I never meant to be a blogger. I kind of fell into it, accidentally.
It all started in 2003. At the time, Geocities was all the rage, and many people were creating their own webpages. When I discovered that I had access to a free webpage through my internet service provider, I decided to get on board. Unbelievably, that web page still exists. (If you choose to click that link, please do keep in mind that I created it 10 years ago.)
At the time, I didn’t know the word blog. I was relatively newly-married, and working full-time as an engineer. I hadn’t written anything in ages. And yet, I fell into updating the minutia of my life in my life in the news section fairly quickly. When we decided to buy a house, I suddenly had more to talk about, and more to share with my friends and family. My husband Jon suggested that we could graduate from the free site to our own webpage, and I was on board. It would be like Geocities, only better.
When Jon set up a blog, I was irritated. As I said, I didn’t know what a blog was. I didn’t feel that anyone else did, either. I made him put up a splash page, which linked to separate “weblogs” for each of us, as well as our photo album, videos and so on. And yet, in spite of myself, I fell into updating my blog regularly. I wasn’t good at it, and you probably had to know me personally in order to understand what I was talking about, but I did it. I blogged, once a week or so, sometimes more and sometimes less.
Things really changed for me as a blogger when my son was born. I decided that blogging would be my maternity leave project, and I got more serious about it. If you look through my archives, you can see the shift that occurred in late 2008. At the same time I joined Facebook, and later Twitter, which also shifted my perspective when it came to connecting with people online. I began to understand the power of the internet. I also began to understand what my inner writer knew all along – I have to write. Even if it’s badly-laid-out, three-sentence missives on an ancient webpage, once you give me the space I will fill it.
And now, today is Valentine’s Day, 10 years after I started that terrible free webpage. In retrospect, I can see how that haphazard decision shaped my life, and set me on a course I couldn’t have anticipated. Through blogging, reading and connecting online I have once again reclaimed my identity as a writer. I have become a dreamer, and taken real steps towards creating a more meaningful and intentional life. I have met amazing people, been entrusted with inspiring stories, and danced my heart out. It isn’t extremely rewarding from a monetary standpoint, but I love it more than I can say.
I’m not a big fan of the romantic obligations that come with Valentine’s Day. However, I do see value in setting aside a day to let the people in our lives know how much we appreciate them. And so, today, I’m thanking you. If you’re reading this, then you’re making yourself a part of my community. That means so much to me. After all, I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. If I’m yours, in some small way, that’s the most rewarding part of blogging I know. It’s so much more powerful than I could have anticipated, when I tapped out my first entries 10 years ago. Sometimes, life has a way of making the unexpected adventure the best one of all.
Happy Valentine’s Day!