Today marks my 8th anniversary of writing this blog. I never thought I’d make it this far or still being doing it after all this time.
Blogging has truly been an amazing experience, often entertaining, sometimes painful, frequently ridiculous, but all around worthwhile. I’ve met some amazing people in the blogosphere. I’ve formed lifelong friendships and learned a lot about life. I met, married, and divorced one of my readers. I’ve had death threats, stalkers, and weirdos tracking down my home address and sending me letters and cookies.
After 8 years, I understand something fundamental about blogging that I learned the hard way. Blogging isn’t about readers or fans or stats or hits… it’s about documenting your personal journey over time. The things I wrote and thought when I started are not really anything like what I think or write now. However, the entirety of the writing here sums up my last 8 years in snapshots of time. There have been seasons of personal stories and seasons of politics. There have been stretches where all I could muster were silly commentary. And there were times when I was literally crying out for help – and you all came through every time.
How many people can actually look back and say “wow, did I really say that and mean it?” I’d go so far as to say that blogging has been central to my process of growing up.
Blogging forces you to have character if you do it long enough. When you say whatever you think without censorship on a blog, it’s there for the world to see – but more often, for your friends and family to see. You’d darn well better believe what you’re saying and know that it could have real life consequences, because it often does. But over time, you are forced to bring your blogging world and your real world into alignment. It’s really unavoidable. And that alignment is the definition of character.
The old definition of character I was taught is “doing right even when no one’s looking” but this is what I believe: Character means acting the same and speaking the same words no matter who is hearing it.
I’ve lost friends because of this blog. I’ve been given opportunities to be published on political websites. It’s opened doors and closed doors. But through it all, I’ve never lied or shaded my opinions here. There are things I’ve said here that I completely disagree with now. I used to often write about how I hated kissing (which I did), but all I’ve done for the past 6 months is kiss Nicole and I can’t get enough… she doesn’t know it but she’s helping me make up for 32 years of NOT kissing.
My posts the first few years were very bitter and cynical. I was used and abused by women in several consecutive relationships. Granted in retrospect I had all the warnings but I just ignored them. I assumed that the lack of respect coming from women in my relationships was because I was simply a nice guy and they were jerks. And maybe that was true, but I was also lacking boundaries and I wasn’t insisting on respect. In my first marriage, I just tried not to rock the boat because I didn’t want to be yelled at. I didn’t want to fight, so I kept my feelings, needs, and frustrations to myself. That was no way to live, and I was completely miserable. I’m a completely different and better person now that I have a wife that understands me, respects me, cares about my needs, and insists that I’m open about what I’m thinking.
The long and short of it is, I’m here to stay. It matters not if anyone reads it, because it’s for me. And maybe someday my kids will be able to read it and see what a dork their dad was (and is).