Wait… is today the anniversary of the day I started my blog?!

This was the thought I had as I sat down on my couch, journal in hand, checking the date on my phone so that I would know what to write down in today’s entry. September 19th, I thought; that sounds familiar.

As it would turn out, today is, in fact, my blogging anniversary! Three years ago today, I brainstormed name ideas on a sticky note—sherinasays? Saidbysherina?—and decided on sherinaspeaks. I then set up my blog, wrote my first post, and clicked the button that I have since pressed over one hundred times: publish. When I published that first post, three years ago, I had no clue that, three years later, I would still be writing for this blog. I had no idea that blogging would become such an important part of my life. And I certainly had no idea that people would actually read my posts.

If you’ve read some of my other recent posts, you’ll know that I’m currently in a journalism program. Before the school year started, I worried that I wouldn’t feel like blogging during the year; since I would be writing a lot in my journalism classes. Now that I’m a few weeks in, though, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Being a journalism student has made me want to blog even more, believe it or not. As we begin to learn about writing hard-news stories, my professors have made one thing very clear: in a basic, hard-news story there is no place for the journalist’s opinion.

Yes, there are opinion pieces, and lots of other types of journalism where opinions are important. However, when you’re reporting the simple facts of a situation, your opinion doesn’t matter. Which is fine, if you’re not opinionated. But, in this day and age, with SO many things to have an opinion on (cough, the American election, cough) it’s hard to not want to give your opinion. Or, rather… it’s hard to not give your opinion if you don’t have somewhere else to express it.

Since I started this blog, I’ve written a variety of pieces. I’ve written an article about the aboriginal human rights crisis in Canada; I’ve written about the misconceptions surrounding wicca and witches; I’ve even written about the time I won a chicken. I’ve written inspirational posts about my favourite quotes, and I’ve written about current events. I’ve written lots of things and, in almost all of them, I have, in some way, shape, or form, given my opinion.

A few weeks ago at my journalism program orientation, I was talking to another student about my blog. He said something that I’ve been thinking about a lot: “I feel like to be a blogger, you have to have a certain arrogance.” He elaborated to say that bloggers are essentially saying that their opinions are important and that other people should read them. I knew what he meant, but I wouldn’t describe it as an arrogance: it’s more of a uniqueness.

When I started this blog, I didn’t expect nearly 800 people would want to read my opinions. I did, however, believe that my opinions were valid and important—everyone’s opinions are. Every blogger has their own niche, their own spin that makes their posts worth reading. I think for me, part of this comes from the fact that I’m a young person giving my opinion on current issues; and also from the fact that I’m generally optimistic in my posts. This makes my blog unique; and I think every blogger—and, for that matter, every writer—has their own special combination of traits that make them unique.

Three years ago today, I took a chance on my perceived uniqueness. I chose a name, wrote a post, hit publish; and then I watched as, gradually, other people began to resonate with my posts and opinions. Here’s to three years of the SherinaSpeaks community, and to many, many more. Who knows what the future will hold?

(Although that’s the official end to my post, I just wanted to say a huge thank-you to everyone who has supported me in these past three years. To my family, my friends, my teachers, and other bloggers: you have all helped make this blog what it is, and I am so, so grateful to you. Thank you for believing in me, and in my blog!)