Five years ago today, I wrote my first blog post. If you'd asked me then if I could have imagined how blogging would change my life, my beliefs and my attitude towards all manner of things, I'd have snorted derisively.
But it has been a huge life changer. I've made the closest friends of my life online. They have supported me, loved me, and straightened me out so many times over the last five years. Even those people who have come and gone, who've engaged in adversarial exchanges with me, have contributed to who I am today.
I think this is a good thing, to be open to change, to be ready to question assumptions and beliefs, and to learn how to be humble.
Humility and compassion have at times, it feels, been beaten into me through some of the criticism that has been lobbed my way when I have gone too far, been too certain of my words and my superior position.
Blogging and interacting with strangers all over the world have been good for me. Getting negative reactions have probably been the most change-provoking of all my interactions. I think it's good to get your ass handed to you every now and then.
Sometimes, I'm wrong. And I need to know that and own it. Sometimes I am not kind, and I need to know that, too--have it tossed back at me so I know how it feels.
Sometimes I butt into somethings I shouldn't have, or criticize things that are none of my business. Sometimes I go too far.
All of these things need to be owned and acknowledged. It's not enough, though, and amends need to be proferred, even if they aren't accepted.
I think I'm a better person--kinder, less snarky, less quick to judge. I think I am imperfect and need to get comfortable with being humble. I think opening myself up to the world, to criticism and praise, alike, provide a good opportunity to promote humility.
So here I am five years into blogging. I think it's definitely been worth the journey. I've met some extraordinary people along the way, made friends and probably some enemies. I've learned to see my children differently, to respect their journey as their journey, not mine, and I've come to realize there are as many paths as there are people.
I regret that along the way I had to alienate or hurt some people in order to learn those lessons. I hope that in the next five years of blogging I can continue to grow and learn but that this five years will not see me doing it on the backs of people I've hurt.
To those of you who've been with me this whole time, thank you. And to those I hurt, I apologize and wish you well on your journey.