Yesterday, Facebook reminded me that it was the one-year anniversary of starting this blog. Time flies when you’re breaking bones.
In all seriousness, having this outlet over the last year has been so important – and has given me so much. Though at times I posted infrequently, and have drafts of essays piling up on my desktop, this small corner of the internet turned into an invaluable tool in keeping my sanity, expressing my truth, and working through some shit.
First and foremost, I met some wonderful people directly because of this blog. It became a venue for meaningful connections, from messages that were sent my way on social media (friends and strangers alike) about a piece of my writing resonating with a reader, to friends that I made because they read my blog and sent me a message – the simple act of writing, publishing and sharing brought some beautiful humans into my day-to-day.
The blog also became a sort of business card, and I found numerous writing and content creation opportunities that I don’t believe would have come my way otherwise. The one I’m perhaps proudest of is the Self Magazine piece that checked off my small dream to be published in a national magazine, and to write (I think) eloquently about one of the hardest experiences of my life.
Speaking of that – for better or worse, this blog is a memoir of how far I’ve come since its launch. It’s painful and therapeutic at the same time to browse back through previous posts. I’m instantly reminded of the physical challenges I fought through, the emotional pain I learned to overcome and the strides I made over the year. I can see it in my workout classes – I’m back to doing plank crunches on my toes in [solidcore], which sounds silly but also took me a whole damn year to regain! But there’s something about having a physical record, a digital notebook, of the year, that is innately powerful. It makes me proud of myself, and determined to keep fighting, all at once.
And lastly, writing forced me to be honest. I learned very quickly that the most difficult part of my recovery process(es) was asking for help. I hated relying on others. I hated admitting that I wasn’t okay. And in person, I almost never did it. I ditched my crutches at parties despite the shooting pain because I was too embarrassed to be broken. I insisted on going grocery shopping even though it turned into a two-hour struggle that left me completely wiped for the rest of the day. I struggled to let people know that I was sad, that the reason they hadn’t heard from me was because I didn’t know how to reach out. But writing gave me an outlet where I had to speak the truth – no bullshit. And it was a very rewarding process.
I’m starting to sound like a broken record when I say that the last year was filled with ups and downs. Incredible highs and really low lows. I’m not sure I’d want to do it all again, but I know now that I’m strong enough that I could survive it all again, which is an important and fulfilling realization.
It also made me realize that I was ready for and capable of taking on a new challenge. So... I jumped. Just in case you missed the news, I’m moving to Boston in July, heading to BU for grad school.
I’ve been in DC for eight years, since I was 17, meaning for all of my adult life. And those years have been beautiful and ugly, formative and wholly powerful. When I think of leaving, my heart breaks. But when I think of a new city, new experiences, and all that I have to discover – well, it’s too exciting to pass up.
See you in July, Boston. See you very soon, DC. Oh, and anyone who needs a freelancer? I’m going to have nothing but time and a deep-seeded desire to make some money. Be sure to reach out.