When I opened my laptop today, I had no idea that I’d be writing my 200th blog post. I like the symmetry of a ‘milestone’ post being the first in Annette: a retrospective (1968 – 2018).
I can’t believe that I’ve written 199 other posts here, sent each of them out into the ether… and they’ve all been responded to in one way or another. That’s something… and it seems fortuitous timing to start this retrospective at this stage in my blog’s lifespan.
Here’s the gist of it: I turn 50 in 15 days. Half a century on this little blue ball in space. That’s kinda cool.
In the course of those 50 years, life has served me a smorgasbord of experiences. Some wonderful, some mediocre, some long forgotten, some painful… nothing unique about that, right? We all share the same joys and burdens in that respect.
What I’ve been pondering, as my blog slowly atrophies and loses readership and engagement, is that while I might *feel* like my life is boring and I’ve got nothing much to say, that’s not actually true.
I might not be having a magnificent adventure or be in the midst of a deeply life altering season right this minute (or I could be but I just don’t know it yet), but I’ve had them, and they’ve shaped the person I am.
Really, I’m a baby valley; apt given that my middle name is Dale. The seasons of life have changed me, I’m worn smooth in some places, and there’s definitely sediment and settling happening! I’m made up of layers. I am an archaeological dig, waiting to happen.
What I’d like to embark on next is the blogging equivalent of a non-exhaustive, on-the-fly retrospective of Annette. Not a highlights reel. Nope. If you want pretty, curated and sterile, head over to Instagram and follow someone you’ll never know anything about except that they can create an on-trend flatlay.
What I’m hoping for is that as I think about my life and the things that have shaped me, I might find 14 more things to write about that are interesting, thought provoking, revealing and perhaps contain some of the kernels of what it is that make me who I am. It’s the ultimate blogging exercise – a series all about me – huzzah for narcissism!
The thing is, I don’t think it will be that, and if it is, I apologise in advance. Yet, even if it is does turn out to be what women particularly have been told is the ultimate self-indulgence (thinking not of how we can first be of service to others is the ultimate lady crime, right?), really is that such a bad thing?
If I write 15 posts about knowing myself, about how I got to be the person I think I am today, and within those ‘mirror, mirror, on the wall…’ ramblings, there’s something transferrable or that makes one person reading this blog feel like they’re not alone in their own valley, then fuck it, I’m going to write like my story is the most important story in the world. Just for a fortnight.
To kick things off, here’s a list of 15 Annette factoids which may or may not come up over the next two weeks:
- I love colour.
- I am a shouty driver.
- Home is my favourite place in the world.
- I’m not inclined to be a follower. Not anymore.
- I do not have a passport, see item 3.
- Ambition and I are not well-acquainted.
- I love hugs.
- I taught myself to be compassionate.
- Going to youth group, at my local church, shaped me profoundly.
- I have no childhood memories of ever dreaming of getting married.
- I like my face. It doesn’t need to be dressed up for anyone.
- Once I believed I was irreversibly broken; I was wrong. See item 8.
- I am adopted. See item 8 again.
- Words are my gateway to the world.
- My words are worth reading.
I invite you to join me as I wander through the past 50 years. Maybe you’ll recognise some milestones and markers along the way. Perhaps as I ponder my past, it will light the way into the future. Let’s find out together.