This August 2022 marked the 11th year of blogging. But I have had no urge whatsoever to tell anyone about this. Why? Because I just couldn’t see how I had achieved enough with all of these years. Because I am not a popular money-making blog. How do we measure success after all but money and popularity. But the number one reason I feel shame about my blog is that I never actualized my secret dream to publish elsewhere. None that got me paid at least. That would have christened me legitimate. Instead, I have stayed a quiet and small blog amid the sea of screaming sales pitches and magic cures.

When you do something repeatedly, you do get better at it. My writing skills have much improved and the perspective I’ve gained an immense on my life. Because I didn’t “have to”, I’ve done what I’ve wanted to. I write about serious subjects that make people squirm. I showcase my artwork and track my progress during my art projects. This blog is a huge biography of my past decade. And by keeping it going, albeit imperfectly, I continued to prove that I was reliable. And I became part of an online community that in turn helped me to see myself in the beautiful ways I couldn’t. Peerspective.

My 11th Blogaversary for Shalavee.comPerspective has shown me that, as my daughter’s growth paralleled the blog’s, I gave and did as much as I could manage, my priorities being divided between wanting to be a “good” mother and a “successful” writer. Yes, I watched as others did and made bigger things, created “offerings”, and were published. With the life that I was living, the stresses that I handled, sometimes it was all I could do to get my blog posts out. It was hard not to compare my apples to their oranges, yet I remained devoted to my readership. I threw perfection out for reliability. That’s what being a blogger means.

I have endured my own criticism and perfectionism which are worse than anyone else’s. My digging at my progress and daring myself to do more may not have produced the results that I would deem grand but then I wonder if, in that frame of mind, anything is ever enough?

So, I am giving myself a pass here. A get out of condemnation jail free card. I have fought long and hard to keep the blog standing as pretty and tall as it is. And I refuse to be anything but proud of this. And on this blogging ground, I still have all sorts of opportunities to build more of what brings me joy. That which may also bring joy to you, dear reader.

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