…and with that, April is over.
If you’ve been following my “Blogging From A to Z” adventures, you probably noticed that I totally bombed the challenge after the letter “L” (“H” if you don’t count the “IJKL” catch-up post).
Once my mid-April trip to a wedding in the mountains rolled around, time for blogging just went *poof* Really, I come back after being on vacation for two days and it takes a week to catch up with everything in life! By then, I had no idea how to get back onto the “A to Z” train (what can you abbreviate using MNOPQRST?).
Even though I didn’t reach the end of the “A to Z Challenge,” I have a lot to be thankful for and want to share my gratitude with the following groups of people:
Thank you to everyone who followed my “A to Z” anecdotal posts. I had SO much fun writing about my childhood, and loved reading the comments you all left me each day.
Thank you to ALL the “A to Z” participants who taught me a lot about community, collaboration and dedication; major props to those of you who got all the way through “A to Z,” one post at a time!
Finally, thank you to everyone who joined in for my spring giveaway! The winners of the two chapter critiques are… *drum roll* Arlee and Karen Janowsky! Your emails have already been sent :)
I may not have reached the final “Z” post, but I still learned a lot from my first year as an “A to Z” blogger – not just about blogging itself, but also about my own childhood and capacity to remember the most minute details. Here are just a few of the lessons I’ve taken away from the challenge:
- There are so many memories that would’ve remained buried had I not written about them. Just a few examples include the Play-Doh Spaghetti Factory, the fact that my fourth grade crush wore a green Adidas jacket as his signature look and that one time I thought I had a shot as an actress for Cho Chang. (ROFL, I know.)
- When writing about childhood memories, it’s important to be honest not just with your audience, but with yourself. That means acknowledging your own faults, like my tendency as a child to categorize people and use labels in a hurtful way. It’s when you’re able to confront your own mistakes and flaws that you can finally be able to start accepting them.
- Memories can be inaccurate. No matter how much you want to believe in something from the past, there is a chance that you might be wrong – at least to some degree. It might something be as inconsequential as whether Hakeem’s shirt was faded blue or tie-dyed blue, or it might be a mixed-up birthday party. (I distinctly remember celebrating my eighth birthday after my family moved to Greenville, N.C., but my folks insist that the party I’m thinking of was my ninth birthday.)
- As much as I’ve enjoyed digging into my past, I’ve realized that I miss having the flexibility to write my usual posts, like “SELF Diet Recipes,” “Monthly Favorites,” hauls and book reviews. The “A to Z” Challenge has really made me appreciate the schedule I’d created for my blog up until that point. Luckily, that’s exactly what we’re going back to :)
- I can see my incomplete “A to Z” memories collection as a failure, or I can see it as a valuable experience. Like my good friend Robin Rivera said, what matters are the friendships you make and the new blogs you fell in love with and the great discussions you have through the “A to Z” Challenge. That’s what it’s all about in the end.