Monday, June 26, 2017

11 years!

wherever you go in #silverspring it feels like the skyline is always there. I find it comforting—I grew up in one of the tall buildings, and when I see them I remember that this is where I came from and where I belong. #latergram #hills #skyline
Looking down Silver Spring Avenue towards downtown Silver Spring. Photo by the author.
One of my favorite things to do is go for long walks around downtown Silver Spring, whether with my partner or a friend or, occasionally by myself.

It's been eleven years since I started Just Up The Pike (and twenty-six years since my family moved to Montgomery County). We almost always run into somebody I or we know, and they usually have an update about their life or a bit of local gossip or simply say hi. My boyfriend groans because it means we have to stop for a minute and he likes to keep walking.

I was eighteen when I started this blog and had no real idea of where things would go, and each year on June 26 I take a minute to reflect on it. This blog changed my life. It shaped (and continues to shape) my perceptions of the world. It shaped my career, and as I sought out new topics to research and write about, it reshaped my career multiple times. It's brought me friends online and off.

Occasionally, it has brought me some notoriety. Frequently (more than you may believe, and quite a lot this spring) I question myself and whether this is still worth doing. When that happens I try to remember the speech at the end of "Amputations" by Death Cab for Cutie (taken from motivational speaker Glenn W. Turner), which ends:
"In this modern day and age we have instant coffee and instant tea--instant disbelief. Thats the reason we will never become anything--it is because we will never believe in ourselves. We will always listen to the mass majority. If everybody's making fun of you and criticizing you, then you know you're on the right track. Cause most people ain't got it."
I am thankful for each and every one of you who has read this blog and supported me over the past eleven years. I don't think you know how much that means (and continues to mean) to me.

In any case, I would like to celebrate this birthday with y'all at some point this summer. Please keep an eye out for an announcement soon.

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