I started this blog on my 26th birthday because I wanted to challenge myself as a writer. I wanted there to be at least one thing I had to write every single day for a year, both to keep my writing muscle working, and – full disclosure – just to see if I could do it.

I’m not even halfway there, so I’m not gonna be like, “Well, I did it!” or anything, but so far so good. I’ve managed to write daily through family holidays, having four jobs, and being struck down by the flu. Sometimes it takes careful planning. Sometimes it’s exhausting. Sometimes I have so much fun doing it that I wish I had promised to write two posts a day.* Sometimes I shout, “I hate this stupid blog! Why did I start a blog?! FUCK!”

I didn’t really think too much about people reading my blog, though I knew it would probably be more fun if they did.

And I was right.

Having this blog has been a crazy cool experience already. My friend Leroy called it “all very revealing,” which made me laugh. I guess in some ways it is, but at the same time, I’ve become even more aware of how selective I am with what I share about myself.

But what I have shared has been really…rewarding, I guess. On a scale of anti-social to open book, I definitely reside closer to the former. Heck, just a few days ago I was at my BFF Louise’s house and I was joking about not laughing out loud because I internalize a lot of my emotions. I’m not always the most chatty, outspoken person, especially in groups of people, or with people I don’t know well. I’m the person people want to talk to. The person people meet and tell their secrets to within an hour. Not the person shelling them out.

But the response my random stories has gotten so far has been really eye opening. Having people I would never expect say, “Oh my God – I’m addicted to your blog!” or friends I haven’t seen for years say things like this:

I'd better watch the Godfather...
I’d better watch the Godfather…

It’s really cool.

This weekend one of my friends told me she feels like we’re connected when she reads my blog because we’re so similar in so many ways. Then she told me about how her dad used to drive and deliver candy to stores when she was a teen! (What a dream!)

I’ve had friends tell me stories of their hair salon disasters, travel woes, and bad breakups. Sometimes it seems like the smaller and more random the story, the better I’m getting to know the people in my life. And I love it.

I’m not surprised that the way I’ve managed to open up a bit is through words. I’m the girl who would rather write an email than make a phone call, because I feel so much more comfortable and competent expressing how I feel in written form. But I guess what surprises me is how often this blog has put a smile on my face and made my heart happy.

So yeah, I guess I’ve learned that blogging is a great way to not only share, but learn, and that I have a lot of really wonderful and interesting people in my world.

So thanks! Please keep your stories and responses coming!

Here’s hoping I can find 226 more stories to tell…**


*”THANK GOD I DIDN’T.” – Andrea’s (remaining) sanity

**”OMG, why did I put it that way?!” – Andrea’s (remaining) sanity, packing her bags