There’s nothing like reformatting every single blog post from present to the very first one I published back in 2011. It’s a tedious task, but necessary since I launched a brand-spankin’ new look for KateWasHere.com! Cue the confetti.
The decision to redesign came after I noticed that there were too many bugs on my site. Even with my intermediate knowledge in CSS, I could no longer salvage the theme I downloaded for free back in 2011. My site host also told me to just buy a modern theme and let go of the obsolete one.
After purchasing and customizing my new cool theme, the drudging task came next—reformatting every single photo and blog post.
But as the days went by, it became more than just coding and resizing media embeds. It was a stroll down a path I wasn’t prepared to face—memory lane. From the grammatical errors I can’t believe I missed to the terrible DIY photo filter I first used, every single blog post made me realize how much KateWasHere.com—and Kate (if I may refer to myself in the third person)—have grown.
I cringed at some of the posts I churned out for the sake of having something to release that week. Should I delete or keep them there? It’s like the high school essay I thought was brilliant at the moment, only for me to laugh at upon unearthing it in my adulthood. I decided to keep some. Others were begging to be deleted.
I saw the growth of my voice—how I experimented with various writing styles, how I tried to keep up with the AP Style Book, and how I was loyal to the Oxford comma. One moment I sounded like a casual blogger, and another moment I was more like National Geographic. I remember how “he/she” was the correct pronoun for neutral gender, but in today’s woke and modern era, it has finally evolved to “they.”
I shook my head at how I tried to squeeze in 20-30 photos per blog post back in 2012-2011. What were you thinking, Kate? I’ve learned to keep things simple.
What about my “Quirks” section? It started as “Kitsch of the Week,” and bless my 2011 self for thinking it was a weekly gig I could maintain. I changed it to “Quirk of the Week” after I realized that not everyone sees the word kitsch as a term of endearment the way I and the Betsey Johnsons of the world do. When weekly was no longer viable, it became “Quirk of the Month.” Finally, come 2018, it simply became “Quirks.”
As for “My Space,” that section is still alive and kicking.
I noticed names and faces that appeared constantly one season, and then gone the next. Some were meant to be that way—just a passing character that helped fill up the scene. Other characters I wish had recurred longer. And for those who know my personal life story, one nickname brought a wave of emotions—pain, longing, love, and finally, peace, because that’s where I am in my life now.
If there’s one thing I observed when I painstakingly went through every single blog post from years past, it’s how much I’ve healed. I’ve survivedmajor depressive disorder and general anxiety disorder. More than yo-yoing weight as the side effect of medication (I was on Escitalopram from 2012-2018), I could tell by looking at my eyes in each photo if that was a good day or bad. No one else would notice, but I knew if I was secretly going through the darkness at that moment.
There’s one particular beauty vlog I did for a magazine years ago. I hated watching it because—even if no one else could tell—my aura reeked of depression. No amount of makeup or modeling could mask the fact that I wanted to jump out of my skin during that shoot. I relapsed hard that week.
But as 2018 trickled to an end, so did the great depression. My doctor told me that my type of clinical depression is for life, and that a relapse can still happen even after months or years of being cleared. I’ve accepted that. For years I’ve learned to curb my Black Dog.
I can’t believe my blog turned 8, and that I’ve survived depression.