Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Very Merry Blogiversary

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.


Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary bloss!

Let me be the first to congratulate you and thank you for all you have shared with us.

May you blog forever, because I sure would miss you if you were not on the interwebs.

Kisses and hugs.

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Your blog has been your lifeline--and may it continue to be so! Hooray for you for grabbing that lifeline for a year. Keep hanging on!

Please e-mail me and tell me about your job offer!

californiateacherguy AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

Happy one year, my dear =)

I remember meeting you when you were going through your particularly tough spot, and I thought you were amazing.

Fast forward to now and I *still* think you're amazing.

Here's to another year! :)

Aimee said...

Happy (blog) Anniversary!

I'm so glad that we "met"

I'm totally holding you to meeting up with me at the amusement park this year!

Anonymous said...

So glad our blogging paths have crossed; I look forward to reading you each day. You have a fun blend of silly and serious posts so that I never know what to expect.

Here's to many more years!

Wolf Lover Girl said...

I agree with Tense Teacher, I love reading all the fun and silly posts you have each day.

Happy Blogiversary! :-)

~ Wolf Lover Girl

CC said...

Teehee, I still remember coming across your Tween blog last spring, when I was taking your History of Waltz class. It's been quite a journey.

Mom101 said...

I didn't know this whole story - it's amazing how blogs come to be something that they don't start out as, isn't it. Happy anniversary.

And I'll be damned if you don't look like Liv Tyler there.

aMom2E said...

I am so thankful for you and your blog! You have brightened so many of my days since I found you!! Thank you for your bravery in sharing your story!

Cheers to a year of education and to many years of education to come!

Neil said...

I'm a newcomer. Congrats on your anniversary!

Anonymous said...

I still remember you telling me about your blog back when it was still the Tween Years. We were at Lady M's house - do you remember? I've really enjoyed reading about your ongoing education all year long. You are a talented writer and teacher ... here's to many more years to come!

Teacha said...

Happy Blogiversary!!!! I only "met" you this past March, so I've got some catching up to do! And I'm looking forward to every morsel!

(((((Lara))))) Congratulations.

L. said...

Happy blogiversary! Many happy returns! :)

Unknown said...

Congratulations Lara!!!!!
We started our blogs within days of each other (and you will see when I celebrate my 1 year later in the week).
Your blog is truly one of my favorites. Honest, raw, courageous. The amazing women that you are shines through. I am glad to have you in my blog life.

Her Bad Mother said...

What Liz said - you look like a younger, cuter, smarter Liv Tyler!

Happy Blogiversary!

Angela said...

Wow, what a year you have had. Happy blogiversary!

tpiglette said...

I'm proud to be one of the lucky ones to know you in real life too. :-D

Ms. George said...

Happy Blogiversary! I found you through your comments on CTG's site. You have had one heck of a year, but you made it through and I'm sure you are stronger because of it.
Best of luck with the job offer...I'll be checking back!

Anonymous said...

Happy Blogiversary Lara!! It was great to read your posts from before I met you. Yours just get better and better!

Take care, Bob~

Anonymous said...

Happy Blogiversary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Blogs can be very therepeutic (or however the hell you spell it), and a lifeline at times. I am glad you had this outlet (I just caught up on all of your struggles- didn't know all of that).

May you write for many years to come!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I am totally impressed.

I am brand new to bloggin. You celebrate your 1 year; I celebrated my 1 week today.

I haven't read "deep" into anyone's blog yet. Just the quick, funny, sometime serious snap-shot paragraphs into people's lives. This post kinda summed it up to me and made another person's blog real.

You have me wondering if I can last a year... If for no other reason (like nobody reading.. lol) then I will have a year's journal. Like you just posted.

My hats off to ya. Hopefully, we can get to know each other via the web

Teacher Anonymous said...

Happy Blogiversary to you
Happy Blogiversary to you
Happy Blogiversary, dear Lara
Happy Blogiversary to you


Lara said...

lala - "bloss"? congrats on being the first to congratulate me! thanks for the kisses and hugs - i would miss you tons if you were not blogging, too.

CTG - yes, definitely a lifeline worth keeping around. here's to another year (at least)!

aly - i remember that, too, when you commented about feeling like an interloper. but i appreciated all your words. fast forward to now, and i still appreciate every single one of them.

aimee - i'm glad we "met" too. and yes, amusement park here we come! :)

tense teacher - i'm glad i found you as well. you're one of the best teacher bloggers around, in my opinion, and i feel like i'm always learning from you. as you say, here's to many more years!

wolf lover girl - thanks, girl. i'm glad i discovered you through a link you had to my blog on your site. even though you claimed you enjoyed reading me, you'd never commented before. now i always look forward to your encouraging and funny words for me. :)

CC - stalking the dance teacher, eh? it's too bad richard doesn't have a blog we could stalk... at any rate, i'm glad we've become better friends since those days, and i'm very glad you've been around for so much of my journey.

mom-101 - yes, thinking back over my blogging birth and all that led up to it, i'm amazed at where i've ended up. who woulda thought? also, the liv tyler thing? i don't see it at all, but i'll take you at your word.

ffbgirl - i'm sooooo glad we've become bloggy friends. you've been wonderful to me in so many ways, and i just hope i can do anything remotely close to that kind of support for you now. much love to you.

neil - welcome, newbie! i hope you stick around as we enter year 2 of the ongoing education.

tali - i do remember that. that was when i was just starting to get excited about the potential of blogging. i'm so glad you've been around for the whole journey this past year. you've been one of my greatest supporters, and i'm so grateful for that.

proverbs - i'm glad you've jumped on the lara bandwagon, because i look forward to your comments all the time. your blog is also one of my daily (or near daily, depending on your post schedule) reads, so i'm glad for my sake that you came to find me! :)

L. - i'm glad you've come out of hiding. can i look forward to more comments from you? this makes two now, right? ;)

tori - ooh, exciting! i didn't realize we were so close in blogging age. i'm glad you came to say hi, because i'm not sure i could have found you otherwise. happy early blogiversary to you!

her bad mother - see, and again, i just don't see it. but y'all are smart ladies, so i'll take it as the compliment (i believe) it was. :)

angela - congratulations! you win the prize for "understatement of the century"! ;) no, seriously though? yes, what a year i have had.

tpiglette - i'm proud to be one of the lucky ones you know in real life. you've been one of the bestest friends a girl could ask for, especially in the midst of depression. i'm thankful every day for our friendship.

ms. george - glad to see you in my area of the blogosphere! thanks for your kind words. i'll be thrilled if you decide to continue checking in around here. also, the job offer was accepted. :)

r u serious? - one of my most loyal readers/commenters/friends. thanks for all the kind words over the past months - i've really appreciated them more than i can say.

betsy - yes, the blogging therapy has been invaluable to me in my health over the past year. i'm glad you're a part of that for me.

bowrag - welcome to the blogosphere! i think it's a wonderful place, and i'm glad you're now a part of it. you're right in that having a year-long journal to look back on is very nice. here's hoping you make it to one year and beyond!

teacher anonymous - whee! thanks for the song. :)

Major Bedhead said...

Happy blogiversary, Lara! Yours is one of my daily favourite reads.

Lara said...

major bedhead - thanks, lady. yours is one of my daily (or as nearly to that as you post) favorites as well. :)

Anonymous said...

You are a truly beautiful person. I just had to stop lurking to say that.