It’s my blogiversary.
One year ago today, I published my very first blog post.
One year ago today, I took a leap of faith.
One year ago today, I opened a piece of my life to the world.
One year ago today, a part of me changed forever.
One year ago today, I found hope.
If you have been following along from the start, you know bits and pieces of this story, but I never had the courage or perspective to write it all down until now.
On Valentine’s day last year, I dropped my almost one-year-old boy off at daycare and went to work. I drove my 25 minute commute on beautiful NC country roads like I always did. And I cried most of the way, like I often did. You see, I used to LOVE being a scientist. I loved going to work. I loved the process, the exploration, the challenge, the puzzle, the people, and the prestige. I was good at it, really good, and I was going somewhere in a ridiculously competitive field. I had the right postdoc (a post-Ph.D. internship of sorts), the right project, and a fellowship. But, since I started my postdoc, life got in the way. I got pregnant, I had a beautiful baby boy, and my life changed forever.
Science became something that kept me away from my son. As such, it broke my heart every day. My brain was so fixated on my broken heart that I couldn’t concentrate. And if I did manage some focus, it was only a matter of time until a trip to the lactation room distracted me again. As distraught as I was, I couldn’t get any experiments to work, and I got frustrated. I lost my love for science. I was no longer enchanted by the puzzles or the prestige… it just didn’t affect me anymore.
But none of that mattered, really. I couldn’t change anything. My fellowship had a two year contract attached to it. I couldn’t quit without owing the government money. More importantly, I couldn’t quit because my husband was unemployed. He is also a scientist and had been working at a small biotech company, but despite the fact that he did an amazing job everyday, his company ran out of funding. So, I was the bread-winner. My postdoc (not a lucrative job, btw) and health insurance were keeping my family afloat. So, I went to work everyday and tried to put on a happy face. In retrospect, I doubt that anyone bought it.
Valentine’s morning, I fired up my computer and tried to be productive. As usual, it didn’t work. I ended up scouring the internet, looking at craft blogs. An idea had planted itself in my head, and I couldn’t get it out… I needed something in my life for me. Something to distract me from the depression that was raging inside me. I had stopped creating after my son was born, it didn’t seem like a good use of the little time I had. I missed creating. I needed it. Why not force myself to get crafty? Why not share it with the world? Why not start a blog? Why not?
I had always wanted to write a craft blog. But, I thought blogs weren’t for well-educated mom’s with a career to worry about. Who had that kind of time? I certainly didn’t. But an idea snuck in. What if I made time? What if I used my evenings and weekend nap times to craft and write? What if I used all that time and energy I spent feeling sorry for myself to create? What if, one day, I could quit my job and blog full time? What if?
My husband picked me up at work to go for Valentine’s lunch. We spent the time discussing our dreams. My heart was thumping out of my chest when I told him about the idea… to start a blog. Without so much as a second thought he was on board and I bought my domain name that very night. Romantic, right?
I loved every moment I spent writing this blog in those first few months. It was my escape. Looking forward to restyling flip flops or making new blog friends kept me going everyday. My spirits picked up a bit. Days were going by without tears. This blog brought me hope during those months. It not only filled my thoughts, it represented what else I could do, it allowed me to see alternatives to the scientific career I always dreamed about. It gave me hope when nothing else could.
Then it happened. My husband landed a great job in Houston, TX. He would start one month after my fellowship contract was complete. We were moving, and I got to quit my job and stay home with my little man. I was sad to move, and sad to say goodbye to the job I once adored and career I had planned. But, I was over-the-moon excited for this new chapter in our life.
I don’t think I could have made it to that day without The Experimental Home, without its readers, without the blogging community. Blogging held me up when I was ready to let myself fall. For that, I am eternally grateful to The Experimental Home.
Since becoming a stay-at-home mama, I have found a peace and contentment in my life that I have not known in some time, and my blog is a part of that. It has helped tremendously with the transition from working to staying home. It has given me a creative outlet, constant activity for my busy brain, and a place to go when the only person to talk to can’t yet use complete sentences. It is an important part of my life, of who I am. I have become a blogger… and I love it.
My little blog has grown substantially in the last couple months. I am so proud of it. So proud of myself. But, I know that it could do better, that I could do better. Now that I have a little traction and a little traffic, I have taken my blog for granted a lot lately. I owe it so much more than that. So, I thought that the perfect way to celebrate my one year blogiversary is to learn a little something about the people that read this little bloggy. The data I collect (which I will of course report to you as a good scientist should) will hopefully help The Experimental Home become all it can be this year.
So, if you have a minute or so, please fill out this short survey. Thank you. And thank you so much for supporting The Experimental Home. It means the world to me, truly, it does.
Thanks for stopping by to celebrate with me today. Here’s to many more blogiversaries to come.