Last Friday marked exactly one year since I started the Potter Blogger. My first blogpost was about my experience of going on the first tuition fees protest and of my feelings about the subsequent violence.
So, one whole year of blogging. A lot's changed in that year. Over the past 12 months I fell in love for the first time, attended my first Lib Dem conference, campaigned for the doomed Yes to AV campaign, stood and lost in the same council elections which saw the Lib Dems lose over 700 seats, broke up with my girlfriend, finished the second year of university, started my first job, celebrated my 21st birthday and got the ESA motion passed by conference.
All in all, it's been quite a busy year. In that year the Potter Blogger has been something of a success. From 723 pageviews in November 2010, the Potter Blogger reached an all time high of 5,143 in September 2011.
|Exams are the sworn enemy of blogging.|
This blog also managed to become the 80th most popular political blog (according to wikio) back in September and has held onto since then (for now at least). It was also awarded the title of 11th most popular Lib Dem blog in the annual Total Politics blogging award.
Over the past year I've written 243 blog posts and, looking back at them, there's not one that I'm ashamed of or that I feel embarrased by. As long as I can keep this up in the years ahead then hopefully that should make sure that I don't abandon my principles or become all twisted and cynical.
More broadly, I think I'll always look back on the last year as the year in which I grew up. I don't say that just because I turned 21 in the past year, and I certainly don't think that I haven't got plenty of growing up left to do, but if I compare myself now with the version of me that existed last November then I honestly think that there's a huge difference. This time last year I felt like I was still a teenager and now I feel like an adult, albeit one who's prone to bouts of silliness (not that I think that's a bad thing). I'm also generally much more comfortable - both in my own skin and in socially. For someone with Asperger Syndrome it's certainly nice to feel confident that I can now at least approximate normality in social situation. I think about things more and I'm much better at considering things properly instead of jumping to a black and white conclusion. Hopefully that means I've perhaps gained a little wisdom.
I also think that I can be proud of what I've achieved. Admittedly, I am a proudful person (despite my best attempts to be modest), but I don't think many people my age have ever written a substantial motion on a national issue and gotten it passed near unanimously by conference while also speaking for their first time at conference. Of course the important thing is that the changes called for by the motion do actually get made - but if they do then I think I'll be able to justly proud of my part in the much bigger efforts to protect 3 million vulnerable people from being failed by the system.
In conclusion, I'd like to think that the first year of the Potter Blogger was a good one. As for myself, I feel like a better, more confident person that I was a year ago. I'm young, I'm educated and I live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. There are lots of problems facing both my country and the world but I'm optimistic that the mistakes of the past decades can be fixed and that the successes of the past decades can be built upon. The Chinese use the phrase "may you live in interesting times" as a curse. Well my generation is certainly living in interesting times but, despite everything, I think that the future is our's to create. And, you know what, I'd like to think that I might be able to play a part in making sure that we do a better job of it than those before us.