I Will Dare has been the internet home for Jodi Chromey, Supergenius, for 22 years. In this time she has, according to her, "grow(n) from hopeful young professional to befuddled thirtysomething to the Spinster Goddess of the Midwest."
She fails to mention the decades of friendship, entertainment, information, and occasional bouts of orneriness, oversharing, and just plain ol' good storytelling.
Jodi rocks. She has shared herself with the world and the world has had a lot to say (both positive and negative) back over the years. Despite the myriad and diverse feedback I'm sure she's received she still writes there and shares herself with us. Just how brave is that?
You'd have to be bold and fearless to do anything with your real name online in the same spot sharing so much for so long. Heck, I remember once, when AmazingAwesomeness and I were living in Minneapolis, Jodi declared she was mailing out Valentine's (I think they were Valentine's) presents to locals who had blogs. I was afraid. Why the heck would someone from online do something in real life (IRL for us old-timers)? It simply did not compute. I actually emailed her about my apprehension and she said we were on the other side of the Minnesota River and that was simply far too far away for her to get her serial killer on (I might be paraphrasing a bit there). I gave her our address. I can't remember what the gift was, but I sure do remember the thoughtfulness and derring-do she showed in reaching out to people offline.
And you'd have to be bold and fearless to do anything with your real name online in the same spot sharing so much for so long when you’re a woman. I remember an article? Blog post? about or from Rainbow Rowell back in the day. (I really wish I could find the quote, but my googlin' is failing me right now). In it, Rowell stated that when the articles she wrote for the Omaha World-Herald (back when she was doing her metro columnist thing) were posted online they received far and away more comments than any of the articles posted by other journalists. A bunch of comments were nasty. The online arm of the paper and Rowell put their heads together and figured out that she received all that feedback because she was the only female journalist for the paper putting her articles on the newspaper's website. Rowell received all that attention and all that hate just for being a woman online.
So yes, Jodi has always been one of the grooviest and bravest people I know. I say "I know" because back in the day I was a member of her Good Taste Club, which, it seems, is no longer running. Sad trombone.
Personally, I can't tell you how much joy I've gotten over the years when I'd check in and see her still doing her thing. Her art. And yes it is art. Personally I think it's less Mona Lisa and more Marina Abramović, but it's absolutely art.
She has also recently turned 50. Happy belated birthday! I so wanted to leave a comment on her site but I couldn't bring myself to do it. See? I am not brave. Seeing her turn 50 this year makes me remember how I first found her blog. It was decades ago. It was the previous millennium! I was moving to Minneapolis to do web development in the dot-com boom and I was looking for blogs in the Twin Cities area. The first one I found was hers and I’ve been following it ever since...mostly just lurking, but every once in a while leaving a little comment.
In fact, not to brag or anything (brag brag brag brag) I think I may have been one of the first commenters on her site? Possibly? I seem to remember this but I can no longer find the proof.
I'm so glad she's doing her thing. I'm so glad I get to be a tiny little sliver of her life. Long after I give up on this blog I hope she'll still be writing away, living her life, and sharing it with the rest of us.