Eleventy-one Years of Blogging


This week marks my eleven-year blogging anniversary. I cannot believe that eleventy-one years of my personal history are strewn across the Internet, both here and on countless Diaryland, Xanga, Livejournal, and Tumblr blogs.

I have April 23rd highlighted on my calendar to remind myself of this weird milestone, and when I looked ahead a month ago, I thought about how much I had to say when I was 16 and first starting an "online journal." I treated it exactly like that and shared the sort of things an angsty teen would otherwise put in a paper diary. This essay is lame. I love calculus. Eeee! K sat next to me at lunch today! I talked about anything and everything and had no concept of censoring myself. It was sometimes boring, sometimes refreshing, and always a little bit insane. (Some day, I'll import all of those cringe-worthy posts to this blog, but they haven't quite finished simmering in their awkward glory.)

Meanwhile, more than a decade later, I'm a little less spontaneous in what I share. (To be fair, no one exciting ever sits next to me at lunch because I use my lunch break to hide in my office and check Twitter and Instagram.) Life is more complicated now, in spite of Avril's best efforts, and I haven't figured out how to deal with that when sharing personal stories in a public setting. Even if K did sit next to me at lunch tomorrow, would his sister's friend's aunt read about it on my blog and call me a slut for spending time with a married man? If I talked about the app I just launched at my church, would people find it in the app store and stalk me at work? Would it be nuts for me to talk about sock monkeys in one post and crippling grief in the next?

I don't actually have good answers for those questions, but I also don't want to let them keep me from trying to share things online. The more I started reminiscing about blogging and journaling during the past few weeks, the more I found myself recognizing certain thoughts and situations as "potential blog topics"—things I really need to talk about in exactly this kind of forum. I'm getting back in the habit of jotting down notes and drafting ideas. Just doing that for one afternoon unleashed a flood of ideas, a talking flood that smacked me in the face and said, "Whoa hey, maybe you should lay off the Netflix for a bit and address all these feelings and memories you've been hiding from."

So that's what I plan to do. I've started six new blog posts: one about grief, one about outrage, one about faith, one about European Paper Company, one about my dad and office supplies, and one about visiting my dad's office as a youngster. I don't expect anyone to nag me to finish them. I'm just sharing with you that I'm really looking forward to writing about those things. I'm also really looking forward to another eleven years of writing online, regardless of the pace or the topic or the audience. Blogging itself is such a cool opportunity, and I cherish the experiences I've had and the friends I've made because of it. I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.