Five years ago today, I published this blog’s first post.
Five years. FIVE YEARS.
And this is my 516th post. Can you imagine? I have sat here typing like this 515 times before this time.
Let’s think about this blog for a minute. Why do I do it? Why have I sat down every Monday and Wednesday for the past five years of my life and written a post?
It’s not a wildly successful blog, after all. I don’t get thousands upon thousands of hits. This is no Whatever, no Bloggess, no MarkManson.com. I don’t get nominated for awards for my work here. Sometimes I write what I believe to be an important post, and it sinks to the bottom of the pond without leaving a single visible ripple in its wake.
I make no money from the blog. I don’t run ads that give me a kick-back. I don’t participate in marketing schemes. I don’t even have an affiliate Amazon link.
And yet. Five years. For five years I have shown up.
The blog is not always easy on a personal level either.
Occasionally, people believe it is okay to discuss personal and private issues they have with me in the public comments section of a public blog. (Note: This is not okay.)
Occasionally, I use an anecdote to help illustrate my point, and people I care about get worried they might have inadvertently hurt my feelings. (Note: I probably wouldn’t have chosen that anecdote were that the case.)
Occasionally, people in my personal life read a post of mine and think I am talking about them when I am not. Or they think I am talking specifically TO them, and I am not. Or they make a personal choice I may or may not agree with, and say, well, I did it because of what you said on your blog. And I look down at my open hands, and I think, I don’t want that kind of power. I want to make you think, yes, but then the decision is yours.
Occasionally, people misunderstand me. Sometimes this is because of projection. Sometimes this is because I didn’t do a very good job writing my post. Sometimes it is both.
Sometimes I don’t know where the line is. I don’t know what to write about and what not to write about. I don’t know what to tell you and what not to tell you. Sometimes this confusion ends up leaving you confused too.
So then, why? Why am I sitting here struggling over these sentences?
Part of it is that I believe in creating for creating’s sake, and art for art’s sake.
But perhaps more of it is because I believe in my One Reader.
My One Reader reads my post and has an Aha! moment.
My One Reader reads my post and feels less alone.
My One Reader reads my post and decides to go on fighting another day.
My One Reader reads my post and loves herself a little bit more than she did before.
My One Reader reads my post and thinks about something in a new way.
My One Reader reads my post and feels a little lighter.
My One Reader reads my post and thinks, I thought that was just me! And a little bit of the guilt or shame or self-disparagement dissipates.
My One Reader reads my post and later on when he is lost, he remembers it and he comes back and reads it again, and it is a small light in what might have otherwise been complete darkness.
My One Reader gets a kick out of seeing yet another Nala photo.
My One Reader reads my post and a connection is created, and maybe we see each other a little more than we did before.
I don’t know who my One Reader is on any given day. But I believe he or she is out there. And I believe he or she matters.
Five years. Here’s to you, One Reader. And here’s to the Practical Free Spirit.