Where do I begin?
One hundred and eighty one days ago I started what would become the most frustrating, surprising, stressful, and funniest thing I’ve ever done. I can’t believe I made it through! For the past week I’ve wondered what it would feel like today, waking up, knowing that my blog has come to an end. Waking up to my wonderful and normal life. I no longer have to wonder. It feels FABULOUS! I’M FREE, I’M FREE! <– Those capitalized words don’t do my feelings justice. Ugh, I wish I could make this font bigger. I would be filling your entire screen with shouts of joyous liberation, line by line.
This blog has certainly had it’s ups and downs. One particular low point, possibly the lowest one, came a couple months ago (I almost said a couple weeks, because it didn’t seem so long ago, but then I searched for the post and it was Day 116!). Day 116 was hard. I forget what happened, whether nothing was planned or something fell through, but I found myself sitting at my kitchen table at 11:30 at night, exhausted, with nothing new to do. (The late hour alone limited my options). I was so, so close to giving up. I was on the verge of emotional tears due to the war inside of me. I was so ready to close my computer and go to bed, throwing the whole blog project out the window. I wanted it so badly. Yet, I just couldn’t. I couldn’t! I knew that in that second of deciding, I would be throwing out 115 days of work. The only thing that kept me sitting at that table was knowing that I would never live it down if I quit. Too many people were supporting me and enjoying this blog. It was no longer just me involved. So I sat there. And cried. (And, yes, this is embarrassing to type right now.) Then I heard a small voice say, “Craigslist.” God?? I perked up and listened. “Have you ever sold anything on Craigslist?” NO!!! I HAVEN’T!!! THANK YOU LORD! And then I realized it was my mom calling from upstairs. THANK YOU LORD FOR MY MOM! And so the blog continued…
Looking back at that moment now, I just don’t know what to think. It seems so silly to be that affected, that burdened by this project, but it’s so true. This blog has been painful, stressful, burdensome. And all this self-induced! I’m crazy! I’m insane! What was I thinking??
I know what I was thinking. I was thinking of adventure. I was thinking of a challenge. I was thinking of proof that I could do something crazy, do something insane. (I was also thinking that it would be a great way to get myself writing, and possibly lead to a writing career later down the road, but that doesn’t sound nearly as fascinating and adventurous.) And that’s exactly what I got. Adventure, a challenge, something crazy and insane. I got them all. Although painful, this blog was also a lot of fun. I have learned and experienced so much in the last 181 days. I also realized what a privileged life I’ve been living that I had already accomplished and experienced so much before this blog. It made it very hard to come up with new things to do. When I started the blog, I only had about 60 some things on the list. Finishing the blog, I had more than I could accomplish.
And it wasn’t just the actual doing of the new things that was hard. Sometimes it was so easy to do something new, but it was the writing that had to come afterwards that was tough. It was a burden. I love to write, but I hit some major walls. Whether it was exhaustion, laziness, or just a lack of creativity, more times than not there was something that stood in the way of me and the words. It really stretched my determination. It was most noticeable in April, half way through my blog, when my writing lacked any creativity. I was so over the blog and my lack of enthusiasm showed in my writing. I believe this was the reason why April was the month with the least views on my blog.
Speaking of blog hits, here are some of my statistics:
As of right now, my blog has had 16, 990 views.
My overall daily average is 93 views, with 278 views on my busiest day (March 7).
My most read post is Day 66: Watching My Fair Lady. So surprising, right? Well it gets crazier. This post has been one of the top read posts for the past couple of months! It has had a total of 919 views, which is 3x more than the the runner-up!
I am also able to see how people get to my blog page (Facebook, Email, Search Engines, Links, etc.), and for the past 2 months or so, at least a third of my views come from people searching in google or outside webpages that have featured my blog. It’s so funny to see the terms people have searched that get them to me. For instance, someone typed in “how not to be nervous on the first day” into Google and ended up reading my post about my first day on the kayak job at L. L. Bean! Haha, I felt bad for the poor, nervous guy.
Now, this is the part where I thank YOU. You are the one and only reason for my completion of my blog. Literally. May I remind you of the little meltdown mentioned above. If you didn’t continually support me my reading, commenting and encouraging me in this project, I would never have made it past the first week. I have never felt more encouraged and loved by all of you then I have in the past few months. Any time I ran into anyone I knew or spent time with friends and family, I would hear about my blog, get questioned and be given suggestions. It was great!
So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I can’t say it enough!
Here are some of my top picks for the following:
The “That was so much fun, let’s do it again!” Firsts– Day 11 Getting a pedicure, Day 41 Learning to belly dance, Day 42 Going to the beach in the winter, Day 37 Country line dancing, Day 24 Learning to drive stick, Day 74 Horseback riding, Day 95 Eating Kenyan food, Day 100 Ghosting, Day 88 Monte Carlo night, Day 140 Public karaoke, Day 124 Relay for Life, Day 157 Learning to sail, Day 153 Skinny dipping, Day 165 Going to a midnight movie premiere
The “This is so scary!” Firsts– Day 38 Giving someone a haircut, Day 33 Go on a blind date, Day 172 Camping in the Backyard
The “This is really hard!” Firsts – Day 157 Learning to sail
The “You’ve never done that?” Firsts– Day 139 Making coffee, Day 151 Learning to Dive
The “This is ridiculous, I’m so ridiculous!” Firsts– Day 81 Pictures with the Easter Bunny, Day 75 Dressing up as a clown, Day 65 Making an CNN iReport video, Day 100 Ghosting, Day 179 3 Step hide knocking
The “I’m blocking this out of my mind forever.” Firsts– Day 27 Cooking a live lobster, Day 62 Half mile sprint, Day 85 Trying breast milk, Day 115 Mowing the lawn
The “I DID IT!” Firsts– Day 89 Longboarding, Day 118 Learning to hula hoop, Day 106 Getting my boat license, Day 157 Learning to sail, Day 170 Learning to play the accordion
The “Well, that was a disaster!” Firsts– Day 7 Knitting, Day 62 Half mile sprint, Day 175 Mud sledding, Day 180 Crashing a wedding
Annnnd, it’s over. Keep a look out for my next blog, 365 Days, coming January 2012.