I don’t have any of the metrics you might expect or want to see in a blog birthday post. I still don’t monetize my site directly, nor have I activated Google Analytics. (The plug-in is downloaded, though!)
But I can tell you these things:
I’ve blogged for…
- More than half of my marriage.
- My son’s entire life.
- The duration of my second Master’s degree and my National Board certification.
- Every Monday and Wednesday for the past year with no breaks.
- Essentially the same schedule for three other years with only a handful of days skipped.
- Plus the first few months of blogging when I had superhuman motivation and no readers and blogged five days a week (lolz).
In that time, I’ve typed a lot of things. Some of them have been good; occasionally, they are brave.
But more often than not, it’s me putting one keyboard click in front of the next, just to keep my blog going. And I have.
For four years.
You Will Feel Like Quitting
I don’t think I was prepared for this. In fact, I know I wasn’t. I had no idea when I started blogging just how often I would want to quit.
To this day, I want to quit almost as often as I want to keep going. And so far, I continue to choose to continue. It shocks me, and it thrills me. I am so happy to have this space still, and looking back, I see how much my blog has changed.
Even if my blog design hasn’t.
I Don’t Need My Blog Anymore
When I first started blogging, it was a desperate attempt to carve out a space for my thoughts and to align my living and my spending with my intention.
I had recently lost my grandma, who was probably the single most influential person in my life. She was My Person. She’s also the person behind my blog name.
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Now that so many years have passed, the grief isn’t as raw. I miss her all the time, but I’ve channeled that sadness into a direction. I’ve found a way to live the life I want with her spirit in mind.
So, no, I don’t need my blog anymore.
But I want it.
I want to keep writing, not because I feel like I have something profound to say, but because I can be honest. And truthfully, the internet isn’t always an honest place.
I don’t have to be an expert here (and that’s a good thing — because I most certainly am not). Instead, I can share my triumphs, my tragedies. I can offer small snapshots into my life. And of course, I can confess when I’ve done something awkward.
I Do Want The Community
I love to write, and I love it when people write back. Though there are less comments on my blog–and less comments on blogs in general–now, every single one means something to me.
The same is true for the emails, the tweets, and the direct messages. Whether it’s someone asking a question or sharing a story or cheering me on or laughing
at me with me, it matters.
The community is why I blog. It keeps me going more than anything else.
This year, I’ll pull in five-figures thanks to the freelancing, ghosting writing, and smattering of other side hustling that I do thanks to the connections I made on this blog.
This is another year where my blog is nominated for an award. (Apparently honest content usurps the fact that my blog header slips into Comic Sans on some browsers as of late. Don’t worry. I noticed. I just don’t know how to fix it. Or really care to. It’s quirky, right? Right.)
Those things are amazing. Truly. No matter how many times I type them or say them, they don’t seem real.
But that isn’t what keeps me going, not really. Blogging is hard, and it can be lonely. The internet can be an amazing place, but it can also be a hard place.
Last year, when I took to Twitter to share my shock and amazement over having won a Plutus Award for my blog, there were tweets and messages already waiting for me. In the midst of the congratulations and the excitement, there was a message from someone who had a seen a photograph of me.
“Fire the photographer.”
That hurt. That was hard to read. And without this community of friends–no, family–that might have been enough for me to call it quits. Not because I care about someone’s opinions of my looks. Not because I question them.
It wasn’t the comment itself actually. (It was an awful photo.) It was the fact that someone would take the time to say something so unnecessary and that I would then allow myself to waste the time and space and heart by dwelling on it.
That isn’t the first time I’ve been insulted, argued with, yelled at, or trolled, and it certainly won’t be the last as long as I continue to exist online. Which is actually a great reason to quit blogging. In a world that is chaotic enough and mean enough in real life, why compound it online? Why add any extra aggravation or irritation or stress to my day?
The answer is quite simple.
No community–virtual or otherwise–is perfect, but there is no better community than this one.
For every instance in which this blog has felt thankless or directionless, there are hundreds of other moments where I am filled with such gratitude to have carved out a place online to call home. To be raw. To be real. To ugly cry and laugh hysterically through an awards ceremony, not because winning a blogging award matters.
But because finding a space where people believe in you more than you believe in yourself matters. And it does.
The people here make blogging worth doing, and I’m so glad I haven’t quit.
Thank you, fam.