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10 Years Ago, My Blog Changed My Life

The title isn’t hyperbole.  10 years ago, I started blogging regularly — about 5 times per week — in this space.  All lives change over a 10 year period, but when I look back at what has happened over the last decade, I can say, with certainty, that it was my blog that set everything else in motion.

So thank you, little Me-shaped space.

All the changes together add up to something huge, but the moments themselves were so small that if I hadn’t continued to write, I wouldn’t have known what else was to come.  Isn’t that such an odd thought?  In the individual moments, my blog has felt inconsequential, and I’ve considered walking away from it a few times, thinking it would free up time and not impact anything else.

But that’s not true.  If I had stopped writing in this space at any point along the way, I would have missed out on so many paths that would have never been opened if not for sticking with this journey.

So that is my only advice that I can give you after 10 years of blogging.  If you love it, if you love to write, then keep at it even if you don’t think you’re headed in the right direction.  Even if you think no one is reading and writing your words will never impact your world.  At the very least, you’ve written your truth.  At the most, your words will lead you somewhere amazing.

10 years ago, the twins were toddlers.  They were about to give up their bottles.  We were trying to add another child to our family, and I was emotionally drowning.  I had stopped teaching and didn’t really know how I was going to contribute financially to the family and be at home with the kids at the same time.  I had an MFA, but I hadn’t published a book.  I had a translation degree, but I couldn’t get translation work.  I was so computer-phobic that I didn’t even know how to start a blog.  Josh set up this space for me.

10 years later, the twins have graduated elementary school.  They’ve been following their own bliss, making video games and writing articles.  We walked away from the fertility clinics, and most days, I’m at peace with that decision.  I work out of the house doing freelance writing and editing.  I’ve published 5 books, have a contract for a 6th, and am finishing up a 7th.  I taught myself several programming languages, and I’m currently working on making my first app.  I’m considered an “expert” in online engagement, for what that’s worth.

I think most people will look at this space and think about how my blog had a hand in my work accomplishments, and certainly, it has.  Would I have published all the books without it?  Maybe.  I don’t know.  Would I have made dozens of trips to the White House without this space?  Definitely not.  I’m not minimizing the work stuff — it has changed my life.

But what I always think about is the drowning.  The emotional drowning.  And how this space released something in me so I could breathe again.  It connected me to others who have held me up over the years so I’ve never felt like I was drowning again.  This blog changed my life because without all of you, I don’t know where I would have ended up.  Nowhere good.  You yanked me out of my head and let me know what there were so many millions of people out there who were on parallel paths to my own.  That is priceless.

Thank you for being here for the last 10 years.  Thank you for responding to my words, which was the fuel that kept me writing.  And that’s what I needed to do: write myself out of my head and into a community of “me, too.”  Thank you for catching me when I jumped here.

29 comments

1 Jessica { 06.22.16 at 8:07 am }

No, thank YOU for being here for all of us.

2 torthuil { 06.22.16 at 8:10 am }

Happy 10 years! This was great to read and another chance to say thank you for everything you do for others. How inspiring that the choice to keep writing and reaching out would have such positive results.

3 Cristy { 06.22.16 at 8:25 am }

Wow. 10 years. That’s an accomplishment in and of itself. Combine it with all you’ve done and it’s truly impressive. Happy blogoversary. Wishing you many more decades.

4 Lavonne @ the OCD infertile { 06.22.16 at 8:55 am }

*all the feels* I am quite the emotional person by nature, but this post. You got it right girl. Even when it doesn’t feel right, it’s worth it to keep going. I am so thankful for the 8 years of blogging I’ve done and being able to go back and reflect on even the dark times reminds me that I have survived.

Thank you for being an outlet and a listening ear to so many women. I always love when I see your name pop up in my comments and I never miss a blog. And thank you for sharing your life, and your stories.

5 Charlotte { 06.22.16 at 8:59 am }

No Mel, Thank YOU. Thank you for giving me a place where I felt I belonged. Where I know I can come to when I feel like I am drowning, and I know that your words will catch me.

Also, Congratulations on 10 years and all that you have accomplished during them. You are so amazing, and I truly hope you realize just how amazing and inspiring and wonderful you are, and how much you mean to everyone who comes here.

6 Jen@FrugalSteppingStones { 06.22.16 at 9:44 am }

Although I am not as successful with my writing as I feel I should be, blogging at the old Mrs Spock blog opened up so many doors for me. I am working now on contributing to a second book. The OBOS folks found me through my blog. I found this flexible at home nursing job through a fellow IF blogger. Writing regularly has kept my writing juices flowing and improved my skills. I’m hoping within the next year I can transition exclusively to making income form my websites, freelancing, and teaching on my own clock. We’re already talking about me having to leave this part-time job because a casual sitter can’t handle our two older kids’ particular needs.

7 Cassie Dash { 06.22.16 at 9:55 am }

Yes, what the others said…thank YOU, Mel! I hope, today more than ever, you feel pride for this space you’ve created and the love of all of us whom you’ve lifted up and supported. xoxo

8 nonsequiturchica { 06.22.16 at 10:09 am }

Happy 10 years! Your blog helped me to connect to others in the infertility world and has made me feel less alone in this journey. You and your blog bring so much good to the community. THANK YOU.

9 Dora { 06.22.16 at 10:23 am }

Congratulations! And THANK YOU!!! If you hadn’t started blogging and then created LFCA, you wouldn’t have posted the link to my blog that Kathy clicked on …

10 Sharon { 06.22.16 at 10:28 am }

Your blog was the first one about infertility that I read and directly or indirectly led me to all of the others. And I will never forget your kindness in responding to a question I emailed you during our first IUI cycle in 2009. I couldn’t believe that someone who didn’t know me would take the time and care enough to write back (in detail) when I reached out.

Although my life has changed a lot since 2009 and I have moved on from my infertility, I still enjoy reading your posts regularly. Your blog has made a big impact on my life as well, and I’m glad you started it and have kept it going all these years.

11 loribeth { 06.22.16 at 10:31 am }

Happy, happy blogoversary! & thank YOU, Mel, for being here for all of us and encouraging us (me included!) on our own diverse paths. It’s hard to believe 10 years has gone by (and I know I’ve been reading you for at least 9), but that’s is a huge milestone! — particularly in the online world where things change so rapidly. Here’s to many, many more!

12 Lori Lavender Luz { 06.22.16 at 1:23 pm }

Thank YOU for catching me! Think of all the other launches that have happened besides your own, thanks to StirrupQueens. Think of all the connections that would never have been made.

HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY to you, Mel! Smith Island cake all around!

(P.S. How’s Truman?)

13 m. { 06.22.16 at 1:42 pm }

Dear Mel, thank you for catching me. Thank you for being here. Thank you for being unapologetically you.

14 a { 06.22.16 at 1:46 pm }

10 years! Without you, I wouldn’t have met hardly any of my online friends. You’ve brought a richness to my life that I don’t always fully appreciate. Thank you!

15 Sarah { 06.22.16 at 2:27 pm }

Happy ten years! I actually hit my ten year mark for bio girl in January!

16 mary { 06.22.16 at 2:36 pm }

Oh Mel,
I remember struggling with loss after loss and looking for support. You popped onto a BabyCenter group I was part of and said “Hey, check out my new blog” and I did. That was one of the best things I ever did for my mental health. Through you I found a community to support me during my losses and celebrate with me when we finally adopted. I will be forever grateful to you and to all of those who offered comfort and support through you. Happy Blogversary! I’m so glad you stuck with it!
~Mary

17 Beth { 06.22.16 at 3:08 pm }

Thank you for being here. Thank you.

Funny timing – I’ve also recently been reflecting on the past 10 years as we finally get ready to sell the home I lived in when I got married 10 years ago. Going back there for a last time, thinking of my life when I was there and how different it is now, it’s amazing how quickly and completely lives change.

This will always be one of my favorite spaces on the Internet. Here’s to another 10 years!

18 Apluseffort { 06.22.16 at 3:27 pm }

Congrats on ten years! And a huge thank you to YOU for doing so much to create and foster a community that helps so many others when they’re drowning too.

19 Karen { 06.22.16 at 3:39 pm }

10 years ago, I was drowning too. So thanks right back to you for holding me up, supporting me when I felt like I couldn’t breathe, helping me find my voice, and connecting us all into a community. You are a treasure and I’m so happy I am fortunate enough to call you a friend. xoxo

20 Queenie { 06.22.16 at 10:26 pm }

You have given all of us out here so much. Congrats on 10 awesome years, and I look forward to seeing the next 10 unfold!

21 Mali { 06.22.16 at 11:15 pm }

Something so simple as starting a blog was the beginning of something great! Congratulations on 10 years Mel.

I’m about six months behind you (though not at No Kidding), but a world behind in achievements.

22 StacieT { 06.23.16 at 12:39 am }

Happy Blogoversary, Mel! Way back when, your blog was the one that made me think I wanted to participate in this blogging thing, too. 🙂 Thank you for this blog. Thank you for being you. And thank you for all that you do!

23 katherinea12 { 06.23.16 at 9:37 pm }

I’m going to echo so many others and say THANK YOU. Thank you for keeping at this and for continuing to be a voice and creating community. Congratulations on 10 years and all of your amazing accomplishments!

24 Betty M { 06.23.16 at 10:56 pm }

Thank you!

25 Cynthia Samuels { 06.24.16 at 1:18 am }

You changed a lot of other lives, too!

26 Emma { 06.25.16 at 12:29 am }

I discovered your blog at a time when I was drowning….navigating the IF world and feeling very alone. Thank you for being a generous advocate for this community, I really appreciate it. Keep writing x

27 A. { 06.25.16 at 7:24 am }

Sorry I missed this! There have been many days when I was grateful this space, your words, existed. Happy happy! And thank you <3

28 Jess { 06.25.16 at 9:10 am }

Congratulations! I was so swept up in last days of school (the sweaty, packing-up ones without kids) that I missed some things this week. 10 years is amazing. What you do is amazing — you have introduced me to so many wonderful people and voices out there that I might not have stumbled upon by myself. I love your posts, as they make me smile or think or feel every single time. I would say, 100%, that you are an expert in online engagement. The community you’ve built in 10 years is amazing. I love everything about this post! Congratulations!

29 JustHeather { 06.27.16 at 2:26 pm }

Happy blogoversary! I’m glad you are here.

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