Dear friends, family, readers, and supporters,
I’ll cut to the chase: I am retiring this blog.
That’s right — retiring. Everything will still be available, but I will not be posting any new content. I will be releasing my domain name, transitioning this blog back to its original host (littlegrowingpains.wordpress.com) where it will live untouched for the rest of time. I don’t know who will buy littlegrowingpains.com in the future. I hope they use it well.
The decision to discontinue my investment in this project is not an easy one, but it does feel like the right one. I no longer feel like this blog is the right way for me to share my writing with the world. I am proud of all I accomplished — entering contests, making friends, building a huge network of supporters, and raising awareness for the mental illnesses with which I was struggling — and I will forever be grateful to each and every one of you for the way you stood by me while I was discovering myself.
So here’s to the next journey. Here’s to the full recovery from anorexia I made while I owned this little piece of the Internet. Here’s to Yeah Write and NaBloPoMo and all the other communities I found, here’s to fodder for the MFA applications I didn’t finish and all the less-than-stellar posts I wrote. Here’s to all of you. I wish you all the best things life has to offer, and I hope your little growing pains lead you to something better than you could have ever imagined. I know mine did.
Love and thirty-second dance parties all around,
I’m afraid my life is over.
See, I wore sensible shoes today. Which means I’m officially a member of the working world, where people sit in cubicles and stare at computers that have more than one monitor, because we are an information-starved society and can’t function with only one screen.
Hold on, what?
I’ve been pretty bad at updating my blog for the past couple (several) (million) months, but during that hiatus, things were happening. I worked long days at a summer camp that paid me less than 75 cents an hour for three months. I spent a lot of time interviewing and applying for positions that would allow me to get paid only a little bit more than 75 cents an hour for the next eleven months. I uprooted myself from my apartment in Evanston only to relocate to an apartment in Cambridge that I can’t really afford (do you sense a common theme here?). I landed a spot in an amazing fellowship program with a really cool nonprofit and committed myself to the world of the nine-to-fivers. In other words, I might be growing up.
Growing. Huh. That word happens to be in the title of my blog!
I know it sounds cliché, and I’m sorry I’m getting sappy, but this is a very, very new chapter in the Life of Gwen. I’m actually self-sufficient now – no more monthly pity-payments from my parents. I have to wear business casual clothes to the job I have. I created an online dating profile. This might be the year I finally pull myself together (keyword: might), and I’m going to need a place to process all of that. So it’s back to the grindstone we go, back to the writing and the thinking and the hoping that my words mean something to somebody other than me. Someday.
Wish me luck on my next adventure! And get ready for an onslaught of words.
After all, I am a professional.
Dear wonderful readers and anyone else who might be stopping by,
I need a favor.
I’m taking a class right now on civic engagement, and for my final project I’m looking at the ways people use writing, specifically blogging, to engage with their communities and promote social change.
Part of this project has involved examining my own history and the goals I’ve had during the lifetime of this blog. I started Little Growing Pains as a way to sort out all the crazy feelings I was having, but along the way it became about sharing my experiences, empowering other people to share theirs, and letting people who are struggling with similar issues know that they are not alone. Plus, it allowed me to join a loving community of people who root for each other when things get rough and share in each others’ celebrations.
I’m not raising money, or changing policies, or causing some measurable impact. I wonder, then, is it enough to make a difference in little ways – telling an untold story, sharing an unpopular opinion, inspiring someone else to speak up? Should I be doing more?
In order to answer this question, I want to open the floor up to all of you beautiful people. You don’t have to go into a ton of detail – but whatever you can give me will be helpful.
- Do your blogging goals include having some kind of social impact? Do you think you’ve done so? How?
- Do you think having a blog can be an effective form of civic engagement? Does it make you a more responsible, educated, respectful citizen?
- How do you measure the success of your blog? Is it quantifiable – number of views, number of followers, amount of publicity – or is it something else?
Thanks for reading, thanks for your help, and thanks for being an altogether fabulous community of human beings. I appreciate everything you do.
Here’s to one more week of college!