A year ago today, I published my first post.
I got the “About Me,” done on the 16th, but the first post was published after midnight, on the 17th.
And St. Patrick’s Day is auspicious– so I consider that to be the official birth date.
Wow! Today, I work. And then I’m going out with my friends. Because I’m an Irish lass!
Yesterday, I thought that not being on facebook would lessen the awesomeness of this moment. I rarely use the word awesome– it’s overdone– but this is truly appropriate.
But I’m happy to say that this moment is for me– and that even without the virtual applause, it has incredible meaning.
For a year, I’ve kept this blog going on my own! My blog is far from perfect. I haven’t been Fresh Pressed, but it’s not about that. It inspired me to apply to for a newspaper column. It’s allowed me to delete facebook, because I have another place to post my columns, even if they don’t get as much traffic or comments. It’s given me a way to communicate with my friends about my writing, and I can moderate the comments, unlike facebook. If I get a comment I don’t like, I don’t have to approve it.
Yesterday, I went out with my friend Leslie to see Hairbanger’s Ball, because last year I went to see them on St. Patrick’s Day. My second official post was about their 3/17/2011 show at Zante’s– I went alone as part of my Lenten promise. I had “nothing but a good time!” Last night, it was fun, but not as fun as I expected it to be. Normally I avoid this giant venue– I haven’t been since 2005. I felt like I was too old, there seemed to be way more youngins there than other shows. I thought the great part of the night would be seeing my favorite band perform. They were great- they always are!
But the best part of the night was hanging out with Leslie, a friend who waited at a table near the door for me for an hour because I took a wrong turn and drove over 20 miles out of the way. She waited for me until I got there– because once inside the bar it’s noisy, and I needed to be in touch with her to check in. I had to use the Google Maps on my phone and if I stopped to text, I would have lost the directions. So she sat and waited for me, even though the band started. Then she wasn’t even annoyed about having to wait, alone. When I got there, she was in a great mood– just happy to see me. We squealed, hugged, linked arms, and ran off to find the show. Then we rocked out and had a blast. She was dressed in green too, with a cute carnation headband!
How many people have friends that loyal? In a lifetime, we’re lucky to find one. I’m glad that Leslie is that friend to me.
And although the band was wicked, it was Leslie’s support that really made the night perfect. While we were rocking out during the show, she shouted, “Happy Blog Day!”
I cackled– what a perfect phrase! “Happy Blog Birthday” is just awkward! I like this much better.
And that meant more than 50 comments on facebook. Because Leslie subscribed to my blog, and unequivocally has supported my decision to quit facebook. She never questioned my decision to leave facebook– but she did question me when my resolve began to waver this weekend. She asked me if going back was truly what *I* wanted. Was I ready to go back? She’s still on it, but has never been resentful of my absence or pressured me to go back. We talk all the time, and we always laugh.
I have a precious few friends who have been accepting of my decision– but she’s the only person who encouraged me not to give up on my decision just because it’s difficult and I felt lonely for a minute.
Instead of coming home and writing a status update about how much fun I had last night to 439 friends like I did last year, I was content to share the night with one incredible friend. Initially, I thought I would return to facebook today. But now, I’m going to wait. Maybe not indefinitely– but I’m not going to worry about it during Lent.
Last year, I gave up dating and karaoke for Lent. This year, I made a promise that I’m keeping to myself. But the second part of that is going to be that I’ll stop worrying about social networking and what to do about it– to return or not– until after Easter. And then I’ll just take it one day at at time, like anything else.
After feeling unsure of what to blog about, suddenly, I have many ideas.
I wasn’t sure if I could maintain both my blog and my column simultaneously. But now I know it’s just about balance– I need to give myself time. It takes awhile to adjust, but I’m figuring it out– one blog post and one column at a time. A blog is a commitment, a relationship.
I don’t have a shiny new template for my blog yet. I don’t even have a blog roll, archives, or recent posts and comments. I don’t use pictures, and there’s still a lot to learn. I don’t have a “focus” yet.
Sometimes I do regret putting my name on it, because now I wish this blog could be just for me, and not out there for the public. When I went public with my blog, I didn’t know I’d have a column in the future that people in my hometown would read.
I’ve learned that I value my privacy and my anonymity.
My name is on my blog, and that’s irrevocable. People may find it, and I’m keeping that in mind when I post content. But I’m not going out of my way to promote it, either. I haven’t used my column to promote it, and I don’t want to right now. It was linked in a Herald News article, but I didn’t get many hits from that– and that’s okay.
I’ve thought about deleting this blog, but I can’t.
It’s beyond me now– there’s a post about my departed friend Theresa Lang, and many people have read it. It wouldn’t be right to deprive them of that post, with the videos of her doing the Polar Plunge last year. People told me that seeing that helped them cope with their grief. Writing it helped me to deal with my own grief, and watching us giggle and play in that stupid inflatable pool on New Year’s Day 2011 makes me smile when I miss her or am struggling with life in general.
I feel Theresa with me today, and my Aunt Mary Jane, who always encouraged my writing. My Irish Grandmother, Ruth Ross. That’s how she always signed her cards– “Your Irish Grandmother!”
I feel ridiculously lucky, humble, and invigorated.
A year ago today, I became a blogger. Seven months ago, I became a newspaper columnist.
I don’t have it all figured out yet, but I’m still Unrelenting Amee.