Last year was, by far, the year in which I have grown the most. In this post I’ll try to summarize what has been going on in my life and this blog in the past 365+ days and give you a glimpse of how I expect 2014 to turn out. Let’s start with the blog.
Last November, this blog completed its first rotation around the sun and I’m happy to say I expect to keep writing for many more rounds. Writing for it gives me pleasure and helps me bring coherence to my many (and often very confusing) moments of introspection. And the fact that there’s other people – you! – who benefit from what I put out into the world is the icing on the cake.
In 2013 I published 41 original posts and one guest post on the blog as well as my own guest post on HighExistence.com. I’m proud to have written so much despite pursuing lots of other projects and being a generally unorganised person. In case you’re a fairly new reader or are reading this post in 2017 and have never explored the depths of the (hopefully now huge) archives, these are my 2013 posts you can’t miss:
- Side Stitches Are A Blessing
- How To Have Deep Conversations
- 4 Practical Philosophies That Will Empower You (at HighExistence.com)
- Guide To Happiness: Happiness First or How To Be Happy
- Don’t Make It The End Of The World
Besides the posts, this year I created a monthly newsletter that readers can subscribe to to receive original content not published on the blog, a list of the posts published that month and transparent info on the blog’s stats.
My idea was to send out original content with every newsletter, but I have since come to terms with the fact that I might not be inspired to do so or have time for it every month (see the last post on the list above) so I won’t promise that this year. The newsletter will be sent out every month, sometimes with, sometimes without original content. After experimenting with it for the past months, I’ve found it better for my sanity not to put that kind of pressure on myself. The same policy applies to : I will publish when I’m inspired to and feel no guilt or shame if I spend a whole month without publishing.
Last year I also wrote an ebook that I was planning on releasing in the summer. However, I ran into problems and the ebook is still waiting for final design. When it is finished, it will be sent out for free to everyone who subscribes to the newsletter (or is already subscribed at that time).
And now, some statistics:
- All-time page views: 19,761 (18,948 in 2013)
- Highest page views for one day: 3,732
- Average daily page views 2013: 52
- Post of the year: How To Have Deep Conversations (8,541 views)
- Newsletter subscribers: 41
I know these stats are not very impressive, but I’m adding them to the post for the sake of transparency, to show other beginning bloggers what they’re in for in the beginning and so that I can compare these numbers over the years.
In 2014, like I said before, I plan to keep writing, to finally release the ebook and to continue the newsletter. Additionally, I might experiment with monetising the blog, either with ads, product recommendations, or by selling original products.
Yes, I have a life besides the blog too
Like I said before, this year I have grown more as a person than in any other year of my life, maybe even than all other years combined. Obviously I can’t tell you everything that happened, so here are some highlights:
In May 2013 I graduated from the German School of Lisbon (in Portugal) and some months later found myself in Bremen, Germany, studying Integrated Social And Cognitive Psychology at Jacobs University. Even though I do not want to be a psychologist, this has so far proven to be one of the best decisions of my life. I love most of my classes and the fact that I am required to take transdisciplinary courses – something you won’t usually find in German or Portuguese universities.
But what I like most about the university are the people, which brings me to another topic. During my 4 months in college, I have become friends with so many awesome people I barely recognise my past self anymore. The guy who used to have a group of 3-5 close friends somehow vanished, and I gained a new ability to socialize more effortlessly than ever, which I love doing. Of course all of this was heavily influenced by the fact that Jacobs has an international, residencial campus, something you also won’t find anywhere else in Germany.
The best part, and something I’ve been learning these past few months, is that having more friends doesn’t have to make your connections shallower. I’ve made sure to seek and encourage closeness in my relationships with others, and so far it has worked wonderfully. Next semester I will aim to find even more like-minded people as well as expand my network to people outside of university.
Since between finishing high school and the start of college there were about three empty months, I decided (with the help and support of my parents) to take a trip. After a few emails and a Skype ‘interview’, I found myself buying plane tickets to Montreal, Canada, and spending one month at the Valhalla Movement headquarters. Valhalla is a project created, among others, by Jordan Lejuwaan, creator of HighExistence, and aims at building and connecting sustainable communities around the world.
Living among so many awesome-minded people was a fantastic experience and a big growth catalyst for me, and I can’t thank them enough for making me feel a part of the community and teaching me so many valuable things (nor can I thank my parents enough for financing the trip and letting me go in the first place). In the future I hope to be able to share more amazing moments with the Valhalla community and be of service to them in any way I can.
This year was a year of many firsts. After two embarrassing attempts, I finally lost my virginity and, I must admit, I think sex is pretty cool. Next year I want to explore that part of my life more – it’s about time. Most of my others first envolve experimenting with drugs. I’ve always found psychoactive substances to be very interesting, not so much from a party point of view (though some are perfect for that), but more in a personal development point of view (which should be obvious, if you know me at all). Next year I want to try magic mushrooms and LSD, which I believe to be very useful for self-discovery and -mastery, as well as to keep experimenting with other drugs – no mum, I won’t do heroin, promise. Hopefully those trips will inspire even better and deeper blog posts for you to enjoy.
But that’s not all: there’s at least two more things I am very excited about. The first I cannot tell you too much about just yet; let’s just say it involves opening a business and that you’ll hear about it when the time is right. The second thing is coaching. If all goes according to plan, I’ll have three month’s worth of transformational coaching with Drew Gerald. It will be my first ever coaching experience, so I can’t stress how stoked I am about it .
Without further ado, and because I get tired of talking too much about myself, I wish you an amazing 2014 full of growth and awesome experiences!