This blog is celebrating it’s 12th birthday. I haven’t told the official story of “Miss Zoot” on the blog in a long time. I get asked about the name “zoot” randomly in the real world, as my Facebook name is Kim Zoot Holmes so people assume it’s my maiden name. The truth is it’s just a derivative of a childhood nickname, but something enough people knew me by when I started Facebook that I thought it would help them determine they had found the right Kim. Especially since Holmes is my third last name.
My childhood nicknames given by my parents followed this kinda linear pattern: Kim to Kimbo to Bozoot. There were variations (Boze, Bozie) along the way and I’ve heard my Mom use all variations in different order over the years. At some point in time after high school, these nicknames were being discussed in a group and “Zoot” was the takeaway. It was used periodically in certain circles after that – often enough that when I needed an online moniker, it seemed to be the perfect choice.
When I started this blog some time in late 2003 I was continuing to use the name “Zoot” so I set up a free blog on Typepad with a title/URL that involved the word Zoot and the word Ewok I believe. I had tried to start several topic-specific blogs – the most referenced one being a blog on GeoCities about the show Temptation Island. (WHAT?) But none of those stuck because A) I did them 100% anonymously, never talking about my personal life or telling people in my personal life about them and B) I could only write about 1 topic for so long before I got bored with it.
Some time in 2003 I started reading the personal blogs of my favorite writers from a TV website that is now defunct. (Long Live Tubey.) That’s when I started considering the idea of just writing about my personal life, and not about a specific topic. I stumbled upon Dooce who was pregnant with Leta at the time and I thought, I’m trying to get pregnant too…that might give me good writing material. I finally decided it was worth a try and that Zoot/Ewok domain on Typepad was born.
It didn’t take long to get my groove. I made some other friends starting around the same time and I decided I needed a real domain and I bought misszoot.com but did it wrong and ended up having to use a different one (I won’t share it because last I tried it was redirecting to an adult site) for a little while. I didn’t understand the idea of exporting content so I basically launched my new blog and just handpicked a few entries to copy/paste from Typepad. I’m kinda glad I didn’t export the REALLY early days. So I give “January 2004” the honor of being my “blog birthday” since I didn’t pull over any of the few entries from late 2003. Since then, I’ve written a crapton of content.
5,454 entries. THAT IS A CRAPTON OF ENTRIES.
In the early days I wrote a lot about trying to get pregnant. And failing to get pregnant. And then getting pregnant but failing to get a baby out of the deal. This website has seen me through many pregnancy tests, blood tests, ultrasounds, miscarriages, D&Cs, and two successful childbirths. Then the blog navigated me through losing my Dad and finally into the world of running and bullet journaling. It’s a crazy thing, to see 12 years of your life spread out like this. I changed the permalink function on this site a long time a go so there’s a lot of dead links, but sometimes I just click around my monthly archives and I’m proud to say my writing has improved substantially over those 13 years.
This blog still doesn’t make any money, and costs me more every year. One of these days I worry my husband is going to be like, “DUDE. FIND A CHEAPER HOBBY.” But this blog has saved me thousands of dollars in therapy, so he knows that in the long run it’s a wash. This blog helps me process so many emotions that I sometimes worry where I would have ended up without it. Half of the therapy comes in the form catharsis via writing, but the other half comes in the form of you guys reassuring me that I’m not alone. This got me through my pregnancy struggles in a time when it wasn’t okay to talk about miscarriages (it’s still not common, but it’s better) because so many of you shared your stories, giving me a community to mourn with. Then the parenting support when I succeeded, and the grief community when my Dad died…so many times your words of commiseration have helped me feel like I can survive what is trying to kill me. Knowing other people have been through the same and lived to tell the tale…it has saved me time and time again on this blog.
12 years of you guys reassuring me that you’ve survived what is trying to kill me…I owe you 12 years of gratitude.
I woke up at 1am and made a cup of coffee and sat here and cried a little. I cried because 1am is a terrible time to wake up for the day and I cried because I get so overwhelmed when I think about this space on the web. I’m overwhelmed by how much I’ve written here, how much of my life I’ve preserved, but I’m also overwhelmed by the love and connections and strength I’ve found here. I had a bad day yesterday, weirdly and traumatically saddened by Alan Rickman’s death. I knew you guys would understand that. I woke up this morning thinking about how many things I’ve said that about, “My blog would understand.” And how many times that understanding has pulled me through the darkness.
So I thank you. Thank you for always being here for me. 12 years is a long time and there’s a lot of comments and emails that gave me exactly what I needed at exactly the write time and there’s just really now way to show the right amount of gratitude for that. But my heart is full of love for this space on the web and the times your words have saved me. 12 years of salvation, I know I would have been lost a long time ago without your voices.
Here’s to another 12 years.