect on who I am (and I really believe that your blog has helped me to grow as a person). You truly are an inspiration to me, and I think I can say the same for your other followers as well. I wish there would be more people in the world who aren’t afraid to show who you are. You bravely make yourself vulnerable by sharing your deepest thoughts and beliefs here and, as a result, you have made me believe in myself and the humanity of people.
    Please keep up this blog; it’s always a joy to read your work 🙂

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    1. Hi Luke! For so long, I’ve been wanting to meet someone my age from the UK (like all American girls, I’m rather obsessed with the accent). Someday, I plan on visiting, but for now I’m unfortunately quite uneducated on life in Britain and Europe (basically, aside from European history, I’m aware of the Big Ben, Magna Carta, Parliament, and Kate and their children, who appear on the covers of most American magazines). I’m so glad you found Pluto’s Journal. I had no idea my thoughts could ever have that much of an impact on someone. Not only did this make my day, but it truly changed the way I view what I do here. Thank you so much for letting me know that it’s helped you grow. As you may have read in other entries, I’m all about growth. Gosh, I really don’t know what to say except thank you, and you’re too kind. Reading things like this makes me realize that the world simply needs people to be real and truthful and open to being vulnerable. if we could all do that, what a beautiful world it could be. I guess that’s a goal of mine: to try and help others learn to connect with their true self and learn to let their guard down. It’s always a process, and I’m so incredibly happy I helped you on yours. Cheers! (That’s what my British soccer coach says. Maybe it’s not an actual British term. Forgive me. I just love interacting with international people and learning about different countries and trying to become more globally aware).

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  5. I too am glad for Tiny Buddha leading me to you! 😉 You have a great way of portraying life and I pray that you keep the power of encouraging yourself, as you are doing for others. It’s not an easy time going through so many changes. And, as we grow older, there will always be challenges, and they don’t need to be negative. The skill you learn is making them learning experiences; growth of your soul.

    I am in San Diego, and have been here for over 32 years. We, my wife and I, are looking to move to the Seattle, WA area – right now! 😉 I’ve worked/volunteered/lead/mentored high school youth for decades through my church – the happiest days of my life! 🙂

    Here’s to continued and positive growth! If you’re not learning, you’re dead! 🙂

    Peace,
    Michael J.

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    1. Thank you! It is quite a time to be growing up- I think we have some new challenges nowadays, but also much more access to helpful information and possibly a more tolerant, accepting culture. It’s nice to hear from another San Diegan! I love it here, although some snow would be nice. You’ll definitely be in for a bit of a shock with the rain in Seattle, since it’s been so dry here. Best of luck with your move, and thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Only six months? Wow! You are pretty good at this blogging thing 😉

    Thank you for sharing about yourself; it’s great to get to know a person whose thoughts you’ve been enjoying from a more factual side.

    We are so similar in many ways, and I think we both face some similar struggles! If it this thought is comforting, then you can remember that quarter-of-the-way across the world, there is a teenager, who too doesn’t have the social life of a typical teenager, began a novel and never finished it (after realising that it was rather immature), struggles to find common topics with her classmates, and is slowly learning to trust herself to be sociable.

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your writing, especially your story and your thoughts on Buddhism.

    P.S. Can I ask how you received the opportunity to write for TinyBuddha?

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    1. You’ve been my longest commenting follower, and over the last few months I feel like I’ve really gotten to know you as more than just a stranger on the internet (not to sound creepy or say internet strangers can’t be wonderful). Your dedication to reading this blog really means the world to me, and your comments have made me think so much more about the things I write and given me so much new perspective. And it’s so fantastic to know someone out there has a similar experience.
      As far as Tiny Buddha goes, if you visit their page and go to “Submission Guidelines”, the editor, Lori, details how to submit a piece to her. She’s not available for submissions right now, but you can check back on that page to see when she is. A similar blog that I’m going to be published on soon is The Change Blog, which is always open for submissions. The editor, Peter Clemens, is also very receptive and I’m sure he’d love to publish your work. Both take nearly any growth-related subject with a universal lens. I hope you have success, and let me know if you get published! I’d love to direct people to your article from Pluto’s Journal and read it myself.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you too! And no, you don’t sound creepy at all!

        Well, that’s given me something to think about – I never thought that it was so relatively easy to submit an article! When I say relatively easy, I don’t mean to say it doesn’t involve hard work, but rather that I never thought it was realistically possible for me. It’s definetely giving me ideas … 😉

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      2. It’s really such a realistic goal to get published on a site like Tiny Buddha. I’m sure Lori would love your work, and you should go for it!

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  7. Wow look at you go! Awesome stuff Avery and can see that the sky really is the limit for you, if you want it that best-seller will be yours! 🙂

    Not sure how you’ve never heard of Australia ;), I kid, I know that you weren’t referring to us although we are our own continent haha..

    Keep up the great work and congratulations again

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  8. Hi Avery, I’m new here via tinybuddha, but a few years writing on wordpress. Your article was so well written with heart, that it caught me. I hope to keep track of you here and look forward to finding the time to read more and participate in your discussions.
    Regards from that big “Island” down under, Peter.

    Like

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