Today is Tuesday, November 17, and… Oh, my goodness, has it been a year already?!
That, ladies and gentlemen, is a snapshot of how this lil’ ol’ blog of mine looked in December 2014, one month after I dived into the world of WordPress. (This site design at the start was different from what you see above; I just didn’t have the foresight to take a screen show of how it looked at the beginning.)
When I added post #1 to this blog year ago today, I was just wanting to expand my thoughts and expressions outside of the visual universe and the Twittersphere (or whatever you call it). Oh, sure, I had written out my long-form thoughts in other places where I could no longer use or update. And I figured, “Sure, I’ll have just enough thoughts to write one post a week, maybe two.”
But I never expected one year ago that this thing would explode the way it has. I mean, I am truly not one to brag about my accomplishments, but after 12 months and 134 posts… wow!
So, with one year on WordPress under my belt (or panties or wig or whatever), I figure it’s time to contemplate all I’ve written about:
- I’ve highlighted a lot of fashion and fashionable images I’ve spotted, both online and at the brick-and-mortar stores. Sure, the posts have been in the vein of “these look cute” or “these pieces go well together” or “I love this outfit.” And I’ve had to start highlighting online images more than those I’ve snapped at the mall (lest the Paul Blarts of the world give me the evil eye). Still, great clothing and the people who are involved with and celebrate fashion are among what I admire as an “amateur fashionista.”
- I’ve talked up a lot of “random stuff” that I thought merited mentioning, especially subjects involving LGBT matters and in particular those of crossdressing, marriage equality, and the trans community. While a few of the topics have been serious, at times heartbreaking even, a large majority of them have been good and lighthearted. Whatever the case, they are subjects that are dear to me not just as a human being but as someone who identifies with the CD/TG community in particular and the gay/lesbian community as a whole.
- Being the proud (for the most part) Madisonian and Wisconsinite that I am, I’ve happily talked up life in my fair city and my (somewhat) fair state, both the good and the bad. Moving to the Madison area 13 years ago was one of the biggest moments of my life, and certainly the one that has had the most profound effect on me as a person.
- As my comfort level as a blogger grew, I’ve been challenged… or, to be more precise, taken up challenges on writing blog posts on certain topics in a certain way. Not only have I taken up the challenges of others, but I’ve challenged myself, writing topics and employing writing styles (such as this one) I never thought I would have tackled a year ago. I never promised this blog would be strictly about dressing up, so consider these categories the fruits of being a (slightly) well-rounded blogger. (Again, I’m not bragging here.)
- I’ve shared my personal stories and thoughts, and at times gotten real personal, not just about my life as a crossdresser but my life outside of pantyhose and skirts. Again, this isn’t strictly a blog about dressing up (though you do see me dressed up, if you know what I mean), but writing under a feminine alias can feel so very cathartic.
Okay, that’s all I’ve done on this blog, but how do I feel after a year? Well, for one thing, I feel a true sense of self-expression. I’ve never been someone who’s the verbally articulate type (I’m generally quiet and reserved); and when I do express my thoughts, it’s never been quite perfect. Even with that, putting in 100+ posts over the past 12 months feels like… well, I’m not sure what the appropriate word would be, but I’ll think of it later (that whole issue with articulation, you know).
I also feel a sense of accomplishment and inspiration after the past year on WordPress. I’ll explain what I mean: Writing this blog — or should I say committing myself to it — sometimes means giving out quite a bit of figurative blood, sweat, and tears. (Confession: This anniversary post alone has taken me 3 days or so of writes, rewrites, and rearranging to get it right.) Sometimes it also means searching far and wide for that inspiration to write, even if it means going a few days without adding a new post. (Another confession: My first two posts on here were expanded versions of pieces I’ve written elsewhere. Hey, sometimes inspiration has to originate from an already traveled road.) But it’s so satisfying once a post is written, published, and read by others. It means all that work of thinking up these blog posts is worth it. And if someone offers their comments and suggestions, that inspires me to write more.
There’s something about that last note along with that last bullet point above that has me thinking: Has writing this blog as “Allison” made me more comfortable opening up, or has the wisdom of my 46 years done that? I wonder if it’s not a little bit of… both. I’ve lived so many moments, enjoyed so many good times, and went through quite a few low periods in my life that my male mode side has been so eager to share… yet has been so hesitant to doing so, since he has always been so shy, guarded, introverted, and reserved. But writing under the security blanket that a feminine nom de guerre provides has given me the liberty of sharing my stories, moments, thoughts, viewpoints, emotions, etc. that could never have been possible had I’ve had only one, drab, boring (and male) identity.
When I think of it, perhaps it’s that urge to express myself that’s been inside me all this while, longing to surface. It’s just that being Allison has really fostered it to heights I never imagined it would reach. Whether I’m making a quick comment on Twitter, showing off my looks on a Flickr photostream, or writing on a site like WordPress, it’s a great feeling to express all the facets of the person I am.
With all that being said, this has been a pretty awesome past 365 days on WordPress. To everyone who’s stopped by and read my thoughts (if only for a little bit), thank you so much; your kindness is truly appreciated. I truly hope you’ve taken a liking to what you’ve seen, and I hope you have indeed appreciated the person underneath the wig and skirt.
One more note: I’ve been thinking of something to mark one year on WordPress and the end of 2015, so keep a lookout over the next few Thursdays, when I’ll do some #ThrowbackThursday follow-ups on some of the posts I’ve written. Keep your eyes peeled in this space, and thank you again for reading.