The other day I was looking through old photos on my laptop trying to find a “high waisted clothing” photo for a previous post. While looking through summer 2011, I stumbled across the above photo. Air caught in my throat and I immediately felt full of sadness. Moses. Mo-dog. My blogging companion for so many years. My companion for so many years.
I remember this photo like it was yesterday, and also like it was a forever ago time that I’ll never get back.
It was my high school graduation, 2011. No one was home to take my photo so I took them myself. Instead of my grad cap (which, by the way, I had to bobby pin into my curls because those are not meant to be worn fashionably!), I wore this cloche hat, mixing pin-up with flapper. I set up my tripod and took these photos on a timer. Moses was snuffling around in the yard, as he usually did when I took photos for my blog, so I dragged him into a few photos for the last shots. And here he is, eternally. My dude. A girl and her dog.
I was 17 years old here. The best year of my life, thus far. I had been through a lot in the past couple of years & was on a high from my achievements and new-found freedom. I remember being too embarrassed to invite my boyfriend to my high school graduation, as he was so much older than me, so I graduated in secret from him. But my sister came and I felt so happy. She showed up for me. It was the world here on my special day.
But besides my own memories, there are so many more. I posted this photo on my Instagram the other day, and immediately I was flooded with comments.
“I remember this photo!”
“I remember your dog from Lookbook.nu days!”
“I loved looking back at your old pictures because it reminded me of where I was in my life and what was happening when you posted.”
If I had been PMS-ing, these would have made me cry.
It’s easy for me to forget what a presence blogging had in my life, and, apparently, what a presence my blog had in the lives of others.
During college, on my days off from work, I’d rush home after class and set up my tripod and snap a few photos then head inside to edit and write a blog post before beginning my studies. This was my routine. I did this for all my years in college (4 and a half, thanks!) and then when I interned, I did the same thing.
I can’t tell you a measurable number of my former blogs’ reach…and I’m not sure that I really care. But I’ve heard the stories. When I was 16 and shopping in H&M after work, a teenage girl stopped me to ask if I was on Lookbook.nu. Yes. When I was a fashion design major (a brief stint), a girl in one of my lectures stopped and asked the same thing. When I was 17, my boyfriend’s best friend, who was doing basic training in the southern states, texted my boyfriend to say, “Mike, one of the girls here reads your girlfriend’s blog!” When I was 18, I got into public speaking class one day to find that the boy who always sat next to me had a good friend who read my blog – and had showed it to him, not knowing that he sat next to me every day!
And then there are all the others. There are the comments over the years from someone saying they’ve been following me for 3, 4, 5 years. There are the friends I’ve made. There are the people who have continued to follow me on Instagram, reading my abbreviated thoughts & stories, while my blog took an unintended hiatus. There are the people, both friends and acquaintances, who have persistently asked me to get back into blogging, cheering me on by sharing stories about what my blog has meant to them – and how I flourish when I write.
But to be honest, I very rarely think about my history in blogging. I don’t think much about the time I spent taking photos, building relationships, and spilling my stories out for the world. I just don’t think much about it. And then, I saw this photo. Me & Moses. And everything rushed back. Yesterday, and a far away dream. But, an actual time in my life, when I was undoubtedly happy and inspired and running with the world connecting at my fingertips and spilling through my veins and back out into the air I breathe. That’s what is beneath all of this. But, on the surface, I am just a girl and her dog. And that is alright, too.