When I started Re-Discover Washington on a whim on November 3rd, 2011 I intended it to be a month-long project. Very hesitant as first, I coyly approached the downtown merchants, telling them what my blog was all about and explaining what a blog actually was. Surprisingly, they all welcomed the idea and did not mind to be interviewed at all. I started publishing post after post, and the Re-Discover Washington Facebook page, meant to serve as a community bulletin board and calendar of events, was gaining popularity as well. I was having fun with my project and after the first month was gone, I saw no reason to stop blogging. Until a week ago.
Curiosity is the key word here. As I wrote in the “About” section of the blog, my curiosity is enough for not one, but two cats. The more local people and businesses I’ve been interviewing, the more amazing individuals and stores have been crossing my path. The sections of the blog have been expanding, focusing not only on the downtown merchants, but also on local history, events, artists, farms, clubs, organizations and individuals.
Almost all the people in Washington, MO I know, I have met through the blog one way or another. Everybody has been so kind and welcoming to me, that it’s been easy to make this town home. The blog has given me a reason to approach people, engage them in a conversation, and show interest in what they do. It’s also enabled me to turn the hobby that I love into a job (photography that is).
Last but not least, Re-Discover Washington helped me embrace the here and now. Having spent the majority of my life in Bulgaria, Europe, relocating to the USA has not been the easiest of transitions. However, when I moved to Washington, MO I decided that feeling homesick was doing me more harm than good. By sticking to the motto “I am here now, let’s make the best of it with what I’ve got,” I’ve been able to enjoy the present moment and let it unfold in all its beauty. Sometimes it is nice to be uprooted, in order to realize that you can grow and flourish in any soil.
Thank you all of you amazing people for following my blog, encouraging my efforts, and supporting downtown! Re-Discover Washington is as much yours as it is mine – for it has been born from this community and has been existing for it. You’ve helped answer questions from Facebook fans, promote local events, find missing pets, and spread the love for downtown. Washington might be a small town, but it is far from boring – the best way to discover what it has to offer is to forget everything you know about it and see it with new eyes. Venture to new places you’ve never been before, taste the food at different restaurants you normally don’t go to, have a friend visit and let them take you around. You will be surprised at what you find.
When I sat down to write the last blog post for 2014, I realized that it was the last but one blog post altogether. The Re-Discover Washington readers come from a lot of different places. In 2015 I want to go to a lot of different places. Maintaining the blog requires me being here, walking downtown, meeting new and familiar faces, taking pictures and blogging about my experiences. In order to say “Hello” to new things, we need to say “Goodbye” to some loved but old ones… So as much as I love this blog, I realized my personal re-discovery has come to an end, and my insatiable curiosity needs room to expand.
This is not an end. I see it as a new beginning in a different direction. The Re-Discover Washington blog and the Facebook page will stay online, I am just not going to update them for a while. It might be a short while, it might be a long one. Nobody knows and it’s more interesting that way. In the meantime, follow all of the amazing things Downtown Washington Inc. has been doing on Facebook and visit their website to stay updated on all the events going on in town! I will be around, hiding behind the camera but not lurking over your food anymore! 😉
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You So Much for helping me turn this blog into a reality and maintaining the warm community spirit of downtown! Now keep Re-Discovering Washington on your own terms and sharing your discoveries with your friends and the strangers you meet!
If you enjoy my photography, follow my Facebook page here.
To purchase prints of scenes from Washington, MO, visit my website here.
If you want to stay in touch, you can always e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.