What can I say?
That this year was crazy?
That my life has changed in ways I never thought possible?
That I’m back after almost a year, to romp and roam amongst the pixilated pages of this blog once more?
I know we left off abruptly. I moved, my life picked up speed and momentum and, for a while, it became easier to not.
To not write. To not speak. To not even check up on poor bloggy. Later, it was easier to to not because it’s what I was already doing.
Besides, sometimes it felt like the writing area of my life wasn’t going anywhere.
It was easier to ignore when the other parts of my life were flourishing. I got accepted into the school I’d always dreamed of attending. I moved to another state to attend and within a month had made dozens of new friends. School began and changed my life. I became intensely ill (not so fun) but through the process learned that I could depend on my new friends, my family, and God more than ever. I got an awesome job at a TV station, and within four months was promoted to a better-paying position that utilized my college degree.
Now, that’s not to say this past year was only filled with peach cream and roses. (And seriously, what’s with peach cream metaphors anyway?) The aforementioned sickness wiped out a month of my life and replaced it with pure pain. There were lengthy, anxiety-inducing struggles with finances (especially after I got out of the hospital) and at times I was certain I’d be crushed in the heart-seizing hands of fear. Homework abounded. My awesome job was (and is) an overnight shift, meaning once I started I saw considerably less of my awesome friends. And so on.
However, rather than swamping all the good parts, the bad sections complemented them, allowing the sweet to stand out against a harsh backdrop. (This is in retrospect of course. In the midst of the difficult times, I was considerably less eloquent and level-headed).
In short, this year was everything I’d hoped for, with two exceptions:
- I wish my best friend could have experienced it with me. (Alas, she’s off becoming a doctor or some nonsense like that).
- I wish I had written more.
The last one kind of sneaked up on me.
Amidst the whirl of my new life, something had to give way. And it was far easier to remove something I was unsure about–something that I had to go after myself that wasn’t in my face demanding my attention everyday–than it was to set aside time.
It helped, of course, that I was burned out from the slew of endless, pointless essays one is expected to churn out in college (especially as an English major).
Whatever the case, I stopped, and in the overwhelming rush that has been this past year, I never took the time to examine what fruit that decision had wrought in my life.
Then came summer. Life slowed down. School was out, the demands on my life lightened. And something was missing.
I tried to go back, in my myriad of notebooks, and find the missing piece. That’s when I realized how little I had written down. There were lots of notes for school. The occasional pages written in the aftermath of a soul-wrenching life change. But other than that, there wasn’t much. I didn’t even update my Facebook that much (not really sorry about that one).
But slowly, over the last few weeks, I’ve started writing again. After nearly a year, getting back into the swing of things is taking longer than I hoped, but no longer than expected. The blog’s going back up. I’ve started back in on my fiction and nonfiction stories. Facebook even got updated.
This blog has, and likely will always be, an experiment and a practice session for a life I’ve always wanted and one I’m steadily working towards.
And after nearly a year, I think it’s time to jump back in.
Last year was, er, interesting for me, to say the least. It was, I believe, the first time in my life that school, work, sports, and my personal life intersected in a way that ended up being more than I could handle at times. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m used to juggling a lot of things at a time (high school alone with AP classes + work + 20+ hours a week of sports taught me that) but this was the first time I felt like all of those things combined was overwhelming to me. (The extra bombardment of personal/family stuff throughout the year definitely helped out with that as well).
It’s no surprise then that 2013 on Awkward to Awesome reflected that turmoil. Updates were slow and irregular (if they happened at all) and way fewer posts were published compared to 2012. When times got tough, blog posts were usually one of the first things to get cut, which I apologize for. And while I did attempt to at least give y’all a warning before long periods of silence ensued, as you probably know that didn’t always happen. Apologies again, and that’s certainly something I’m going to work on for this year.
Despite the lower amounts of post-ness, quite a few awesome things happened last year and here to sum them all up is:
I. Colina’s Better Late Than Never 2013 Wrap Up
• Followers – Less posts = more followers? Not quite sure how that works but we’re almost at sixty which, for a second year blog that does virtually no advertising/social media, I think is pretty good.
• Mary Sues – I started a mini-story collection (series? serial?) last year that follows special snowflake protagonist Coralynnne “Corrie” Esperosa Diagon Marchess of Hundor, princess of those who refer to her as princess and ruler of the seven sanctums of Telnotsho, (she’s a Mary Sue, if you hadn’t guessed) on her adventures in a Hunger Games-style contest that seeks to find the one true Sue. The first post in that collection, Battle of the Snowflakes: Part One, was also the most popular post of the year thanks to the excellent Mary Sue Problems blog (which inspired the short story) sending a ton of Tumblrians over to check it out. Interestingly enough, with the exception of Battle of the Snowflakes, all of the top five most viewed posts were from 2012.
• Google hits – The most common terms people searched that led to this blog were “nazgul,” “neck beard,” “Lord of the Rings,” and “Beard.” Okay, point taken. Prepare yourself for more LOTR/Hobbit/beard posts this year. THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN.
• Social media – Most of the traffic was referred from either tumblr or facebook. No surprise there.
• Around the world – It never ceases to amaze me how many people from around the world stop by to read this silly blog. The idea that I could write a piece that would appeal to someone in Brazil or Russia or Turkey is incredible to me. The majority of visitors were from the United States (naturally) but views from Germany, France, and Canada weren’t far behind. In total, 68 different countries stopped by, which I find ridiculously amazing.
So thanks for hanging around for another year with Awkward to Awesome. May this one be even better than the last!
Sometime in May, 2010:
“What about a blog?”
“If you’re so keen on writing, why don’t you start a blog?”
“Who would read it?”
“Thanks for the enthusiasm, but you’ve never read anything I’ve written, how do you know I’m any good?”
“I don’t. You’re probably terrible.”
“So prove me wrong.”
“Maybe I will.”
“Do you know what you would call it?”
“Do you know what you would write about?”
“Well, yeah, everything really.”
“So why don’t you?”
“I… I don’t know.”