Heather at Perron

8 Years, 800 Blog Posts

This is my 800th blog post.

I lied a little bit in the title because it hasn’t actually been eight years — I published my first post on 26 June 2010. But close enough.

I wasn’t sure I would write a post to commemorate this. 800 is a strange number — 500 (which I also blogged about) and 1000 seem more significant. But 800 is still a lot. Assuming an average of 600-650 words per post, I’ve written at least 500,000 words on this blog. Half a million!

Heather at Perron
My name is Heather and I’ve written half a million words. Photo shot by Nina Neubauer at Perron in Melville — my new favorite lunch spot.

This milestone comes at a poignant moment for me. I find myself pondering all that’s happened since I started the blog — seven years, four months, and fifteen days ago — and wondering what it all means.

2Summers started as a kind of expat travel journal and eventually morphed into an ongoing story about life in Johannesburg.  I think of it as a “culture blog”. Accidentally I think I’ve created something pretty unique.

From time to time, 2Summers has also been a place where I pour out all my grief and anger and joy over the tragedies and triumphs in my life. There have been many tragedies and many triumphs over the last 800 posts.

As the Melville Cat already announced, my three-year-relationship ended recently. For the last several weeks, in addition to feeling like I’ve been run over by a convoy of garbage trucks, this breakup has left me questioning lots of things.

For example. What does it mean to be 43-year-old single woman with no children in the world today? Why do I have so many unsuccessful relationships? Why is Donald Trump STILL the President of the United States?

(Okay, that last one has nothing to do with my breakup. But I want to know.)

At some point recently it dawned on me that my life is HALF OVER. Maybe even more than half. For the first time ever I find myself questioning my mortality and the possibility (which every human faces) that I might die alone. A tad melodramatic? Perhaps. But also it’s true.

So yeah, I’m questioning a lot. But there are two things I don’t question: 1) Living in Joburg; and 2) This blog.

Since the breakup, a couple of people have asked if I plan to stay in Joburg. I’m always a bit taken aback, because how on earth would I live anywhere else? This city has embedded itself into the texture of my being and that happened long before this failed relationship ever started.

Of course no one has asked me if I plan to continue blogging. Because stopping this blog would be just ridiculous.

So this post isn’t one of those snappy “8 things I learned in 800 posts” kind of posts. (If you want to read one of those though, please check out my friend Anje’s lovely post from earlier today.)

All I really want to say is: Blog, I love you. You’ve saved my ass repeatedly and now you’re doing it again. You give me a reason to exist. So thanks.

Will you marry me, Blog?

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  • Reply foxtrotindigo October 13, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Happy half a million words, Heather! x

    • Reply 2summers October 13, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      Thanks Fiona 🙂

  • Reply GoingSomewhereSlowly (@AnjeRautenbach) October 13, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    I think I’ve just heard an “I do”.
    Congratulations on the 800th blog post, and thank you for always being so real! I look forward to the next 800 and I’m pretty sure Joburg looks forward to the next 800 as well! xx

    • Reply 2summers October 13, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      1600 posts! Now that would really be something.

  • Reply Maureen Mauzie Anderson October 13, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Hi Heather, first of all a big congratulations to you on your 800th blog post! A huge achievement and milestone most certainly. I found your post about single life and break ups very endearing and please note that you are truly not alone! I am now 49 years of age and have 4 feline companions in my household. I too, throughout my life have been in quite a number of relationships, some long term, some short term and the thing that you must take out of each and every encounter/relationship is that they are now done and dusted and it’s time to move forward onto bigger, brighter, happier things and those things might not even involve being in a relationship. I truly think that the first half of my life was spent doting on men and the concept of love and romance but now that I am approaching my half a century mark I am quite happy to spend the next 50 years of my life without a man in my life, without being in a relationship at all. I am so happy just spending time with friends, family, my beloved cats and most of all – myself. Learn to love yourself completely and be proud of who you are as a woman at this age and just go for it – it being all that emcompasses life and happiness. You don’t need a man to fulfill your needs or happiness.Trust me! Big hugs to the Mellville cat from myself and all my furry friends this side of Jhb 🙂

    • Reply 2summers October 13, 2017 at 8:33 pm

      Hi Maureen, thank you so much for this lovely comment. I totally hear you and I know you’re right. Thank you so much for reading and please give the Melville Cat’s best to your feline family.

  • Reply Leizl October 13, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Congratulations Heather! I am 43 and am married with two children and I have questions that are actually similar to yours, just from the other side… half my life is over and what have I seen and done? I don’t have the time or freedom to do all of the wonderful things that you get to do. Thank goodness I can live vicariously through your blog!

    I think love and companionship are found in different places for different people.

    People like me need people like you! So, thank you for writing 800 blogs. I joined you a bit late but I love reading your love letters to Joburg each week.

    • Reply 2summers October 13, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      Hi Leizl, thank you so much for sharing that. It’s strangely comforting to know that we all have our own unique fears and uncertainties about life. And I do realize that I’m very lucky in so many ways. All the best to you and your family.

  • Reply Brenda Reiss October 13, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Hi Heather….and the Melville Cat!
    Yes….congratulations! Your enthusiasm is delightful and your blog, even when you write about something difficult, is positive. No wonder we readers feel like we know you.
    I’m an American who lived in Jhb while growing up….before you were born…! I have only been back once and that was 20 years ago. I now belong to a FB page for South Africans in the US so I hear a lot of fear and anger at how things are going in SA, but your blog makes me want to go back for a visit. So thanks! Dankie!

    • Reply 2summers October 13, 2017 at 8:28 pm

      Oh, thank you so much Brenda. I’m happy to offer a competing point of view to that of your SA/American friends 🙂

  • Reply tenneymason October 13, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Wow! Half a milli0n words. Can 1mil be far behind. Congratulations

    • Reply 2summers October 13, 2017 at 8:27 pm

      I guess I’ll get there in another 8 years!

  • Reply Gail Scott Wilson October 13, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Congratulations and just to let you know I have so enjoyed reading everyone of those half a million words with so many different reactions, some happy, some sad but mostly “I have to do that”. Thanks for opening my eyes to so much in my own city and being a friend. Cheers to many more experiences to blog about.

    • Reply 2summers October 13, 2017 at 8:27 pm

      Aw, thanks Gail. There’s no better person to receive that compliment from.

  • Reply Cecilia October 13, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    congratulations Heather 🙂

    • Reply 2summers October 13, 2017 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks Cecelia!

  • Reply amelie88 October 13, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    800 posts! What an achievement. I stopped blogging about two years ago. Didn’t mean for it to happen, it just kind of did. I’ve followed your blog for awhile and while I may not read it as often anymore (I stopped reading blogs in general awhile ago) but would check in once awhile.

    Sorry to hear about your break up but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you. Some people find a life long “soul mate,” others go through life mostly single, others have several relationships and there’s nothing wrong with any of it. Some people have kids and others don’t. Elizabeth Taylor had 8 husbands (?) and people still thought she was fabulous. Queen Elizabeth I never outwardly had a public relationship with a man and never married or had children. You’re good. 🙂

    • Reply 2summers October 13, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      Haha, thank you. It’s actually very comforting to hear that. And that’s for the comment – it’s great to hear from you again 🙂

    • Reply 2summers October 13, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      Also I didn’t know that about Queen Elizabeth I!

  • Reply violetonlineisonline October 13, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    congrats on 800 and also, I want to be a bridesmaid!

    • Reply 2summers October 14, 2017 at 6:51 am

      You’re in.

  • Reply Jaina October 13, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    Happy 800 blog posts! I’d definitely say that that’s a reason to celebrate. A huge achievement to be regularly blogging and committing to something for that long. Massive congrats, Heather.

    I think it’s healthy, when hitting milestones like this, to look back and forward and wonder what the future will hold. Who knows, and I can’t wait to find, are two of my favorite replies.

    Keep on blogging, Heather. I may not reply all the time, but I do read!

    • Reply 2summers October 14, 2017 at 6:51 am

      Thanks so much Jaina. xxx

    • Reply 2summers October 14, 2017 at 6:53 am

      PS, did you change domains? I just realized that somehow I’ve been missing all your posts lately! 😩

  • Reply autumnashbough October 14, 2017 at 12:27 am

    Ahem. You know the questions you posed in your post?

    Why do I have so many unsuccessful relationships? Why is Donald Trump STILL the President of the United States?

    I have the answer. To both. The same answer, really.

    White men are stupid and self-centered.

    • Reply 2summers October 14, 2017 at 6:54 am

      Damn, you’re good.

  • Reply thirdeyemom October 14, 2017 at 2:45 am

    What a beautiful post Heather. As you know I probably have followed your blog from the beginning.’we are close in age too and while I am at seven years of blogging I know exactly how you feel. My blog has become my diary of life. I can’t imagine life without it. Like you I too often think about time going way too fast. I think of a lot of the same things. When I get overwhelmed I remind myself to practice my mindfulness and love each day in the moment. It helps. Congrats on all you have done with your blog! It has been wonderful following you and I look forward to the next 800 posts. Take care. Life has its unexpected turns but good news is you have found your home. 😌

    • Reply 2summers October 14, 2017 at 6:55 am

      Thanks so much Nicole. I’ve definitely lost sight of my mindfulness lately. But I’m working on it – thanks for the reminder 🙂

      • Reply thirdeyemom October 24, 2017 at 4:11 am

        Great Heather! I have followed you for years and it has been a real pleasure. Keep smiling and enjoying your life in Joberg. 😌

  • Reply eremophila October 14, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Congrats Heather! And guess what? We share an anniversary – I’ve been blogging for 10 years now, as I was reminded this week. When I began back then, there was no way I could have forecasted the changes in direction my life would take. So just enjoy the ride Heather, yes it’s a rollercoaster at times and that’s when you know you’re really alive! If you wanted a quiet safe life you’d still be back in the US. 🙂

    • Reply 2summers October 14, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      Yes that’s true. Wow, congrats on a decade of blogging!

  • Reply Vicki Bain October 15, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Heather – you and Joburg go together so perfectly, you were as good as married long ago. Without even giving you a choice 😉 Very happy that that’s the case too! Have an awesome week in this incredible place.

    • Reply 2summers October 15, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      Hahaha, thanks Vicki 🙂

  • Reply Richard Goller October 16, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Big congrats, Heather! That’s quite an achievement! R

    • Reply 2summers October 16, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      Thanks 🙂

  • Reply catherine October 18, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    we are all with you and behind you, giving you moral support and sending encouragements.And go with the flow…..we can all look back and have regrets but the way ahead is best.

    • Reply 2summers October 18, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      Thanks Catherine ❤️

  • Reply durbanroots October 19, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Congratulations Heather on the 800 posts – I’ve been reading since almost the beginning and you’ve brought me closer to South Africa, for which I’m grateful. I think you’re incredible – you’ve achieved ALL OF THIS by the age of 43? Amazing. Talented writer, photographer, journalist. Brave, bold and beautiful! Concentrate on these things! Half of your life STILL TO COME! Lucky you!

    • Reply 2summers October 19, 2017 at 5:57 pm

      Oh my, thank you so much DurbanRoots! Loveliest comment ever.

  • Reply Lani November 3, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Since we’ve expated around the same time and heck, we are even pretty much the same age, I’ve wondered the same questions.

    My blog, too, has morphed into much more than an expat’s tales overseas and I find myself wanting to move farther and further away from that because: 1) I feel like I’ve changed, too, 2) I get bored writing about the same things, and 3) I think it’s natural to go through phases!

    Happy Anniversary!

    • Reply 2summers November 3, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      Thanks Lani. We’re almost like blogging sisters!

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