Today marks the one year anniversary of my very first post on this blog. Of course, I didn’t start my daily posting until just over four months ago, so I’ve only written 150 posts (exactly) over the course of that year.
As I look back over the last year, so much has changed in my life. If anyone had told me a year ago where I’d be now—both personally and professionally—or where my journey would have led me over the course of this year, I would never have believed them. If I’d known what I faced when I started, I don’t know if I would have had the courage to make the journey.
Through all the ups and downs, the joys and the heartaches, the pain and the blessings, this blog has been a faithful travel log to give me a place to share my struggles and my authentic self. I am grateful to have that record to remind me how far I’ve come and all that I’ve learned along the way.
When I look back at my first (incredibly brief) post, Why I blog, I am reminded that I started this blog simply to have one place where I could be authentically, fully myself. Despite the fact that this blog remains anonymous and I remain wary about sharing details, the spirit of my journey has still shown through and allowed me to share my griefs, my joys, and my struggles in a way that I am unable to do anywhere else.
And yet, this blogging adventure has also become so much more to me than I had anticipated.
The simple fact of writing publicly about my experience has forced me to face that experience honestly and to dive to deeper depths than I likely would have otherwise. I am continually pushed to move beyond a pity party to find genuine meaning and learning in the situations I encounter and in my reactions to them. It forces me to grow instead of wallow. All of this has been a greater gift than anything I would have anticipated receiving from this practice of blogging.
This blog has pushed me to a new level of faithfulness in my writing practice, particularly since I began my daily blogging practice last October. Even without an audience for my work, the fact that I know that there could be someone out there reading has pushed me to do the daily work of sitting down, digging deep within for the thoughts to share, and finding the words to communicate what I’ve found to others. This has given me a whole new appreciation for the description of writing as opening a vein to bleed onto the page and an appreciation for the dedication it takes to open this vein day after day.
The act of daily writing for public reading has given me a wonderful chance to practice my craft, to focus my thoughts on the page, to learn to write even when feeling uninspired. It has reminded of the joy I find in writing and has helped me begin to hear my voice in my writing for the first time.
I have even occasionally gotten feedback from others that they find my words useful for their own journeys. In fact, I have had an outpouring of encouragement from new readers today—nearly half of all the feedback I’ve ever gotten came on this anniversary day. (How’s that for synchronicity?) But knowing that the sharing of my journey may have helped to encourage another along their own similar journey is the greatest reward I can ever imagine. I am grateful for having the chance to do that.
I am continually amazed by the amount of time and energy it takes to post here daily, but I have found that the rewards of doing so far outweigh the costs. I am grateful for all that this practice has brought me over the last year, and I look forward to this practice continuing to sustain and push me as I continue along this journey through the chrysalis.
For those of you who are reading, thank you for taking the time to join me on my journey. May my words bring you encouragement for wherever you are on your own personal journey. Blessings!