Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sentimental Sunday - It's My Blogiversary!

I can't believe it, but yesterday was actually my one year "blogiversary"!  I've known it was coming up, but hadn't taken the time to check the actual date until just now, when I discovered that I was actually a day late.  Oh well, that's kind of a sign of the times for me here lately.  I have so much going on, that I can barely keep up with it all!  Hence, my absence from posting, as well as my sporadic appearances on the Twitter scene!

Recently, I've found myself reflecting quite often on my foray into the social media side of the genealogy world.  Though I've been researching for fourteen years now, it wasn't until last summer that I was introduced to the world of blogging, and decided (under pressure from another blogger...lol) to give it a whirl.  So, on July 10th, 2009, I wrote my first post, First Thoughts, for my blog, which was then called, "Just Thinking".

Since that first post, I've become increasingly more open and comfortable with the idea of sharing my family history with others.  I've made many new online friends, and have even met a few folks away from the computer.  I've learned so much from all of you, and have thoroughly enjoyed sharing the connection that engaging in this "hobby" gives us.  Certainly I no longer feel so alone in my work.  I know now that, even if my family members aren't so interested in what I'm doing, I have a cadre of readers who offer me support, and encouragement, and who share my excitement and joy whenever new discoveries are made in my work.  Being a part of this community has opened my eyes to some of the greater responsibilities of being a family researcher. Thus, I've submitted documents from my research to several repositories, participated in more online chats, taken photos for Find-A-Grave, and reached out, as often as possible, to complete RAOGK for other researchers. I was already a keyer for Ancestry.com, and have now also signed up to volunteer for FamilySearch.org. I've comitted to producing and publishing a monthly E-Newsletter, "Family News", which goes out to all of my family members for whom I have email addresses. Additionally, I've joined both the North Carolina Genealogical Society and the African-American Heritage and Genealogical Society, and I'm considering attending my first genealogical conference in November. Before last summer, I'd just been "doing my own thing", but now, thanks to this community of bloggers, I consider myself to be a "fully-engaged" member of the genealogy community!  Little to none of this would have happened, had I not become a blogger.

As wonderful and uplifting as the bulk of my experience in the blogosphere has been, there have also been some dark moments which have almost caused me to back completely away from this community; and though I haven't yet done so, have definitely caused me to take pause with it. Some months ago, I was maligned publicly by another member of this community - one who had been a friend, and who was indeed the very same person who persuaded me to start my blog a year ago.  Things were written about me that were untrue, as I passively sat by and watched as our shared community sympathized and aligned itself with the writer.  However, I chose to take the high road, and not engage in a war of words on my blog nor to distract from its intended purpose by using it as a platform for anything else.  I was deeply baffled by the accusations being made about me, and hurt that this person, with whom I'd enjoyed a mutual friendship and offline connection, chose to respond to an apparent disagreement we'd had in this way.  (I say apparent because I was never told what the problem was by this person.  The accuser never spoke or wrote to me directly about it. Never.) My personal life and psyche were affected, and I've was immediately shunned by several others in this community, who chose to believe the nonsense which was being spewed out about me.  However, a few genea-angels convinced me to stick around, and I have, though the potential for me to ever feel as open or trusting with others I may meet here has likely been permanently damaged.

So, why am I discussing this now, one might ask?  The reason is because during those dark days, when I chose not to back away from the community, I privately gave myself until now - my one year blogiversary - to decide whether or not it is best, or even healthy for me to remain a genea-blogger.  I have prayed about this to Him who gives me strength, but until this very moment, I don't think I clearly heard His answer.

This will be my last post on, "Into the LIGHT" for some time. I know that I will return because this blog has been an outlet for the writer inside me - she who has been somewhat buried since my young-adult years, when I easily (and often) recorded my thoughts and created poetry on paper.  I have no regrets, since for me, all things become a learning experience. 

I will continue to keep up with all of you via my reader, and will (for now) continue to check in on Twitter.  To my faithful subscribers, and especially to those who so often leave comments, I THANK YOU, and I pray that you will still be around when I return.

Blessings always,
Renate

19 comments:

Carol said...

Renate, Here I was ready to start screaming HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY, then, I kept reading. I know naught of your trials with your blog or this fuss with your friend. I know naught of the others who listened possibly without without facts, who judged you without hearing from you. I know naught, cept I can feel your angst.

I do know that I have enjoyed reading your posts and your kind comments on some of mine.

I am delighted to read that you will be back. Sometimes we all do need a break, to stand back and reflect on, well, stuff, everything.

I cannot wait to hear your voice again, clear and spirited and caring. Don't stay away too long.

And, Happy Blogiversary.

Joan said...

Renate,
I will miss your posts, I will miss hearing about your wonderful family, I will miss hearing about you and your adventures. I will miss you. Hope you return soon. Keep in touch when ever you can and want.

Kathryn Doyle said...

Happy blogoversary! Don't stay away too long - that writer in you doesn't want to stay in the background.

Barbara Poole said...

Renate, "oh no" now I don't want you to feel bad, but I wasn't expecting this. You have been among my favorite bloggers, but I do understand. You gave it a year, please don't let it go forever. I think if you continue reading blogs, you will get back into it. But until then, my very best to you. Sob, sob.

Cheryl Palmer said...

Happy first Blogiversary to you~looking forward to more posts!

Betty said...

Oh! so sorry to hear that you are signing off for a while, Renate!! I have really enjoyed your posts.

And BTW, you were kind enough to encourage ME to write more on my blog, only a few months ago, by becoming my very first follower!!

Happy Blogiversary, and may you have a wonderful summer. I hope you will return soon :-)

Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

Happy blogiversary. I will be here when you come back. I hope you're not gone long.

Sheri said...

HAPPY BLOGAVERSARY TO YOU, HAPPY BLOGAVERSARY TO YOU, HAPPY BLOGAVERSARY DEAR RENATE, HAPPY BLOGAVERSARY TO YOUUU!

Hope to see you back blogging real soon!

Greta Koehl said...

I also extend my congratulations on your first blogoversary and will be awaiting your return. You have provided so much thought-provoking and educational reading and have truly uplifted your readers. It is always good to take a break and I understand your need to do so, but I hope you know that you have many faithful readers who support you and will miss reading your blog. Hope you have many fabulous research successes and wish you peace and happiness.

Renate said...

My heart is full from all the wonderful, sincere, and complimentary comments that have been left in just just the short time since I posted. I will be back - I'm sure of it. Thanks so much to all of you, and thank you, Sheri, for the song!

Renate

Becky Jamison said...

Happy Blogiversary. I'm sorry you've experienced hurtful things from someone in the geneablogging community. I respect your choice of absence for awhile. I've enjoyed your posts and will surely be here when you come back.

Bill West said...

Happy Blogiversary, Renate! And hurry
back soon!

Lori E said...

The internet is a powerful thing and is not always used for good things.
I hope you do come back when you are ready.

Kristin said...

I hope you decide to keep posting and tweeting. I have enjoyed your posts and tweets. just going back and reading some of the old ones. since i just started blogging myself it is inspiring to see someone who made it through a whole year!

Angela Y. Walton-Raji said...

Taking time off from time to time, is always a good and healthy thing. Keep researching in the meantime, and stay focused on the things that matter.

LindaRe said...

Renate,

Rest, rejuvenate, come back soon. Your stories will be missed.

Happy Blogiversary!

Mavis said...

Congrats on the Anniversary. I missed both of mine.

Renate said...

To those who've left comments since my last response, thank you, also, for your comments! I will be back. :)

Renate

Kathy said...

Renate,
I am so far behind in my reading ... but I have definitely enjoyed reading your stories. I hope that you will be back, sooner rather than later. Keep well,
Kathy