And so this site has made it to its first birthday. That in and of itself is not remarkable, as I've had a number of sites that lasted years-- and in fact continue to exist out in cyberspace, unmaintained but there for anyone to see. (These gems, anyone?)
But that this whole journal enterprise has lasted a year? That's news.
I've never been able to keep a paper journal on a regular basis. I've started a couple times, but averaged maybe 1.3 entries in each. When I was 16, I kept a journal for almost 3 months, which was by far a record for me. When I was 15, I did have something resembling a journal on my website. I wrote about 5 entries, I think, over the course of 6 months. Then I just kind of stopped. Oh, I would continue to extensively think through everything in my life. I just never got around to recording any of it for posterity.
It wasn't until I got to college, when the online journalling/blogging trend was becoming so huge, and until I met people who were doing it, that I thought I'd give it another try. And then somehow, for a whole swirl of reasons, I kept on going, until now I can't imagine stopping.
Looking back on a year of this, I'm so glad I've done it. I've created a year's worth of writing about who I am, and where I've been, and what I think and feel. And even if no one else ever saw it, it would be worth it, to have this for me. (Of course, I just wouldn't have the motivation to keep doing it if I didn't have any audience at all.) I find reading through all of what I've written fascinating, regardless of if anyone else does!
Not only have I captured a whole year of me, it's probably been the most interesting year I could've picked. Back at the beginning, I said I hadn't really changed in the last 5 years, which was more or less true at the time. But since then, I've been through such changes that I could never say anything like that again. I mean, I'm not a completely different person. But there have been a number of substantial changes in the way I experience my life. In the last year, I've been through a lot emotionally, and in response I've gone through my fair share of transformation. Some things I've worked terribly hard to affect in myself, while others seem to have evolved on their own. Regardless, while I can remember and connect with most of what I wrote earlier in the year, I can't imagine writing some of it-- feeling it-- now. And I'm just really glad to have this record of how I got from there to here, and hopefully, of how I get from here to wherever I'm going.
Even though my longer entries have become much fewer and farther between of late, I hope I'll manage to keep on writing them, because they do add depth to the slices of life I post every day. Sure, there are plenty of distractions to pull me away and take up my time. But this is nonetheless something that's important for me.
There's something about journalling that requires a certain amount of self-importance, a sense that your life and your feelings are worth publishing and sharing, that people will want to read about you. But I think that most of the people who do it don't think that they are necessarily particularly special. It's a different sort of perspective-- feeling that every individual has their own story to tell, that each of our lives is interesting and meaningful, that anyone's experiences are worth sharing with the world. That's why so many people who keep journals or blogs make a habit of reading others' as well. I'm no exception. If I, naturally, find the lives of all my college friends interesting, and keep up with seven of their sites, why not come up with things of my own for them to read? And, too, if I can be intrigued and fascinated by the stories of people I've never met, like Brooke and Rob and Jessie and Claire and Josh and Tamar, why is my life any less worthy of being thrown out into the world to be explored by others? A good writer can make any material into a good read, and a good writer is certainly what I want to become.
Hey, anything that combines two of my favorite pastimes, writing and self-reflection, while getting past the obstacle of finding motivation, has to be a winner, huh?
10 February, 2003
Intellectual Property Rights denounced by Britt Gordon-McKeon, 2002