A Story of Eight Years: Every Day, I Mentally Delete My Blog
I will tell you a secret.
I think about deleting my blog pretty much every day. Well, maybe not every day. But certainly once a week. If I’m not thinking about deleting my blog, I’m thinking about deleting my Facebook account or my Twitter account. Every time the idea comes to me, it feels tenable, rational. And then I start thinking it through and arrive at the same conclusion that I reach every single time.
You guys mean too much to me.
What hurt about leaving college wasn’t the end of classes or because I really loved my apartment. What hurt was saying goodbye to the people. We would never be all-together in that space again. And even if we managed to drag the core group together for a reunion, the supporting characters likely wouldn’t be there. And even if we could get all the supporting characters AND the core group in one space at the same time — a Sisyphean task — then something else would have changed. The stores or the professors or the colour of the chairs at the student union’s lake pavilion.
Of course things changed while we were there in college. Stores closed and our chancellor left to work for President Clinton and two bars burned down. Friends came and went. The people I was friends with senior year weren’t really the people I was close to (with few exceptions) freshman year. But the changes were so tiny that we adjusted accordingly. We were in the moment.
And being in this blog is about being in the moment. It’s about recording the moment, but it’s also about interacting with all of you in the moment. There are changes to the blogosphere every day. When I look back at whom I was reading daily and whom I emailed with regularly eight years ago, I can only point to a handful of people who are still in my life. And yet the changes have been so gradual — a tapering off of posts here and an increase in emailing there — that I rarely notice the shift.
I get a taste of how out-of-touch I feel when I go offline for a bit, such as when we’re on vacation. It takes me a few days to catch up and feel like I know what is happening with you. I think those small breaks are healthy reminders to how much my relationships here mean to me.
Because if I were to walk away and ever try to come back, it would be like trying to recreate college after graduation.
I could have something entirely different — in the same way that graduate school was entirely different from my undergraduate years — and maybe it would be just as good, but I couldn’t recapture this.
So I remember that, and I don’t hit delete on my blog or social media accounts. Even when I start freaking out about online privacy. Even when I get a rash of shitty emails. Even when I’m filled with a desire to play Hay Day and not read another word; not be challenged to see another person’s point-of-view. When writing a post feels like one.more.thing.on.my.to.do.list.
Because the truth is, I can’t remember a time when I dedicated the time to writing or reading personal blogs (I make the distinction because I don’t always feel the same way about impersonal media sites) and didn’t emerge from the act feeling as if it were time well-spent. I may have gone in dragging my heels with a don’t wanna attitude, but I exited my screen time feeling as if I had gotten something off my chest or had a difficult thought make sense or learned something about myself or learned something about someone else or saw the world from a different angle.
So those are my thoughts on my eight year blogoversary. I have written in this space for eight straight years, for the most part, on a daily basis, even if I don’t post every single thing I write. 2920 days of blogging. 3001 posts. A pretty good run, nu?
Here’s to another eight years of not deleting my blog. And in case it isn’t clear, please don’t delete yours.