I first started this blog when I was 19, curled up under a duvet in my bed, inside a dingy cold room in my grotty student accommodation. I had my gloves on as I tapped away on my laptop, the air so chilly I could see my breath in it. We would only put the heating on for a few hours a day to save money, but suffice to say I was missing the feel of a warm radiator, as my single-glazed windows welcomed in the unforgiving January weather.
I kicked things off with a small space on Blogger.com, with a basic template and a little profile picture of myself grinning into the camera, still looking like a child. It started like a diary, and I just loved having a space where I could write things – not in just an old notepad where nobody would ever see it – but online, where everybody could.
Writing on here felt so freeing, and it forced me to be creative in all sorts of ways, as I encouraged myself to bash things out on days when I wasn’t really in the mood.
I was rarely ever consistent, writing about one subject one day and on the next, something completely different. My timing was never quite on point either; months would elapse between some, while, on really good days, some were uploaded within only a few hours of each other. It all depended on what I was doing that day, week, or month, whether I had a job or deadline or something to keep me distracted, or whether I had a lot of stuff on my mind that I just had to get out.
I think that’s why I worked so well for me, because it was always there whenever I needed it – listening like a friend would, only too happy to sit on the sidelines for a bit when all the craziness kicked in, as you’d palm it off with excuses like, ‘I really want to see you, but I just have too much going on right now’, hoping it would understand.
And even as time passed, I’d still take moments to scroll back – seeing how my writing has changed, watching out for the new lessons I’ve learnt reflected back in the way I write now. I love laughing at the stupid little stories I’d tell, or more often grimacing at the things I would say or the way I used to think, in my early 20s when I was still figuring all this adult stuff out.
For the most part, this blog has been a comfort blanket in so many ways; like a little baby that I would nurture and feed, parting with my own hard-earned cash to pay for it, keep it going in the best way I could. But like all good things, it has to come to an end.
And I won’t deny that I’m sad about it, because it’s been a huge part of my life that I’m grateful for in so many ways. But it’s time for a new chapter; a new place on the internet for my writing to sit (and here’s hoping someone might actually pay me for it).
Lastly, as I come to the end to this mushy, sentimental ode, I want to thank all the people who have sat there in front of their phone or computer screen for a few minutes to read all the waffle I’ve produced these past seven years, because without you, I guess I’d just be talking to myself – and that is the first sign of madness, after all.
Chatalie the Natabox will be live for one month more, before my domain expires on 11th February. In the meantime, it’s been an absolute blast, and here’s to the next new adventure, wherever it takes me…
See you on the flip side x