Beyond My Wildest Dreams.
The quote above has long been a favourite of mine. It inspired me first when I was about ten or eleven and our school show was the wizard of oz. It was the line that stuck with me.
Later that year I started a new blog.
Fast forward a few years and through more blog attempts than I know what to do with, and we arrive at A Portrait Of Youth. It was started (officially) on the 1st of January 2015, and it was called Woebegone.
On that day I wrote an introduction (here), more for myself than anyone else. It was more for me because I posted my stats in it, the page views and followers from my earliest days. I had 17 followers on Bloglovin' and 427 views in total.
I could never have anticipated how quickly and how far such a personal blog could grow in less than a year. I hoped that my blog would strike a chord with people, inspire them and help people in some way. I knew I got a lot more emails than a lot of bloggers, many of which were people spilling their life story to me and asking for advice. Taylor Swift pressed the follow button and I freaked out. A few months later a mother invited me to Skype with her nine year old daughter and friends. A few months after that an American girl, Gia, who had been emailing me for a while, messaged me to show me her tattoo. The words I had penned ( or typed I suppose) had been permanently inked onto someone's skin. I was ecstatic with the way things were going.
Then, before I knew it, I reached a stage where I was ready to stop blogging for ever. I had a severe case of writers block and then the worst thing seemingly possible happened. I was called into a meeting with a teacher I didn't know at all and told someone had been complaining about my blog. I was to think seriously about stopping.
If anything, it was my biggest motivation to start blogging again. I was determined to prove them wrong. To prove that blogging could actually have a ridiculously positive effect on my future. Nothing could have been better than -following the somewhat scathing post about my school politely threatening to shut down my blog- watching my daily page views steadily rising. Soon after that post, where I admitted I had never had more than 2,000 hits on any given day, I saw the daily number rise to 3,000 views, Then 7,000. Then the other day it rose to 11,000. I was completely and utterly flabbergasted. Excitedly nervous. Then today I checked my views and was nearly in tears. 18,000. In one day.
I have no idea how that happened. I know there's been a rise in the number of shares, but my Bloglovin' followers remain at a steady 229. But in less than a year, a girl with absolutely no experience with social media and learning as she goes reached 59,783 views. It actually makes me a little teary to see that when I log on. To get the little email congratulating me from Google. To know that if my school even dared trying to get me to shut down my blog I have the proof that my blog is a lot more than just one of their pupils writing on the internet. Then again, considering I only have mere months left at school. I doubt it will come to that.
I suppose it's been the most fluctuating year in the history my life. I have so much faith in this blog, and this little community of ours. And I'm writing this to thank you, the same way I did that first time I reached a thousand views. I'm writing this to inspire you, that if someone like me can watch their blog grow so much, then it's possible for anyone.