All of the very important life lessons working for HelloGiggles has taught me

People often ask me how long I’ve been writing for HelloGiggles, and my answer has two parts. I’ve been writing full-time for HG, and working out of the Los Angeles office, since January. But I’ve been a part of the HelloGiggles community for two years now, almost half of the site’s beautiful five-year life. If you’ve gotten a pitch accepted in the From Our Readers section of the site before, you know that incredible thrill of seeing your words appear on a site for thousands to read (and if you haven’t, you can get information on how to submit here). It’s pretty darn exciting, and two years ago when my first pitch was accepted, it was a rush like I’d never felt before.

Now, two circles around the sun (and more than 2,000 HelloGiggles stories) later, I — along with HG — have grown so much. The site has taught me about myself, about my friends and co-workers, and about the world. Here are some of the best things this beautiful site has shared with me over the years:

Friends are everywhere.

Those first few months I was regularly writing for HelloGiggles, I started getting a lot of followers on Twitter. I didn’t know who these ladies where or where they had found me, but we started interacting back and forth with an amazing ease and closeness that made them feel like friends. Some of them also wrote for HelloGiggles, some of them just liked reading the site, and some, well, I don’t know how they found me! But, two years later, some of these ladies are some of my best friends in real life — and some I’ve still never even met in person. The internet is crazy and wonderful!

It’s okay to ask questions.

This is the most important thing I’ve learned so far: No one really knows what they’re doing at first. No one. Everyone just tries to do their best, and hopes that it is the best. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t, and sometimes you need to go back to the beginning and start from scratch. That’s okay. If you do not understand something, ASK ASK ASK. Everyone has been in your position before, and I’ve learned that if you’ve got a question, someone else has an answer.

It’s okay to ask for help.

Asking a question and asking for help are two different things in my mind. Questions have answers; asking for help sometimes requires broad strokes and the result might be what you want to hear, and it might not be. It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. It means you’ve identified that something is off, and you want to fix it.

Everyone makes mistakes.

News flash: No one is perfect. I am most certainly not perfect. I make mistakes all the time. I’ve misspelled things or confused the Mad King and Rhaegar Targaryen, even though I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan. I make mistakes offline, too, and there’s no sense in wallowing in my error. Lift your head up high, do what you can to fix the mistake, and move on. And guess what — every time I’ve made a mistake, I’ve learned something new from it.

The world is a weird and wonderful place.

From my 13″ computer screen, HelloGiggles has opened me up to a whole new world of things that I never new existed. I’ve written stories about some of the coolest people on the planet, and looked through so many images of only the coolest things out there. Who knew all these things existed?! I didn’t. And now I want to experience them all.

Thank you, HelloGiggles, for all the lessons you’ve taught me so far and all the new lessons I’m sure you’ll teach me in the future.