One year ago today, I published my first post on Applegate Genealogy; it was a story about a found family photo that led me to my great-great-grandparents and sparked my interest in family history. Since then, I’ve published 167 stories on this blog (well, to be fair, one-third of those are Wordless Wednesday photos), met dozens of family historians in the comments (whose questions have made me a better researcher) and connected with a handful of cousins I never knew I had (thanks for reaching out–you know who you are!). I’ve forced myself to record the stories in my head for future generations, learned how to paint my DNA using shared centimorgans and kept up with every 52 Ancestors prompt since I first joined. It’s been a crazy 365 days, and I’m hoping the next year is even better yet.
Segways, am I right?
I’ve been taking classes toward my master’s degree since January, and by this time next year, I’ll hopefully have my teaching license. I’m starting a new job in June–one that I’m very nervous about–and I’m planning a few research trips in Buffalo for the end of the summer. I’m hoping to keep up with Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors prompts for the rest of this year (fingers crossed!) and to save enough money to buy a 23&Me kit. I need to start researching my German lines again, brush up on my Polish and organize the family photos my grandfather sent me a few weeks ago. I’m anxiously awaiting news from a cousin in Jaksice–I’ll hopefully have a post or two soon about her trip to our ancestors’ hometown–and I need to send copies of my 3rd great-grandmother’s letters to a cousin in New York. It’ll be a busy year, and I don’t know how I’m going to get it all done.
But for the first time in a while, I’m looking forward to what’s ahead–even the uncertainty of whether or not I’ll be teaching in the fall. I started this blog a few weeks after I graduated from college; I was exhausted and unemployed and dreading everything that would come next. It turned out to be ok, though, and I know that I have this blog–and more importantly, each of you–to thank for that. I channeled all of my stress and anxiety into this project, and your encouragement and interest–while completely unexpected–has helped ground me this year. I’ve sent my gratitude to many of you already (and I won’t put you on the spot again here), but if you’ve ever commented or followed or shared any of my posts, I cannot thank you enough. It means the world to me.
So with that, here’s to my first year of blogging–and to many more. I guess I can call myself a blogger now; how weird.