It’s my bloggerversary again! The Magical World Of is 2!
Actually, it was a week ago, but I forgot. Again…
So instead of celebrating numbers like last year, I thought I’d talk about why I started this blog.
This is gonna be weird for me, because, although I do nothing but talk about my opinions and thoughts on this site, I rarely actually talk about myself or my life. So here goes.
This time of year doesn’t only denote my two year bloggerversary, it also marks my three year spoonieversary. And for those of you who don’t know what a spoonieversary is (probably almost all of you), I’ll get to that in a minute.
Three years ago I was studying abroad and got really sick, but had no clue what was wrong with me. I came home, and five months later I finally had a diagnosis: gastroparesis. Good news? Not something scary and fatal, and I finally had an explanation for my chronically upset tummy! Bad news? There was no cure. Only the hope of, through a lengthy process of trial and error, finding a proper balance of medication and lifestyle adjustments to allow me to manage my symptoms. It’s a constant negotiation that I’m still working out today. You know those long gaps I’ve had in between blog posts every so often? Yeah, that’s why.
For those of you who are curious, gastroparesis is a paralysis of the stomach where it doesn’t digest food properly. So basically it kinda feels like having a stomach flu every time you eat.
As you can imagine, this led me to spending quite a bit of time in bed, sick, needing a distraction. And what was that distraction, you probably don’t even need to ask?
Disney was my escape. It was my happy place that I went to when symptoms made life kinda sucky that day. I spent an absurd amount of time not only watching Disney movies, but surfing the online Disney community, watching YouTube videos of character meet and greets and closed attractions, listening to Disney podcasts, and reading blogs. And every time I found a particularly fun fact, I’d text Big Bro.
“Hey, you know at the Crystal Palace how we always saw waiters high-fiving Tigger and we thought it was just fun and super cool? Well, turns out that’s their signal to do a few more tables and then take a break.”
So after about a year of this, Big Bro, who works in web marketing, comes home for Thanksgiving and says to me, “How would you like to write for a Disney blog?”
“That’d be awesome. But who’s gonna let me write for them? I can’t exactly do deadlines now.”
“No, I’m gonna make you a blog.”
“…you can do that?”
For the rest of the holiday, I kept peppering him with questions.
“But…what would I write about?”
“Leah, when have you ever had trouble coming up with things to say?”
“How do people know about it?”
“You promote it on social media, like twitter.”
“….how do I use twitter?”
That one took me a while to figure out, let me tell ya.
But I eventually figured it out, with the help of the lovely people of the Disney blog community, my Big Bro, and of course, my favorite blogging tool: the gif.
But my blogging skills not only allowed me an outlet for Disneyfied distraction and accidental alliteration (fine, it was probably purposeful). It opened my eyes to the true power of the internet and social media. All those people who are shouting about self absorbed youth who do nothing but tweet and instagram all day? They’re missing a big part of the picture.
I don’t care what the haters say, hashtag activism starts a conversation and allows people to voice their opinions in a way we never had before.
But most importantly, to me, it allows you to connect with a unique kind of community when you find yourself in a niche group. Like people who are intensely obsessed with Disney…
…or people who are chronically ill, otherwise known as spoonies.
The internet has been my number one resource for, not only distracting myself from my disease, but also for finding people who can help me learn to live with it. But it took quite a shovel to dig through all the crap of the internet to get to what I needed.
So I decided to create my own website that cuts out the middle man. Where people with all types of chronic illnesses — autoimmune, depression, anxiety, GI disorders, autism, muscular disorders, you name it — could blog about tips and tales of their life with chronic illness, called Spoon Shares.
“Wait, are you telling me this entire thing was a blatant promotion for your new site?!”
Mostly, I wanted to share how this blog, your readership, your comments, and your social media interactions, have helped me in a way I haven’t previously expressed.
Or, if you have a chronic illness and want to contribute to the site, that would be coolest.
I’m just gonna put this gif here again.
Don’t worry, I won’t forget my first child. This won’t be like when Andy got Buzz.
I spend way too much time thinking about Disney and all things magical to give this up. I’ve got a lot of things planned for this goofy little site I love so much, and I hope you’ll be around to see them.
In the mean time, stay childish.