I totally missed commemorating my blog’s first blog-iversary, while I was traveling the great north. Here are some reflections on my first year as a committed blogger (she says, feeling like a fraud for spotty blogging for the last several weeks…)
The Big Picture:
- I started this blog to get me writing more often, about a broader array of topics. I’ve felt like someone who had the skill to be a writer but with nothing pressing to say for most of my life. After 217 posts in just over a year (several more in draft form, plus some just rattling around in my head), as well as three in-progress handwritten journals to (not quite) keep up with my more personal reflections, I have to admit that I have plenty to say. I much more frequently have something to say than time to say it.
I’m going to stop right there and say that if that’s all that I got out of this experience, it would be so far beyond my expectations, I can’t even tell you. I hear a lot about the imposter syndrome (that sense that you are a fraud in your own life), and I know it all too well. The biggest victories I’ve ever had in my life are when I test the theory. If I want to test the theory that I’m broken romantically, I go out, I get myself into a relationship, and I see that it doesn’t fail because of my brokenness. If I want to test the theory that there’s something wrong with my body and that’s why I’m overweight, I track calories in/calories out. When I restrict my calories and/or increase my exercise, sure enough, my weight goes down. I tested the theory that I’m a fraud writer with nothing to say. And I can’t think that anymore— there’s too much data to the contrary.
- The next big-picture thing is how blessed I am by you, my 86 and counting formal followers (not to mention those of you who check in informally, but don’t yet follow). I am honored by the time you take to read my posts, to comment on them, to like them. I am humbled that most of you are people I don’t know IRL, but that you take the time to read what I have to say, anyway. I hope to write ever more things that are worth the investment of time and attention you’ve made in me. I read every one of your comments, and hope to hear more from you, as we go deeper into this journey together.
The thing about you that I didn’t expect, was that I, in a way that was totally selfish, thought that I’d talk to you, and we’d talk about things I thought. But an even bigger blessing has been reading your blogs. When I first heard the advice to read and comment on your blogs, I thought it sounded fake and self-serving. But now I see that I learn from you and your journeys, that together, we’re a community. I didn’t realize that I needed to be in a community of people who were on their own journeys, as I embarked on mine. But I do. You inspire me, you move me, and I love reading your blogs sometimes more than I like writing on my own. I feel a mutual accountability with you, to keep learning and growing and improving in this. And far from feeling like an unwelcome obligation, it is one of the more joyful and positive challenges in my days.
- Someone in my life once called me “the most intentional person” she’d ever met. I wasn’t sure what I thought of that at the time, but I chose to be complimented by it. And if it’s possible, this blog has made me ever more intentional. By giving me a place where I reflect on things, I’ve found it easier to find the next step. I’ve heard the journey of faith described as being akin to walking on a dark night with a small flashlight. You get only enough light to take the next step— you don’t get guaranteed much more than that. Knowing what the right step for me looks like— it’s like I was granted a bigger flashlight. I can accept that I don’t get to see the whole journey, but the additional perspective has been so helpful to me. It’s pivotal to the story of me in a better job; out of stupid, dead-end romantic situations; it probably has a lot to do with my having traveled to Alaska (the trip of a lifetime, so far) and being better positioned to take action in several areas of my life. I can see where I’m getting in my own way better than I’ve ever been able to see it, and I’m wildly grateful for that, and for you for helping me see it. Though I always have an opinion (about everything), I seldom know exactly what I think about something before I put it into words. Before the blog, I found myself asking people in my life what they thought, more so that I could articulate the situation than because I wanted a ready-made bit of advice about it. Now, I find that I share my thoughts with you, you give me things to think about, I start to see things I couldn’t see before, and the next step becomes startlingly clear. Clarity is a gift I couldn’t have anticipated from this, but it’s priceless, to me.
- My voice: This one is, unsurprisingly, still in development. This blog has been an incubator, and I think my voice is evolving— will continue to evolve, really, probably for as long as I use it. But it’s been a workshop in which I test things. Still a bit of a grab-bag, thematically, but your interest in certain topics keeps bringing me back to them, and my interest in others keeps bringing me back to them, whether or not they’ve connected overall, beyond the die hards (I could write a sonnet about you die hards and my abiding love for you all!) You might see more in the way of my poetry, going forward, probably more about book stuff. Alaska taught me that I want to spend more time on the water, so you might hear more about that, and I’m ready to put myself out there IRL dating, if not yet ready to weather online dating again. So with any luck, more about my romantic (mis)adventures. There are other big things (possibly) brewing for me, and if they continue brewing, you’re probably going to hear about it, because there are some rough seas that way. (Sorry to talk like a sea-dog— it’s an embarrassing affectation of loving my trip that I am all boating metaphors— I’m hoping it, though not my fond memories of my trip, wears off soon.)
Thank you for the last year. You’re very actively a part of who I’m becoming, and this is a time when I’m becoming stronger and better by leaps and bounds. For the many ways in which you contribute to my growth every day, I am so very, very grateful.