Does anyone else choose one outfit for the week and wear it over and over again until their husband tells them it’s time for a wash? No one? Seriously? Right… well, um, me neither.
You know, this October, I will have been blogging for ten years. I almost cannot believe it myself. It all began when a uni friend suggested that I do some online journalling since I loved writing so much. Those were the days, of course, before social media or even the likes of WordPress, Blogger or Typepad. There weren’t that many choices in terms of publishing online – I think I went with a platform called Live Journal which offered nothing much more than a dozen set templates, the ability to change colours, and a primitive guestbook with an ugly-looking counter. On a whim, I called my online journal Pink Ronnie. Am I a fan of pink? Not really. But somehow I thought the name rolled off the tongue easily, and so I’ve stuck to it for ten years.
I honestly enjoyed those early days of just writing about anything and everything that struck my fancy. Life was so carefree back then. But as I mention here, I’ve taken down quite a lot of those posts because I was primarily writing about my friends (woops) and confidentiality didn’t seem to cross my mind back then (woops again). Still, the ones that I’ve left up continue to amuse me, like the one about my fright in the fitting room, and the one about geese, and the one where my mum finds out about Rick. Of course, the one about my driving skills remains uncomfortably close to home, but let’s not dwell on that for now.
I blogged often in those early days: it was new, fun and exciting, and back then I had what one might call ‘spare time.’ Plus, blogging was laidback and easygoing ten years ago. There was no ‘proper’ way to blog. There were no expectations or rules about blogging to live up to. There were no ‘power blogs’ to compare myself to (or at least I wasn’t aware of them). It was all about just sending words out into the blogosphere, being honest, and having fun.
I remember how to I used to think that I was the funniest writer ever. Like seriously, I would read my posts over and over again, giggling shamelessly at my own puns whilst giving myself metaphorical pats on the back for coming up with such clever and witty material. I was so sure that the world would discover me before long – after all, I had “humour” and “funny” in my blog’s ‘meta description’. Wasn’t that enough to send me to the top of keyword searches and make the the “next big thing”?
How I love that younger me. How I love her naivety. How I want to give her a great, big hug. How I miss her.
When I married Rick, I continued to brim with words, but somehow, I never found the time to sit down and let them loose. As I adjusted to married life and full-time work, my blog and I embarked on a long distance relationship of sorts. It was always there, and I still thought of it often. But we seldom made contact, and when we did, it was always momentary, driven more by guilt than a genuine desire to connect.
Losing Camera propelled me further away from this space. Cameron’s blog became my sanctuary. My place of retreat. My place of release. I had no capacity in me for anything else but to vent and to grieve. To this day, I have no regrets about this. Writing on Cameron’s blog saved me.
Only after Angus was born, alive and well, did I allow myself to draw back near to this space. Only after I was able to laugh again, did I come back here and allow myself to write as Pink Ronnie again. I took small, baby steps as I slowly learnt that I could continue to grieve yet also write pieces and posts that made me smile. It seems like a no-brainer now, but it took me a long time to realise that I didn’t have to feel guilty about having ‘a happy place’ – that I wasn’t betraying Cameron.
Ten years is a long time. I was twenty-two then. Single. I am thirty-two now. Married. A wonderful husband. Four beautiful boys. One with God. Three in my arms. So much has changed, but I love that this blog has been a part of that journey.
One thing I am proud of: I have stayed true to my voice. In every post that I’ve written since 2002, I see real glimpses of myself and my life at that time. I don’t think my writing style has changed much at all. I’m still as self-deprecating as I was back in 2002, but I have noticed this: my writing has become softer, in places. I suspect that having children and losing Cameron brought that out in me.
As for looking ahead, I have countless ideas but no concrete plans. All I know is that I will keep writing, capturing and documenting. And hopefully in sixty years time, when I scour the archives as an old lady, I will read posts that make me laugh and my heart sing.
What’s your blogging story?