Wednesday, 29 April 2020

7 years of blogging

I had my 7-year blogiversary on March 17, but since it was around that time that the plague broke out and upended all of ours lives, I haven't found the mental space until tonight to finally acknowledge this milestone.

Blogging has become weird. It started to become weird a couple years ago, but it's even more so now. It feels like using a typewriter in the times of computers to have a blog these days. None of the "cool kids", aka influencers, have blogs anymore. 
It's been Instagram all the way until now, but even that is starting to take on the whiff of an aging Hollywood diva - still great, still iconic, but we all see that its relevance is decreasing with every passing day. The younger, hotter, more trendy stars are about to take over - TikTok is the only one I know of, because I'm 40 (and don't care), but I'm sure there are other new platforms in the wings, quietly taking over as I type these words. 

But to me it's still special. My blog is my first point of reference when I need to check when we got a new dog or more cows. I love looking back on old posts about vacations and visits from family and friends, even though I tend to keep these somewhat vague to protect their privacy. 

But most of all? I love seeing how much I've grown in the 7 years since I started this blog. I was a pretty insecure lost soul when I started randomly writing on the Internet. The only things I felt good about were my husband, my job, and my decision to make Canada my home.  
Granted, they were solid milestones to have. In fact, when I started writing about my life I never thought it would turn into a diary filled with all my insecurities and problems - quite the opposite. I thought I would write a blog filled with frivolous, lighthearted stuff, funny little anecdotes and cute animal pictures and maybe the odd DIY- or outfit-post thrown in.   

Well, you know what happens to best-laid plans. I had no idea that it would open my personal Pandora's box once I started writing about my life, but boy oh boy, am I ever glad that it did.
For an insecure, worry-riddled girl from a tiny town in the middle of nowhere in Germany, I've come incredibly far. I attribute writing this blog for large parts of it.

It seems funny to say things like that about myself when I currently feel so fragile, and in such dire need of help. For the first time ever I've reached out to a counsellor for guidance, which has been incredibly hard for me.  
Yet, I still stand by what I've said. I even go as far as saying that I'd never had the courage to finally reach out to a therapist if I hadn't written my blog all these years.

I know the person I was before I met Richard and moved to Canada
I know the person I was before I started opening up about myself online.

I was a lot more scared and insecure than I am now, and a lot more confused on what bravery looks like.
I was taught that strength meant not showing any weakness or vulnerability on the outside.
I was taught that being stuck in your head too much meant you didn't have enough to do.
I was taught that being sensitive was a sign of weakness. You were supposed to hide any weakness to appear strong.

Writing this blog helped me to unlearn these lessons. I'm still not done, which means I'll continue writing.
Okay, enough with the mushy stuff. 

Let's take a look at numbers, shall we?
Including today I've published 1,062 posts
I've had over a million page views: 1,003,433 as of this moment. 
My follower count is extremely confusing: I have about 1,100 on Instagram, 2,200 on Facebook, a few hundred on Bloglovin' and the old Blogger list, but then there are crazy numbers that have nothing to do with me: 16.2K subscribers on YouTube (which happened largely because I posted a horse mating video there once (I took it down), naively thinking that people would appreciate the beauty of nature instead of making it dirty - I was wrong).

Well, and then there's Pinterest where I pin stuff completely randomly, but where I have the most page views. If I'd know anything about marketing and maximizing exposure I could surely utilize it; but since I don't, and am not interested, it will remain the faintly intriguing, ultimately inconsequential fact it should be.

Instead I thought I would share the 10 most popular posts from the last year with you:

Nina
Our favourite girl died in a freak accident last October. You guys grieved with us, which meant the world. She was gone way too soon.

I wrote this post at the beginning of the crisis we are still in now. Not much has changed, even 5 weeks later  - we still have to take it one day at a time, hoping for the best, preparing for the worst.

I wrote this post while Rich was away and I was in charge of the farm. I'm always writing more when he isn't around, a) because I have more time, and b) because weird shit happens. Case in point: severed mouse heads and wasp invasions. 
A snappy title works wonders. Little did I know that this travel post (along with the one of my visit home) from last May would be the last ones for the foreseeable future. I haven't been on a trip since.
I'm pleased that this post that's close to my heart made it to the most popular ones of the last year. PMDD is still a condition that's not diagnosed nearly early enough (until now it took on average 12 years for a diagnosis), but we've made huge leaps and bounds over the last year to spread awareness. 
Last September I wrote a post that started with a blogging scandal from 2014, but morphed into a reminder that everything that's worth pursuing takes time. This applies to relationships, jobs, hobbies, passions, yourself - if these things and people are important enough to you, you will invest time and energy into them, day after day, year after year. Only by doing that will you get the best possible outcome. 
The recap of my year away from home. 
Oh, I do love these philosophical posts. This one is all about intuitive living - or put simply: Do whatever the fuck you want. The irony is that I may talk the talk, but I'm still in the process of learning how to walk the walk. One step at a time, baby. 
Another philosophical (and reflective) post about life and death. But mostly it's about how glorious it is to be alive!
Being happy with our body in a time where diet culture is so deeply ingrained into our psyche that we even feel guilty about gaining a few pounds during a pandemic is an act of rebellion. And I'm fighting for that act of liberty every day. With a changing body due to the world's dire circumstances and my approach to middle age, I'm actively fighting against feeling guilty for being an aging woman with a changing body. I'm not fighting my body - I'm fighting society's expectations. I'm working hard not to be affected by co-workers' laments about their own bodies, by anti-cellulite advertisements, by the expectations I was taught to have towards my body. 
When I wrote this post we didn't have a pandemic - but we did have everything else, which can be just as damaging to women everywhere.  

Dear blog, thank you for everything you have done for me and helped me to accomplish. Will I see you again next year? You bet. 

Love always, 
Miriam xxoo

Previous recaps: 6-year blogiversary5-year4-year3-year2-year1-year



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6 comments

  1. Congrats Miriam! What a wonderful milestone. And I love that you are still blogging. The little sound bites that are so popular now don't have any depth to them and I don't find them particularly interesting.
    Please keep typing! :)

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    1. I will!
      Joan Didion put it perfectly:

      "I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear."

      That's why I write and blog. I'll probably never stop.

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  2. Happy blogiversary! I love how your blog has changed over the years, as did your style of writing. Keep on pursuing your dreams and please keep this blog going for as long as possible.

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    1. Thanks dear Mary! I don't see myself stopping anytime soon.
      Whenever I need to figure out what's going on in my weird brain I sit down and blog it out. Best therapy ever.

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  3. I am so proud of you!! This is such an exciting milestone.

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    Replies
    1. Our blogs are like our favourite invisible friend from childhood, aren't they? Except for the fact that they talk back (in form of comments), which is so awesome!

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