I spent the second day of my flu categorizing all my blog posts.

I was inspired to do this after learning that my BFFs sunk an entire week of their lives into scrolling through all my posts to identify the dates and locations of my travels with Doug as part of their wedding gift to us—a framed map with pins and banners labeling the cities and dates of our adventures.

To my BFFs: Truly sorry for the disorganized mess.

To anyone considering making me a personalized travel map in the future: Great news! Now all you have to do is go to the category list on the right side of my page and click “travel”!

Additionally, you’ll see I’ve added an archive that lets you access posts by month/year. (Note: some of my early posts have weird formatting issues as a result of having been transferred from Blogspot. I’m working on it.)

Scanning my past posts was a fun, if at times startling, reminder of all the phases of this blog.

A brief history of J-Bo.net:

I wrote my first post on 11/5/09 (my first semester of grad school), opening with the line: “I’ve resisted starting a blog because I’ve been trying to do things that make me feel like an adult rather than a pre-teen.”

I then proceeded to post about once every four months, usually only when I was getting pressured by the “Petition for Julia to Update Her Blog” Facebook group, and usually only to post a picture of my living room furniture covered in tin foil and tarp with a promise to explain in the next post why my furniture was covered in tin foil and tarp. Which I never did get around to explaining, and probably never will, because the thought of it is still exhausting.


I then revamped the blog in May 2011 when I finished school and went to India for two months, using it as a way to document my trip/(cry for help?!) Some days, the comments here were the only thing keeping me going.

When I returned from that trip I moved to Iowa with Doug, renamed the blog “Relocating for Love,” and continued to post regularly as a way to document my move/(cry for help?!).


As I reread these early Iowa posts for the first time a couple weeks ago, I was struck by two things.

  • Nostalgia for our early Iowa days. In retrospect, it’s a beautiful thing to move with your partner to a new state with no idea what to expect, even if it’s somewhat terrifying at the time. Those posts are filled with a sense of exploration, as well as a pervasive, underlying anxiety about how things would turn out—both of which I miss. So many things were new back then. First moving in together, adopting a devilish/terrorist kitten together, learning how to cook, learning how to support ourselves, exploring the town and the restaurants, making new friends, traveling throughout the state. I feel 100% more comfortable and settled in Iowa now than I did then, but also much less excitable. Because now, this is just life. (And, as it turns out, it doesn’t take that long to burn through an Iowa bucket list.)
  • Surprised by how often I complained about my job search and my jobs. I guess I blocked out how horrible that process was, as well as how brazenly I blogged about it. Now I don’t write about work at all, because I feel like it’s unprofessional (is that why I couldn’t get hired back then?!) New readers probably don’t even know what I do unless they’ve come across this one post. Also, work is no longer a source of angst for me. Luckily I got to leave that all behind a year after I moved here. At the last job interview I ever went on, I sat across the table from a man with a two-foot beard who didn’t ask questions so much as test my reactions to his repertoire of beard jokes, and I guess I passed, because now that bearded man is the best boss I’ve ever had and I spend several hours each week listening to stories about his beard getting tangled in his seatbelt.

It’s nice when things work out. But it’s also important, sometimes, to go back and remember who you were before you knew that they would.

A couple years ago, when the relocation phase of my life seemed complete, I changed the title of my blog to reflect the general struggle of being a late twenty-something. Though now that I only have a few months left of my twenties, I guess I’ll have to think of something else. (It doesn’t really matter. It’s all just an excuse to write.)

It seems like most blogs I’ve followed have eventually ended when the blogger got burnt out. I don’t get that. I love blogging, and I’m never going to quit. I may disappear for a few weeks here and there as life demands it, but I’ll always come back to this space, and continue to evolve right along with it, until the day I die. And even then, I’ll probably install a post-life blogging app that analyzes the content from my old posts and uses it to compose new ones—the types of things I would have written—long after I’m dead and buried and rotting like last year’s Halloween’s jack-o-lantern.

Okay, that took a dark turn. All I really intended to do was announce the new links on the right side of my page. Knock yourselves out.