I never, ever thought I’d be posting this. I never imaged, all these years later, I’d be celebrating my 5th blogging anniversary. Normally, this is a very celebratory post for me, full of GIFs, discussing all the amazing things about blogging: my accomplishments, fun things I did within the last year, new features I implemented, etc. This blog birthday, however, brings with it a lot of contemplation and I find myself reflecting on the last five years in a bittersweet and nostalgic way.
I don’t often talk about personal matters on here – the struggles and battles and such. I keep it light and fun and bookish. But the truth is, my family and I have had a lot going on in the last few years. I could go all the way back to the very beginning with this conversation. But really, the worst of it started in 2015 – just a few years into my blogging journey. If I look back at the blogging I did in 2013 and 2014, there’s a BIG difference in the content and number of posts, versus the blogging I did in 2015-2018. And that’s because I’ve had a LOT going on, and haven’t had the energy or desire to blog/read like I used to.
I’m not going to go into all the details. But I’ll share this. In 2015, my dad was diagnosed with cancer and we lost my godmother to cancer. In 2016, my beloved chocolate lab passed away. In 2017, my parents and I moved and my mom was diagnosed with cancer, among other things. I didn’t even do a blogoversary post last June because we had JUST moved days before, and I couldn’t focus to do one.
And, amidst all that, I was struggling with depression and anxiety – something I’ve hinted about on social media but never really openly discussed. It’s not something I LIKE to discuss, but I also know there’s a HUGE movement to destigmatize mental illness, and I feel this is relevant to discussing my blogging journey.
The final piece of the puzzle is this: I started a new job in August 2017 as a full-time Children’s Lead Bookseller for my local B&N.
So, you see my lovelies, I’ve had a a LOT going on in the last 3 years and blogging often took a backseat. All of this also accounts for the MASSIVE book slump I’ve been in and out of since February 2016. I had SO much going on, it all just became too much and I became overwhelmed, stressed, depressed, and disengaged.
My biggest regret in the last few years is that I feel like I’ve let everyone down. I’ve let down those of you who visit my blog, because I haven’t been posting as much. I’ve let down my blogger friends by not being as active on their blogs, or on social media. And I’ve let publicists/publishers/authors down by being behind on my ARC/Review TBR. This hurts more than anything, because I love my blogging family and the idea that I’ve disappointed you guys breaks my heart. I am so, so, SO sorry for letting you guys down.
Going forward, I’m going to try to focus on my mental, physical and emotional health. I’m going to do the best I can, at least. Those of you who deal with mental health issues know, it’s not always easy. It’s day by day, and one step at a time. Certain things I’m dealing with might not ever go away or get better, but – at least for right now – they seem to be settling down. And I try to remain hopeful that, one day, they WILL get better. I’m finally reading a little bit more than I did last year, and I’m finally itching to blog again. And I have SO MANY post ideas, it’s not even funny. So I’m eager to get back in the swing of things, and make blogging fun again.
So, to those of you who HAVE stuck by me all these years, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know it’s been a rollercoaster of a ride, but I appreciate every single one of you. I wouldn’t still be blogging if it weren’t for you guys. And I’m not ready to give up blogging just yet! Blogging has brought so many good things into my life – so many amazing people and amazing opportunities – and I don’t think I would have survived the last 5 years without you guys.
Soooo…. *Clears Throat.* Sorry, that was WAY more personal and sappy than I planned. But I wanted to be honest with you guys. Hopefully you’ll all stick around for another year, and give me another chance to get back on the Blogging Bandwagon. I can’t predict how this next year will go, but I’m excited for whatever it will bring with it – both the good and the bad.
So, now, it’s giveaway time! There are TWO giveaways – one for US only, one for International only! There will be ONE winner for each giveaway.
US giveaway: ARCs of Wilder by Andrew Simonet and Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll
International Giveaway: A pre-order of Wilder by Andrew Simonet OR Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll