A few milestones were reached this week, and I thought I would share them with everyone, especially since you’ve all been so supportive since I started this journey.
Milestone 1: First blog troll – I have a heckler! No, my mom didn’t really leave that comment about me on the last blog about Chuckie. At first I thought it was my buddy Chaddy Stu, because it sounded just like him. However, it requires too much knowledge of the interwebs for that simpleton. How fun to have my very own troll! Does that mean I’ve arrived?
Milestone 2: 2,000 views – Now I’m closing in on 2,500. I never dreamed my words would be read that many times, at least not in the first month and a half.
Milestone 3: 20,000 words – actually, 21,630 words as of the last blog. I’ve written 1/3 of a novel. Granted, they aren’t perfect words, and I still have to become a much better writer – but that’s still a milestone to be proud of.
Milestone 4: 20 blogs. Yep, that was my goal for the whole year. I really had no idea if I was capable of it. I didn’t know if I was dedicated enough, if it was going to be fun and rewarding, and if I would get the kind of feedback that would inspire me to keep going. Apparently “Yes” was the answer to all of those questions. I’ve reached my goal, and I intend to continue on. Maybe the next target will be 50 – I can’t keep this pace up, so another 30 by year-end seems realistic, no?
So, again, thank you for the support on this journey – I honestly would have quit back in February if not for the overwhelming amount of positive energy y’all have thrown my way. It truly means a lot to me, and I promise you that’s not just lip service.
A few final thoughts:
1. If you haven’t done so, please sign up for email updates – it’s just to the right in the side menu bar. Right now, the majority of you are coming from Facebook, which means that if I don’t time my post just right, many of you are apt to miss it in your newsfeed. It takes approximately 10 seconds to enter your email address and hit submit. That’s all you have to do. Then, you will receive new posts via email, and I will not have to stress about the ideal time to post to FB on a Saturday 🙂
2. While this is all uncharted territory for me, I can sense that we are approaching the danger zone. What do I mean? Well, consider a vacation – especially one that requires a long car trip. The initial part of the trip is fun. The excitement of finally hitting the road; the satisfaction of seeing all the familiar landmarks fade into the distance; the thrill of the unknown adventure ahead – the “leaving” part of a trip is a blast.
Then comes the middle of the trip. The countless hours of unfamiliar mile after mile passing you by. The soul-sucking slog where even though you are making progress, you don’t feel any closer to your destination. The thrill of leaving is gone, and the joy of arriving seems too far away. My two most common trips through the years have been driving to Mississippi or New Jersey. On the Jersey trip, it’s Pennsylvania. Holy Mother of Pearl, what an endless state. And even though the Butter Jesus statue used to give us a bit of hope amidst the monotony, the drive through Ohio on the way to Mississippi makes you question the meaning of life. No really, why are we put on this Earth if we have to drive through that God-forsaken state?
I digress. The point is that I am now in the middle part of my journey. I’ve left the comfortable confines of my former life behind, and I’m in the difficult part of the task. The landmarks here are unfamiliar, and I’m not sure which paths to take. I think I know where I want to take this, but it will be the longest, most arduous journey of my life. There will be times when my resolve is called into question. I might consider turning back.
That’s why this last month has been so important to me. The milestones? I had to reach them to make a believer out of myself (and you helped me to believe). Now I am well into the journey, and I’ve placed enough miles behind me to make turning back painful. But can I stay the course? I think I can. In fact, I know I can.
The great thing about a journey is that the end sneaks up on you. After the countless miles, you realize you’re close. And then, just as suddenly, you arrive. I’m looking forward to arriving. And I know the journey itself will mold me into someone new – fighting through the middle makes it all worthwhile.
3. Last week, I listed some things I needed to change if my Story was going to be worth reading. I’m happy to announce progress in some areas (5 pounds lost in a week; reconsidering my love affair with Mt. Dew) and complete failure in other areas (fractions homework is not a good starting point for rekindling a relationship with your 10 year-old daughter, in case you were wondering). But I’m aware of each of the areas now, which allows me to act with intentionality.
I’m excited. Who knew telling stories could totally change one’s perspective on every aspect of life? The spillover effect has been awesome.
So let me encourage you again – capture your own stories… it might well help you to rewrite the ending of your Story.