Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Blog Year Retrospective #2

Two years as a blogger, a total of 621 posts including this one. 374 of those posts have been in the last year, and I crossed the 50,000 visitor mark at the beginning of this month. What a year it has been!

One year ago, I was living with my parents as a post-college-graduate, working as a temporary employee, still thinking about teaching, and had a boyfriend. My life has done a complete flip-flop. A few things have remained constant, however, and I've learned much.

Blogging has been a challenge and a passion. I'm here every night, working on scraping the thoughts that rattle around into something cohesive, entertaining, and insightful. My blog fell under a Creative Commons License this year, and I upgraded my blogging platform to Vista. A few headaches later, I've learned to get around Vista's quirks. I added a new favicon, too. Blogging allowed me to get to know some awesome people from other parts of the state and even Canada. Thanks to TH, Mom of Three, Mr. Guy, and Elle for their many comments and support. I met TH last spring, and he proved to be a perfect gentleman while I was in Astoria, a trip that was definitely an adventure. TH came to the valley one weekend, and I had a nice time showing him my part of the state. Blogging truly changed my life for the better.

I gained several friends this year, and a few aren't with me anymore. Matthew became engaged, and Jeff moved too far away. Still, with so many changes, I've maintained steady contact with Emily and Rachel, seeing them each about once a month. In addition to friends, I had a bit of luck on the boyfriend scale. The guy I was dating last year at this time went to the wayside a week or two later. I was single but interested in a guy until January when we started dating. Chris was a great friend and boyfriend until March when he ended things. I'm lucky enough to still call him my friend. In fact, I believe I talked to him today. I haven't had any other boyfriends since then, quite possibly my longest stretch without a boyfriend since early in college. The change is nice. I'm confident in myself, and I know who I am. Such are the life lessons I've been fortunate enough to learn.

My family has had some rough moments this last year. In February, my mom's dad went into the hospital and hasn't come home since. He went straight from the hospital to a care facility, and later to a different facility. His dementia and Parkinson's Disease have turned him into someone else. Grandma had several rounds of hospitalization, first for an angioplasty, then later for a perforated bowel and hernia. Needless-to-say, my mother has had her hands full. Her compassion and strength has been an inspiration to me, and I hope I'm as patient as she is when my turn comes. My other Grandma is still doing well. She's nearing 90, and sometimes I worry about her hearing, but she's well otherwise. For that, I can only give thanks. There were good moments, too, this year. My cousin Stacy married a fantastic man, Derek, on St. Patrick's Day. Cousin Cory and his wife, Samantha, had their second child. I got to see a cousin from New York and meet his children for the first time, too.

Work has been a source of intense stress and overwhelming positive notes. I unnecessarily retook the Praxis II essays to finish out my state teaching tests, and didn't know I didn't need the test until after I took it. If I want to teach, I simply have to finish a Master's program. However, since my temporary position turned into a full-time permanent position in March, I've nearly walked away from teaching. As much as I enjoy being in front of students, I do love my job. Unfortunately, I almost lost my job in August, but was relieved of that stress in late October when I became officially official. I've been given great work assignments and get to do some fun things. The work is important for the industry and state, and I look forward to going to work most mornings.

Dancing, that wonderful and ever-evolving source of joy in my life... I've danced as much as possible this year! I went to costume balls as a punk and a Sim, and recently went as a pirate wench. I took a lesson from the Lindy Hop King, Mr. Frankie Manning. I even made it up to Portland a few times, including the Ambassador Ballroom's grand opening. Swing and ballroom dancing keeps me healthy. My style has smoothed out considerably, and I have so much fun every time I'm on the floor.

Even though August and September were stressful months, I did make a day-trip to the central coast with my sister, and I had a great day at OMSI with my family. I was in a minor car accident that left no lasting damage, but the event scared me enough that I'm a much safer driver now (just don't ask my passengers). Throughout the year, I ventured out to go geocaching, nabbing the incredible First Geocache and my 100th find. I had my virgin visit to Powell's City of Books, and I also spent one very fun night lingerie shopping.

The year has been a series of ups and downs, not unlike life. Perhaps the most significant thing in the last twelve months is that I paid off all of my college debt except one loan, saved up for a few months, and moved out of my parents' house in October. I have a beautiful apartment all to myself, a corner of serenity that I call my own.

I have been truly blessed with such a family, with good people as friends, and with a job that I love. Taking this moment to step back and reflect on what the last year has meant feels incredible. I'm ready for another year. I'm ready to grow up a little bit more.

Here's to two years on the blog!

1 comment:

The Guy Who Writes This said...

Now that's a linky love post if I ever saw one. Happy second, Jaggy.