I can't believe I wrote My First Post for Denver's Tumbling Leaf (DTL) almost seven years ago. My first blog post ever.
I was new to Denver by way of Chicago, and had just switched from working in school administration back home to teaching preschool in a new city. My family, close friends and mentors were back in the Midwest, and I had only been dating my boyfriend Mark (now husband of five years) for a few years.
The day DTL was born, I spent a good portion of an afternoon staring at my laptop at Cafe Europa, a coffee shop around the corner from our house in Denver, and I finally bit the bullet and decided to start a blog. I didn't really realize what it would entail or what the purpose would be for posting a journal online for the whole world (Ha! Who am I kidding? A few family members and friends, and a few less strangers) to see.
Basically, my new friend Jill that I met in Denver (now my best friend) was a blogger and I thought it was the coolest thing EVER. (I still do.) And I kinda sorta wanted to be just like her. (I still do.)
In preparation for writing this farewell post, I spent the last few days reflecting on my old posts. There aren't many - about 100 over seven years. I noticed that DTL quickly became a vessel for my self-discovery, whether or not I recognized it at the time. I continue to learn about myself as I read and reread old posts, and notice patterns and nuances that once baffled me.
For instance, I only wrote ONE post in all of 2008. At first I pondered, "Hmmmpfff. Slacker. What the heck were you doing with yourself in 2008?" And then I read the post and it all came back to me. Oooooooooh. Duh. A few things, actually. I got married. Was diagnosed with ADHD. Quit my preschool teaching job. Started grad school. Went on a honeymoon. Was diagnosed with a bladder disease. Had my first recognizable bout of major depression. Lost about 20 pounds. And then turned 30-years-old five days into 2009.
DTL disguised itself as a form of free therapy. There were the Thingportants, Friday Fumblings, The Sunday Tumble, and the If You Really Knew Me series. All vehicles in their own way to help kick start the connections necessary for me to cultivate positive change.
Centered around a theme of "turning over a new leaf - again, and again, and again," this little online journal became a constant for me during a time of change, opportunity, heartache, growth and new beginnings. DTL slowly grew into a painstakingly honest snapshot of my life whenever I needed a creative outlet. I'm glad that I used DTL exactly the way I intended: for "seeking support and motivation as I twist, turn, and tumble through life."
When I was incredibly down on myself and feeling stuck and hopeless, I could fumble through a new DTL post and eventually gain a little perspective. When I couldn't muster a phone call to a friend or family member or ask my husband for help, I would tumble into a DTL post and hope to later find a comment from a reader- an indirect and silent rally of reinforcement.
The process of tumbling and fumbling down that leafy memory lane has been surprisingly bittersweet. I'll admit that DTL wasn't filled with award-winning writing or profoundly life-changing content for the masses. But it was my first "blogging baby", if you will, and I'm proud of what it is, was, and will be to me in the future.
To my family, my friends, and some strangers out there in the blogosphere, thanks so much for your love and support over the years. I invite you to join me on my newest blogging adventure by following my new blog, The Rambling Richter.
Twisty, turny, tumbly, fumbly...RAMBLE ON!