One year ago today, I launched this website and the begrudging blog. Weird.

I mean… Yay! Excitement and emotions!

One year later and it’s hard for me to gauge things. I had goals that I met and some that I didn’t. I had plans that fell through and ideas that didn’t pan out, but many did. More than anything, I think I vastly underestimated the amount of work and patience would be required of me. I mean, I’m not averse to hard work. But the patience thing… That always gets me.

I remember starting this blog with very little idea of what I would actually write about. Sure, I could structure a book and write words for that. But I had no idea if I would be able to sit down and come up with something to write each and every week. Some weeks I was smart and wrote multiple blogs at once. But all in all, I find myself in roughly the same position every week, even if I have a theme or a plan.

What am I supposed to write about?

And yet every week (with only a few exceptions) there were words on the page, almost miraculously. I sort of expected to run out of words before now.

And yet here we are, one year later, still full of words and ideas. In this past year, there have been four series: Things I Didn’t Learn in Youth Group, The Art of Friendship, She’s A Lady, and The Addict’s Gospel (in progress). Forty-eight posts total averaging somewhere around 800 words each, which brings us to 38,400 words total in the past year just on this blog. I have also written essays and worked on my book, written a manuscript proposal, a branding statement and business strategy, typed out one talk and one seminar, and authored content for my podcast and its promotion. It’s a little bit nuts to think about all of those words coming out of these fingers.

It’s also my birthday today. Twenty-nine, which is the world’s reminder that I only have one year until 30. Which I’m not bummed about. People say you settle into yourself and stop being so worried about what other people think as you age. That sounds nice, even if it also means my carbs will gradually be replaced by cauliflower.

As I am now a year older and wiser, I have learned that good things take time. It’s easy for me to focus on what’s not going right, what’s not yet done. But I appreciate this birthday and anniversary of my blog for the opportunity to stop and look back. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to meet you all here every week to tell stories, ask questions, and explore ideas. It’s cool to think about what used to be weird and confusing, but is now like muscle memory.

It took me a month to build this website the first go around, which I have maintained with some assistance on the overly technical details. But a few months ago, something went wrong with the site and I ended up needing to completely redesign it. I was able to do it in a couple of days.

It’s good to look back and think about what used to be hard for which I now have a level of proficiency. Especially because there are constantly new challenges that I have to maneuver through and it’s easy to get a little caught up in all that is hard.

I just wanted to take a moment today and reflect with y’all. Maybe you’re going through something impossibly hard right now and it’s a good time to take a step back and think about all of the hard things you’ve come through. Maybe you’re in a good place right now and you can think about taking on a new challenge. Either way, thanks for sticking with me. I think you’re just swell.