It's my blog's birthday. I wrote an entire post full of things I learned about blogging, read through them, and realized you have all read them before. Several times. So I decided to stay with the same theme, but to really get real with them. And with myself. And write the honest-est post I've written.
It's kind of hard to believe that for the past 365 days, I have been a slave to my email inbox; pre-blog, email was merely a vessel for groupons and store promotions. No personal communication took place through there. But upon entering the blog world, connecting my comments to my email, and realizing the thrill of the words "new comment on..." in the subject line, I haven't been able to leave my email alone for more than a few hours on a day I post because I love the fun of getting comments. Quality over quantity, for sure, but who didn't get excited the first time their comments got into the double digits? Realizing that people were reading what I had to say and then took the time to comment on it was more exciting than I ever realized.
Speaking of comments - don't you have some days where you wish you could just blog and get comments without giving them? Not that you don't love and adore your blog friends, but aren't there just days where reading words and forming coherent thoughts seems like a lot of damn work? I mean, can't you guys just let me bask in adoration while I give nothing back in return? You know I'm kidding - I love keeping up with blog friends - but had I known how much work it was to find new blogs, connect with bloggers, and build a relationship, would I still have done it? Probably. But I am lazy, so you never know.
And then there's writing itself. We have all stared at the blank screen with nothing to say or deleted an entire post because, well, it sucked. But there are also the times where words just flow and things come naturally and you feel like your greatness is going to break the internet, it's just that good, and you have like ten pageviews, three of which can be attributed to your husband, and no one comments. They were all too busy commenting on that blog that discusses dryer lint and uses bad grammar every damn day. I'm going to be honest, here. It hurts. It hurts when you feel like you write your heart out and nobody gets it, like you said it wrong or could have said it differently and then everyone would get it and think you are the best, too. It's hard not to take it personally; when you feel like a blog post is so indicative of you and who you are and no one cares - it's rough. It takes developing a thicker skin, which I know isn't something I considered before setting up an account on blogger.com. I'll be honest - I skim some blogs I don't always enjoy, sure. I read the comments and wonder what is "wrong" with the people who think their posts are amazing. Am I jealous? Yup. Do I want to leave some "honest" (and possibly bitchy) comments? Yes, always yes. But I don't. As constructive as I think my criticism might be, I stew (mostly) privately or just try harder the next time to write something that will get my readers, the way the post that irked me stirred her readers. I thought I was a person who gave zero effs but you know what? I'm not. I give a lot of them.
Even though I say I blog for me, and I feel that I do, if I were completely honest with myself, wouldn't I just blog privately? Maybe using paper and pen, or at the very least without tweeting my blog link daily and joining link-ups and pimping myself out in the subtlest way I can manage? The truth, I think, is that we like doing it with one another (twss). We like to document our ups and downs, for ourselves, yes, but because they are so much better and more when we can experience them outside the bubble of our own life experiences. But the insecurities and the doubt that can creep in during this whole experience - was that boring? Did they get it? Should I tweet about it? Do I tweet too much? I don't have a DSLR, should I even bother with photos? Was I wearing that in the last pic I posted of myself? I read her blog and comment all the time and we follow each other on twitter but why doesn't she follow my blog and comment, too? It's truly ridiculous how much I have questioned myself over something as simple as a blog post. Over something that I need to realize no one else even notices. And things that I need to realize are far beyond my control.
So that brings me to... blog friends. I started this and I blogged and I read no other blogs. And no one read mine. And one day something clicked and I found people whose blogs I enjoyed, and who (presumably) enjoyed mine. And doesn't that make it worth it, at the end of the day? Isn't it amazing to know that if you stopped blogging tomorrow, you would be missed? You would have people to keep in touch with via twitter or instagram or whatever if you left this crazy, stress-inducing world of blogging. If you are as lucky as I have been, to make real, honest-to-goodness friends from this, that you can have drinks with or go shopping with or text or call on a whim or whatever - then I really think all the stress, all the questions, everything - it's worth it. I love that through blogging, I have learned that snow is a bitch and I don't really want to live in a climate that sees it often. I have learned how to dress and what make-up I should get if I'm in the market, that apparently some place called Cookout has awesome milkshakes (seriously, there are a lot of NC bloggers), gifs are always appropriate, and that I need to watch Mean Girls again. Blogging made me want to watch Parks and Rec, tweet more, and made me try to see my world in a more interesting way - whether it's taking a picture of Bauer from a more interesting angle or thinking of how I can phrase a story to share it on the blog. Despite some of the hard parts, and the fact that it is the most narcissistic thing I've ever done, I do love it. While I can't promise I'll blog forever, I will do it for a long time. So thanks to everyone still reading (my blog in general and this post specifically. It's long). You make it worth it. You give me confidence when I need it and inspiration and ideas and motivation to spend more time with my laptop. So, really, thank you. When I look back on my late-twenties, I think the memories of creating blog posts and loving social media will be a huge part of what I remember.
And just for fun, here are some posts from my early months of blogging if you want to see how far I've come.