The Big 100th

Monday, November 17, 2014

It's been coming for a while now. In a sense, I've been building up to it ever since I first began blogging. And now, it's finally here...

My 100th blog post!!!

Yes- that's right. You are reading the 100th Walk In the Rain With Me blog post... Honestly, it's a little hard to believe. In many ways, I feel like it was just yesterday that I decided to start up a blog.

100 is such a big number, you know. It means 100 pages of words I wrote. It means 100 times putting myself out there. It means 100 attempts to shut out everything else so I can just finish writing.

But most of all, it means 100 little pieces of my heart

I've said it before, and I'll say it again- when I write, it's not just words on a page. It's me sharing a part of myself. I tend to be a very guarded, private, sometimes even distant person. Sure, I disguise it well. I smile a lot, laugh a lot, and do my best to make small talk. I'll tell you about my day, and I can even get pretty worked up when I start talking about something that's close to my heart.

But it's a struggle for me to really open up to someone, and with most people, I never do. I have to work at it, because I naturally want to keep things to myself as much as possible.

But this is me... letting you in. 

100 times.

So to celebrate, I've compiled my Top 10 "Top 10" Lists. I can think of no better way to spend this 100th post. (No- seriously. I've tried.) Unless otherwise noted, these lists are in no particular order. I'm just putting stuff down as I think of them.

So without further ado... Let's get started!

My Top 10 "Top 10" Lists

Top 10 Songs I've Been Playing

1. It's Not Over Yet by for KING & COUNTRY

2. Message in a Bottle by The Police

3. Meant to Live by Switchfoot

4. What I Wouldn't Do by Serena Ryder

5. Trying to Throw Your Arms Around the World by U2

6. Hello My Old Heart by The Oh Hello's

7. Cosmic Love by Florence + The Machine

8. Love Love Love by The Mountain Goats

9. Feel Again by OneRepublic

10. Talk by Kodaline

  Top 10 Favorite Things About Blogging

1. Getting to meet so many other bloggers.

2. Participating in challenges like 31 Days.


4. Putting my time and effort into creating and maintaining a "website".

5. Having a place to share my thoughts and struggles.

6. Looking back at old posts and seeing how I've improved.

7. Seeing that people from all over the world have read my words.

8. Hearing that people I know are reading my blog.

9. Sharing relevant pictures- not just words.

10. Connecting with other blogs via Facebook.

Top 10 Books On My Shelf

1. Sherlock Holmes Boxed Set, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This one's actually part of my e-bookshelf. I honestly do not remember the first time I read a Sherlock Holmes story, but I do know that one of the main things to get me interested in this iconic character was listening to an audio-recording of "The Speckled Band." Since then, I have made it my goal to read every single Sherlock Holmes story written by Doyle. I'm not there yet, but well on my way!

2. The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien. Because all three of these books were originally intended to be one, I have decided to list them as such. My dad was the one to introduce me to these books, and I am so thankful he did! In fact, my first memory of The Lord of the Rings is actually my sister and Imaking gingerbread houses in the kitchen while my dad was watching The Two Towers in the living room. I think I may have been five at the time, and I was trying so hard not to be scared by it because I knew my older sister was. A few years ago, he read the entire series to us, and I fell in love.

3. A Wrinkle In Time, by Madeleine L'Engle. Once again, my dad was the one to introduce and read A Wrinkle In Time (as well as its sequels) to me. It was one option on the list of assigned reading for 6th or 7th grade literature, and because he loved it so much, we all read it together. It's such a great story, and I think I love it even more now than I did then.

4. The Giver, by Lois Lowry. This has been on my list of favorites ever since I read it at age 11. It's so thought-provoking, and different... Or, was. But really, it was dystopian-literature before dystopian-literature was cool! Also it's just really well-written.

5. Perelandra, by C. S. Lewis. This book is absolutely one of the best and yet weirdest books I have ever read. One of the most remarkable things about it was that Lewis took the unimaginable and made it imaginable. The whole concept of another planet's salvation is mind-blowing, and it's so well-written that I was practically glued to the page!

6. Among the Hidden, by Margaret Peterson Haddix. This is another piece of dystopian-literature that was written before dystopian-literature was cool. I came across this book after reading Because of Anya- another book by this same author. After liking that one so much, I checked-out three or four more of her books, and Among the Hidden happened to be one of them. So began the obsession with Margaret Peterson Haddix...

7. Eragon, by Christopher Paolini. I loved this book, and am in the process of reading it for the umpteenth time. I was first introduced to this series because we got the movie, not realizing it was based off of a book. I thought the movie was pretty cool, and when I found out there was a book, of course I had to read it! Especially because it was 500 pages long, and at 11, it was the longest book I'd ever read. So obviously I read it in one day. (Then the fourth book came out- and it made me so mad! But that's a story for another time.)

8. 2BR02B, by Kurt Vonnegut. Pronounced "2 B R Not 2 B", this is another addition to my digital bookshelf. I read this for the first time during 10th Grade literature, and loved it so much that I've read it at least once since then. The ending was so jarring and the premise so eery that... well, how could I not love it?! Is that weird? Probably. Do I care? Absolutely not.

9. The Last Battle, by C. S. Lewis. Yes, he's the only author to be featured on this list twice, but his books are so amazing that he definitely deserves it. The Last Battle is hands-down my favorite book from The Chronicles of Narnia, and since I felt I could only share one from the series, there was no question which it would be. I love how this pulls everything together in one heart-wrenching finale. I still listen to the audiobook on a semi-regular basis, and even have bits and pieces memorized.

10. The Unauthorized Autobiography of Lemony Snicket, by Lemony Snicket. This book is a wonderful addition to the world he created in The Series of Unfortunate Events. Although this isn't a technical "continuation" of the original series, I love how he remains so true to the books, and even answers questions you were left with after you finished the others. And you've still got that wonderful sense of humor and eternal stating-of-the-obvious.

Top 10 Lessons I've Learned Through Blogging

1. People care about what I have to say. I tend to be one of those people who thinks the worst of themselves, so it continually amazes me that people care.

2. The hardest ones to publish are usually the ones that mean the most. Almost like clockwork, if I feel hesitant about actually publishing the post, someone really needs to read it.

3. It really is possible to publish a blog post every day. Participating in the 31 Days challenge taught me a lot about myself, and you can read my full post about that over here.

4. Don't wait to be inspired. Don't passively sit around if the words won't come. Sometimes, you just don't feel like writing. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't! It just means you need to work for it.

5. I really like "communicating!" Originally, I wanted to be a nurse. Now, I want to major in communications. Blogging has enabled me to get a little bit of a taste for what that would be like... and I love it!

6. Bold text makes a difference. It's so much nicer to read on a computer screen when the entire page doesn't look the same. Just try not to overuse it.

7. There's always more to write about. No matter how much you've written, you can always find something else.

8. I really am becoming a better writer. There's a noticeable difference between my old blog posts and my more recent ones. I've developed my own voice, it looks better, and there are generally less errors.

9. It's not about the views. It doesn't matter if two people read it or two-hundred, my worth (and the worth of what I'm saying) isn't defined by a number.

10. Life isn't as nice without writing. Stories, blog posts, journals... It all plays such a vital role. Words are like windows into other worlds.

Top 10 Greatest Blogs I've Found

 1. The Minimalists. Seems the title says it all.

2. Cranberry Tea Time. An incredible lady who also lives with a chronic illness, and who writes about coping with illness, supporting those with an illness, etc.

3. Happy Little Somethings. Possibly the first blog I ever started following.

4. J + W. Started following this blog during her 31 Days of Minimalism series, and now I'm in for the long run.

5. Lens & Pens. Another blog I found during her 31 Days of Living Like I'm Dying series.

6. My Fight. My Story. A blog written by another teen who lives with dysautonomia.

7. Be More With Less. Another minimalism blog with some really great ideas.

8. Moogly. A great crafting blog with some awesome free crochet patterns!

9. Living With Bob. Hands-down, one of the best blogs from a dysautonomia patient.

10. Debi Stangeland. The blog for all bloggers! Another one that I found during her 31 Days to a Better Blog series.

Top 10 Reasons I'm a Nerd/Geek (And Proud Of It!)

1. I read Shakespeare for fun.

2. I own not one but two bow ties... And have worn both.

3. I readily admit to being obsessed with Doctor Who.

4. I'm homeschooled, which may not be nerdy on its own, but certainly gives me an edge.

5. Nerdfighter! (If you don't get it... Google it.)

6. I can get really worked up when talking about books. (Especially Perelandra.)

7. I have worn suspenders, and at least once it was because I needed them...

8. I've been to an anime convention... in costume.

9. I stubbornly refuse to upgrade to a smartphone.

10. My dream is to someday own my own Sherlock coat... And I will wear it. All the time.

Top 10 Things You Need to Know About  My Illness(es)

1. I have two confirmed illnesses- Ehler's-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS).

2. One is genetic, and one is considered chronic. This means I don't appreciate being asked if I'm "better now."

3. I also don't appreciate unsolicited medical advice. I know you're trying to be helpful, but... it's just not.

4. Another thing- neither illness was caused by stress, anxiety, or depression. However, they can both cause stress, anxiety, and/or depression.

5. Both illnesses are associated with a decrease in energy, so please know that I'm trying.

6. Both illnesses are also very unpredictable and vary from day to day. I may be fine today, but tomorrow is a completely different story.

7. Another symptom of both illnesses is pain. Severe pain. So if I'm a little out of it, please try to be patient with me. My brain doesn't always know how to process it all.

8. Never ever attempt to say that you "get that too" unless you have been diagnosed with or may have a medical condition. Ever.

9. I get tired very easily. This could mean that I go to the mall today and spend the next day in bed recovering.

10. I don't mind answering questions about my illnesses. If you're curious, just come ask me!

Top 10 Favorite Past Blog Posts

WARNING! You are now entering the world of archived blog posts, where mis-types and funky-formatting are running rampant. Please step carefully, and suspend all judgement. Thank you.

1. Chronically Hopeful

2. The Problem of Slavery

3. Dear POTS...

4. The Things We Fear the Most

5. 5 Skinny-Girl Myths: Debunked!

6. When All You Have Is Fishes...

7. The Teeter-Totter

8. 30 Things About My Invisible Illness

9. On Getting Over Myself

10. Inspirational People: Corrie Ten Boom

Top 10 Cool Places To Go (In My Opinion)

1. Anywhere in Ireland. Hopefully I'll stay in a bed & breakfast... And see a castle.

2. Missoula, Montana. I really want to go to Montana, so Missoula seems as good as anywhere else.

3. New Zealand. Where you can tour Hobbiton.

4. Lisse, The Netherlands. Particularly so I can visit Keukenhof- a huge garden with lots of tulips. And tulips are my favorite flower.

5. London, England. Because... Sherlock!

6. Cardiff, Wales. Because... Doctor Who!

7. Istanbul, Turkey. The only reason I want to go there is so I can sing the song.

8. Oneonta Gorge, Oregon. Have you seen pictures of this place??? It's absolutely stunning!

9. Edinburgh, Scotland. So much history... and gorgeous grass.

10. Skagit Valley Tulip Fields, Washington. More tulips, guys!

Top 10 Things On My Bucket List

1. Complete a novel.

2. Ride on a roller-coaster.

3. Visit a foreign country.

4. Start a Youtube channel.

5. See the Northern Lights.

6. Road-trip from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast.

7. Build a tiny home/cob house.

8. Drive a car.

9. Do a "Random Acts of Kindness" challenge.

10. Have a pet.

So there you have it! My Top 10 "Top 10" Lists, and the 100th blog post on Walk In the Rain With Me. There are quite a few changes happening and lots of exciting news coming up, so keep your eyes open! I plan to have a post out within the week just kind of showing you guys what I've been working on.

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  1. Happy 100th post! It's a big milestone and you're right to celebrate it.

    Skipping off to find my Police CD and give it a whirl...

    1. Thank you! It's definitely been really exciting for me.

      In spite of being several years too young, I've always loved The Police!

  2. Happy 100th post! What great lists. It always amazes me how God puts people into our lives. My colleague/pastor's daughter is in 8th grade and has been diagnosed with POTS too. I've seen a bit of how it's affected her and her family. Thanks for sharing your story !

  3. Congrats on posting your 100th post. I just posted my 100th post today as well. I enjoyed reading all of your top 10s. thanks for sharing.

  4. Happy 100th post! I love your 10 lists of 10! (And I am so touched that you included me in your favorite blog list!)
    I loved reading each of the lists (I'm from Seattle and have never seen the Skagit Valley tulips - definitely on my bucket list!). I can't wait to keep reading and learning more about your heart!

  5. Loved reading your top 10 lists of 10! Hoping you get to realize some of those "dreams" or "wishes" or whatever you call them...and congrats on your 100th post! I think I have a ways to go yet for that milestone; but I am close to 100 "likes" on my Facebook page!!! (Does that count?? Just kiddin')...Keep going; next milestone is 150, then 200!!!

  6. What a FUN post!! I love that you decided to do this. It takes the pressure off writing a new, amazing, all-encompassing post... and lets your readers have a fabulous peek into YOU!