Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Very Happy Un-iversary

Melody and me, performing a complicated dance routine known as Let's Cross
Arms and Clasp Hands and Look Coordinated For a Picture.

So I'm really, really late with my post commemorating three years of blogging.

In fact, it has now been three years and three weeks and two days.  If anyone's counting.  Which I bet you weren't.  But if you're one of those people who wants accuracy at all times, it's been three years and three weeks and two days.

That's a little less than one-sixth of my life, which when you think about it is a pretty significant figure.  As long as you ignore the fact that I'm only nineteen and hopefully have a lot more years ahead of me.   

The point is that I've been blogging for rather a while now, and it's become rather a big part of my life, and you've all probably noticed by now that I tend to overuse the word "rather."

Belle, me and Ally posing against a February-snowy backdrop

In the past I've written a blog post commemorating each anniversary (here and here) and of course if you want to see the original First Post I Ever Wrote On This Blog, you can go here.   This year I was at somewhat of a loss as to what I should write about.  I thought about sharing my favorite posts and whatnot of the last year, but then decided that was better suited to New Year's.  I thought about sharing stats, but though we're currently clocking in at 405 followers (WHAAAAAAAT) and about 477,000 pageviews at the time of this writing, with "Defending Mr. Darcy" STILL the most popular post of all time, there isn't really enough information in the stats to make for a worthwhile anniversary post.  Plus, it would be boring.  

So I thought and thought and took a few breaks to rest my brain because thinking is hard work, y'all, and thought some more and took a few more breaks, and finally decided to kinda-sorta copy my post from last year, but not really because I'm taking the same topic in a different direction.  Last year I talked about friendships and all the lovely people I'd met through blogging and how much fun it was, and blah blah blah.  Today I want to dig a little deeper and talk about how much my life has changed through the friends I've met through blogging.

Petie and me, getting our drama on
When I clicked "create blog" on my brand-new dashboard on that Monday morning in 2011, it was with some trepidation.  I could see the possibility of several scenarios unfolding-- one was that no one would read this new blog, because after all I didn't have any friends who wrote about this kind of thing.  Another was that a few people here and there might read it, but wouldn't like it, and I'd be so embarrassed that I'd have to take it down.  (This was part of the reason for my initial pseudonym and extra-special-care not to reveal anything about myself in case the Internet decided to hate me.  That, and privacy and caution and all the jazz that goes along with it.)  Yet another was that a few people might decide they liked what I had to say, and would follow my blog, and would leave comments and say friendly things, and maybe I'd become friends of a sort with some of them, or pen pals even.  I had a couple of daydreams about how cool it would be if I "met" some girl from Australia or something and we got to know each other well enough to talk on the phone, and then I'd get to listen to her really cool accent.  (Yes.  I'm shallow and I like people with interesting accents.)

None of these things happened.  Obviously.

Melody and me, telling all our most appalling secrets

The closest real life came to my imaginings is depicted in the third scenario.  That is to say, people found my blog (generally after I found theirs and left comments, and they'd come along to take a look at mine because they were nice that way), and they left comments and said friendly things, and I did the same on theirs, and before you knew it, I was actually emailing some of them (Melody, to begin with, and others soon after) and then bam, one day I realized I wasn't thinking of these people as "blogging friends," but just... you know... friends.

And at the risk of sounding cheesy, my life opened up in a way I never could have dreamed of.  Because of the friends I've made through blogging, I've come to understand what it means to meet a really-truly kindred spirit.  (Not to say I haven't met kindred spirits outside of blogging.  Because I have.  Heehee.)  I've been incredibly blessed with have the opportunity to travel around the United States and visit some of the people who've become very special to me (and have some of them come and see me, in turn).  I've been introduced to so many books and movies and music and recipes and games and who knows what-all.  I have so many more memories to cherish today than I did three years ago-- so many inside jokes, so many remember-when's, so many emails and letters and postcards and birthday cards to remind me of good times past.  I've gotten so close to people who used to be random strangers on the Internet (okay, that sounds creepier than it is...) and I never could have imagined that, three years and three weeks and two days ago.

With Emma, Alex, Addy, Belle and Ally, at the end of a cutthroat, late-night,
beyond-crazy Apples to Apples tournament.

A lot has happened in three years.  (And three weeks, and two days... yeah, I'm just gonna say three years from here on out.)  It wouldn't be quite accurate to say I'm a different person now that I was then (um, hello, I'm still me) but I definitely feel like I've changed.  I mean, duh, I'm three years older, and there IS a difference between 16 and 19 (I actually look YOUNGER in pictures from 2011... WHAT IS THIS PHENOMENON).  Obviously I'm not the only one who's changed-- since I started blogging, a great many new faces have joined the scene, and others who used to be regulars have sort of faded out of the posting habit.  Interests and tastes have developed and evolved over time, and I guarantee that if you look at the posts of anyone who was writing three years ago (and still going today) you'll see a lot of differences-- in style, topics, maybe even opinions.  

I've never liked change.  Not much, anyway.  I like things to stay the way they always were.  I look back on memories with a lot of bittersweet nostalgia.  I don't like to think about how the past is in the past and can't be un-past.  (Wait, that makes no sense...)  I was reminiscing with Melody, when she was here a few weeks ago, about the "good old days" in the blogging world, when our little circle of friends posted quite regularly and had long-drawn-out comment wars and fangirled excessively over that BBC Radio broadcast of My Fair Lady.  (See here and here.  Good times, y'all.)

"Knock knock."  "Who's there?"  "To."  "To who?"  "NO.  TO WHOM."
But nothing stays exactly the same forever.  (Okay, maybe Gilbert Blythe doesn't change-- that's the least he can promise you-- but he's the exception that proves the rule.)  And my little blogging circle hasn't stayed the same either.  People have grown up.  Gotten jobs.  Gone to college.  Acted in plays.  Written books.  Gotten engaged and even married.  (Wut.)  Gone through incredibly rough times.  Suffered heartbreak and loss and tragedy.  Made it through all of the above.  (People are, in general, tougher than they look.)

Over the last couple of years I've gotten very close to a few of my blogging friends (whom I'd now call my best friends :D) and with closeness comes sharing.  Sharing of joys and griefs and difficulties and sticky situations.  With closeness also comes friction at times-- much as you'd like to think you have the most perfect friendship in the world, nothing in this life is absolutely and entirely perfect, and sometimes people disagree and argue and have to deal with tension between them.  In the last few months in particular I've come to realize (not that I didn't before; but to a greater degree, now) that friendship is no bed of roses.  Tears are not always happy ones.

Petie and I are fabulous majestic beings who live in constant glamour and sophistication. Sometimes.
During the past year a friend of mine was dealing with a difficult and sad event in her life.  When she told me about it, I cried over it.  Um, a lot.  (I tend to cry over things.  One of my friend's sisters referred to me once as "the girl who likes sad movies."  Heh.)  In the midst of my angst (I'm good at angst), I remember asking myself why I was letting this affect me so much.  It wasn't my problem, after all.  It wasn't even my business, beyond the fact that my friend had chosen to confide in me.

And yet that's what friendship's about.  It's about other people's problems being your problems.  Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with those who weep, and all that.  It's about being there for people-- for people you might not have known three years ago.  It's about trying to understand others, and being oh-so-grateful that they understand you.  It's about accepting change and moving through it and being all the stronger for the problems you've faced.  It's about sending hugs when they're needed and knowing when to say you're sorry and calling people on the phone just to hear the sound of their voice.  It's about love, when you get right down to it.

I find it ironic that the poster behind Ally's and my heads says "Keep Calm and Carry On"--
a sentiment we do not live out when we're together and squealing about everything. :P

(Drat. I'm tearing up writing this.  Even with all the goofy pictures illustrating the post.  Ha.)  

In 2011 I never could have imagined the relationships I'd be forging over the next three years.  I never could have imagined the laughter and nonsense and millions upon millions of written words (seriously not even kidding there), and the late-night chatting and worrying and crying and caring I'd be doing.  Sheesh, I was hoping to get a pen-pal out of the whole deal, at most.  I wasn't signing up for what looks like it's going to be a lifetime of friendship, and all the baggage that goes along with that.

It just goes to show that you should be careful what you wish for.  And that the Lord's plans are better than yours-- because I wouldn't trade what I have, the people I have, the roles they play in my life and (I hope) I in theirs, for anything in this world.

Thank you, all of you, for being my friends.

Melody and I share a less staged spin.  :D

***

P.S.  Couldn't end this post on too sad and sentimental of a note.  Here's Ally, Joey, Emma, me and Prissy being frogs.  Please enjoy what will now probably be my last blog post before Ally kills me for putting this picture up.  Farewell, my friends, I go on to a better place.

13 comments:

Naomi Bennet said...

*sniff sniff*

Happy blog birthday, Amy! Your blog is one of the best ones on the Internet. If only you'd write more, haha. :-)

Hayden said...

This is such a sweet post, Amy. Blogging has certainly changed me, too and I've met so many wonderful people doing it. You're especially blessed to have met so many fellow bloggers! :D

haha. I remember reading all of the My Fair Lady fangirling! I had nearly forgotten about that :)

Aibhilin (Evelyn) said...

I'm totally not tearing up....
Ok you got me I was trought this post and earning some very strange looks from my fellow pupils. That was a beautiful post Amy! I started my blog with a similar reason and I know how special it is to have people comment on your blog that you become friends with and email back and forth constantly. I'm still getting to the meeting stage which I hope is soon as it promises to be the most wonderful meeting! Do you have any advice for blogging/email friends that are meeting for the first time? Hope everything is well :-)
~Evie

payton marie said...

This is so strange because earlier today (long before I saw this post) I literally stopped in my tracks and thought, "Gracious... I REALLY miss my little Chauvelin." We haven't had a good heart-to-heart in forever and a half, love, and that needs to change. I count you among my greatest blessings and this post just confirmed all the reasons I love you so much. You are a true-blue friend, and you know what real friendship means. You are my kindred spirit in so many ways. We must plan a nice, long skype soon! Love you muchly, my dear Chauvelindasette. <3

Melody said...

This was a loverly post, m'dear. :)

Heehee, this morning in Sunday School the song leader prompted everyone to say things they were thankful for, and someone nearby me said "well at the moment I'm especially thankful for this girl" and indicated the person next to her, and then Kimber who was next to *me* said "aww." and I joined in (because it's fun to "aww") and then she said "Friendship is magic!" in a funny, on-purpose-cheesy voice and I cracked up.

:P

And then I was like, why is that so funny... heehee. But it was. ;)

So slightly beside the point, but never mind that.

I must say, your hair looks quite nice in those pictures we took. Your extraordinarily talented personal stylist deserves a raise, I should think. ;)

The Elf said...

Lovely post Amy! And blogging hasn't just changed YOUR life, it's changed all of OURS (your readers) too in some way or other.

I had to comment when I read this post because well, I'm Australian... I have a cool accent.... and I love reading your blog! Balls in your court now mwahaha.

Keep up with the blogging, sure it will bring plenty more exciting events for you. :)

- The Elf

Miss Elliot said...

Awwwwwwwww, happy birthday, m'dear! This is my favorite blog ever. I hope you keep writing for a long time!! Thank you muchly for introducing me to Little Dorrit, The Scarlet Pimpernel, North and South, and so many other wonderful period dramas. And Sherlock. And Martha Mahinsky, Bored Shorts, Studio C -and SHERLOCK. :-)
Heehee, Ally betta leave you alone. I LIKE frogs. ;-)

Miss Elliot said...

I mean happy blog birthday. See, I stayed up way too late last night watching Sherlock interviews. Don't judge me. :-p

Emma Jane said...

Oh, Amy, this is beautiful. Really. I didn't cry, but I came close. ;-)

Happy blog anniversary! Your blog is still one of my very favorites. In fact, it's one of the first ones that inspired me to begin blogging. And, though you don't know it, you are partly responsible for introducing me to some of my current fandoms (TSP, Les Mis....even Jane Austen, maybe? ;-P)

Sheesh, I've only been blogging for almost two years (wait, TWO YEARS? WHAT.) and already it seems so much has changed-- not just around me, but with me. And I'm with you on that score, I don't like change. At all. But it happens just the same, and it's ever so much easier to bear when you have good friends who understand you and know that you understand them. You put it so beautifully. :-)

I've really enjoyed reading you blog and getting to know you some over the past two years. God bless you!

~Emma

inklingspress said...

AWWWWWWW, I LOVE YOU, TOOOOOO!!!!! <3

This post left me feeling very nostalgic and wishing we could go back to those times of comment wars and rapid-fire, back-and-forth emailing and fangirling over MFL (YES, I TOTALLY REMEMBER THAT - BEST. DAY. EVER.). *sniff* But we can't. "The world has changed, and none of us can go back." Hopefully we'll all know each other for Quite A While Longer, and make new memories. (Weddings, anyone?)

Plus also, we need to Skype. Asap. : )

-Eowyn-

Natalie said...

Happy Blog Anniversary!!!
This post was so sweet. I too started my blog for reasons similar to yours and am happy to say I have "met" some wonderful girls through the blogging world.
I love your blog so much (it's one of my favorites!) and can't wait for more posts! Congratulations on 3 years!!

Marissa Baker said...

Hello :) Just wanted to let you know I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog award. Here's the info, if you want to accept: https://marissabaker.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/the-one-lovely-blog-award/

Naomi Bennet said...

Oh, and Amy, I love you hair on the knock-knock picture. Melody, my compliments go to her extraordinarily talented personal stylist. She did a dashed good job. :-D