If I was the nervous type, my palms would be sweating.
On this day two years ago, I first created a blog – Considerings – and began to write. I don’t know what it is about the marking of that anniversary, but I feel the need to justify this place. I’ve even been looking up Wiki-How To Write A Self-Evaluation, with some idea of giving space to the voices in the corners of my mind which question “What have you actually *achieved*?”, “WHY do you write?”, “How are you going to improve upon your failings and do better next year?” and the utterly terrifying “Where is this all going?”.
Those things made me feel bad in my insides – they made me feel as though there were objective standards for blogging (which I almost certainly wouldn’t live up to), milestones each blogger *should* achieve by a certain point in their existence (ditto), or an underlying *point* to the whole endeavour; a cause upon which to hang your hat and a banner under which to continue to write (I don’t have that, either – no niches here!) – so I decided to do what I think I do best: scrap the plans, fly in the face of reason, and do things my way, without any structure at all.
Because I think what I want to do, in a manner quite unfettered by justification, is celebrate:
Two years of writing, sometimes intensively, sometimes sporadically.
104 weeks of output, covering the mundane to the profound to the ridiculous to the heartbreaking.
730 days of having been a part of this Blogosphere, contributing poetry, fiction, personal essays, considerings and a damn good blog-hop.
572 posts encapsulating my life, my thoughts and my feelings as they happened.
Yay me, right?
Well, kind of.
In that time, my life has changed drastically.
With regard to the Blogosphere, I’ve gone from a complete nobody to – well, if not a ‘Somebody’, then certainly *somebody* to some other bloggers…if that makes any sense. I went from blogging with a view to developing my writing skills, to engaging intentionally with an idea of building a community around me.
I’ve grown my blog from somewhere a few new people visited alongside a number of regulars, to a place with staunch regulars and a thriving blog-hop each weekend, where new people seem to turn up all the time – particularly now I’ve moved from Blogger to WordPress – and just join in.
In real life, I’ve gone from a bewildered, floundering new wife with somany expectations of life and marriage, to a slightly-less-bewildered, oft-floundering not-so-new wife, dealing with two miscarriages, infertility, a chronically sick spouse, various instances of depression, the shattering of all the expectations (and hopes) and an attendant slew of personal demons.
Yay me, right?
Well kind of.
Even there, I’ve had fun, I’ve written stories, I’ve sought (and received) encouragement and solidarity, I’ve entertained, I’ve educated, I’ve made strong connections and deep friendships, and I’m still here to tell the (many, many) tales.
So what am I celebrating, exactly?
The sheer existence of this place? Definitely. But more than that, it’s the people, for the unique thing about the Blogosphere is that here, there is life, lived in almost entirely an emotional landscape. Souls, fears, joys, failures and triumphs are all unveiled for others to see in such an intimate manner as would never occur between strangers in Real Life, yet here somehow, we have a free pass to share openly, honestly, with a view to building relationships (or increasing statistics, but that’s never been my game, nor will it be) and finding encouragement, acknowledgement and connection – that thing we all need most, in the end.
They support and encourage, they listen to crises and help make things better, they show how it SHOULD be done and give hope, they turn up out of the blue and stay forever, they bring glorious sunshine, they understand and they entertain in the most beautiful of ways. They dabble, but become important, they become partners in crime, they inspire with incredible thoughts, they try to change the world. They create wonderful things and teach me, they befriend and delight, they untangle life, they make me laugh, they give fresh perspective, they strive to overcome obstacles, they bring mystery and glamour, they take you by surprise, they share my burdens, they demonstrate incredible tenacity, they become more than onscreen presences, they are with me in quiet moments, they are ‘behind the scenes’, they try to help me become a better person. And occasionally, if you’re really lucky, they agree to BlogMarry you…
Yay me, right?
Well absolutely, completely and utterly YES!
There are so, so many of them – more than I could describe – and I am constantly delighted to make new connections every week, with people who begin to matter to me; whose lives somehow show parallels or cross paths with my own trajectories; who become meaningful and whose presence in my life, even through the screen and in whatever capacity, is important.
This, more than anything, is why I’m celebrating.
The writing here has been fun, and sometimes important, and it will continue, but the thing which has mattered most – and will continue to matter most – is you. You, who read this and stop to make a connection. You, whose life became tangled somehow with my own, and we both stopped, took stock, and were pleased. You, who have become far more than just ‘other bloggers’ to me.
You, whom I call friends.
And really, at that point, I feel like the past two years of writing have been all-the-way-to-the-top worthwhile.
It’s been a blast. It’s been FILLED with *twinklysparklyhappygoodness*. It will continue to be so. And I shall continue to enjoy it thoroughly for the words, but more so for the people.
[I believe it’s customary to do some kind of incredible giveaway, both as a chance to say ‘thank you’ to the people who read you regularly enough to catch a post like this, and also to hook in new readers and make them think you’re fabulous and worth adding to their reading list. Seeing as three of my favourite bloggers and long-time readers only just followed me this week, I set precisely no store by that logic, so I will leave you all of a video of me goofing around at the weekend. You’re welcome.]