One year ago tomorrow, I began this blog. I'm not sure what it was I wanted to accomplish, or if I've reached whatever goals I had set for myself.
I think bloggers, in some ways, have to be extroverted people. You have to have a certain amount of sangfroid at revealing bits of yourself to the largely unknown public. Yes, you can conceal, and you can obscure, the the truth is that at the end of the day, you are laying chunks of yourself out in the open for public scrutiny.
I'm not happy with the way I've become (unhealthily) addicted to sitemeter and comment numbers. I am happy with the wonderful people that I've met. CCW says her mother refers to her online friends as "fake friends." While I see the amusement in that view, I don't think of you all as fake friends. You're more like technologically enhanced penpals. I've learned a lot from sites like Beanie Baby -- Andrea is a total dominatrix of eclectic and thought-provoking posts. Phantom Scribbler has made me think hard about a lot of issues of import both great and small. And where else can you whine without being told to stuff a sock in it? I have developed a weird symbiosis with people that I've never met and live hundreds of miles from. CCW and Karyn are both long-lost twins (most assuredly fraternal, though) that I've discovered I never knew I had. I've been awed at the love and heart it takes to bring a new family member into your hearts and home like Yankee Transplant. I'm amazed at the courage it took for Linda to not only change her life, but be determined to make it a good life.
Then there are the sites that make me snarf up a lung -- Dr. Corndog has got to be the most hilarious man I've never had the pleasure to meet. I marvel at his humor and cheer his progress through a difficult time. I can't read Anne Glamore's blog without having a box of tissue at the ready. Never try to read Anne's blog while drinking. It's a guarnteed way to short out your keyboard.
There are the parenting blogs that offer so much more -- not only cute kids and slices from everyday life, but warm, open people who constantly amaze and surprise me with every post that they put up. I love to read stories about Phantom's LG and Baby Blue, the two kids who make blogging very easy for Mama by constantly saying adorable, and bloggable, bits. I rejoiced with Purple Kangaroo and CCW when they gave birth to beautiful bundles of pure joy. I cried like a baby myself when I read that Halloweenlover's wish to someday join the exalted ranks of those called "Mommy" was going to be reality. I clapped in glee when I learned that APL was expecting again. I've watched so many children grow over the space of a year: Kid L and Not-So-Baby-H; Ella and Chloe; OD and YD (and now there's Gigi, too!); Finn, Porter, and Drew; Frances; Angry Boy; AJ and M&M; Muffin Man; LG and Baby Blue. I read about dogs who are furry children: Molly and Sam; Tango and Murray; Grimmy and Dozer. I read wonderfully written stories of jo(e)'s family, and I pray that my daughter ends up as poised and self-assured as any one of her children, or as much of a lyrical writer as jo(e) herself.
I can make references to movies or TV, and *someone* always gets it. We can talk babies, or cookies, or even the fact that tortilla chips burn. Who knew? I can say, "Do you *realize* the street value of this mountain?" to APL, and she gets it. If I were to say "twiddlebugs," I would know that Liz, Phantom, and APL will understand. We can make Corndog regret the day he ever heard us utter the fateful word: "Caillou." I can rest easy, knowing that even with all the stupid stuff I've done in my life, the blogosphere will keep me informed of countless legions who've done things dumber than I.
I talk education and so much more with Scrivener, Mystery Mommy, and Purple Kangaroo. I learn about homeschooling and Montessori; college and curricula. I learn what it's like to be a professor from Russian Violets and Medieval Woman. I see God every day in the postings of Songbird, InnerDorothy, PPB, and Gord. They give me faith that not only are there people full of grace out there, but that we can find that grace even within ourselves. They are gentle and loving souls who truly make the world a better place to live in.
There are the people that I'm just discovering and beginning to know: Marni, Harmonia, Haanster, and DevilMacDawg. I've not had all that much time with you, but you've already brightened my life.
I'm not sure if blogging is really right for me. I don't know what it was that really motivated me to start a blog in the first place, other than nagging from Corndog and having a place that I could use instead of waiting impatiently for Phantom's Wednesday Whine to roll around again. I've enjoyed it, to be sure, but I'm not sure I've contributed much more than just words taking up space. At any rate, it's been fun getting to this point. Thank you for all taking the journey with me.
Updated: I wanted to add all these linkity-link-links when I originally posted, but was under time constraint. I have now added in anyone I inadvertently left off, and linked as well. I think all these people are great, and if there's a name on there that you don't know, go visit them!