Imagine this. I am enjoying an Estelle-concocted liquor coffee drink while settling in for an evening of second helpings from our Thanksgiving lunch, football, and trying to keep warm in my parents’ living room. I open up the Dashboard for This Happy Place Blog and realize everything, and I mean everything, is missing. I know how many people visited the blog on Wednesday but all my drafts, recent posts and older posts, were all gone.
I panicked. Being the smart and intelligent person I am, I never backed up my site once even after I got multiple email reminders in the past 3 years. I wasn’t only sad for 3 years of work and pictures and time but for the guest writers who have shared their work, their creativity, and their time with me and made my blog a place they called home sometimes.
What if it was ALL gone?
My parents are avid readers of the blog, and they got to experience my freak-out firsthand.
“Someone should have that stored for you, right?” they asked.
“What does that mean?”
“I don’t really know what that means.” I mumbled.
All I wanted to do was make up a Black Friday Gift Guide and now I had to figure out whether I had to call my host or WordPress. I started with the first option, and was quickly told there was a problem with a WordPress update and the problem was on them. Well, that might have been true but as I would find out later, there was a disconnect between the WordPress update and my hosting space. Basically, I didn’t ask my host the right questions and thank the web lords I have friends like Rachel and Melissa who dealt with my crazy and my awesome layout designer Cindy who solved the problem.
I didn’t write this to bore you about hi-tech hi-jinks. It made me think that this “hobby” is hard. Even after three years, I don’t know all the answers and I hold my breath when I see other friends have their sites go down because (as you can see) I don’t even know who to call. As much as this looks like a solo act, This Happy Place Blog runs because of the collaborations I have with other people and my own admittance that I’m just not good at everything. I’m not a coder, or a layout artist, or even a great troubleshooter. Part of that disappoints me because when I was in middle school, I was all of those people and I loved it. This is what happens when you don’t keep practicing, and you just don’t have the time in the day to learn everything. I wish I did. Instead, I’m the writer and the idea person. I’m okay with that because you know what? This blog is all about fun, sharing opinions on this vast company, providing tips and fun places to stop on your next trip, and having an outlet.
Like this unexpected challenge reminded me, doing something for fun is not without its stresses or complications. Unfortunately. Sometimes an idea you had shows up on another blog before you had the time to do it, and it’s difficult not to feel a little sting when recognition happens for one person and not another. Social media can be so amazing; connecting people with similar interests so easily and constantly but it’s also just as easy to compare and find yourself with a glimpse into some things you would rather not see. So sharing is sometimes comparing and caring, ya know?
Ah. I bet you weren’t thinking you would come over here and read this kind of post from me, huh? I guess it’s just the scare of losing all my content and THREE FULL YEARS OF MY LIFE. It’s like preparing for a huge dance competition or football game and breaking your leg or arm or something. Truth be told, I was fully preparing myself for “the end,” as difficult as it would be to stop posting or being an active part of this community. Does that mean I care less than I thought? Uh no. I think it’s just the opposite. I care too much. As much as this blog exists to help people, it’s also been the most steady form of a journal I’ve kept since college, marking new adventures, new friendships, and the more frivolous things like the sunglasses I lost or the bags I have wanted to buy.
Even though this age of the internet makes it easy for people to start their own platform and shout from the rooftops, I thought I would reiterate that this is hard work. So many people in these communities disappear while others prosper; sometimes we forget that, like in real life, respect and understanding should be at the core of what we do. We are a world of vast opinions and thoughts, whether it’s about politics or Avatarland or why Frozen is so popular. Yes, this hobby might be an investment money-wise but it’s also very personal for me so I’m thankful to be back up, chatting with you guys (or to myself), and using this space to help me grow in ways I never expected.
Short story: backup your blogs.
Short story 2: thanks for listening. (As always.)