I feel sort of funny publishing this after you all were so kind when I announced my blogoversary on Facebook! I guess this the long version. 🙂
In late December of 2005, just 10 years (and a lifetime) ago, my sweet friend from college, Gracie, asked what turned out to be a fateful question: Why don’t you start a blog? I remember pausing to think about it. I had been an active blog reader since blogging was first born — from the time when they were called “web logs” (some of you might be old enough to remember those days). And I’d had a habit of almost-daily writing since I was a child.
For me, blogging made sense. In fact, deep inside, I’d been wanting to start one. Gracie gave me the permission I needed. She helped me be brave.
And so here I am.
Afterthoughts is the equivalent of a centenarian in the blog world, for it is ten years old.
A whole decade!
It’s hard to believe.
After deciding to start a blog, I spent a week wallowing on my couch, agonizing over a name. It had to be perfect, I told my husband. I might get stuck with it! (And I have, and that’s okay.)
It was he who suggested Afterthoughts. I was slightly obsessed with Johannes Kepler’s concept that astronomers were thinking God’s thoughts after Him, and I kept telling my husband that I thought that was true about everything — that any time we discovered something that was good or true or beautiful, it was like we were discovering a piece of God’s mind. Through that conversation, we got the name and the tagline — because all good thoughts first belonged to God.
This idea has only become more true to me over the years.
So all the good thoughts around here originate in the mind of God, but I’m responsible for any of the bad ones you see floating around. 😉
In the beginning, I wrote almost every single day. The blog was typical of its time — I talked about whatever was on my mind, completely stream-of-consciousness. When I look through the archives, I find they are full of memories. E-Age-Thirteen was three and A-Age-Ten was only 10-months. My other children were still hopes and dreams.
Over the years, I’ve grown up. I’m no longer a 20-something with babies. Afterthoughts has grown up, too. I’ve had people tell me they want to go back and read “everything” and I warn them — don’t do it! This blog has over 2000 entries! It will take you a lifetime.
In many ways, it has been a lifetime.
It’s as if the whole thing has taken on a life of its own.
I’m not much for describing my feelings, but let me take a moment to thank all of you. For reading. For commenting. For emailing. For asking the hard questions.
One of the things I quickly learned about blogging is that it is oh so different from writing privately in your journal. When people read your stuff, they push back. They ask you to elaborate. They point out your inconsistencies. Because of this, blogging is not for everyone, but to me it has meant life and growth. I love getting a reader’s perspective. Comments are by far the easiest, quickest way to get outside myself and see ideas from someone else’s vantage point. Some of you have read here for years and years and have repeatedly forced me to refine my thoughts — you know who you are — and I feel like I should send you thank you cards, because what an honor to be refined by such wonderful people!
Afterthoughts has the best readers on the Internets, if I do say so myself (and I do). I say this because there have been many times when you all have disagreed with me, or each other, in the comments, and yet I cannot recall an unkind word. I’ve seen you challenge one another (and me) not because you insist on being right, but because you long to know truth. This year has been the first time that I’ve gotten to meet some of you in person, and while it slightly overwhelmed my introverted self, it was such a delight.
You are as wonderful as I imagined.
On Monday, if all goes as planned, we’ll start the big, huge, giant giveaway to celebrate this 10th blogoversary, but for today, I just want to say thank you. Afterthoughts wouldn’t be what it is without you … and honestly, I wouldn’t either.
I won’t belabor this.
Here’s to another ten years of reading, writing, thinking — of searching for truth, goodness, and beauty.
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