I knew there was something special about July. It's like sharing a look with someone who resembles that girl in your high school English class but not quite remembering her name. After scouring my old blogger blog, I realized that itchy-brain-feeling is its way of reminding me of my blog-iversary! I'm still late though. Nice try, brain.
On July 18th 2016, I published my first blog post. It's still up; don't go look, it's fucking terrible. I was studying for the bar and sleep deprived and looking for some sort of outlet. Who could've known this is where we'd end up?
Happy Birthday, Little Blog Baby of Mine!
Funny, I can't even say "happy birthday, [blog name]" because I've technically changed my name like 40 times. I mean three; I'm dramatic. It's still a bit mind-boggling to say I've been hanging around this place for three entire years. Also, what better time to get back to blogging now that my blog is no longer a toddler?
So, I'd like to recap three pretty awesome and unexpected things about blogging I've noticed over the past three years.
(1) Total strangers can rekindle your love for something you've always loved.
Nearly three years ago (I think), I wrote a post about feeling like I missed my shot, that I'd chosen other things/careers over writing and now I could never call myself a writer. And a few of the sweetest people on the planet, also known as those who read my rambling writing back when I was a total noob, left comments that encouraged me so much I'm not sure I'd be here today without those words.
Mae, one of those people who would go on to become a dear friend to me, wrote:
"I want to share with you something an author recently said to me after I told her I was trying to write a novel. She said, "Don't say you're trying to write a novel. You are writing a novel. You're a writer. Embrace that. Own that. It doesn't matter whether you never publish a piece of work or you publish a hundred pieces, you're a writer"
Another commenter said "...I will say in just reading some of your posts, you are a great writer. You have a way with words and making them come alive with feeling and bringing understanding to your readers. So I say start believing you are a writer."
I don't know if I began that day or that week or that month, but eventually, I began to believe in my words. And somehow, people that knew so very little about me motivated me to do the thing I always wanted to do. I'm no published writer yet, but I'm leaps and bounds closer than I was back then, than I'd ever thought I'd be. And better yet, I unabashedly call myself a writer.
(2) You get what you give.
Investment is a two way street. When I began blogging, I thought my part in the matter was the blogging part, the writing and publishing posts part. And that readers would do their part in commenting on what I'd written. Psh! What was I even thinking? It's all a trade off. A give and take. Blogging. Life. Your cable service (although that might be more take, here's some shitty service and take some more). If you show interest in others, they will show interest in you. You have to give a little to get a l-- well, maybe not a lot, but the same. I suppose I thought I was "giving my blog posts", but I failed to realize that the blogging world isn't necessarily full of readers anxious to devour your words. Most of us are all throwing out perspectives into the ring and hoping someone cares enough to hear what we have to say. I wish I'd known that earlier. I spent the first month or so staring at my empty comment box wondering where all the people were.
(3) The 'Edited Life' is not a life worth mimicking.
And by that I mean, the "Edited Life" as I call it - you know those beautifully lit photos of that girl with the perfect top knot, lounging on the beach to the clear view of the open ocean or candidly laughing at someone off-camera - it isn't real. What we don't see when we look at these carefully crafted images is the shadow expertly cropped out, the 27 pictures with that guy with the hairy back obscuring the view, the wide view where said perfect girl is laughing by herself. And I know about this because I've done this. Exhibit A:
The truth is... a blog, an Instagram account, social media in general are all curated snapshots of a person's life. Everyone crops out the crusty bits and enhances the fabulous. Hell, isn't that what we're suppose to do in our lives? Highlight the good and move on from the bad? It's okay, expected, to put your best foot forward. But don't compare your worst foot, exhausted from a day of hard work, to someone else's pampered pedicure. Because her foot looks just like yours on a bad day, in regular lighting, out of her smelly gym shoes, and all feet deserve shoes, right? I've taken this foot metaphor too far. But you get it. I think.