11 June 2002
Sorry for the delay in journal entries; itís the end of school here at Northwestern for those of you who donít know, so thereís been papers, studying, packing, and trying to squeeze in time with friends.

I realize as I write this that itís been just about four months since I started this website, inspired by the magnificence that is Papyrus. (Hey, Iíd compliment it even if I didnít want to suck up to my most loyal reader!) Itís been quite an interesting experience. I'm writing my 23rd journal entry here, and Iíve managed to build up to 120 hits a month, which is small stuff for some people, but something Iím proud of.

Through the wonders of IMChaos, Iíve been able to figure out the identities of my visitors who link from my AIM profile, which has been fascinating. Not only do I get the crowd from school (including some people I wouldnítíve expected), I also get a good sampling of people from high school, as well as a couple of people whoíve utterly surprised me, since Iíd had no clue I was even on their buddy lists. Of course, there are usually a couple of visitors a day who donít go through AIM, so plenty of mystery remains for me.

Itís been an interesting experience exploring online journaling. I like the opportunity to do writing beyond my assignments for class, and I donít have the motivation to keep myself writing a journal if it just goes in a book in my desk for my eyes only. And I suppose it appeals to my basic narcissism (oh, thereís a whole entry on that topic forming in my mind!) and my desire to be liked. (This, of course, rests on the premise that knowing me better leads to liking me more, which is far from a proven fact. But I like to hope.) Plus, it allows me to work through the self-analytical thoughts that constantly swirl through my mind. I donít know; I like it. I hope other people do, too, and donít think Iím too ridiculously self-absorbed.

Anyway, I suppose this site is going to take on a different sort of character as the summer begins, and Iím out of direct contact with anyone who reads this. Hopefully people will continue to visit, despite the fact that I will spend relatively little time on IM (so memorize or bookmark the link, folks; itís simple!). Maybe my readership will even grow. Iím aiming to spend more time on it during the summer: adding the sections I keep thinking about but never have time to create, writing many journal entries, and hopefully putting up the creative writing I hope to spend lots of time on this summer.

Iím really curious about how this summer is going to unfold. Last year, I used the months to maintain close relationships with a very few people, while other friendships were neglected and never really picked up again in the fall. This year, I feel like there are more friendships I want to be sure to maintain. That may take more work, but itís important.

Oh, Iím going to miss people, and Iím going to miss my life here. (As you may have guessed from the last several journal entries dwelling on this topic.) Iím afraid that Iím going to be dreadfully lonely all summer. Last year I had a sort of anchor that put my summer in context, but I donít think Iím going to have that this summer, and Iím afraid itís going to be full of vague loneliness, down in DC far away from almost everyone I know. I know that itíll be good practice at being able to find inner happiness and peace, and I need to be upbeat about it, but I canít shake the feeling that Iím going to feel sort of isolated and abandoned for three long months. Everyone else will be busy, will be spending time with people at home, and will have people more important to them than me to focus on. I think that during the summer, when it takes real effort to communicate, you really get the clearest picture of what you mean to people. You learn a lot, and that discovery can be beautiful, but on the other hand it can also be painful, in a sort of slow, demoralizing way. Iím really apprehensive about what Iím going to learn.

Okay, I need to shake this feeling off. I wonít know until the summer comes, so thereís no use worrying about it now. And perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised.