It’s absolutely crazy to think that I’ve been doing this for 10 months now. With assessment and exams finally finished, I thought I would reflect on how it has been so far. I have also put together a portfolio/collection of photographs which are a few of my very favourites. Most of the recipes should be found on Beyond Our Sky, but some pictures you may have seen on Instagram and I have yet to post the recipes. If you’re new here, then welcome and hello! My name is Michelle, I am fifteen years old (yes, I’m only fifteen) and from Brisbane, Australia. I like to bake (obviously) and love photography even more, I enjoy running but never find the motivation to do it, my favourite foods are mangoes, pineapples, any types of potato (baked, chips or whatever) and all things Mexican. I’m a bit of a loner, I like to write but don’t get good marks in English, and I hate loud environments. So there are some random facts about me. But that’s not what this post is about. It’s about the things I’ve learnt through this blogging journey. So, yeah, I’ve learnt that you should take your time, that a crumb coat on a cake is very important, how to do a drip cake, how vital it is that your cakes are level, the importance of temperature and many other basic things like not to overwork your dough/batter. But that’s not what this post is about either and it’s not how Beyond Our Sky works. Yes, I did learn all those things… but the real question is what did I learn about life through blogging?Every experience you witness happens for a reason. Sometimes you never know that reason until months or even years later. But I know, with Beyond Our Sky, that I have learnt how to believe in myself and what perfection truly means. My friend and I usually spend mornings before school looking at other blogs, and of course I would be in awe of their amazing photographs. Then sometimes I would look at mine and think – why can’t my photos look that good? How come mine aren’t perfect? But that’s the thing – you can spend ages thinking you’re not good enough and get absolutely nowhere.I will never be the perfect blogger, the perfect photographer or have the perfect pictures. But what does perfection mean? Perfection to you may be different to what it means to me. So I believe you should focus on your progress instead. Have I achieved a lot over the past 10 months? Yes, my photographs have drastically improved from when I started. And most of all, I never imagined myself doing this. I’m not the same person I was a year ago, let alone 10 months ago. To me that’s amazing. To me that’s perfect realising how far I have come on this journey so far. It may not seem like the best blog, but it’s the best I can possibly do – and to me personally, that’s what I call perfection. People always talk about this journey of “finding themselves”. I feel like a lot of us have this vision of who we imagine ourselves to be. I know I do. I used imagine myself, last year during grade 9, just being a girl in grade 10 and going through life like normal student at school. I used to imagine myself starting a blog or YouTube channel after grade 12. But you know, here I am, in grade 10, somehow managing to balance school, sport and a blog. And that leads me to another thing that I’ve learnt – to embrace life and the opportunities it grants you then pursue it with confidence. Life is unpredictable. If one door closes, an even bigger one will open. Make the most out of what you have in the time you are given. I can never truly answer why I started a blog, it kind of just came to me one day and so I asked my Mum – can I start a blog? She said yes. I took the chance and conquered my fears. I embraced it. I think she may regret saying yes now, because she probably thought it was just going to be one of those weird phases or holiday projects that doesn’t last very long. I don’t think my mum expected me to enjoy it as much as I do and nor did I. The thing which also amazes me is how I used to tell people that I wanted to start a blog. I never once believed that I was actually going to do it. The opportunity was lying right there before me, what was stopping me from pursuing it? And that’s another thing I’ve learnt through blogging – the restrictions and difficulties which come with chasing your dreams/purpose. You need to learn to overcome your boundaries and your fears. Maybe you are, fundamentally, the only person who is stopping you. We are all scared of something. What it is or why we are in fear is a whole nother issue entirely. I’m scared of failing. I’m scared of disobeying my parents. I’m scared that I won’t live life to the fullest. So, with that being said, I like to look at life like a painting. You start with an idea of what you want to paint, then you draw a basic outline and start to add the base colours. As you continue your journey, you learn new things about yourself through the ins and outs of life, and as a result, your painting becomes more embellished with the finer details. Sometimes the idea you started with, may have changed throughout the course of the painting. But you learn to adapt, you learn to change and you learn to accept it. By the end of your life, your painting may not be perfect or the masterpiece you hoped – but whether you finished the painting or not is up to you. A painting should never be half-finished, because you should never live your life half-full. A painting should always be complete, which shows you have lived a life full of colour and made the most out of what you had in the time you were given. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece in order for it to be called perfection. It can be perfectly imperfect.So the purpose of Beyond Our Sky is to encourage people to appreciate the beauty in life and inspire others to chase their dreams. It’s all about getting out there and simply living since you never know what the future will hold.