one year

A year ago, while in the haze of post-graduation adjustments, I decided I wanted to start blogging again, and The Last Day in August was born. Though I was working full time, I felt like something was missing — and I thought blogging, something I’d done on and off for the past five years, might fill that gap. 

A lot changed in my transition from student to (mostly) self-sufficient adult. Not everything survived. Friendships changed. Some dissolved, some evloved. My three-year relationship came to an end.  Other things grew — like my blog. I can’t help but wonder (I say in my best Carrie Bradshaw voice), would the latter still be here if the former had carried on? I’m not so sure.

I started this blog thinking it would be a mix of lifestyle and living in New York, with the occasional outfit and makeup post thrown into the mix. And in the beginning it was. I even shared this blog, publicly, on Instagram and Facebook — something I had never done before for fear of judgment and ridicule. (It’s worth noting that I’ve endured neither of these things — only support). I’ll admit, I had the occasional visions of grandeur, imagining myself deep in the blogging world, writing about fashion and life as a twenty-something in the city. 

And then I realized, I didn’t want to put in the social media work necessary to grow an audience and build a following. 

I just wanted to write. 

Maybe I’d share photos on occasion, and document memories, but from an innate desire within myself and not for a particular audience. 

Admitting that to myself was strange at first after thinking I could build my blog into something bigger. And then, it was a relief. Yes, it meant that not many people read this blog. But it also meant that the only impetus to post was my own interest in sharing, or desire to write. I began to explore the personal essay branch of blogging in a way I never had in the past. (This might not align with the mysterious nature I should carry as a Scorpio, but it does align with the emotional side of me I’ve come to embrace). I began writing about heartbreak and change and the city I loved. I never imagined I would write about my ex in a public place, albeit in broad strokes, or be so vulnerable on the internet. But in the way it so often does, addressing insecurities and times of difficulty has actually made me more confident as I’ve gone through them. I’ve grown as a person, and, I believe, too as a writer. 

Going through these transitions in subject matter made me question what was the point of a blog when I often journaled about the same topics. For me, at least, my blog is where I attempt to make sense of both the specific occasions and broader themes I journal about. The public nature of a website keeps me honest, and holds me accountable. At the very least, if the content of my conclusions are lacking, I can at least put forth the best craft I am capable of.  

Now that I’ve reached a year of this little corner of the internet, I’ve been questioning what’s next for my blog. Will I ever return to my beauty-loving roots? Will I continue on navel-gazing even when the personal essay has been decreed dead several times over? Will I post about my favorite places in the city? Will I take the meta route and write more about writing? I don’t know the answers to all of these questions yet. Only that for now, I’ll continue writing here. I’d like to start bringing my individual experiences into larger conversations, pushing myself to think more critically and write more thoughtfully. As much as I’ve grown and changed in the last year, as an individual and a writer, my blog has too. And I imagine, another year down the line, that will continue to be the case. 

Amber Hunter