This Is Noelle the blog is nine years old today (enjoy last year’s celebratory post here)! I know I say this every year, but it feels like I just created this small website in my living room on the penultimate night of the year. 16 year old me was an entirely different monster than the young lady? person? girl?…I am in this almost 2022 year of our lord Dave Aranda. I wouldn’t recommend reading my earliest posts, especially if you’re my bff Jonathan trying to rehash my embarrassing young self, but in some ways I’m glad to have kept a sort of online journal since 2012. Nine years ago today I had only just turned 16 and was preparing to go to Washington D.C. with my best friends to appear in the Presidential Inaugural parade (back before I knew better and divested from all forms of electoral politics). Everything was different back then and I spent many years feeling lost, scattered, and traumatized by personal experiences and uncertainty about if and when I would be content with where I ended up. Now that I’m 25, in the happiest relationship of my life, mentally and physically healthy, working three jobs, and connecting with people across the country over shared sports interests, I’ll sometimes look back on my young blog posts and wish I knew then what I know now. Not many people can say they’ve documented most of their adolescence and young adulthood for all to see (although I guess that’s not true now with young social media stars everywhere), so I’m thankful for this space I created so many years ago. I found my voice through my blog and even though I’m still a small website, I’ve earned many opportunities in sports by writing here. It’s easy to think back on the past nine years and ignore all of my accomplishments and how far I’ve come since I was just a yong girl, but I’m proud of myself for keeping this little blog going all these years and for everything I’ve done in the meantime. This Is Noelle is one of my greatest achievements and I’m so grateful that there are people like all of you who read what I have to say even when I share a bit too much. Here’s to the past nine years of This Is Noelle and all the years to come!