Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Blog's First Birthday!

     When I was in middle school, I very clearly remember a teacher telling me "Writing isn't for everyone, maybe it's just not your thing." A lot of teachers said a lot of things to me in my thirteen years of school, but this one stands out to me because I think part of me knew immediately that it was untrue. Writing comes easy to me, unlike many other things. I can remember being taught how to start with an introduction, add
three body paragraphs, and then stick a conclusion on the end, but that is as much as anyone has ever taught me to write, and it is a structure I abandoned as soon as I could get away with it. I have always liked to write, but it took me a long time to be intentional about my writing.
     Today marks one year since I started this blog, and while I know that it's not right to brag, and that there are far more important things in life than maintaining a blog for a year, I can't help feeling a little bit of pride today.  I am proud because even though sometimes it's been awkward and I haven't always done everything right in the process of learning how to share my perspective, I have kept going, for an entire year. When my fantasy of providing exciting live updates from "mission trip 2.0" turned into me having to explain a very sudden and upsetting change in plans, I did not abandon the idea of blogging, but managed to keep going. It was awkward and messy (I used the word "very" at least 3 times in one paragraph when I was explaining what happened, and I talked about that incident for far to long), but I kept blogging. I learned the hard way not to brag about a new job, because sometimes new jobs end in awkward and confusing ways after only four days. I learned that when your dog dies, you should allow yourself some time for closure, and let your mind clear up enough to realize that creating a 55 second video of pictures of that dog is more uncomfortable and awkward than it is cute.
     True, there were a lot of embarrassing moments along the way that I hope we can all forget, but I also learned what it feels like when people connect with my writing. At some point, I noticed that instead of just saying that I was a good writer to be nice, people began to tell me about how they could relate to specific things I had written. I love when people share that with me, because it gives my writing a purpose, and allows this to be something more significant than just a way for me to practice writing. I try to keep this blog centered around my faith, but I will admit that has not always been easy. When you start something at a time when your faith is very strong, it can be tough to keep going when you lose some of that strength, but you, the readers of my writing, have encouraged me whether you know it or not, and for that I thank you.
     I still don't have the audience I would like to have, and I still haven't figured out how to make it bigger without asking people to click "share" which just sounds obnoxious and never works, but I have plenty of time to figure that out because I have discovered that I like having a blog and I don't plan to stop anytime soon. I have learned that knowing how to write doesn't equal knowing how to blog, and I'm going to work on that. I'm still figuring out the balance between self promotion and humility, between honesty and discretion, between many, many things. I don't really know what I'm doing, I just know that I'm having fun doing it. Thank you for being part of the journey. And in honor of one year of "The Mountains I Can't Climb" , because I just couldn't stop myself, here's one final thing...

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