Thank You.

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I’m now entering the last hours of my teen years and I’m in a weird introspective mood. Beginning another decade of your life is scary enough, but my birthday is a few days before New Year’s Eve so I’m blessed with double the amount of nostalgic thoughts that usually creep up on people at this time of year. As a result, I’ve decided to make my final post of 2012 a bit of a recap and to offer people some insight into why I started blogging.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to think of one word that would sum up my 2012 and the last year of my teens; the only word that springs to mind is ”rollercoaster”. Admittedly, it’s a complete cliche, but also completely apt; my year has seen me hit some real lows and highs, and as the ride that is 2012 comes to an end, I’ve left feeling windswept, exhilarated and stunned at how quickly it all went.

My blog was born in April, a mere four months into 2012 at a point in my life where I was experiencing a lot of lows. It was when I went home for Easter that I set up this blog and just started writing random topics, like what it’s like to be mistaken for a lesbian and what it’s like to be an English student. I figured the only way to be happier is you try and create positivity, and it had the added bonus of allowing me to switch off for a bit and just be creative.

My first few posts saw me get around 30 views a day if I’d published something, and at that point I was simply happy that some people out there were reading what I was writing. However, gradually, my views were going up and up as I wrote more and more as people eventually let their curiosity get the better of them and started reading the links I kept posting on Facebook and Twitter. It got to the point where people were coming up to me and telling me they enjoyed reading my stuff, and it motivated me to carry on writing. My life didn’t become better magically overnight, but as April and May passed I found things were slowly but surely improving.

In June I found out that I’d won a place with FringeBiscuit to spend a month in Edinburgh reviewing the Fringe, and it was at this point life really started picking up. I’d applied to FringeBiscuit the month before and really didn’t expect my application to be successful, and when I saw I had an email from them I assumed it was a “Thanks, but no thanks” email. Amazingly, it was them saying they wanted me and my reaction involved me squealing, banging on my flatmate’s door and squealing at her before running to jump up and down on my bed. I could not have been any happier or surprised that someone saw enough potential in me to take me to the Fringe.

The Edinburgh experience as a whole was incredible. Seeing so much art was great, but living with nine talented and interesting writers helped me discover a lot about myself in terms of my values and opinions. Edinburgh made me realise who I am and that (no matter how unrealistic a dream it is) all I want to do is write, and not just so I can try and make people laugh, but also to tackle and raise some awareness about things I have experienced, although most of that work is now on The Epinal.

Fast forward to September and I’d just come back from reviewing the Fringe Festival, and just as I was recovering from the post Fringe blues I received an email from WordPress
saying they’d like to feature my post ”What it’s like to be a Northener at University” on their homepage. It was at this point I stopped and looked back on how far I’d come, and it still amazes me today that this little blog helped me achieve such things. I’m not even convinced I deserve them because I’ve met so many fantastic writers this year who write such eloquent and profound pieces that it makes me question my own abilities as a writer.

However, even if none of these amazing things had happened, I’m still thankful I started blogging because it’s made me a much happier person; it’s hard to be pessimistic when you’re talking about how you did yoga next to your tutor, or how you think your cat may be having an affair. Also, in a funny way I think it’s allowed people to get a better idea of who I am, and see that I can be quite silly and at times inappropriate but also see the more serious side of me and see the things that I actually value even though I may joke about them.

Personally, blogging has allowed me to learn so much about myself, from realising I am a pretty big feminist to finding out I can take criticism onboard and not take it to heart. I’m much more thick skinned these days and I no longer let the small stuff worry me. Of course I still have days where I’m grumpy but I find that these days I’m much more optimistic about life.

So at the end of 2012 and my 19th year on earth: I’ve managed to get 21,000 views on my blog, almost 100 followers on WordPress alone and around 200 comments and too many likes to count, all in the space of eight months. My mind has been well and truly blown.

I’d like to thank everyone who puts up with me spamming their newsfeed/those who take time to read it/those who’ve given me things to write about and have even had the pleasure to be referenced (anonymously, or not so anonymously if you recognised yourself) in this blog, and the people who’ve followed/liked/slagged off or commented on one of my posts, because it really does mean the world to me that people read my inane and obscure drivel. Also, a huge thank you to those people who have not only supported me through this incredible and arguably undeserved achievement, but for also being there before, during the not so great times, you know who you are.

I hope you have a fantastic and utterly decadent New Year, and here’s to (hopefully) more obscure blog topics. See you on the other side.

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