I was clicking through a few drafts on this here blog the other day when I made a strange and unsettling discovery: I've "published" 499 posts. This is my 500th post.
When I started this blog, I had no idea what I was doing. I had read only a few blogs, didn't have a laptop, had never shared any personal writing with anyone (except for the diary excerpts that I scribbled in long letters and emails to friends who loved me anyway).
I still don't know what I'm doing (OBVIOUSLY). I still use the free blogger template. I don't have ads. I barely "use" Twitter. I don't know how to play the game of blogging for sponsorships or ad money or anything like that and I don't really care to learn. I write because I love to, need to. I do it here because of all the connections I've made.
I've come to know and care about so many strangers through this blog. I've stayed in touch with far flung friends through this blog. I've been moved by your comments, on and off the comment page. And though I sometimes go weeks without much to say, I have a hard time thinking about NOT blogging, which is a very odd statement when you think about it.
Like reaching any milestone, hitting the 500 mark makes me take stock. Last year I started searching for ways to preserve bits of this blog because I don't have any backup to these posts that are the closest thing to a family scrapbook my girls will ever have. I haven't printed them out or put them anywhere other than these "pages". So I started to work on a "blog book" so that I can easily show these pages to my girls one day. I never finished it and I need to pick it back up again. I tell myself that I'm doing it because I want to have something physical to show them but I won't lie, printing and binding these pages into something permanent and tangible would be mostly for me.
And something else has happened. Somewhere along the way, somewhere in the middle of 499 posts, something in me shifted. I have always loved reading but now have to admit that I love writing too and I want to learn how to do it better. It feels scary and embarrassing to admit this to you, but I'm doing something I never thought I'd do: I'm joining a writing group.
It feels fitting that our first meeting is tomorrow.
Thanks, my friends, for coming on this ride with me, for however long you've been on it, for however long you stay.
Here's to the next 500.