Two years ago on this date I sat down at my computer and started typing - and it feels like I haven't stopped ever since that day. You see two years ago today I wrote and posted the very first entry in this blog, a little post titled "Life in the Mac". That was long before I knew where this journey would take me, and long before I knew anyone could be offended by the nickname "Fort Mac" (although I continue to use that unrepentantly because it is a term of endearment for me). It was before I had even considered what some words on a little website could do, and it was a time when my life was very different.
When I began this blog I had been writing a personal blog for a couple of months, but other than that I had not written in years. I wasn't even certain I could write, or if anyone would ever care to read what I wrote. And so it all began on April 9th, 2011 - and what a ride it has been.
Over the past two years my life has been transformed. I can't even begin to articulate some of the experiences I have had, or what they have meant to me. I have met so many people who have had a profound impact on my life - and some of the people who have become the ones closest to me I have met in the last two years, and directly as a result of this blog.
This is a day I pause to reflect on those past two years, and to consider what lies ahead. Over the course of two years this blog has seen over 260,000 visitors. One blog post alone, a small open letter to our Premier written on April 27, 2012, was read over 25,000 times - 20,000 of those in the first two days after it was written. That single blog post was perhaps the turning point for me, as I went to bed one night a blogger and woke up the next morning to interview requests from radio, television, and print media. My life had changed in under twelve hours, although I hadn't quite grasped that yet.
The one word that comes to me constantly is gratitude. I am profoundly grateful for every opportunity I have enjoyed, every person I have met, every story I have had the privilege and honour to hear and write, and every single person who has ever read this blog. It isn't really this blog that changed my life, you see - it is all of you. You are the ones who shared your stories with me. You are the ones who invited me to events. You are the ones who told me when you thought I had it right - and when you thought I had it wrong. You are the ones who read the words I write. You are the ones who changed my world. And for that I am deeply grateful.
Thank you. Thank you for sharing your stories, and your lives, with me. Thank you for reading this blog and for being part of this adventure. And thank you most of all for being part of this amazing community I call home, a place which inspires me to write and think and dream. Thank you for the last two years. The adventure isn't nearly over, and there are many more stories to tell.
I end this post with my motto. As many people know this particular phrase appears on many things I own, from my iPhone case to my notebooks. As always I intend to do exactly this, because that is what we all do in this vast northern forest under the dancing northern lights. We keep calm, and carry on - and if you are me you just keep on writing, which is exactly what I intend to do because it seems that is what I have always been meant to do, even if I didn't always know it. Two years ago today I took the first steps to discovering who I was meant to be - and today I celebrate that discovery. And today I share that celebration with all of you with gratitude, and joy. Thank you once again - now keep calm, and carry on, Fort Mac.