The Blog

It’s my blog’s birthday! (and my birthday)

Happy birthday to me and welcome to my blog!

Hi, I’m so happy you’re here! My name is Shaelyn, and my middle name is Joy. (If you’re reading this around the time of me just posting this, I know you probably already know me, but I hope that some day more people will read this blog, so I want to introduce myself!) Today, August 31st, is my birthday! As a birthday present to myself, I decided to finally commit to launching this blog. So please wish a happy birthday as well, lol!

Joy is my middle name

Me grinning with my macarons at the most delightful little cafe in Ann Arbor, Le Bon Macaron!
Me grinning with my macarons at the most delightful little cafe in Ann Arbor, Le Bon Macaron!

With Joy as such a central part of my identity, I’ve grown to truly believe that joy can be found and created in the middle of many moments. I’m over-the-moon thrilled to be starting this blog as a place to share joy! And I hope to inspire you to find joy in the middle of all the craziness of life.

What sharing joy looks like, to me, is a lot of different things. Writing brings me a lot of joy, as well as being creative in general. I plan to share poems, other pieces of writing, and just collections of my thoughts and fun moments in my life that I want to capture. Maybe a poem I share isn’t necessarily about joy or how to find joy in your life, but who knows, maybe the act of engaging with a creative work will bring you joy! I would also like to share tips that encourage you to practice mindfulness and joyfulness, but I do want to clarify that I don’t intend for every one of my posts to literally be ~about~ joy. 

I’d like to tell you that I have a more structured plan for the type of content I’ll be posting on this blog, but right now all I have to say is I hope you’re excited to get a glimpse into my mind, and maybe I will have some thoughts for you that you’ll really connect with! There’s a lot I’d like to share, and basically, this may be like a combination of a lifestyle and creative writing blog, or it may evolve into something else, but it will always remain built on a foundation of joyfulness!

What are you passionate about?

Is there something you’re passionate about that you don’t do often enough? For as long as I can remember, I have loved to write. Before I even knew how to write, I was imagining stories and imitating writing; in boxes of my childhood memories, you’ll find booklets of pages stapled together into “books” filled with line after line of scribbles (and a picture every so often). Once I knew how to write, those boxes became filled with notebook after sticker-covered notebook of fiction, fantasy, poetry, journal entries… 

So, why am I just starting this blog now? Well, I never fully stopped writing, but I haven’t written the way I used to in a long time; I’m doing creative and fulfilling things in my life, but I miss writing. And I still don’t entirely know why I feel led to start now, but I guess that’s part of why I just know I have to. I have had this idea swirling around in my head in some form or another since middle school, and if I never start, well, I just think about telling my 13-year-old self that I never pursued writing in any format, and I can’t let that happen. Ten years later, that wildly imaginative and hopeful 13-year-old Shaelyn is still a part of me, and I have to start for her – for me. I have to start and see what happens!

“Don’t wait for your life to happen. Make it happen.”

– A quote from a canvas print hanging in my bedroom (although from a quick Google search, it looks like the actor Bradley Whitford has said something very similar)

Exciting and scary!!

Seriously, I am so excited to be starting this blogging journey! But I’d be excluding a pretty big piece of how I’m feeling if I didn’t also tell you that I’m a bit terrified. Because as much as I have been dreaming about having a blog and creating my Shaelyn Joy brand, I can’t seem to shake the judgmental voice in my head that’s kept me from doing this sooner. I’m slowly growing more comfortable with the concept that any time you put something creative out into the world, you set it free; you don’t know how others will respond to it. You have to put it out there for yourself, with the hopes that it will reach at least one person that it’s meant to reach. It’s incredibly vulnerable, and I have to acknowledge to myself that I’m not going to be perfect.

I thought it would be a lot easier to write a blog, but that whole perfectionism thing has definitely made this difficult for me. I have all of these ideas in my head – shouldn’t I be able to write them down and get across exactly what I mean? Also, why do I want to share my thoughts with the world? Is that why I am blogging? I’d be lying if I wasn’t the slightest bit excited at that prospect. But this blog is also for me, and I want to use this platform as a way of preserving how I feel at particular moments in time, and also as a way of motivating myself to write.

So, how often can you expect to hear from me? Haha, good question. I held myself accountable for this first post by deciding that I had to do it for my birthday. But now, what makes the most sense going forward? Is a post a week too ambitious? (*edit: the answer was yes, a post a week was too ambitious hahaha! Moving across the country, getting settled into a new apartment / new city, and wedding planning has been a bit overwhelming. But it’s also been so much fun! The bummer is that I’ve let this blog sit on the back burner for too long. I’m finally feeling ready to come back and post again, so stay tuned!!)

Please let me know in the comments (or on instagram) if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see me write about!! 

Some other potential topics besides poetry and mindfulness:

  • I’m a national champion baton twirler. I’ve spent the majority of my life training intensely, and I also twirled in the Michigan Marching Band all throughout college. Now, I teach and recently got my NBTA judging license! I’d love to talk more about baton twirling and also about what it’s like doing life after being a highly competitive athlete.
  • I graduated from college at the start of the pandemic in 2020, and I’ve been working remotely since then. I’m planning to move to the San Francisco Bay Area to work in-person sometime soon-ish, but obviously there are a lot of unknowns, so there’s a lot to unpack there (more like pack and then unpack! Get it? I can also write puns ahahaha).
  • Currently, I’m an associate product manager for an education technology company. I love working at the intersection of design and computer science and helping to define a product that improves educational experiences! I’m not sure how much I’ll write about being a product manager, but if people are interested in learning more about that, definitely let me know in the comments, or send me an email! 

Alsoooo, at the beginning of 2021, I got engaged to my best friend, Austin! He’s the most wonderful, loving, happy, goofy, witty, musical, gorgeous man in the universe! I might write some about wedding planning / engaged life / married life (!!!), but I’m confident I’ll share posts involving Austin in one way or another! 


I also wanted to share a few instagram/tiktok accounts that I’m inspired by. If you enjoy their content, I hope to bring similar vibes while still making this space my own:

Well, if you’ve made it this far, thank you so, so much! I hope my joy resonates through to you and that you have a lovely rest of your day. I’ll leave you with a mini love note about writing, along with a poem about my intentions for this blog! 

What I love about writing (and reading) so much is that it can evoke incredibly powerful feelings, and it can make you step into new perspectives, reflect on your life, make you feel inspired, maybe make you feel a little less alone in the way that you feel. What I love about writing is that it’s an endless world, an endless list of possibilities and colors and characters and questions to explore. What I love about writing is that it’s a way to preserve my thoughts so that I can always get back to them. To remember how I was feeling at a snapshot in time. To turn a memory into something even more magical and musical. To play with words and see how different arrangements can create rhythm and emotion.

I want to make this space 

a genuine and joyful place,

Whimsical and wondrous

Silly and spontaneous 

Intriguing and inspiring!

A kaleidoscope of creativity 

and all the things that make me me, 

that hopefully some piece 

will connect to you 

and then you’ll be

Seeing joy in your own life in ways 

that are beautiful and new each day! 

that maybe you’ll be brave enough to 

not only dream your most daring dreams 

but dare to dive in and journey 

alongside me in the things that 

scare you but make you feel most alive! 

I want to explore 

to the non-existent edges of our 

endless imagination 

and to thoroughly transcribe my thoughts and

maybe this blog is the start of a whole lot 

that I haven’t even thought of yet –

What a fascinating possibility!


Shaelyn Joy

  1. Tammy Albrecht says:

    So excited for you – and super proud! ❤️ I figured being the first to comment was an honor and certainly expected. ????

  2. Marie Kerner says:

    Congratulations, Shaelyn on your exciting new adventure!

  3. Susan McLain says:

    Great new journey! Congrats and good luck!

  4. Stacy Parrelly says:

    What a fun read! Enjoy your new journey!

  5. Sue Thompson says:

    I love this! As an artist, I completely understand your thoughts of putting yourself out there. Forge ahead…you are so intelligent, creative, and imaginative. Please share this with the world. So happy and proud that you are following your dreams! ❤

  6. Joy says:

    From one joy to another…. I love you are writing!
    Congratulations and EnJoy the journey.

  7. Jeff Thompson says:

    Looking forward to seeing what you post!

  8. Josh Nichols says:

    Yay!! You’ve brought nothing but joy to my life, Shaelyn!! I can’t wait to see your blog continue to grow and to follow along!! Love and miss you! ❤️