I used to blog all the time. Back then my blog was more like an interactive diary where I wrote about all the screwed up things in my head, and in so doing I discovered other people who were just as screwed up as I was. It was the greatest form of therapy I could have asked for at the time, a community of fellow oddballs testing out what was then a whole new system of communicating: the “web log,” as we called it. We weren’t publishing essays on the state of mankind, hoping to go “viral” with our thoughts; we were just writing for the sake of writing, and in the process we were connecting with a community unlike any before, a worldwide community of people who heard us and understood.
Does anyone remember the movie Pump Up the Volume, with Christian Slater? I know I’m dating myself horribly by even asking, but the ultimate message of the movie was for the lost and disconnected to find their voices and share their messages with the world. Their way was by means of amateur or “ham” radios (let me Google that for you: Wikipedia), but the world blew up quickly once the internet came, from Telnet and IRC to Geocities and Angelfire to Xanga and LiveJournal to the social media circus we live in today.
As we enter the third decade of the twenty-first century we can keep in touch with our friends and families instantly a dozen different ways. Yet we still know almost nothing about any of them, except perhaps their political leanings. We’re getting our message out there, sure, but instead of having no one to listen, we send and receive so many messages that no one can possibly keep up.
In the end, we’re just as alone now as we were then.
So what’s the point? I see it all as our way of leaving some mark on the world. A great many of us spend our lives wishing we were something greater than who we turned out to be. I’ll never stand on the stage at the Kodak Theater and accept my Academy Award for Best Actress, or even Best Cinematography. I’ve resigned myself to that. Still, the little things I leave behind, the interactions I have with real-world and online friends through social media, the pictures I post, the times I “check-in” from a particular location, are all my way of making a mark. I was here. Maybe no one else will remember or notice my life once they’ve clicked “Like” and moved on, but for a second, we connected. That celebrity who tweeted back to me once upon a time knew, for just that moment, that I existed.
I can look back at those moments and remember them, and they have meaning for me, if no one else.
I’ve come to a point where 280 characters isn’t enough for me anymore. I wrote my blog all those years ago, and I wrote stories not so many years ago, and the truth of it is, I love writing. I don’t know if I’m any good at it; I go on and on (obviously). But I love digging into words, finding the right phrasings, mapping out plots, developing a theme and a clear line of thought and creating something from it. In the past decade I’ve sustained two brain injuries that changed how I acted and reacted and what I could do and put new limits and challenges in my path, and it’s only in the past 18 months or so that I can honestly say I’m starting to recapture myself. To that end—to help myself rediscover myself—I have decided to write again. I want to be here, in the world, sharing my voice, leaving my mark, doing whatever the hell it is I’m doing.
So here I am. Maybe I’ll be making the trip alone this time, maybe some of my friends will join in, maybe I’ll make some new friends. To anyone and everyone, welcome, thanks for coming, and feel free to leave a thought or suggestion. I know I can certainly use the inspiration.