Blogiversary #2

I love fall. The student in me thinks of September, not January, as the beginning of the year. As the weather gets cooler, I get an almost Pavlovian excitement for office supplies, pumpkin spice lattes, and new beginnings.

Photo credit: Jason A. Samfield

But what almost took me by surprise is that this approaching fall season also marks my second blogiversary. I went to write this week’s blog post and realized it’ll be two years on Sunday! Which prompts a bit of reflection.

It’s a little harder to track this year’s progress than it was last year. I do know that I’ve published a total of 95 posts and accumulated nearly 20,000 page views since starting this blog in 2011 (numbers which thrill, startle, and humble me by turns). Sometimes numbers help me step back and get some perspective on the small routines I perform regularly.

This year I have branched out to share a wider variety of art forms, including poetry, photography, and excerpts from my novel-in-progress.

Speaking of which, that novel is in its 4th (and hopefully final) draft! Sometimes not losing vision in the last stage is the hardest part. I’m both eager and nervous to set out on the road to publication.

I struck the words “recent college graduate” from my Blogger profile. Now that I’m 2+ years out of academia, I think I’m really beginning to consider myself a working adult.

Which is beginning to make sense, now that my weeks are full with 15 tutoring students, regular freelance editing projects, novel revisions, and some very dear relationships that make my life full and sweet. Sometimes living has been so sweet that I’ve clean forgotten about blogging (that’s why there’s no December under the 2012 tab).

I had a chance to share my life story with some peers a few weeks ago and it gave me a chance to realize what this blog has done for me. Not only has it kept my writing muscles limber in busy times when other writing projects have gone into hibernation, but it’s been cathartic for me as well. Sometimes it’s easier to blurt out the truth in a public forum (especially online) than it is to be honest with your close friends and family.

Here I’ve reached new levels of honesty as I’ve broached subjects like vulnerability, loss, and lament poetry. What’s even better is that some of you have come to me and shared that my halting admissions of hurt, confusion, and failure have made you feel freer to admit your own struggles. And that makes it worth it.

It’s also been joyful to celebrate new beginnings throughout the year, noticing small magic, overflowing like popcorn, and cooing over adorable hedgehogs. It’s wonderful to celebrate fullness and joy. I think honesty about the empty and the hard makes this part even sweeter.

And with that, I commence celebrating blogiversary #2. No pumpkin spice lattes in my local Starbucks yet, but I’m waiting. Oh yes, I’m waiting.

Photo credit: brina_head


In the meanwhile, let this changing season give you a chance to reflect. What milestones are you celebrating? What are you looking forward to this school year? 

Hedgehogs

Warning: this post has absolutely no intellectual content. Sometimes brains need a break.
So this post is about hedgehogs.
I didn’t really understand what the thing was about hedgehogs before. Their pictures circulate a lot on Facebook, but whatever. Puppies are way cuter.  
But on a visit to the San Francisco Zoo a few weeks ago, I actually got to see a hedgehog…and pet it…
…and now hedgehogs are a thing. So. Much. Cuteness.

Image courtesy of stock.xchng and tburgey

I know, right? Beatrix Potter’s respectable Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Brian Jacques’ Ambrose Spike never prepared me for this. Those spikes aren’t really poky–they feel kind of like rubber. 

Image courtesy of stock.xchng and sparkules
…and this one drinks out of a teacup! Just like a good British hedgehog. 

Image courtesy of stock.xchng and greengia

…and here’s one rolled up in a ball…

Image courtesy of stock.xchng and mouse

Eee! It’s waving. Hellooo, little adorable hedgehog…

Depressingly, hedgehogs are perfectly legal pets in all the states except for Maine, Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Pennslvania…and California. Guess I’ll be contenting myself with internet pictures for the time being.
(If you have links to more cute hedgehog pictures, post them in the comments! I can’t get enough of them!)