I hope you'll indulge me. I don't usually write about blogging, but today's an exception to this general rule. I want to take the opportunity to mark this blog's 1-year anniversary and with that the opportunity to reminisce, express much gratitude and look at what might be in store for this little bundle of joy.
Free to Pursue was born on February 1, 2014, after 7 months of trepidation and preparation, including much research and the development of over 400 post ideas. During this period, I spent a lot of time thinking about what experiences, both good and not so good, would be waiting for me on the other side.
I’ll sum up a significant amount of introspection with the following: hitting the “publish” button on that first day was a great choice. This blog is one of the most rewarding ongoing projects I’ve brought about and I appreciate the support I’ve received in ensuring I continue to explore its potential.
So far, Free to Pursue has touched tens of thousands of people in some way. While I appreciate regular (and accidental/inadvertent) readership, that’s a quantity I can’t fully comprehend. So, instead of overthinking it, I’ll focus on what I can understand: the real, meaningful connections I’ve made this past year. This blog has enabled me to interact, and collaborate, with a number of regular readers and talented writers. Best of all, some of these interactions have evolved into friendships. That’s more than I could have wished for a year ago.
A lot of the above wouldn’t have happened without the help and encouragement of a number of individuals. I want to acknowledge many of you specifically for making this past year a unique and indelible experience:
Mr. F2P - For being a great husband, best friend, and trusted editor.
A. Noonan Moose - For being a kind and thoughtful blogger. I’ve been lucky to have had the chance to collaborate with him both as a guest blogger and as a contributor (thanks to his gentle prodding to finish an article that has been featured on a number of blogs this year).
David Cain - For helping me reflect on important questions that make me a better writer and a better person.
The Escape Artist - For our collaborations this year and recent exchanges on various topics including our many—at times unsettling—similarities.
Kelly Gurnett - For offering a great deal of time and advice early on. This blog would not be what it is today without her guidance.
Eric Ravenscraft - For featuring my work, allowing me to reach a much greater audience than I could have imagined.
And finally, I want to say a big "Thank You" to all other members of the blogging & writing community I’ve had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with this past year. You know who you are. I appreciate the warm welcome and your many words of encouragement.
I apologize in advance if I’ve inadvertently omitted someone from this list. If I have, please don’t consider it a lack of gratitude. I feel fortunate for every kind word and gesture that made creating this content feel like it’s making a difference.
The Road Ahead
I’ve chosen to keep things simple as I move into this blog’s second year of life because if it’s anything like 2014 has been, I’m in for quite a treat.
As the saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it". I’ve decided to just keep doing what I’m doing:
- Learn from others.
- Get better at this thing we call "life".
- Help others do one or more of the above.
Thank you in advance for continuing to read what I have to say and share your comments, thoughts and ideas. These actions mean more to me than words could ever convey.