Monday, August 20, 2012

I Never Expected This



My blog is now a month old. In some ways it seems like it has been longer, a lot longer. I've been thinking about how this whole thing started...


I started out just as a lurker in blogland. I lurked for at least 3 weeks before I finally got up enough courage to actually comment on a blog. I commented anonymously about 6 times on Clint's blog. It got easier every time. I decided to give myself a name and I thought about what to use for a few days. Cowgirl Up just seemed a good fit.  It has been a motto for me and my best advice. Not to mention, I AM a cowgirl. So, heck, why not just use that?


I started commenting with that name. Soon though, I wasn't happy just being the default avatar. I wanted to use an avatar of my own choosing. I had fun in my search, and finally came across this one that I really liked. I loved the horse and the sunset, plus it even looks a lot like me.  But, how to post using it? I'm not the most techno-savvy, so it actually took me a little time to figure the whole thing out.



Long story short, or at least shorter, I found that I could have my very own blog! It's free!  It would be so easy. I didn't need any special talent. There were plenty of designs and templates to chose from.  I started thinking that this could be fun.




I  had the intention of just trying it on for size. I thought I would just have a few posts with jokes and funny stories and that would probably be the end of it. I never intended to share anything very personal.  I never expected to share intimate moments or things that really mattered to me. I just wanted to have some fun!




I can't believe how quickly that changed. I actually was feeling a little bit guilty; here I was reading all these personal, real things on others' blogs and I was sharing nothing. My first real post, How Living "As If" Became The Real Thing, changed everything for me.




In writing that post, I realized how helpful this blogging thing could be. Writing about things, helped me clarify them in my own mind. It reminded me of having a diary when I was a little girl. My last post, about my experience not standing in the corner, was so very personal to me. Writing it was almost as emotional as living it. Even if not one single person had read that post, I'm glad I wrote it. It was extremely therapeutic. I guess that's why journaling is supposed to be so effective.





The other thing I never expected was that I would come to care about all these other people in blogland! People I've never met and probably never will meet or even talk to except on blogs or emails. I consider them my friends. I pray for them when they write about struggles in their lives. I laugh when I read about funny experiences they've had. I like reading about their families.  I am happy for them when I read about upcoming joyous events in their lives and I can't wait to read all about those too.



I never, ever expected anything like this to happen. I want to thank all of you who have joined my blog, commented on my blog, or just took the time to read a post or two. Many thanks also to all of you who added me to your blog roll. I appreciate it so much.




It has been fun, but it's been so much more than that!


41 comments:

  1. Blogland just kind of pulls you in and runs away with you doesn't it?

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    1. Hi lil. It sure does! Maybe the sign up should include some kind of "blogging is addictive" warning! Thanks for visiting :)

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  2. You are a GREAT addition to blogland and I agree it has many wonderful bi products. It helps collect your thoughts and get feedback and form friendships. Yay for one month of blogging for you! Keep up the good work.

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    1. Thank you so much SNP! You are always so supportive and kind. No wonder everyone loves you! I appreciate your positive comments so much :)

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  3. I agree with SNP! I love reading your blog!

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    1. Hi Julia. I thrilled to hear that you enjoy my blog! Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know :)

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  4. I completely get how you were dragged in! I am a slow learner since I lurked on and off for 5 years! I read on story sites and blogs. No one knew me and yet I became very vested in their lives! Nice to have you here even if it's only one month. I am not sure how long for me!
    Maybe a month and a half! :)

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    1. Hi Minelle! I just had a quick look at your blog, and I liked what I saw. I plan on going back when I have the time to really enjoy it. I'm glad you got dragged in too, lol! Maybe there is no escape, once you're in, there's no getting out :) Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, I do appreciate it1

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  5. Hi CG,

    I wrote a very similar post in 2005 when my blog was a month old. While I am no longer surprised by the amazing human connections we discover through blogging, I remain humbly grateful for the opportunities that this medium provides. For many years, my husband and I had no hint there were other people like us, let alone thousands. The community we've built together is a wonderful place, and your contributions make it better.

    Thank you for being a part of all this.

    Hugs,
    Bonnie

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    1. Hello Bonnie. I am honored to have you here! You do so much to support new bloggers and I owe you a big "thank you" for listing me on yours. I get tons of traffic from your blog. Your contribution to this community is huge, what would we do without you? I knew you were a veteran blogger, but 7 years! That's truly amazing.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your story. I appreciate it more than you know. :)

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  6. I just found you and agree wholeheartedly. Blogland is a special place. I'll be back to read more.

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    1. Hello Susie, I'm happy to see you here! Thank you so much for visitng my humble blog. I know you have a hugely popular blog and I intend to do some serious reading there when I have a chance. Thanks for letting me know you stopped by. :)

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  7. Woo hoo for one month! And many many more to come I hope!

    It has been wonderful getting to know you Cowgirl! You are a dear friend already and I look forward to reading about all your adventures into the future!

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    1. Thank you Molly Rose! I am honored to be your friend :)
      I just can't wait for you and Jack to get married so I can hear all about it. I'll be there in spirit at least! Lol, I'm so excited for you. I know you are going to have so much to talk about.

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  8. I enjoy your blog so much CG! Your personality and warm just shine through everything you write, like the sun through a lace curtain - it is beautiful, achingly real and comforting all at the same time. Happy 1st month of many many more :)

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    1. Hi Lillie :) You have such a way with words! I think that may be the best compliment I've ever had. Coming from someone of your talent, it means even more. You are going to be such a big name in the blogging world, and I can say I knew you from the beginning! Thank you so much for the kind words, they mean a lot to me!

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  9. Happy one month anniversery. I just read all of the comments before me and each one said what I wanted to say almost. You are a great addition to blogland. It has been fun getting to know you. Blogging is the best and all of our friends in blogland are great. We all love and care about one another. Hope to see you around for a very long time.

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    1. Hi Blondie! I haven't seen you around anywhere in a while. Glad to have you back! You made me feel very welcome from the beginning. My first comment on your blog, you took the time to reply so sweetly! Thank you so much for that and your kind words here. Blogland is a wonderful community, and I'm honored to be a part of it!

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  10. Good on ya, Cowgirl! There really are differences in the connection one experiences when lurking, replying anonymously, commenting with a name people begin to recognize, and having your own blog. I'm glad you took the plunge because it gives us someplace to come visit with you "at home" - it's more personal.

    Someday, I may resolve things enough to have my own blog. If/When I do, I'll keep the coffee on, iced tea ready, and all sorts of things chilling in the fridge if you want to drop in and chat. ;-) Meanwhile, you'll have to suffer me stopping by without extending a return invite. I'm not so rude in person. Sigh...

    Happy 1-Month Blog-iversary!

    Irishey

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    1. Lol, glad to see you Irishey! You have such great comments. I'm glad I took the plunge too, the best people come over to chat with me :) You really should strongly consider your own blog Irishey. Just from reading your comments, I predict you would be be a very successful blogger. I for one, would be there in a hurry to take you up on your offer of iced tea and a chat! Thank you so much for stopping by, and please do come back often! :)

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    2. Thanks, Cowgirl. It's great to feel welcome. I'm glad you like my comments, windy though they are! I've seriously considered starting a blog for several years, but (insert myriad excuses here) ... My excuses have a lot of validity, a few might even be called good reasons. ;-)

      I've "blogged" before, way back before there was such a term, but they were mostly group settings such as newsgroups, email lists and forums. Chat platforms hosted my verbal dancing for many years, too. I learned to avoid places where sex or couples' dynamics were the main topic because they quickly became infested with trolls of the worst sort. I also learned, the hard way, not to allow my then-teen daughters to participate in religious youth group chat rooms and forums. It was sickening, and disheartening how quickly my kids became ultra-cautious.

      Anyway, we used private IM during moderated chats, and hosted controlled chats for adult discussions, and that worked fairly well. Two more babies and longer work hours, other commitments, life in general, all took priority and I left most of the internet socializing. I still peek in, less than once per year, to see how my computer nerds are doing, find out whether the large families are growing larger, if there is anything new on the work-at-home front, writers' circles, etc., etc., etc...

      I've found a sense of home here in the ttwd community, because traditional roles have always resonated with me, humming side by side with my own views of what constitutes the perfect dynamic for me. I also identify strongly with always wanting to bring the best in me to my relationship, and receive/elicit the same in return. I could go on and on (of course!) about all the things I like and that are so right, or wrong or somewhere in between for me/us, as they relate to ttwd.

      But, right now, I'm more of a misfit in some ways, not quite of the same mindset or practical application as the rest of you who blog about ttwd. The best I have to offer is support, some insight on ways to look at things in a little different light, a bit of commiseration, and perhaps a side of humor now and then.

      We're going where we need to go, and we're trying to get there in the best way possible for us. It's really very simple and easy, and so very hard sometimes. I'm learning some things from all of you, and I'm very grateful for that.

      I make some wickedly wonderful iced tea, plus I know how to lob a virtual snowball with deadly accuracy (okay, that will out me to those in the know, but they only know my former 'net name from way back when, so I'm safe enough! ;-) ). I have a few major projects to tackle first, but I'm putting "start the freakin' blog already!" on my major list.

      Later, Cowgirl!

      Irishey

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    3. You are most welcome Irishey! :) It sounds like you have tons of experience in social media, way more than I do. I'm glad you've put a blog on your to-do list. Blogland has already set the hook, it's just a matter of reeling you in, lol!

      I know what you mean about "outing" yourself, I've shared so much that anyone who knows me would definitely be able to recognize me here. I don't worry about it too much anymore though. How could they say anything without outing themselves too? They wouldn't be here reading blogs like mine if they were as vanilla as they seem to be.

      This community is amazing. I'm happy you feel at home here. I love how it brings such a diverse group of people together. All ages, backgrounds, and from countries literally all over the world.

      You said the best you have to offer is support, humor and a different way of looking at things. Heck, what else is there! Really, that's why I love your comments so much. You obviously put a lot of time and thought into them.

      A virtual snowball, huh? You got my attention with the deadly accuracy part. I hope if a snowball fight breaks out here in blogland, we'll be playing on the same team! I can contribute a big stockpile of cow chips! I'm not bad at tossing those :)

      It's been fun, Irishey!

      Cowgirl

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  11. Happy one month blogiversary! Funny how these things start. And next thing you know you've got friends you get to share your life with that you couldn't share with anyone else. I never journaled, but I do love blogging. It's addictive. Glad you're here!

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    1. Thank you so much, lilmisses! It is great to have all these wonderful people around to share this life with, isn't it? I'm glad you're here too, I love your blog! :)

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  12. It's is funny how we all started. We all seem to lurk first, then comment and the next thing you know another blog is born. This is a great community of people. My life is not that exciting so I share jokes, travelogues, stories, etc. and personal stuff when it's worth sharing. I am amazed people come back to read and comment. I love reading the comments, on my own and on other blogs. Sometimes they are better than the original post.
    Anyway, didn't mean to ramble on but glad you are out here with the rest of us here in blogland.

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    1. Hi sunnygirl! It is a great community, no doubt. I know what you mean about the comments, they're my favorite part about blogging. I am so grateful when people take the time to let me know they were here and offer me their opinions! I'm happy to be here with you and thanks! :)

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  13. Congratulations on your first month! I too, was skeptical in the beginning, and now a year later, have so many people that offer me support and in whose lives I'm invested as well! Awesome!

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    1. Thank you Christina! Congratulations to you again on your one year anniversary. We're all so glad you took the plunge despite being skeptical! Your blog was one of my early favorites, and it still is. I'm glad you stopped by! :)

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  14. I went through a lot of what you did when I was just starting my blog -- I found it to be everything and more. I'm glad you're enjoying the process and getting a lot out of it. Happy to have you here!! :)

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    1. Hello Riley! I am so enjoying the process and meeting such wonderful people. Like you, for example! I appreciate your kind words. Thank you. I'm happy to be here! :)

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  15. Congrats on 1 month! This blogging community is pretty amazing. Welcome.

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    1. Hi Zoe, I'm happy to see you here! Thank you so much for the welcome. It is a wonderful place to be! :)

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  16. Congratulations on your 3 months. When Bonnie first linked me I was so excited but nervous at the same time. I thought I would only be blogging for a few months but here I am coming up to my 4th year and still loving it.

    This community is a wonderful with so much love and support and were so happy your here with us.

    Love,
    Ronnie
    xx

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    1. Thanks Ronnie! I know what you mean about Bonnie linking with you! I didn't even know about her and how she searches out new blogs to link! I just noticed a ton of traffic from this one other blog and went to check it out. I was stunned to see my own blog listed there :) I was so grateful to her. It did make me a little nervous too, kind of like stage fright, lol! What would new bloggers do without her??
      I certainly agree, this is a wonderful community! I have found so much needed support and I'm so happy and honored to be a part of it. Thank you so much for coming by and commenting Ronnie! I appreciate your support! :)

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  17. Happy 1 month from a lurker! I started blogging last year and introduced a DD type relationship last November. I've been blogging every since. It's a wonderful community! :)

    -Emi

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    1. Hello Emi and welcome! I'm glad you have de-lurked, lol. I agree, this community is the best. Thanks for letting me know you stopped by, I'll be returning the favor ASAP! :)

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  18. Congratulations on your first month :) Our blog started out as a project Daddy had for me, I think as a way to help me deal with the last deployment. I would never have thought I had anything to say, or anyone would care what it was, but it's kind of nice having a voice. And yes, you come to care very much for the women and men here. It's nice to have you 'in the family' :)

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    1. Thank you June! :) I'm glad you're enjoying your blog as well, that's very interesting how you started. It's amazing how much you have to say when you have a platform, isn't it? I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience, and the warm welcome too! :)

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