If you told me about a woman whose favorite discovery of 2010 was her blogging platform, I’d feel a little bad for her.
Except I am that woman.
It’s the one year anniversary of this blog! Actually, it was a month ago. I had vague plans to copy one of my favorite bloggers and do a “gratuitous anniversary post,” but then I didn’t and April was over. Thankfully Ilya encouraged me to write one anyway.
I mention Ilya all the time, which is funny because we’ve never actually met. We’ve connected over our shared love of socialism and pictures of oldskool Soviet Union.
Which is a great segue to the first thing I’ve learned about life and America from doing this blog:
You can have internet friends and it’s not super weird. I follow people in Puerto Rico, Arizona, New Jersey, Canada, Minneapolis, Scotland, Alaska, Pittsburgh, and wherever-Laura Fitch-lives. (How do I not know this?) Plus so many other people. Also, I just discovered Gennstarrin and The Last one in the Pool. I love Tumblurking.
The top search term driving people to this site is “Linda Greenlaw.” Obviously. She’s a lady lobsterman who I mentioned in a post last summer when I went to Maine.
Doing a blog gives you permission to justify spending disposable income in pursuit of adventures. I’ve always been curious about say, the Liberty Bell or the rodeo or Indy 500 (next weekend!). But it seemed outlandish and lavish and silly to go for no reason…I may regret this philosophy when I have no IRA at age 68, but hopefully Future Me will remember the great time I had in Athens, Ohio.
It’s hard to leave your bubble. A friend of mine read my blog and was like “You need to branch out more. You just find ‘your people’ wherever you go.” She’s totally right. I have fantasies of sitting down for coffee with conservatives, NASCAR lovers, and Glenn Beck fans—a big, Moveable Middle American Feast. But I have yet to achieve that dream. Do you know why? Because it’s hard to leave your bubble! Plus I get lazy.
It’s not easy being red or blue. I always think it’s a conservative world and I have to fight for liberal values. Then I talked to my friend Sarah, a conservative who made me realize it can be tough on her side, too. She said: “When I talk to people who are really liberal, I have to see their values as the truth. If you don’t see it their way, people assume you’re small-minded. Whereas if you’re liberal, you obviously went to college and are enlightened. I’ve learned to just listen.”
American Indians!!! One of my favorite interviews I ever did for this blog was with Donald Fixico, a professor at the University of Arizona. Everything was thought-provoking, but something he said really stuck out: He said that he was happy to have cars (like a Pontiac) named after Indians because it was a way of keeping the culture alive in popular culture. As in: his culture is so overlooked by mainstream culture, that having cars named after Indians was a good thing for public awareness.
I’m grateful for the outrage in the Tumblr community. To name just a few examples in which I’ve not been alone in my own outrage: There is a sheriff in Arizona who forces prisoners to wear pink underwear, Bradley Manning is in jail for telling the truth, and there’s a whole lot of gender inequality in the world.
This is why people in NYC/LA are snobs about other cities: If you live in LA/NYC, you only meet people who have left other cities, so you assume yours is disproportionally great.
You don’t need to visit AZspot’s site, because someone will reblog him. I like being part of a community that re-blogs the Curator Extraordinaire of Glenn Greenwald, Seth Godin, and other wisdom I’d otherwise never find on my own.
You will lose a dozen followers every time you mention “veganism.” I’ve learned that everyone hates hearing about this both IRL and on this site… (Bye Bye!)
If Anaees recommends you, your blog will explode. At least that was my experience. Hi People-who-read-this-because-of-Anaees (the blogger formerly known as Anais of Youveescaped)!!!
The most-read post so far on this site has been “Do People Take Longer to Grow up in Manhattan?” Just in case you were curious.
I’m very grateful to anyone who has taken the time to read my posts. There are a million other things you could be doing, and I’m honored you took the time to check out my blog. Thank you.