So, here’s the thing: this blog has been online for 12 years now. And that’s a LOT of blog posts, folks. A LOT of blog posts. For reasons too dull to go into right now, lately I’ve been having to spend quite a bit of time going through the archive of the site, and wow, but it’s been … I want to say “interesting” here, but I think, “cringeworthy” would probably be more appropriate? Like, one time I published a post that was literally just two lines long, about the fact that I’d read a news story which had mentioned a comet that had the same name as me, and wasn’t that fascinating?
And, I mean, NO, it was NOT fascinating. Like, not even a tiny little bit. What IS kind of fascinating – to me, at least – though, is the fact that I now have 12 years worth of blog posts, which allow me to look back and remember exactly what I was doing at any given time, on any given year. (And I do mean EXACTLY what I was doing, because, for reasons that now totally escape me, I spent almost all of 2006 writing blog posts about emails I’d received, most of which were spam. No, I have NO IDEA why…)
Now, as you might have noticed, I spend quite a lot of time thinking/talking about what I was doing, this time X years ago: and this year I’ve been particularly guilty of this, because this year has been so totally different from every other year of my life so far that it’s been almost impossible not to occasionally stop in the middle of whatever I’m doing, and think, “This time last year I was convinced I was about to die in childbirth, but now here I am, emptying a nappy pail! ISN’T LIFE STRANGE?” And isn’t it just, people?
Today, then, in lieu of an ACTUAL blog post, I thought I’d dip into the archives and see what I was doing at (around about) this time 12 years ago. And 11 years ago. And… let’s just get on with it, shall we? Here we go…
I was being reduced to tears by a mean old dressmaker who forced me to wear someone else’s manky slippers, and then insulted my wedding dress, which I’d taken to have altered. I was trying to convince myself that I was the unreasonable one in this situation, but honestly, now I look back on it, I’m thinking SHE was? I mean, not to re-open the whole, “Shoes on/shoes off,” debate or anything, but who makes their visitors wear a pair of obviously-used slippers, people? WHO?
I was wearing Ugg boots. I was apparently wise enough to know that this would be a controversial admission to make to my blog readers, so I’d held onto the shame for at least six months, before it one day just burst out of me and onto the blank page of my WordPress admin panel. In my defence, I DID only ever wear them to walk the dog in, as I said in the post, but in slightly more shameful news, I owned those boots – and wore them – for YEARS for that purpose. And, honestly? I’d do it again.
I was throwing Christmas gifts into the bin. Not on purpose, you understand, just because I’m stupid. Why I needed to share this with the internet, I have no idea, but this is the same me who’d turned buying some warm boots into a massive drama just one year earlier, so I guess this seemed like quite a good yarn in comparison?
I was losing my passport and then finding it again. Slow news week, apparently….
I was dreaming about finding crabs in my bed again. And then writing about it on my blog, because everyone loves hearing about someone else’s dreams, amiright?
(I still regularly wake in the night, convinced there’s a crab in the bed, but since Max was born, I’ve even MORE regularly been waking in the night convinced MAX is in my bed, and that he’s about to roll off it, or something equally terrible. Most of the time, I’ll think I can see him lying on top of Terry’s chest, and I’ve actually woken Terry up a few times now by clutching at him in a panic, thinking I’m grabbing “Max”. What’s interesting about this – and by that I mean “not even remotely interesting, but I think we can all agree it’s slightly better than good ol’ Comet McNaught, no?” – is that Terry’s been having exactly the same experience, only he’ll wake up and think Max is lying on ME, and must be saved. I’ve no idea where this paranoia comes from, because, apart from a couple of times in the week he was born, Max has never slept in our bed, but yes, it’s pretty awesome that, as soon as Max started sleeping through the night, Terry and I started waking each other up for NO REASON WHATSOEVER. THANKS, BRAINS. )
(Now I come to think of it, even although we only co-slept a couple of times, and diligently followed the safe sleeping guidelines, I was so wracked with guilt about it that I basically lay awake the whole time, and then convinced myself I was the worst mother ever. So maybe that’s why?)
(Terry had no qualms about it whatsoever, though, so that doesn’t explain why HE keeps jolting awake, convinced Max is about to fall off our bed, does it?)
(I should just have made this post about this whole ‘safe sleeping’ thing, shouldn’t I? Oh well, too late now…)
I had finally discovered that blog posts were more interesting with photos in them, but I’d then used this power for evil rather than good, by choosing to post tiny, blurry photos of me wearing clothes I didn’t actually like, but felt I SHOULD like, because that’s what all the other bloggers were wearing. Oh, and with ugly watermarks, which didn’t actually stop people stealing the photos. Seriously, though:
This one isn’t actually the worst example I could find, but when I look at my outfit photos from this era, it makes me want to cry, because it’s just so obvious to me now that I was wearing certain things (Bright tights! Colour-blocking!), not because I liked them, but because I was desperately trying to fit in with what other fashion bloggers were wearing at the time. The post this photo comes from is a rant about hemlines, in which I make the astonishing claim that, “Most dresses are too short, regardless of what height you happen to be.” OK, 2011 Amber: sure, hun. You keep on telling yourself that, so you can keep on buying dresses you’re not going to wear, because you secretly think you’re much too old for a mid-thigh length dress, even although you profess not to believe in “age-appropriate” dressing. YOU GO, GIRL!
(OR I could’ve written a post about THIS? BUT HAHA, NO, I DIDN’T! So we’re still going with the, “This time many moons ago,” theme. Sorry about that…)
More outfit photos. In further evidence of the fact that I was very much dressing “for the blog” at this point, I wore this outfit to IKEA. In my defence, the IKEA part of that day’s outing wasn’t actually planned, or I’d like to think I’d have picked something a bit more suitable. (I’d LIKE to think that. I don’t ACTUALLY think that, though. Because I know myself too well.) As it was, I had to walk up the stairs sideways, because my “wiggle” dress really WAS a wiggle dress, in the sense that there was no slit at the back to facilitate movement, and it was virtually impossible to walk normally in it.
This photo was also one of many that attracted the unwanted attentions of a foot-fetishist who had a particular thing about wet shoes. I ended up having to call the police about it. It’s… a long story.
Yeah. REALLY regretting starting this post, now.
I was knocking down the wall between our kitchen and living room, to make it open-plan. Or, rather, Terry was knocking down the wall: I was just posing for a photo with an axe. Without even reading the post, I’m going to guess I made at least one reference to The Shining here: if I didn’t, then I clearly don’t know myself…
I had the cold. I managed to be spectacularly boring about it. And hey: I’ve woken up with a cold this morning too, so there’s a nice bit of continuity for you, if nothing else.
I was pretending dresses were people, and making up stories about them. I was very, very bored, apparently.
I was writing about being an introvert, and how that makes blogging difficult these days, when so much of it seems to revolve around events, etc, which hold absolutely no appeal to me whatsoever. And I’d love to say here that refusing to attend PR events hasn’t done me any harm as a blogger, but I suspect it probably hasn’t done me much good, either. It’s not something that’s going to change any time soon, though, so what can you do?
Which brings me to…
Actually, it brings me to THIS VERY DAY in 2017: November 14th. When I had the idea for this post, I actually wanted to compare exactly the same day for EVERY year, but, it just wasn’t possible: I don’t post every day, after all, and, with some of the years when I HAD posted on November 14th, it was just some random, three-line lipstick review or whatever, so I decided to just go for posts from approximately the same time each year instead. Last year, however, I did, indeed, publish a blog post on November 14th, and it was quite an important one, too, because this was the post in which I announced that I’d decided to go ahead with the elective c-section I’d been offered.
I was really nervous about publishing that post – and all of the posts I’ve written on the subject of elective c-sections, actually – because I was so scared of the judgement I was sure I’d get on it. As it turned out, though, I got nothing but support, so I’m really glad I did: not least because I still regularly get messages from people who’re in a similar position with tolophobia/anxiety, and who’ve found those posts helpful in some way. So, yes, I’m glad I wrote this one for that reason – but also because it still totally blows my mind to think that, this time last year, Max was still waiting to be born, and this morning I woke up to the sight of him standing up in his cot and ripping the video monitor I was watching him on out of its socket:
What a difference a year makes. Or, you know, TWELVE YEARS.
And what a difference a good camera, a working knowledge of Photoshop, and the ability to dress yourself without mindlessly following blogger trends makes, too, huh?
But that’s a whole other post…