I’ve done a lot of reflecting lately…mostly what I want to do with the blog, my social media presence, and the types of posts I’ve shared. As I’m going through my archives, I cringe at my first post. It wasn’t even an introduction or something about me. I just dived into a post about a new Anthropologie store in the neighborhood. I would love to delete that post and replace it with a proper introduction but I’m not. I’m keeping it there as a reminder of how far I’ve come or will come with blogging.
When I started this blog in 2013, I was just excited that I found a blog and a domain name that were not taken. I didn’t know much about blogging then (I still don’t). But I really enjoyed reading other people’s blogs. So I figured, why not? Start a blog – take pictures and write something. How hard could that be? But it was really hard. I had a tough time editing photos and putting my thoughts into words…and finding the time!
My intention was and is not to make blogging a full-time job. I have a full-time job that’s quite demanding but I want to be able to balance my full-time job and the blog. Although I don’t enjoy my job at times, it gives my family financial stability and mostly, it fuels my creativity for nonwork-related things such as blogging and photography. I want the blog to be a space to store and share all that creativity. But I still need to figure out how to manage my time.
There might be a formula out there for starting and running a successful blog (but I think it’s just a lot of hard work and finding your niche). And there’s a lot of information out there on how to blog, what to do, the common mistakes of blogging, etc. I don’t want model my blog off of someone else’s. I just want it to be a reflection of me. But I know the one mistake I’ve made when I started this blog – not posting a proper introduction.
10 Things About Me
1 – My favorite thing to do on the weekends is spend time with my family and explore Chicago. The one thing I love about Instagram is that it has inspired me to get out of the house and explore Chicago. Seeing people’s pictures of Chicago as well as other cities around the world has certainly changed my view of architecture, colorful murals, and doors in the city. This love of exploration is what I want to share on the blog.
2 – Leyla is not my birth name. I changed my name when I got naturalized as a US citizen at the age of 18. My given name is My Le (mee-lay), which translates to beautiful tears in Vietnamese. People call me Le (lay) for short. But when people who don’t know me read my name, they call me Myle (mile:) and it used to annoy me. I loved the name “Leyla” when I was a teenager and this is the name everyone calls me now, except my family and childhood friends.
3 – Speaking of names, my nickname that my family calls me is “meo”, which is a cat in Vietnamese. I was born in the year of the cat, according to the Vietnamese zodiac calendar. For Chinese, it’s the rabbit. At an early age, my parents thought I exhibited characteristics of a cat, being that I was born under that sign also was the biggest attribute. So they started calling me “meo.” One time, my aunt saw me at the mall so she walked behind me saying “meo, meo, meo” to get my attention. Then she realized that people were looking at her and probably wondering why she was “meowing”. So she called me by my name instead. I am not a cat person but I do still love my nickname.
4 – I’ve been to Paris five times. Yes, I love it that much there and I plan to go back again. My dream is to spend my summers somewhere in France. To share my love of all things French, I am starting a “Francophile Friday” post (once a month or more) to share some of my favorite French things and find. Stay tuned!
5 – I ran and finished the Chicago marathon in 2009. I want to run it again…soon. Hopefully in 2018.
6 – I laugh when I’m nervous or even at bad jokes (not my husband’s though, I know him too well). I find laughing to be comforting.
7 – I didn’t start drinking coffee until I started my first job out of college. Now I can’t go a day without coffee. I guess that’s what accounting does to you.
8 – I moved to Chicago in 2001. I didn’t know anyone and told my parents I would move back to New Orleans in a year if I didn’t like it. I’m still here. Now my parents want to move to Chicago.
9 – We named our son “Luke” because I gave my husband four choices – Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. He picked Luke because of Star Wars (of course).
10 – When people ask me what camera I use, I tell them “my eyes.” I’m not a photographer but I like taking pictures of what I see. I purchased my Canon T3i DSLR camera four years ago with the 50 mm lens (the nifty fifty) to mainly take pictures of Luke and hopefully become a professional photographer. As a new parent, I thought I needed to have high quality photos of him (not true now) but sometimes pictures from my iPhone will do. I’ve learned a lot about photography but I still have so much more to learn to say that I’m a true photographer. So I consider myself a “fauxtographer” or “momtographer”.
And if these 10 things weren’t enough, I did a similar post on Instagram about two years ago (when I was tagged by an Instagram friend to share some things about me).
I was tagged by @diannaman awhile ago to share 15 things about me. At first I was hesitant to share bc I didn't think I had much to share. But I actually have 17! So here goes. 1) I'm a Leo but I don't like to be the center of attention. 2) I'm not a photographer. I just like taking pictures. 3) I check @anthropologie's website EVERYDAY, sometimes more than once a day. 4) I have a very dry sense of humor. It makes me happy to get people to laugh at my humor. 5) I say "I love you" to Luke every day bc growing up in an Asian family, my parents never told us they loved us. Now they do, and I don't know how to react. 6) I was a tomboy growing up until middle school. 7) I met my husband on a blind date (set up by an ex-boyfriend). 8) I'm so used to ordering the same coffee at @starbucks that sometimes I place my coffee order at Chipotle or any fast food place out of habit. I always get a weird look. 9) I collect store shopping bags (paper bags). I have a whole box full. 10) I'm a huge fangirl of portrait photogs. 11) My weekend is incomplete if I don't go to church on Sunday. 12) I think in Vietnamese but speak English. I do this so I don't lose my Vietnamese language skill. 13) Growing up, it used to annoy me when people would say I look so much like my mom. But now I love it and cherish it. 14) My favorite breakfast is cake and coffee. 15) I love bargain hunting. It's a challenge and a reward. 16) I'm a Francophile but can't speak or understand French. 17) I'm turning 40 in August.