Thursday, August 24, 2017

Happy 10 Years of Blogging - & More - to Me!

This week marks four very important 10-year anniversaries in my personal life - like, big ones. And they're all related. Bear with me for a sec, will ya?

Ten years ago this week, I graduated from college. 

It took me two schools & five years, but I made it, graduating the summer of my super-senior year with a bachelors of science in news journalism. The top of my cap read "THANKS, MOM."


Ten years ago this week, I left Ohio for the first time & moved to Washington, D.C. 

I'd lived there for a few weeks the summer before, solidifying my interest in moving there after graduation. And, OK, I actually moved into a room in a condo in Maryland with an hour-and-a-half-long commute into Dupont Circle, but it barely mattered. I was overjoyed to be in a big city, to feel free, to feel like an adult. I planned for D.C. to be a stepping-stone city on my ultimate path to NYC.


Ten years ago this week, I started working at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.

It was a crazy job for me to have taken - for me to have been hired for - given that I didn't know a single thing about politics or even about Judaism. And yet, there I was, one of six recent college grads chosen for a prestigious one-year fellowship at a social action nonprofit in the heart of D.C., sitting in meetings on legislative policy & lobbying Congress on behalf of one million Reform Jews - with some of the best people I've ever met. The six of us became fast friends, & they remain some of my favorite people in the entire world.


And 10 years ago today, I started this blog right here.

Sure, it was originally called Suburban Sweetheart, a name that garnered me laughs from GoDaddy because it sounded so much like a porn site. Oops. I started it on a whim, knowing not a damn thing about blogging, because I wanted to be able to share my city stories more broadly than just posting them to my Myspace page. No really: My first post here was crossposted from Myspace.

All these things... they're related, really. Imagine: Within the span of a week, I wrapped up my existing life - finished my internship & graduated from college - & then moved to a big city on the East Coast to start my first adult job & meet an entirely new set of people.

They changed my life, all of them. The place, the people... they made me. When I first left Ohio, I planned to return, like, immediately. My D.C. job was a one-year fellowship, nothing permanent, & I I planned to move back to Ohio when it was over - to find an apartment in Cleveland & maybe try to work for Cleveland Magazine, where I'd interned before commencement. I was going to be a journalist in Ohio, obviously; this D.C. thing was just a quick detour on the path.

Except it wasn't.

It wasn't a detour; it was everything.

Here I am, a decade later, working for the same place, friends with many of the same people. Of course, so many of the details have changed: I did come back to Cleveland, albeit with a number of detours along the way. I spent four years in D.C., plus a year & a half apiece in New Hampshire & New Jersey. I briefly left my job for one I hated, & then I was hired back to my old one. I've lived in more apartments than I can count. I've been published - in a book & in The Washington Post, even! I've made new friends & lost old friends & fallen in love & out of love & in a better love. I turned 30 & lived with my mom again & settled into life in Cleveland & planned a wedding, and, and, and.

As with every life, there is just so much to tell.

And tell it I have.

In the 10 years that I've been writing here, I have published 1,140 blog posts in this space. Before I started blogging, I was, well, blogging. It just wasn't called that yet. I wrote on Xanga sites & a Myspace journal & in Facebook notes & in dozens upon dozens of old-school paper diaries. When I started blogging here, well, it felt like coming home - just like my move to D.C. did, like my job at the RAC did, like the life that I started when I started writing here did.

Life is very different these days, but it's also very much the same. Through it all, this blog has continued to serve as a sacred space for me to document & share my life - as much for & with you as for & with myself. Blogging may be dead, or so says the Internet, but my blog isn't. I have no plans to give it up any time soon.

Thanks for sticking around, friends. You make this space feel pretty darn worth-it - even after a whole freaking decade.

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