I’m sitting at home – and my house is filled with the delicate aroma of a curried beef stew that’s bubbling away in my slow cooker.
I made it with some spices that a lovely lady brought into the Slimming World food tasting session last week and I can’t wait to try it…
I plan to have a small bowl before meeting some friends and in the meantime I’ve been looking at stats.
I’m that rock n roll!
Recently WordPress added (or I finally noticed) a statistic that I’ve been abstractly wondering about for ages.
A cumulative word count for all the blogs I’ve ever written.
It’s not completely correct however as I’ve quietly deleted a few after suddenly thinking that I’d said something that might offend someone accidentally or that without realising I’d broken my concrete rule about not identifying anyone without their express permission.
Despite my self censorship there are still five hundred and nineteen of my posts out there in the wild – and this means that in total I’ve written 554,909 words in WordPress and thrown them out into the internet.
In the process of doing this I’ve garnered 83,792 page views and 24,291 visitors from 94 different countries.
While I was looking at these numbers I realised that with all the excitement of my recent weight loss milestone I’d completely forgotten an anniversary.
It’s just over two years since I started my blog!
Initially when I clicked ‘publish’ on my first attempt (link) I expected to be trolled and abused for being fat and pathetic – but nothing could have been further from the truth.
Sharing honestly who I am and the struggles I’ve been (and sometimes still going) through has been both a transformative and healing experience. I’ve made many new friends along the way, rediscovered some old ones and learned a lot about other people’s lives as well.
It’s still astonishing to me though that people not only read what I write but that they also come back to read my words again.
I have to thank the ones that do mind you.
They’ve carried me along with their support the whole time that I’ve been losing weight and I genuinely don’t think that I’d have made it so far down the road without their continual and heartfelt support.
It’s definitely a two way street though – because one of the unintended side effects of my openness has been reciprocal honesty coming straight back at me.
From the very first post that I put up people that I knew (and didn’t know) were inspired by my willingness to let it all hang out and reached out to me. They firstly wanted to tell me how much they supported me and wanted the best for me – but then something I really didn’t expect started happening.
They all began to share with me their own private pain with arresting and disarming honesty.
People that I thought I’d known for years were often (it turned out) just as damaged as I was. They struggled too and they hid their pain just like I did – and many also self medicated and wanted to change, just like I was trying to.
Although it was initially overwhelming (I was after all really struggling myself at the time) it soon became part of my healing process.
The more I regularly talked with them and learned about their struggles the more I realised how alike we all are as a species.
There’s so much more that unites us than pushes us apart – and I came to see that a bigger tragedy than the events of my own life was unfolding. That was that so many people everywhere go through life feeling isolated and alone when in reality they’re surrounded by people just like them.
The paradox of so many of our lives is that’s we’re often mere inches away from love and companionship. All we have to do is open up, share and trust.
It’s not always that simple though – and I understand the impulse to withdraw, hold onto pain and the complex reluctances so many of us struggle with when we’re unable to admit weakness.
These weaknesses diminished me for most of my adult life – but no more.
I’m just as screwed up as the rest of you out there and I’m proud to admit it. It’s a badge of honour, rather than a source of shame and it makes me feel at one with the world rather than apart from it.
Here’s to the next two years internet! I hope you’re here to share them with me 🤗