I don’t always remember, but today I did – it’s this site’s birthday! Dear Wendy – the site, not the person – turns 11 today. This was the very first post, which I published about six weeks after I was laid off from my full-time job at a women’s website where some of you may have first discovered the Dear Wendy column (though it actually began way back in like 2005 on my personal blog, City Wendy in the Windy City, which is an important footnote since the aforementioned women’s website threatened to sue me for continuing to use the name “Dear Wendy” and I had to hire a lawyer and prove that I, in fact, owned the name because I used it years before I even started working for that site. Also, it’s my name). Anyhoo. I was laid off from my full-time job, where I’d been unhappy for a while, so even though my former bosses extended the generous offer to let me continue working for free until possibly, maybe, the site was sold to someone who might be able to afford to pay me, I took the opportunity to branch out on my own, and I launched Dear Wendy on January 24, 2011.
Whether you’ve been around since the very beginning, joined midway through, are brand new, were here for a while and left and came back: I’m so happy and honored to have you here. I keep a folder in my emails of all the kind and generous notes I’ve received over the years from people who have expressed how much this site has meant to them, and whenever I’m feeling particularly down or experiencing some self-doubt, I open the file and read some of those notes and instantly feel better. I hope that at some point you have also found inspiration, hope, connection, community, important lessons, laughs, and maybe a new perspective or two while visiting this space.
Fun fact: the forums were not added until the site’s first birthday, in 2012. Shout out to Kate, who volunteers her time to moderate them and keep them friendly!
A few ways you can help keep this site going and ensure it will be around for many more birthdays: keep reading, commenting and sharing with your friends; if you’re on Facebook, I’d love if you’d “like” Dear Wendy and then like or even comment on and share posts (I’ve been posting older columns nearly every day and have seen a surge of traffic to those columns that newer readers may have missed, which has been wonderful); send me letters to answer or updates to previous letters I’ve posted. Those are the most important things – thank you! Here’s to another year of solving the world’s most complex relationship drama. 😉