One year ago today, I wrote the first post of Life: The Ongoing Education.
It's been a looooong year....
I've been thinking about this post for weeks, knowing that my Blogiversary was coming up. But what would I say? What could I say that would possibly be an accurate representation of what this year has been, and what this blog has done for me?
First, I have to stop and realize that there are a number of you reading who haven't been here all year - who don't know the "whole story." And, well, if you already know, you can opt to skip ahead or read it again, as it pleases you.
I began my first online journal as a freshman in college. It was hosted on my free student webspace, and I wrote it with simple HTML. The purpose was mainly to vent about the emotional roller coaster of drama I called my life, and the readers were really just about 5-10 of my close friends. I liked it because I could ramble whenever I needed an outlet, and it spared me from having to re-explain why I was upset about something over and over again in one IM conversation after another.
I kept that journal all through college, but when I graduated, I lost my free space on the web. So I finally got a blog - like, on Blogger, even! I named it "Lara David: The JD Years," because at the time, I was headed to UCLA for law school. I figured the blog could hold me through three years of school, and then I could re-evaluate. Fortunately, I figured out that I never wanted to be a lawyer, and I opted out of my "golden opportunity." "Lara David: The JD Years" suddenly didn't make any sense.
The next blog was "Lara David: The Tween Years." I felt very much like I was between stages of life - caught in the middle of youth and adulthood, and not really sure where I was going. So I wrote for two years over there. But through it all, I was mostly still just retelling my life - what I did from one day to the next, keeping my friends up to date on the day-to-day. There was no effort into my writing, no reaching out to an audience beyond my friends.
Then Lady M started her blog. And that was the first major step towards my becoming a blogger. She had cute little posts about a variety of topics, some funny, some deep, others somewhere in between. She had people she didn't even know reading her posts and telling her what they thought, almost like - gasp! - a conversation. And she linked to some interesting blogs she had found and enjoyed reading, and soon I began reading some of them. Among the first were Mary P., Her Bad Mother, Mocha Momma, and Mom-101. I was shocked by what I read, because these were very talented writers who had hundreds of readers a day. Clearly blogging could be more than just a daily check-in for friends, and suddenly, I wanted a part of that.
By that time, I already knew I was going to be starting my Master's program in June, so I decided to make a fresh start with the blog at the same time I made a fresh start in school. June 26 was the first day of my teacher preparation program, and so I prepared a new blog - "Life: The Ongoing Education." Here's what I said about the name in the first post:
I thought quite a bit about what to call my new blog - how to signal the beginning of this new phase for me and how to capture what I believed would be the theme of this blog. Unfortunately, "Bitching and Moaning of the Underpaid and Overworked" was already taken, as was "101 Inappropriate Things to Teach a High School Student." So I considered the fact that I'm going back to school, and considered that I'm going into teaching as a profession, and got to thinking about education. And I realized that if we're honest, life is really an ongoing process of education for all of us, no matter what our career is or where we are in our life's journey. Hopefully, we're always learning and growing, as well as teaching and sharing our experiences with others.
Over the past year, this has been proven to me over and over again - that life is a constant process of learning. This year has been nothing if not an ongoing education; let's see if we can get a recap of the highs and lows...
June 26: I begin my Master's education program and this blog.
July, August, and September: They pass by mostly uneventfully, thank goodness, giving me a chance to conserve strength for the months ahead.
October 17: Bad shit goes down chez Lara and J.
October 20: Lara and J. break up.
November 8: On the heels of bad shit, sad break up, and even more you cannot begin to imagine, I overdose on pills and end up spending a week in the psych ward for severe depression. (Read all about it here.)
December: I cheer myself up (just a bit) with a month of shoes.
January 1: I move in to my new apartment.
January 4: My first Thursday Thirteen!
February 1: My first Blog Exchange!
February 13: I open up a dialogue about cutting.
March 4: My first Sunday Google-age!
March 5: Bubbers turns 2, and I write him a letter.
March 12: I actually start on the road to being a photographer.
April: Goes well, though I miss my dad. I also meet a friendly Aussie.
May: A crazy month. I've mostly blocked it out now.
June 16: I turn 25 years old and you all give me a wonderful birthday.
June 17: I graduate with my Master's in Education, despite wondering at times whether I would even survive the depression that began in November.
June 26: This blog celebrates its Blogiversary - WooHoo!
Y'all, this has been a hellish year for me, in a lot of ways. And through it all, this blog has been a lifeline for me. There were moments, in the darkness of depression, when I felt like I couldn't do anything, but I could still write to you. There were days when this was all that kept me sane - when you were all that kept me from feeling alone. And I owe you all enormous thanks for that; my gratitude can never truly be put into words, but I hope you know it's there.
I started this blog on my first day back to school – June 26, 2006 – and I named it “Life: The Ongoing Education.” If nothing else, this year has proven to me how accurate that title is. This year has been, without a doubt, the most difficult of my life. There were many dark days, but it would be a lie to say nothing good came of them. It has been a year of lessons I will never forget. I never saw it coming, but I cannot honestly say it wasn’t for the best. Only time will tell – only life, the ongoing education.