image of candles reading '10' on top of a cake

Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the day I started blogging in this space.

Ten years. That is a very long time. In internet years, that's like a biebillion. I've been blogging so long that, when I started blogging, George W. Bush had only been elected (sort of) once, there was no such thing as Twitter, and Walter White was still Malcolm's dad.

When I first started blogging, I didn't even know how to code a link. (See what I did there?) I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and I never imagined that Shakespeare's Sister would ever be anything other than a little space where I rambled, confessed, pleased, yelled into a void.

Ten years and more than 40,000 posts later, we've had millions of page views from countless visitors, hundreds of thousands of comments, and dozens of contributors and moderators. Two contributors have died: Beloved and brilliant Maud and Jonathan Swift. We've had three marriages of people who met in comments. And so many friendships have been forged here.

I've received countless emails from people who have told me that this space and this community changed their lives. Helped them realize what they wanted to do professionally. Gave them the courage to leave an abusive relationship. Inspired them to rescue a dog or a cat who has become an inseparable companion. Turned them into feminists. I have heard from people who told me that my work has influenced them as they drafted policy or wrote court decisions. I have corresponded with people all over the world. The reach of this little space continually amazes me.

I don't even know how to wrap my head around these things. I just hold onto them, and keep them close, so that I always remember that I am putting something into the world that matters. I cannot be cavalier. And I try not to be.

I've never believed that blogs will change the world, but I do believe most fervently that even a single blog has the capacity to change the world for individual people in big and small ways, can turn people on to and connect them with a global community, offer a much-needed laugh on a bad day, provide support and validation from like-minded people, open its readers' minds to new ideas and persuade them to let go of prejudices and give them a new way of understanding and loving themselves. I do believe in expecting more and being engaged and striving for safe spaces and teaspoons. I believe most passionately in teaspoons. I'm happy and grateful to have found people who believe in them, too.

I am a better person than I was ten years ago. I know more about myself, both the good things and the things that need changing. I've made great friends and had great teachers. I've made mistakes and let people down. I've learned more in this space than I ever could have imagined, and I learn still every day.

I am not just a better person for other people, but a better person for myself. I am more content in myself than I have ever been, and I have discovered that I am tougher than I ever imagined I could be.

I am forever changed because of Shakesville, and the people who visit or come to stay.

And I am so grateful to each of you who has supported and encouraged and challenged and taught me along the way. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Those words don't feel big enough to hold my enormous gratitude. Thank you.


Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus