Thursday, January 15, 2009

365 x 2 +3

There's nothing like the forced reflection brought about by seemingly symbolic days... birthdays, new years, anniversaries, and, of course, blogoversaries!

Yep, 2 years ago (minus, oh, say 3 days... I should start marking this in my day planner), ...and hijinks ensued was born. Apparently, after having just finished the maddest half year in my life, I was overwhelmed by a sudden influx of spare time, and decided to start jotting down my observations about the world in a little more systematic of a fashion.

Honestly, I am a little surprised I didn't think to start blogging earlier. My friend's mother, upon meeting me for the first time, said I was an observer, noticing everything around me to a greater degree than people realized. I was always constructing little anecdotes in my head in far too much detail. Once they were constructed, I didn't know what to do with them.

When I was 10, my literary masterpiece, Dognapped, placed in a city-wide children's writing contest. At 13, I wrote novellas about girl detectives and feisty orphans. At 15, I wrote melodramatic poetry. And at 18, I stopped writing for me, and started writing for grades. At 22, my mother and I went across Canada, and I sent out a number of update emails including my silly observations about our travels. These emails were an unexpected hit, with people printing them out to read them to others, and even my boss telling me how much he'd enjoyed them. I felt a burst of pride, knowing that I still had that writer's spark in me, but also a bit of helplessness. Great, I can still write, but what purpose does a talent for witty emails about teaching Brazilians about hockey and my mother's failed attempts to speak French serve?

At 25, I started blogging. A summer earlier, I had met a blue-eyed fellow at a concert, a fellow who helped me see that focusing on one foot in front of the other so you can ignore everything else tumbling down alongside you is not a good way to live. One night, after I'd found out of the death of a friend, he insisted on coming out to the suburbs to take me for gelato. That night, he told me, in perhaps less direct terms, that I didn't need to live under the weight of someone else's beer bottles. He also told me that he had a blog. That night, I found these words of his, and spend hours reading them. He'd even written about me. Although his writing tapered off soon afterwards, he was the one that told me, with all the thoughts bolting through my mind, I may want to think about blogging.

And, on January 12th 2006, I took his advice.

So, here I am, 2 years later. Strangely enough, despite my fears otherwise, my brain has yet to run dry. I still get sudden burst of inspiration in various locales, jot down descriptions on scrap paper or in my phone, run through lines I don't want to forget over and over again in my head. Blogging is almost a seamless part of my life now.

Even more shocking, perhaps, is that I have managed (I seriously did just knock on wood... well, pressboard, really) to write anonymously over all this time. Sure, there have been a few close calls, like friends tapping me on the shoulder unexpectedly (resulting in lightening fast window minimization), blogs popping up in search histories when someone uses my computer, and on the spot lies about people I have met or who are on my Facebook. Still, though, my obsessive site meter usage reveals only one or two other readers from my general vicinity, and despite my occasional fears that it is my boss or an ex, it is actually surprising I don't have more random readers from a city of several million.

Does my anonymity really matter all that much? Probably not. My world wouldn't collapse if the link got sent about. Sure, a few people would probably be stung by my keeping this large part of my life secret. There are a few other people who may smart from particular entries. Most would probably giggle about the idea of documenting one's life over the internet. But, really, it is more about the freedom and having this wonderful little side identity than hiding from one person in particular. I've been invested in keeping these words separate from my day-to-day life for two years now-- it just doesn't feel right to let that go. Even if I do get the occasional yearning to send someone a specific entry (though I have no idea how to explain why I am writing about such things), or I wish I could share some of my piece in a more public forum and truly claim them as my own, not the work of some little avatar with a silly name.

Over the years, what has blogging done for me? It has put me back in touch with myself, after years of unknowingly just going through the motions. It has helped me pay better attention-- to my thoughts, to the beauty around me, to people's motivations. It is amazing how much more you watch when the idea to write about it occurs to you. It has made me feel like a writer again, a feeling I thought I had lost years back with the entrance into real life adulthood. And I actually feel good at it. It has brought some amazing people into my life, people who, whether through emails or even a single sentence in a comment, I sometimes feel may know me better than the people who see real-life me on a regular basis.

So, thank you to all of you for making me feel good at this, like my words may be a little important or meaningful. And thank you, little red blog, for helping me feel like me again.

46 comments:

TMC said...

Yay! Happy Blogiversary! :)

Deutlich said...

Happy Blogiversary, dear!

And I think blogging has been much more cathartic for me than I could possibly have imagined.

I'm glad I started..

I'm glad YOU started.

Matt said...

Happy Blogiversary!

Michelle said...

Happy blogiversary. You've just reminded me that I'm coming up to my third!

Cess said...

Happy b-versary, and may your fantastic blog live a long and healthy life! :)

verybadcat said...

Happy Blogiversary!

I love reading your blog. :) I'm glad you share your words with us.

Dan said...

Happy Blogiversary!

Melrox said...

I found this for you:

http://tbn1.google.com/images?q=tbn:tdid_wFGkeS5hM:http://cloudburst.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/blogiversary.jpg

Happy Blogiversary!

MAH said...

Happy blogiversary!

It is blogs like yours that keep me motivated to stick to writing...although I am not that great at the consistency thing as of yet... Thanks!!

poodlegoose said...

You are good at this :) And I'm glad you've kept up with it for so long. Happy #2!

S. said...

Happy 2 year Boggerversary!
Glad you like writing it cuz I likes a reading it!

Ant said...

Happy blog-day!

My own blogging morphed out of witty emails too, that I always felt were lost on audiences of one. But even after four years blogging, I still feel rudderless and unfulfilled with it (though that's something I always feel in January).

The benefits are great though - you're definitely one of the few bloggers whose friendship and opinions I value right up there with my "real world" friends. Long may you continue!

Meghan said...

Happy Bloggiversary!

Babs said...

yay for blogging

2 years, wowzuh

Surfergrrl said...

happy blogiversary! Keep up the good work.

Bayjb said...

Happy birthday blog! You are super awesome

Maxie said...

Happy Blogviversary!

distractedspunk said...

I'm with Deutlich on the blogging thing. I'm glad you're here. We would have never met otherwise!

Likewise, I was thinking about what would happen if I lost the anonymity. Unfortunately, I think my little slice of life is perhaps a bit too telling and potentially harmful than cathartic.

I'm going to heal random cuts I've been finding on myself now. But happy blogoversary + 3!

insomniaclolita said...

happy blog anniversary :)

ps. i love reading your blog, keep up the good work.

K. said...

love it/your blog/you (too forward? i don't care)

michelle woo said...

I think your writing is so smart and captivating. Happy blogiversary!

Beth said...

Wishing you many more years (and continued anonymity) with your beautiful writing.

Psychgrad said...

Happy blogiversary!

Rachel said...

Happy Blogiversary!

I've been putting crap online for so long that I can no longer pinpoint when it started. I wish I had saved most of it!

sonrie said...

hi, off topic here, I have your questions and am answering them and will let you know when i post them next week. thanks!

sonrie said...

and Happy Blogiversary!

Paula said...

Happy 2nd birthday, little blog!!! :)

Bit belated I know. Sorry!

surviving myself said...

Happy!

Yes, happy.

Crushed said...

Well, happy birthday...

I guess it is kind of a major part of your life.

I think I now see many bloggers as kind of being friends.

It's still a new-ish part of my life, but one I feel I'll never stop.

S.Vincent said...

here's a question for you that may have been answered before.....

why strawberries?

Daisy said...

Happy Blogiversary, Princess! And very well put, as ever - I think we're all very glad you did put finger to typepad and share.

PS Dognapped sounds thrilling, please say you still have it somewhere!!

Mrs4444 said...

Happy Blogiversity! Thanks for sharing your gifts.

Katelin said...

woo, happy blogoversary! i wonder too why i didn't start a blog sooner, i sent emails to family and friends updating them about college, and they were an unexpected hit as well, you'd think that could have tipped me off.

anyhoo, ,cheers to hijinks!

So@24 said...

Damn.

Best blogiversary post I've come across.

chasinglibby said...

happy anni! what a great story that led you to blogging. i agree with deutlich. i'm glad you started =)

Sheila said...

Happy Blogiversary! Keep up the great work!

Z said...

Happy 2 years!!! :)

Larissa said...

Happy Bloggie Birthday.

It's so amazing how therapeutic and live-giving blogging is for many of us. Keep at it.

the frog princess said...

Happy Blogiversary!

I completely hear you on the anonymity thing: it's like a little cocoon of safety around your thoughts. I have a few friends who know about and read my blog, but they are the people who would hear all of what I have to say anyway and about whom I have never (as yet) felt the need to blog negatively.

As to wanting to share your posts, sometimes when I write something particularly witty, I'll cut and paste it, edit out any references to it being part of a blog, and then email it directly to the people I want to share it with. So far it has not failed me, nor has anyone written back with "Hey, I read that same thing on a blog..."

EP said...

Happy blogoversary! This post makes me so happy. There is SO much good in blogging, and I'm glad you have experienced that (and are continuing to experience it.)

ablogofherown.wordpress.com said...

Happy Blogiversary!

nicoleantoinette said...

It's really wonderful to read how other people feel about blogging.

Happy Blogiversary!!

Princess Extraordinaire said...

Happy Blogiversary! I love reading your blog and even tho I haven't been consistent these last few months I love coming back to find you being ever thr charming writer..keep up the awesome work!

Brett said...

Great posty happy blog day! I am amazed that you can keep it secret i just don't have that option

Lisa said...

Im thrilled you started. You words have touched and inspired. I consider myself fortunate that you share them.

Yoda said...

You are such a talented blogger! Your blog has grown so much. It is AWESOME!

My blog on the other hand, is dying of rabies.