In some ways four years has seemed like a lifetime, and in others it’s nothing but a blip in my life. Today marks the Four Year Anniversary of this blog! Four years ago I decided that I needed a creative outlet, somewhere to write and possibly start to tell my story. Over the last couple of weeks I have been trying to step back into my frame of mind to pinpoint the exact reason that I was motivated enough to start blogging, but I have yet to narrow it down beyond a few things.
February 17th, 2012 was right smack in the middle of Justin’s first treatment protocol. We were adjusting to not only our lives as a married couple, but also figuring out what our lives looked like while battling cancer. When he was originally diagnosed we had decided not to tell people right away, it wasn’t until he was in the hospital starting his treatment protocol that we finally made the information public. Just a couple of days later I started a CarePage that gave our friends and family a place to read about how Justin was doing, having a platform like that was really helpful for us in our day-t0-day lives. People already had the details so we were able to just keep moving forward. (1) That idea of writing something that the people from your life could read as they go about their day was incredibly appealing – for someone that enjoys writing. (2) I absolutely love writing. I have always kept some sort journal – both in notebooks at home and online. Way back in the day of LiveJournal (and DeadJournal, I had BOTH) and MySpace, I used the early social networking platforms to share my life with others. (3) I needed something to fill my time and energy. With all of the waiting around that comes with cancer treatment, I needed something personal that I could use to occupy myself with.
A random welcome into the mind of Emily manifested itself in a polyvore collage (<– my first post!) that was posted on “Still Standing” a new blog on Blogger.com. And Emily the blogger was born! I went through several transitions, topics, energies, and never really found a way to consistently blog in a meaningful way. I tried really hard to be one of the “lifestyle” bloggers that I followed online, I wanted the perfect, funny posts, beautiful, colorful pictures, and thousands of girls that followed my every word each time I posted. I wanted to be someone I wasn’t. It took me a long time to figure out who I was and how I wanted to utilize my little space on the interwebs. I feel like I’ve got it somewhat figured out now, and am looking forward to keeping up the momentum I’ve got going right now!
Here’s a look back at some of my favorite and/or more mortifying posts that I’ve published over the last four years!
Saturday Night Traditions: While Justin was going through Chemo, we started doing Saturday night dinners with my parents and sister. It quickly became a tradition and it has continued for the majority of the last four years. We miss a week here and there, but we know that Saturday nights are family dinner nights. The post wasn’t very detailed and the pictures are awful, but I remember being so excited to put actual pictures in my post and publish from my phone!
The Last Normal Day – Part One: While the writing isn’t the best, this will always be one of the more personal posts that I’ve ever written. The story of how we went from a young married couple to a young married couple dealing with a cancer diagnosis.
20 Questions: Sisterly Love: For this one, I forced my sister to answer 20 questions for me to post on my blog. I love the concept and even today want to develop some standard segment where I introduce the people in my life to my blog world.
The Skinny on Fat: At some point I finally had figured out the equation that leads to a healthier person. Not that I followed this philosophy through all the way, but it was a sort of breakthrough for me to be honest about my healthy (or unhealthy, rather) habits. In the same scope, I also wrote Fat Does Not Equal Lazy a few weeks later.
My Grandpa’s Best Friend: The second most popular post ever – a story about how a trip to Iowa with my in-laws made me think about my own grandfather and how I never had the opportunity to learn more about his life.
Ninety Days: I spent 90 days not writing on the blog because I had nothing that I wanted to commit to publishing. It had been a rough six months and this post was my re-commitment to writing, to myself, and to again attempting to maintain a more positive outlook.
I’ve really been enjoying my posts that have been published lately, so I decided NOT to post to them, it would be too hard to pick and choose which ones I wanted to highlight. I couldn’t do a list like this though without linking up with The New Normal. My post popular post ever with almost 350 views to date. This post signifies not just our transition into our “new normal” but also me finding a way to tell my story separately from Justin’s.
So, here’s to four years of posts, four years of trying to figure out what kind of blogger I wanted to be and what I wanted to share out here in the Big Bad Blogosphere. I appreciate every single one of you that ever read, shared, liked or glanced at this collection of thoughts. Here’s to four more years!