200 Later: Progress on the Journey

January 20, 2012

in Song of the Week

200

It’s a big number.

No one lives to be 200 and many blogs never live long enough to have the 200th post published.

It’s a really big number.

Yesterday was my 200th post on Naked Girl in a Dress. It’s not the number that feels so significant though; it where I am compared to where I was when I published post #1 and post #100.

I was in a low point when I published my first post. After waiting over a year to begin the divorce process, I was starting to meet with my ex to discuss terms. I was in a relationship that was long overdue to be ended (but one I continued in for another six months). I was overwhelmed with being a solo homeowner and single mom. Terrified after being accepted to a professional photography program, I delayed my admission into the program. I was worried about the kids, my finances, and my future in general.

What a difference in my life 100 posts later. There was tremendous progress in the 11 months between the two posts. As I re-read the 100th post this morning, it brought back being in that place; I felt hopeful and excited for my future. I felt great. I stated that I was confident my life would continue to improve and that I would be happier than I was at that moment.

Since March of last year I have graduated from photography school; shot two weddings and several other commercial jobs; I am teaching blogging and social media marketing; I have been writing for a variety of sites; I have been consulting for clients in the areas of blogging and social media; and I have grown this site.

The list of what I want in a relationship was something I published last year. That list is out of date; with every dating experience I am able to better hone the list. And, when sitting across the table from The Boyfriend on our four hour first date (longest lunch ever!), I knew from that list that he was everything I wanted in a man. And more. I am not sure what the future holds for us, but as a special friend says to me often, “He is Mr. Right for right now.” Without all the experiences I had before him, I would not have known so clearly on that first date.

My professional and love lives are doing well, but so are several other areas of my life. My ex and I continue to do well with our relationship, the kids continue to thrive, the house repairs don’t seem so overwhelming, and financially I feel whole again. The divorce has been finalized in the time between my 100th post and now.

Now that my life is in order again, I am giving back within the D.C. community with a non profit that brings together so many things I love: writing, photography, children, and food. I am an Ambassador Volunteer Writer and Photographer for the Capital Area Food Bank’s Kids’ program. When I was accepted after the interview process, I couldn’t have been more excited for the opportunity to serve in a great program by doing things I love.

I still have moments where I am sad or overwhelmed, but then I think back to where I was 200 posts ago. Earlier this week I wrote about a fear I am battling. Looking back today over the journey I have been on during the time I have blogged, I realize the insignificance of the problem in comparison; I am in a loving, healthy relationship with an amazing man. The only problem is my fear of getting hurt. That, as the cliche goes, is a very good problem to have.

My friend Lance commented on my 100th post with the following:

“I can’t wait to read what you are writing six months or even a year from now. I bet it will be pretty dynamic. Congratulations on your first 100. Fiver says number 200 will be 100 times better.”

I owe you that fiver Lance.

I am so happy you were right.

~~~~~

For Song of the Week this week, Pink is the appropriate artist. I had a 7.5 mile run on Monday on the National Mall with The Boyfriend. The rest of the week Pink has been my running partner (Pandora). After writing about the monster I am battling, I couldn’t think of a better person to kick me in the pants to help me get over the fear. Here’s “So What:”

Happy Friday!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric January 20, 2012 at 10:27 am

Congratulations on all of your wonderful progress! Having only “met” just over a month ago, I’ve learned much of your past battles and looks as if you’ve come out on top.

You deserve a victory spa treatment or something – (women like that stuff, right? Oh my god, was that sexist? Going away now…)
Eric recently posted..Fiction Friday – January 20, 2012My Profile

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Naked Girl in a Dress January 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Thank you Eric, for the support of my writing and our newly-found friendship. You are a great guy who is going somewhere with his writing. I am honored to “know” you.

My feet DO need a pedicure! Maybe that should be my celebratory activity.

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Lance January 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm

good lord, you women never forget anything

Not only is your 200th better, but your blog is a place for people to witness positive growth of a strong woman. I’m proud of your 200. Come see my almost 400 posts sometime….some of them don’t suck

Congratulations
Lance recently posted..I Will Possess Your HeartMy Profile

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Naked Girl in a Dress January 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Nothing you write sucks Lance!

Thanks for the kinds words and the blogging-world friendship. Both mean a lot to me.

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Julie January 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I am so, so glad you marked your 100s, both because Dammit! I’m Just Finding You! Where Have You Been All My Life!? and wow…it’s a real privilege to read about your amazing journey. As others have mentioned (and as you know) it’s pretty dramatic to read you at shaken, fearful #1 and watch you build to such confidence & accomplishment by #200. Think of it as a permanent electronic gift to others in transition. Take a bow, lady.

PS The Food Bank gig sounds *amazing*. I hope you’re able to post what you can about it. Congrats!
Julie recently posted..Martin Luther King Jr. Had More Than 200 Jellybeans & Other Historical FactsMy Profile

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Naked Girl in a Dress January 21, 2012 at 6:33 am

Thank you Julie. I am glad you found me so that we can connect. I was just remarking to a friend who is starting to journal about the power of having your words on paper or the computer. It is great to look back to see your progress or remember how you were feeling at a given point in time. I feel a sense of accomplishment between #1 and #200. I worked hard to get where I am and I have worked hard on this blog. I hope that doesn’t sound obnoxious, but I believe in patting myself on the back when appropriate!

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Kristin @ What She Said January 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I just love reading self-reflective posts like these. And as the number of blog posts goes up, it often seems like so too does the happiness quotient. Funny how blogging works that way. :)

FYI, I also live in your neck of the woods, albeit much farther to the west in WV’s eastern panhandle. Still, in NoVA terms, we’re practically neighbors!
Kristin @ What She Said recently posted..To Be a DadMy Profile

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Naked Girl in a Dress January 21, 2012 at 6:35 am

I think it is the self analysis that goes on with blogging that makes us happier. That and the connections we make.

What is considered part of the DC Metro area continues to expand so I think you could count yourself in the “almost neighbors” category! Nice to “meet” you!

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Kimberly at Rubber Chicken Madness January 20, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Congratulations on Post #200!

Never quite thought of a blog as a timeline, but in a sense, it is. We’re on a journey, and it is our journal. It will show growth, and it will show the peaks and valleys.
Kimberly at Rubber Chicken Madness recently posted..This Family…My Profile

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Naked Girl in a Dress January 21, 2012 at 6:38 am

Thank you Kim! I can’t believe I have written so much. I have been thinking a lot about what my life will look at when I hit the #300 milestone.

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Vinny C January 20, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Congrats! I feel exactly the same. Looking back on who & where I was back when I launched my first post out into the blogosphere, I’d have never seen myself where I am now back then. So much of who I am has changed. Though it all started with the things I went through back then, I can safely say that blogging helped direct it towards the path I’m on now.

Glad to see things are are going so well for you too.
Vinny C recently posted..Insert Funny Here: Part 2My Profile

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Naked Girl in a Dress January 21, 2012 at 6:39 am

Thank you Vinny, for the kind words and friendship. I miss working with you over at SI, but glad we are staying in touch.

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schmutzie January 21, 2012 at 1:24 am

Happy 200th!
schmutzie recently posted..I Will Never Get Used to Saskatchewan JanuariesMy Profile

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Naked Girl in a Dress January 21, 2012 at 6:39 am

Thanks Schmutzie….for designing the site way back when. You are awesome.

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