I’m a big fan of arbitrary milestones. Every time I hit another round number on WordPress, I tend to prattle on about it. Sadly (for you), this time is no exception. There are now this many posts on this blog:
Some of those 600 I’m very proud of. They took a lot out of me as I was in labor with them for a long time. Others are just throw-aways. If I went through all the posts on this blog and deleted the ones that don’t matter, there would be something like 100 posts on this blog. Well, alright, maybe there’d be 200. Regardless, there would be less than 600.
I don’t do that though, even though I am tempted sometimes. I don’t delete the old, crappy posts because they are a snapshot of my life. They tell me what I was doing, thinking and saying four years ago. I keep them there as a reminder of how far I’ve come. I wouldn’t suggest you read most of them.
How far I’ve come is a matter of some questionability, but the important thing is that I’m still here. I’M STILL HERE, YOU BEAUTIFUL BASTARDS.
That, in and of itself, is downright amazing considering that I never started out with the intention of having a blog. Sharing is not something I’m good at in real life. If you were to invite me to a party and I didn’t know anyone, depending on my mood and how much alcohol I had imbibed, I might be sociable, but I am not the type of person to spill my life story to any old stranger at a soirée. I’m not a big fan of chit-chat just for the sake of eliminating awkward pauses in conversation. With the exception of phone conversations, awkward pauses aren’t awkward to me; they’re just pauses. It takes years to get to know me properly, If I allow it.
Anyway, I never intended to be a blogger. This blog was just someplace to put the things I wrote. It still kind of is. I don’t think of myself as a blogger, even now, even though I have a blog with 600 posts, even though I try to write on it every day and mostly fail. It’s almost as if blogging is an extension of the journals (alright, fine: diaries) I used to write before any of this bloggy business was possible. In the beginning, it definitely was like a diary since no one read what I wrote at all. But now, there you are with your little avatars and comments. You know who I am, sometimes better than people I know in the real world.
If this blog had started off with over 700 followers, it wouldn’t be here. If I had to start it with an audience, I wouldn’t have, but FOG grew with me. I had plenty of time to get used to the idea that when I hit the big blue publish button, someone, at some point, many years from now, guided by a mistaken search term, might actually read it. Now, when I hit publish, it’s almost certain that a few incredibly bored people will read it and even comment on it.
The words still flow from my brain through my fingers without any regard for where they will take me, but nowadays, some small part at the back of my brain thinks about you, who will read this, as I write. Strangely, that’s okay, because most of you are not strangers. I’ve gotten to know you as you got to know me. I’m no longer writing only for me and possibly for a faceless future audience; I am writing with you. I write posts inspired by things you have written. I write about leprechauns and fart jokes with you in mind. I construct sentences knowing that some of you might chuckle at the inside joke.
Strangely, having an audience hasn’t really changed my willingness to share. I haven’t retreated into myself only writing about stupid things, although, I do write a lot of stupid things. I haven’t decided not to post something because it’s too personal. If anything, the braveness and sheer steel-balls-itude of my fellow bloggers cheers me on. I think, well, if so-and-so can share something so personal, I don’t see what right I have to whinge about it. Hit publish. Do it! Do it, pussy.
So, thank you, from the bottom of my cold, wizened heart to those of you who read and comment. Thank you for letting me get to know you, too, so that you’re not a faceless, impersonal audience who it would be scary to put myself out there for; you are people with pain and experiences and comedy, just like me. Some of you have even gone through similar things. Thank you for your bravery. Thank you for sharing, thereby making me feel comfortable to share, too. And most of all, thank you for being a part of my family. Even though I don’t know any of you in person, you are family.
It’s been a long, strange journey to 600 posts, and I can’t even begin to imagine what FOG will be in another 600 posts, but here’s hoping that we’ll get there together.
P.S. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite Mad Lib entry. Democracy is counting on you.