I logged into WordPress today with the intention of explaining my serious blogging absence in the past couple weeks (a combination of an amazing vacation and a series of unfortunate events before and after I left) only to find this notification:
Wow. 3 years of consistently keeping up with a writing outlet. I never thought this blog would be viral or a source of income. All I wanted was a place where I could keep going back to in an effort to sort out everything in my mind and share my experiences with college, career, love, and travel as they occurred in the hopes that others might relate.
After all, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” – C.S. Lewis
I remember starting this blog as a sophomore in college in the eye sore of an apartment I shared in Minneapolis with four people who grew to become some of my closest friends. I was actually able to see all four of them when I was home two weeks ago and it was incredible. The joy I feel when I am with college friends is like no other.
I grew so much during my time at the U of M. And I was so unaware of the growth that was occurring. I became this person who no longer tried to be another sheep in the herd. I became me. This opinionated, sassy, strong, determined college student who wore what she wanted and did what she wanted and was confident in her relationships and her internships and took 19 credit semesters without a blink of an eye and traveled as much as my poor college budget would allow.
But at the time I was completely unaware. When I started this blog, I remember it was the beginning of my spring semester and I’d been inspired to do so because so many people in my journalism classes already had blogs of their own. I was trying to be like everyone else. I was insecure in my long distance relationship because we were still trying to figure out how dating while he lived in Arizona and I lived in Minnesota would work. I felt like nothing I wore was right and I was inadequate at my internship for KSTP Channel 5 as a Communications Intern for a political correspondent. Everyone else seemed to know so much more.
But looking back? I learned so much that semester, and the semesters that followed. I was growing and learning and experiencing and doing so amazingly well in school and my internships and I was so completely oblivious.
As I sit here in Fairbanks, Alaska on a -30 degree day doing chores I’ve neglected, exhausted from the endlessly cold temperatures and a draining first week back to work after vacation I’m trying to be thankful that my pipes are no longer frozen, and I don’t have to drive my unreliable spare car anywhere. But I’m realizing one thing.
I will look back on this as a time of growth.
Because everything that has happened in the past month has forced me to change and adapt and to cope. Every trial that has occurred has taught me something. And maybe the lesson is so simple as remembering for the rest of my life that nothing was as hard to deal with as that January in Fairbanks, Alaska in 2015. I can handle anything that life throws at me because I made it through this.
Maybe that’s a naive thought, but I have to believe that in three years from this day I’ll look back on this time as meaningful. As necessary to get where I’m going.
All I know is I wish I would have believed in myself every single day of college, and I don’t want to have that same wish for myself three years from today.
Congratulations to me, on three years of sticking with this blog and believing in the art of sharing my experiences with others. But also congratulations to me on living alone for 6 weeks in one of the coldest, most remote places on earth. For tackling all the problems that tried to knock me down, and becoming stronger and more knowledgeable in spite of them.
And cheers to me on January 31, 2018.
I bet you are one kick ass, intelligent, strong woman wherever you’re living and whatever you’re doing.
But for both our sanity,I hope your days in subzero temperatures are done for good.
“However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man’s abode.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden