My Big, Horrible, Awful Mistake That Nearly Ruined Everything

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I did something terrible this week.

I tried to switch the hosting servers for my website on my own. Now that Heath and I are married, it made sense to use the same service instead of paying two different companies. Plus, it would save us about $100 a year.

Naturally, I first Googled “how to switch hosting servers.” Skimming the action list, I had no idea what was my first step. I was completely confused. But I felt confident that I could learn. After all, with the Internet, you never really have the excuse that you don’t know how to do something.

Finally, I found a button that said “Walk Me Through Transferring Your Domain.” Perfect! I needed some hand holding. I’m technologically savvy, but setting up a website is one thing I really don’t know how to do.

I walked through the steps pretty easily and figured it out all on my own. I was so proud. It told me it will take 3-10 days to complete the transfer process.

Great, I thought. I’ll check back on Monday. That was so simple.

Monday came along and the transfer hadn’t finished, but by Tuesday morning, my hosting servers were completely transferred over. I was so proud of myself. I was successful!

Except for one teeny, tiny detail. I failed to download and save all of my website files. It wasn’t in the walk through instructions! This meant if you visited alyssapadgett.com this week, you got a lovely screen that said my website didn’t exist. In fact, someone emailed me asking if I had given up on my site.

It was all gone.

Instantly, I panicked. All of my blogs, gone. My theme, my hours of hard work, everything gone. Completely lost. Not to be found. My website automatically backs itself up, but I had no idea when it was backed up last or how to even restore the backup! What do you do when you lose everything you’ve worked for?

It took me 48 hours to finally figure out how to bring it all back and now you can see my website is completely back to its original state–meaning that I had to switch back to my old hosting service. Now I can confidently tell you, I have NO idea how to correctly switch hosts. But I can tell you how not to do it.

This morning when I opened my website, praying to find it still alive, I had a small notification with the picture of trophy. I clicked on it.  It said this:

wordpress anniversary

I’ve been writing for three years. I actually started this blog while I was working as an student event coordinator at an intramural basketball game. I sat down where the ball couldn’t hit me, and started learning how to build my first website. (I am completely useless about basketball anyway.)

After three years of writing, I’m not the best, but I’m leaps farther along. I still do extremely stupid things like crash my entire website or forget to share my posts with my followers. But I still write every day, because I am a writer.

For half of this week, I was really discouraged. Heck, I was heart broken! I thought all of my writing–three years of words–had disappeared forever. How could I make such a horrendous mistake? I ruined everything.

But as I sat there staring at my crashed webpage, wondering what to do next, a thought grew inside me. I’ll just have to keep writing. I’ll find old blog posts in my email and I’ll keep writing new content. I’ll start over, because I am a writer.

Fortunately, I recovered my site so my nightmare isn’t my reality. But in my failure, I realized something important about my purpose in life.

When you find what you’re truly called to do, when you find your purpose and that one thing that gives you meaning, you can’t abandon it. You can’t avoid it. You can’t escape it. Even if you lose it all, you have to keep pursuing your calling. I’m endlessly grateful that I regained my site, but I’m more grateful to have found my purpose, to find something that’s worth chasing, even if I nearly ruin everything.