Today marks my 12th year blogging anniversary. This is my 1,499th blog post, and the changes that have happened in all of that are mind-blowing. Needless to say, life as a 40-year-old is much different than my 28-year-old self could have imagined. I don't even know if people understand what blogs are anymore, since everything is on social media these days. Internet granny, at your service!
This space started out as a weight loss blog. Fresh off being rejected from The Biggest Loser auditions, I was determined to do something to lose weight. To earn validation. To measure up by shrinking.
My first posts were literally food diaries (which are now hidden because seriously – who needs to know what I ate on 5/31/09) and declarations of how I was going to use this corner of the internet to show how much progress I was making. I used the blog as a marketing channel to partner with a gym and a personal trainer to “Help Emmie Get Skinny!” I thought I could use public pressure to hold myself accountable with a mega weight loss push.
Having 12 years of writing in one place is a blessing and a curse. If I look back at my early writing, I'm both sad and proud of that woman. Sad because she couldn't see how worthy and capable she was no matter what her size, and proud because I know who she becomes.
I'm living a vastly different life than I was when I started. A different relationship with my body, an even bigger love of fashion, a business of my own, living in a different city, with a whole-ass different husband!
This blog has given me incredible opportunities. I've been able to work with some of my favorite brands, be featured in national publications, host fun events, and go to amazing conferences. It's also brought blips of sharp criticism from strangers, and at points – super self-critical thoughts from comparing myself to others. Being online and making a part of your income based on social following invites a lot of comparisons. The voices can be really loud: “you've been at this so damn long, and look at people who have been online for 2 years with 10X+ the following you do!” Or when my self-confidence is low, my mind can drift to “if you were smaller, younger, posted more, had better pictures…. you could have more work!”
What grounds me when those thoughts come up is knowing that I am NOT the same kind of creator I'm comparing myself to. There's not a scarcity of work or a need to “compete” with anyone. I'm not interested in curating the perfect feed, pitching tons of brands, taking work for free, having the most impeccable style, or becoming a TikTok superstar. Those are great goals for some people! I love following many of them! But it's not why I started this. It's not who I am right now.
My job is to be authentically me, and show up in places and in ways that feel good and appropriate. In ways that hopefully others appreciate and find some commonality with.
The greatest gift by far that being here for 12 years has given me is YOU. Some of you have been reading and following along for all 12 years. We've all grown and changed together. If you've been here for 12 years or 1 day, and I am honored that you find something of value in what I do. There have been some lonely periods in my life where I've felt more comfortable connecting online than in person. (Yay, social anxiety!) I know I can show up here as I am, and there is someone who will hear me. That doesn't always happen in person where I often find myself filtering my words or not speaking up when I don't agree with what people are saying. Here, the more I speak into my discomfort, the more connection and meaning I find. We all just want to be seen, heard, and most of all, feel like we're not alone. The gift of being able to have that in my life is immeasurable.
If you're new here – or simply nostalgic – here are a few favorite posts:
- This is me, existing
- Letting go of Skinny, from 2013
- The Lizzo Experience – The power of inclusive spaces
- 5 Great Life Lessons After Divorce
- Recovering from Binge Eating Disorder
- 100 Peloton Rides and what it means to me – joyful movement. (Sidenote: I hit 200 rides today!)
A million thank you's aren't enough. Thank you for letting me be me.