The title is a phrase you won’t see around here too often; after all, even though I call attention to posts from past years every day on Twitter, that retrospective stops at three years. But given that leap day only occurs every four years, I don’t have much choice if I want to refer back to my last column on the subject. And when I was thinking earlier today about what I’d like to do with this essay, I realized an awful lot has changed since the previous one; frankly, I’m hoping that the next four years doesn’t see quite so much change, unless it’s because I marry a billionaire or something.
On Leap Day of 2012, this blog wasn’t even two years old yet; I was still doing a daily feature called “One Year Ago Today”, and I had just started reporting sex work news on a weekly basis rather than a monthly one (now, of course, it’s semi-weekly). I was still months away from a regular links column, and though my traffic was increasing it wasn’t anywhere near what it is now; I was still half a year from my first million pageviews, and now I’m at four and a half million. I hadn’t yet made any public appearances, and didn’t show my face on the internet at all; indeed, it would still be more than two years before I would do that clearly. I had been on Twitter for only two months, so my follower count was in the low hundreds rather than approaching 8000 as it is today (and if you want a laugh, take a look at this column I wrote about it). I was still quietly living on my ranch in Oklahoma, hoping against hope that my husband and I (who had already been estranged for almost two years) would be able to reconcile our differences; I had returned to work part-time soon after starting the blog, but I didn’t dream I’d ever be back doing it full time again (and under the name “Maggie McNeill”, no less). I could never have guessed that in only two years I’d have published a book and be preparing for a national tour, that in three years I’d be divorcing my husband and moving to Seattle, that I’d soon have a whole new circle of wonderful friends, and that I’d become a minor celebrity. And that’s only the stuff I care to mention publicly; there are a number of other things, equally major and at least as radically different from my life in February of 2012, that I think it’s better not to publicize too widely.
Where will I be on February 29th, 2020? Will I still be posting every day, or will I have wound down somewhat? How many new books will I have written? Will I still be living in Seattle? What will my income be like? What new experiences will I have had? How well-known will I be? Will the “sex trafficking” hysteria be over, as I predicted just before that last Leap Day? Will I even be alive? There’s no way to know, or even to guess; the only way to find out is to wait.