Creating a positive online environment

I cannot believe I am writing my very first blog post today. I started knowing about the existence of blogs in 2011 when I heard a fellow student talk about it when I was in college. She went on to found Ayiba Magazine, an online outlet which "seeks to break down perpetuating stereotypes of Africa, while simultaneously building a bridge between Africa's past and future in a way that connects Africans in the Diaspora to those on the continent." She even got to feature in Forbes magazine because of her outstanding work on their Girls Trip Tours program!! Major, right?

Since graduating from college eight years ago this week, I have stalked the Ayiba website and Facebook page, and I was always inspired to start something meaningful to me, something that I have always been passionate about – lifestyle blogging. I love fashion, cooking, Do It Yourself (DIY), home décor, personal growth, and women empowerment, and of course, science. I have always wanted to share, but I was so scared of what people will think of my English, my life choices, the way I look, and where I am in life.

I have postponed starting this blog since college, telling myself I was too busy and did not have the time. When I searched for how to start blogging this past year, most of the articles said I was too late to the game. Which indeed, I was, since most bloggers who started early already have millions of subscribers, and some do not even bother to update their blogs as times have changed, and there is more money to be made on Instagram.

However, despite being late, I decided to start anyway, and I am happy I did. I first started by creating my YouTube channel Honestly Lo and managed to amass 50 followers in the first three days, mostly comprising of family and friends, and friends of friends. I haven't slept counting how many total views I have on my first three videos, and I jump with excitement every time I get an email of a single person having subscribed to my channel. I have been so happy this past week making videos, more than I have ever been in my whole life. And yes, with just those 50 subscribers, I feel like I have made it. Why? You may ask! It is because I experienced online bullying, made fun of, threatened, and I was on the receiving end of hate comments. I even deleted most of my social media accounts, and before I launched my YouTube channel, I didn't also have an Instagram account, and I still do not have a twitter account. So the fact that I managed to create an account and put myself out there, exposing myself to potential nasty attacks from trolls, is a life-changing milestone for me, and I take that as a win.

I decided to put myself out there because I no longer care for people who do not like me or the way I have lived and live my life. I will not be a slave to other people's negative opinions of me. If you have a negative impression of me, it is yours to keep and yours to deal with. I am no longer responsible for how you choose to feel. All I seek now at this point in my life, and all I will entertain, is kindness and positivity. Spread that around, we can never have too much goodness in this world.

So today, it is a week after launching the YouTube channel, and I decided to start writing this blog to share my thoughts on everything life. I wanted to create a positive space that allows for personal growth. Additionally, this blog aims to provide an environment that is filled with empowering ideas and constructive criticism in the form of kind and thoughtful comments. That is, a space entirely devoid of negativity.

I am so glad you chose to check this blog, and please share it with your family and friends and come back for more content. This blog is just the beginning of what will be a beautiful journey, and I am grateful to be on this journey with you.

With so much love,

Honestly Lo

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