Apparently I’ve been blogging here two years now. Two years. That is simultaneously longer than I thought and a very short period of time.
Numbers are not my language, but they do hold a certain fascination when you quantify your memories and experiences in those terms. It’s straight-forward, untheatrical, unassailable. You can’t argue with naked facts.
I’ve been online since I was 15 years old, which is when home computers and dial-up internet really started to get popular. That’s 13 years online.
After a year or two obsessing over AIM (Aol Instant Messenger, in case you didn’t know) I spent 3 years on a Christian message board on kiwibox.com, learning to be an apologist for my faith. The “Christian” board had an equal number of agnostics, atheists, Wiccans, and multiple denomations of the Christian church. Discussions were lively and I loved it.
For 7 or 8 years I blogged on xanga.com. Those were my “golden years” I guess. My blog was popular enough on the site, I had plenty of followers, the community was unbeatable, my blogs were varied and interesting. I poured my heart out during my first years being married, my first child, the first real tragedies of my life, the first real triumphs. And people responded.
Now, for the last couple years, I’ve somewhat sporadically blogged on WordPress. I came here so I could blog without being totally absorbed. The community here has not… Well, it isn’t the same. But that’s why I’m here. I wanted a place to shout into the dark and hear my own echo.
I’ve not given myself much credit for these last 13 years of words. I don’t seem to think of it as writing. It’s been a little too easy for me. But I guess maybe that was my education in self-expression. I didn’t get much in the way of craft, but I’ve been mining my own brain and heart for material on a pretty consistent basis for over a decade. I guess I can value that, looking back. I learned what gains a response, I learned how to spark controversy, I learned how to navigate conversations of opposing views, I learned how to have fun with these words–playing with them, batting them around, mixing them up, tearing them apart. I found out people heard what I had to say and found something resonating there. I found that I have a sweet spot when I’m writing and I can feel it happening, that moment when what I wanted to express actually comes out of me in exactly the way I was hoping it would.
As much as I get intimidated by numbers as a language I’ve never comprehended, I find it does lead me to considering the naked facts in a way I hadn’t, and I find out something new. Like all this “wasted time” wasn’t really wasted. It was all an investment.
I’ve been investing in my own imagination. I can live with that.