Nine years ago this week — on December 21, 2009 — I published my first blog post and Leah’s Thoughts was born. I like to think of it as the day I began writing my own story.
At the time, I was 34-years-old and a fairly new mom with a 2-year-old daughter. I was working in a marketing/communications job at San Diego State University and the extent of my writing was drafting admission letters, student email notices, university catalog copy, and recruitment brochures. I was trained as a journalist, so everything I’d written up to that point were news stories and work copy.
I had not written anything in my own voice since … well, never. I started to feel like I had a lot I wanted (needed) to say. And a blog seemed like a logical way to start writing out my thoughts. But I was scared to start such an endeavor.
“In many ways, I am a perfectionist. And I only like to begin projects I can finish, or at least I can maintain with a clear focus. I also tend to lean toward a black/white, either/or personality. I think this is why I hesitated to start this blog. I have pages of ideas. But what if I couldn’t write more than three sentences? What if I couldn’t post regularly? Do I have to choose between journaling about my life or writing generic essays? All these options overwhelmed me. Hence I could not bring myself to starting this blog.” (First blog post, 12-21-09)
Well, somewhere along the way I got over my fears, hit “publish” on my first post, and have been writing (off and on) in this space ever since.
In the last nine years, I’ve published 559 blog posts. So many stories, feelings, rants, thoughts, recipes, book reviews … I chronicled it all here on my blog.
I’ve written about my struggles and joys of motherhood (from daily lessons in failure to all our summer bucket lists). I wrote about moving my life from Southern California to Indiana, and my hesitations with making friends in a new home. I talked about the loss of my beloved dog and cat, leaving my secure full-time job to start my own freelance writing business, and more.
My opinions and perceptions have certainly changed over nine years. Looking back, I seemed so young and naive in my earlier years writing here. I’m not sure I’m brave enough now to share some of the stories I wrote about then. I actually cringe reading some of the older posts on this blog and debate whether to erase them. And I have many stories and feelings that I’m not yet brave enough to even write.
Writing my blog has always been — and will always be — about telling my story. I have never cared about pageviews and statistics. I care about the words and stories I tell, and that they are honest and real. Because otherwise, what’s the point at all?
I don’t write what society wants to read. I write for myself to have a chronicle of where life has taken me. And I’m still humbled and grateful to the people who read my words. I may not write as much as I used to, but as long as I have words to write and things to say, I’ll keep writing them here on my blog.
I know some of you have been reading here since the beginning. And to those of you, thank you! And to new readers and people who have joined me along the way, I am thankful you stop by from time to time.
Here’s to the past nine years … and to the future, whatever stories I may write.