It’s two years today since I took the first tentative steps into the blogging world. I had been reading other peoples blogs for a while; watching them be brave as they put their voice out there, listening to them grow, hearing their stories while waiting for mine to begin. I had researched how to do it, elicited advice from those already doing it and felt ready to step out and get started.
I was nervous. Not only had I really never written anything un-technical, but I had certainly never written anything public and we were coming out with a pretty big secret. I didn’t know my voice, my story-telling cadence or how much of ‘myself’ I wanted to show. We were sure of our plans but were anxious to hear what our family and friends would think and say. I published the first post and, with heart beating loudly in my chest, sent the emails sharing the web address to all who I cared about…and waited.
It soon became clear that the anxiety I was feeling was for naught – my family and friends were more supportive than I could have imagined and this became the first step for me to get my puppets under control.
Since then I have published 119 posts. Like mothers with their children, I love them all but some I love just a little bit more than others. While I enjoy the posts that tell where we went or what we did, I am really proud of those that tell a story or show a little bit more of me.
I loved the post that announced that we were leaving India…The Old One, Two Knock Out Punch. It told the story of our decision to leave but also, I think, displayed the respect that we still hold for a country that challenged us in ways that we are still trying to decipher. For me, the metaphorical writing style brings the story to life and graphically illustrates exactly what I remember feeling – like an amateur boxer who had bitten off more than she could chew but is happy that the medics are nearby.
Magic Carpet Ride is another favorite. I love its rambling nature that weaves back and forth throughout the day it describes. That’s how the day, and the process of buying the carpet, felt…it was a flowy, warm and relaxing process that culminated in the dance of the bargaining process. It’s still a great story.
Some posts make me do my homework or examine my feelings on an issue a little closer. Memory Studies is one of those posts. The idea of thinking about how a country or culture manages its past was a topic of discussion between Jason and I and we were interested to learn from our Berlin walking tour guide that a branch of academic history dealt with just that subject. We saw, throughout our travels, how different countries manage their past – from the March of the Mothers of the Disappeared in Buenos Aires that protests the ‘disappearance’ of their children in the ‘Dirty War’ to the seemingly open door policy that Vietnam has in regards to American tourists despite the heavy toll of the ‘American War’ – there are so many factors that weigh on how history will be viewed.
Some posts I just love for their titles and, although they probably don’t do anything for SEO Optimization or bring in any readers using keywords, I love the creativity. My favorites are probably the song titled posts…Like A Rhinestone Cowboy, We Had One…One Night In Rio, and Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk. They were fun to come up with and write stories around and they just make me feel so witty and hip (do people even say that anymore?).
One of my favorite perks of having the blog is the opportunity to connect with other people – both figuratively and literally. I have communicated with plenty of folk through blog comments and email and have received lots of well needed advice from those that took the time to answer my questions. We’ve met people that we previously only knew ‘online’ and have followed people that we first met ‘in real life’…a great melding of technology and community.
What about the future of OneGiantStep?
I find, since coming home, that my attention is pulled in a thousand different directions and I don’t just mean by life’s normal distractions of work and other obligations. My interest has been piqued in so many ways and I seem to be struggling with finding time to investigate all the options and fun things that dominate my thoughts.
And so OneGiantStep, that started out as a travel blog, will probably evolve over the next while in the same way that I have evolved, and you’ll start to see some of those interests and ideas peeking out. It’ll be interesting to see how it all works out…but I hope you’ll stick around for the ride!