An anniversary of sorts

Tomorrow, it will be a whole bloody year since we took a deep breath and pressed ‘publish’ on our shiny new blog, with our shiny new name. Doesn’t that seem crazy? I can’t believe that was a year ago.

It’s been a pretty wonderful year for us. True, we’ve not yet taken over the world, but from what we can tell, we’ve touched a few lives, and given people a space to talk about things that they  need to. In our book, that’s pretty damn great.

Anna, Aisling and I have worked hard at making this a great place to be, but in reality, we know that what makes AOW such a magical place to be is you guys. Your posts, and your comments (and your emails and tweets) are what keep us going, and what keep people coming back.

To celebrate that, we thought we’d give you a round up of some of the favourite posts from the past year – yours, and ours.

I showed you more pictures of Emmi than was strictly necessary, and somehow made you guys all believe that I was living the dream, so posted a behind the scenes post to let you know how I was really finding motherhood.

We ran the absolutely amazing series ‘Jobs for the Girls‘ (we have a brilliant one coming up soon too, keep an eye out) – and learned about (amongst others) the lives of inspiring women who are also building surveyors, family lawyersPhD candidates, photographers and analytical chemists. I’m certain that there are plenty of you out there with interesting career paths too – let us know if you think we could do a Jobs for the Girls post about you.

Aisling took some time out, and then ‘came back‘ in the most beautiful and inspiring way, with a post that could only have been written by her. And then announced THIS. And then we announced THIS. And then she wrote THIS.

We had some heart-wrenching Behind Closed Doors posts. There was a post on being ‘Unworthy‘ which so many of you felt moved by, and gave us an insight into how so many of us feel. And then there were so many other topics covered in this series – cross-culture relationships, motherhood, infertility, family issues, abuse, mental illness. We are proud to be able to give everyone the space to be able to talk about things that otherwise might not get talked about. Please, keep these posts coming.

I wrote a whole FOUR POSTS about giving birth. In hindsight, that seems rather like overkill, but you all seemed to like it, and I didn’t once use the word foo-foo, so it can’t have been too bad I guess.

Anna wrote an amazing post on motherhood, that easily wins the award for Most Comments Ever. It got you all fired up, but what was most exciting about it was seeing everyone debate it and have their say without once getting nasty. Have we mentioned how much we love you guys?  She also wrote a rant about the ever-diminishing public hair debate.  And one about pie, and priorities.  She is nothing if not diverse.

Katielase excelled herself, and actually taught us things about our bodies. It started with her post on how The Pill works, and we were hooked and made her write lots more.

The wonderful Hollie wrote about the big decision behind changing her name – and inspired a huge number of comments.

We rand the entire AOW A-Z of Getting Married (you can see a mini-round-up here), and it seems like just about every single one of you contributed – either by writing a post or by adding info in the comments. Thank you. I like to think that for every post we posted, thats another bride’s sanity saved. Your good turn for the year is done.

Amy wrote a post entitled ‘How being a bit of a hippy about what I put in my vagina has improved my life‘. I don’t think I need to say anything more really. If you’ve not read it, go now.

Anna wrote several posts that she called drivel, but which we all gushed about for weeks. She should write a book.

Books! We had book posts, and Books that made me me posts, and then, to cap it all off, we did the AOW Bookswap. Every single book that’s been mentioned has gone on to my wanted list. These book posts have cost me a lot of money.

Bella got married. It was epic. Go. See.

We’ve had a myriad of different takes on the ‘Friends that made me me‘ series. We had posts about buildings, animals, tv shows, organisations and of course, real life people. It seems that the AOW readership does not discriminate when talking about what made them them.

And throughout it all, you guys have told us some heartwarming, inspiring stories. And then we’ve had the posts that are tough to read. Fee’s post was possibly the hardest post I’ve ever had to introduce, but you guys just blew us (and Fee, I’m certain) away with your kindness and your thoughts. It was days like the day that we posted that, that reminded us of why we carry on working so hard on AOW. The way an entire community rallied around, had so many wise words to offer, and real-life offers of support, made me inordinately proud to be part of this.

That readers, is honestly, just the tip of the iceberg. We had so many inspiring, informative, beautiful posts that I just don’t have the space to mention here. I have adored reading every single one of your posts over the last year, and I cannot wait to see what we have for the year ahead. Lets make 2013 an even better year for the AOW community. I’m certain that you all know at least one person who could benefit from what AOW does. Send them this post, and tell them to get involved, okay?

In the meantime, I’d appreciate it if you could all do my job for me, and comment below with your favourite posts of the year (feel free to use the ‘Find me a Random Post‘ button over there on the right if needs be).

PS – International Womens Day 2013 is this Friday.  It’s shaping up to be epic.  We’re kicking off early with a WHOLE DAY of incredible posts.  Come and join in.  You heard us.  That’s an order.

Categories: Behind the Scenes at AOW, Written By Clare
26 interesting thoughts on this

26 Comments

  1. Vivienne
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    It’s like trying to fill in the bookswap questionnaire……TOO MANY POSTS!

    Anna’s post on motherhood that had us all jumping up and down was a crazy day – I still can’t believe the number of comments!

    I’ve laughed and cried over many, many posts, and have loved watching our wee AOW family grow this past year – we are very lucky to have a blog to call home

    Xxx

  2. Posted March 5, 2013 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Oh thank you AOW. I really love this community, even though I joined a bit late to the party (I had been lurking around every once and again).
    Anna’s post on motherhood was definitely one of the best.
    Aisling’s post on possibly having a second child, her wise words on “letting go of the why” (http://anyotherwoman.com/2012/10/on-being-pregnant-and-infertile/) really struck a cord with me.
    Weekend Wonderings are always full of wisdom!
    AOW bookswap was the best (though I’m still waiting excitedly) and I joined recipe swap too.
    Also excited to read all of the posts that will come on Friday.
    Bring it on! Congratulations girls ! And thanks to everyone here for the constant support and for this being such a happy place.

    • Chirsty
      Posted March 5, 2013 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Amanda – Books on their way I promise! Posted over a week ago, but no idea how long books might take to go international! Fingers crossed for any day now…

      Sorry everyone, off topic….
      I love so SO many posts, but the random waffle ones are my favourites. Anna K your drivel posts have me in stitches: )

      I also love the AOPs. As anyone who knows me will tell you: I don’t really ‘get’ weddings yet: never been married, never been engaged (As Anna of Skin & Blister fame deftly pointed out at AOH: “what are you doing here?!”) but God, I do love the love <3

      And all that aside this one did in fact change my life a tiny bit: http://anyotherwoman.com/2012/06/simplified-science-anxiety/ – thank you Katielase

      • Posted March 5, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        Oh Anna S&B how I love thee….! I missed that…that’s hilarious!

      • Posted March 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        OMG Chirsty it arrived just now, I am so happy, like a child on Christmas day :) It’s magic :) to get stuff in the post. Going to dig in right now, thank you soooo much!

      • Posted March 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        You should know that the last paragraph of this comment made me jump up and down on my chair with delight.

        K x

  3. Posted March 5, 2013 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Oh and let’s not forget Anna’s piece on internet dating:
    http://anyotherwoman.com/2011/06/derailed-male-has-just-signed-in/ was such a gem.

    So funny and wise at the same time.

  4. Posted March 5, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I think my favourite post of the year was Aisling’s ‘coming back’ post – it was just when I needed reminding that things do one day get better.

    And I have many many words to say on how much I appreciate – no LOVE – this community for being there in my hour of need and you can read them all right here on Thursday. Thank you thank you thank you. I am very happy AOW exists (and not just because it graciously airs my ramblings!).

  5. Mahj
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I’m a big lover of all of Anna K’s ‘drivel’ posts (which they so aren’t!) but the one I loved the most was about the Olympics. Sigh. Those were the days.

    The two posts that I remember the most and the best was AK’s post on motherhood, mostly for the eloquent writing and the incredible debate it kicked off in the comments. And Fee’s beautiful and heartbreaking post. That one will stick with me for a really long time.

    Happy Relaunch Birthday AOW – love you all!

    xoxo

  6. Posted March 5, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I love this place. I’m so glad it is here and that you made it happen.

  7. Rach M
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday AOW! In the past I have to admit I have had a tendency to be wary of female strangers (probably a hangover from school, which was not a good time), but I’ve loved that AOW has taught me that strangers can root for you, and send you strength and love. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say this change in outlook has made me a happier person.

    The blog and this great community bring to mind this quote:

    “There are no strangers here, only friends you have yet to meet.”
    -W.B Yeats

    Well done girls. Love it x

  8. Posted March 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY ANY OTHER WOMAN! *pops party popper, eats cake*

    I bloody love this place, truly it keeps me (vaguely) sane. I’ve entirely lost count of the number of times this place, and its readers, have helped me keep life in perspective, boosted my confidence, made me laugh, made me cry, made me like myself again, made me feel less alone, and more normal. You’re all so freaking ace.

    My favourite AOW posts in the last year? Oh, god… Anna K’s post about London, Clare’s letter to 16 year old Emmi, Aisling’s return, and her post-Stella post, and Amy F on what we should have learnt in school.

    Top two: Anna S&B’s FTMMM post made me feel normal. I don’t think I’ve ever read something else where I identified with so much, and felt so utterly reassured that I wasn’t the only one.
    Penny’s post on being unsporty completely changed how I view myself, for the first time ever I honestly saw myself as sporty. A complete revelation and has shifted my self-perception and my self-esteem.

    K x

  9. Posted March 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Happy 1 year AOW! And bloody well done Clare, Anna and Aisling for a truly great blog that straddles every facet of being a woman and celebrates, questions, encourages and sometimes throws it all out and starts over again in the best possible way.

    I’ve loved reading and contributing this past year – long may AOW and its wonderful community continue.

    Alice x

  10. Posted March 5, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Hurrah for AOW (and an excuse for cake, yes?)

    I started reading AOW from the point of view of wedding planning but it quickly became my favourite corner of the Internet for general sanity when all around is chaos. I love how supportive everyone is of everyone else, even where points of view differ, I love that I feel like I know you all even though I haven’t met most of you and I love that there is a group of smart women out there who love books and cake as much as me and possibly more so.

    I can’t possibly choose a favourite post, although I love all the motherhood ones (each one so refreshingly honest) – although the one post I’ve probably gone back to most for wedding reference is admittedly K is for Knickers. Yup. Pants. Who would’ve thought it?

    Keep up the good work! *gets out champagne*

    • Posted March 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      This comment has made me REALLY want some cake!

      K x

      • Posted March 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        Me too. I am my own worst enemy.

        • Posted March 5, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          I’ve just had some ginger cake.

          • Posted March 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

            Gah. I am eating leftover butternut squash. Not the same. At. All.

            • Posted March 5, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

              I have hobnobs. Chocolate ones. That’s nearly as good, right?

  11. Posted March 5, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Happy birthday Any Other Woman! The blog has gone from strength to strength this year and I’m really proud to be part of the community (especially now that I’ve been to an event!) – well done Anna, Aisling and Clare and well done everyone who’s contributed, commented and read – long may it continue

    K x

  12. ClaireH
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Just to echo what everyone else has said and add my thanks to Clare, Aisling and Anna too. AOW is such a lovely and welcoming place where we can all feel free and supported to chat about whatever’s important to us, whether it’s serious or cake related (though obv everything cake related is serious!) It’s been so great to find somewhere that within every post/comments, I find myself agreeing and identifying with what people are saying.

    x

  13. Fran M
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I had a slice of red velvet cake today – just for you guys (really…)

    I’ve only been reading for few months but I’m hooked. It’s really nice to know that there are so many smart, articulate, lovely ladies out there – who are a little bit weird – but in a very GOOD way.

    Now let me just catch up with those articles you linked to that I haven’t read yet…yippee.

  14. Sandie
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    I bloody love this place.

    That is all.

    xxx

  15. Posted March 5, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    I actually genuinely can’t believe it’s been a year since you relaunched, and what a year! Meeting Anna and Aisling at AOP rocked my socks ;)

    Favourite post? All of Anna’s drivel but ESPECIALLY the Olympics one (which made me cry a little). And thank you for giving so many of us a voice. Writing my ‘E for eternity’ post made me laugh, cry and remember…

  16. Posted March 6, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday AOW! I don’t do favourites so can I just pick them all please?

  17. anotherSarahB
    Posted March 18, 2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I love the Behind Closed Doors series but the best thing about AOW is the mix of subjects, the humanity and the sharing. I love it! I read every day and am sorry to say I lurk in the shadows because I read on my phone and typing comments is so darn hard. I will have to join twitter as it might be easier to join in and I’ll try and get along to thenxt meet up. Thanks to all of you for a great 12 months! X

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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image by Lucy Stendall Photography

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