Nine Years Later

I started this blog nine years ago, back when I lived in a two-bedroom apartment that didn't have any air conditioning, I was in grad school, and I only had a two-year-old. Since then I 've gained two more children, finished my degree, lived in two other states before coming back to Utah, found a full-time career and started a new graduate degree, lost my mind a few times, got my sanity back a few more times, and lost my marriage. It's been an interesting ride and I'm not even sure if I've got anyone else still reading what I post. 

I've posted quite a few times about blogging, why I started a blog, my feelings about blogging, and why I keep at it. Back when I started this whole thing, blogging was the new, exciting thing to do. Facebook, and Twitter weren't around yet, and even smartphones and the ubiquity of texting weren't that big. YouTube wasn't here, and most 'viral' stuff was shared through emails. Communication has changed a lot during the time I've been blogging and people have been predicting the death of blogs for several years now (I think the death of Google Reader killed off just as many readers as the rise of Facebook; try Feedly--I love it). I resisted Facebook for a while before giving in, and now I spend much more time on Facebook than I do on blogs; nine years ago I spent a lot of time reading blogs, commenting on blogs, and linking to blogs. I love Facebook for many reasons, but miss some of those old days of blogging. Perhaps that's why I love reading longform articles and still happily read the remaining scraps of blogs that I can--I love the wide reach of Facebook and the tidbits I glean, but I still crave deeper discourse and longer arguments.

Sometimes, though, I feel as though I've run out of things to say. My blog has devolved into spontaneous updates that are generally not much more than a chronological rundown of recent happenings. When I read through old posts I feel a little sad that I used to have so many opinions and so much to share. Now I often sit down to write something and find that my mind is blank. Part of that is the changed nature of my life--I'm not home all day with kids, and my kids are getting old enough that there are things about them I don't want to share. Similarly, I don't want to blog very much about work, and most of what I do there is fairly arcane or would boring to most people. The same thing applies to my schoolwork; there isn't very much in my life right now that I can talk about. 

As I was thinking about this I also realized that as much as external factors are creating writer's block, there are plenty of internal factors too. I don't take very much time anymore to really sit, ponder, and create. I don't know what my opinions are on many issues because I don't sit and read deeply or think about them. I know that during the last few years I've gotten in the bad habit of running away from my emotions; it's easy to get busy and to avoid really facing and taking apart the difficult things in my life. It's so much easier to open another tab on my browser, read another listicle on BuzzFeed, or skim through my Facebook feed. I don't know what I think or feel about so many things because I haven't given myself the chance to feel anything. I tell myself I'm too busy, which is true, but I'm also too scared. And too tired. But, part of the reason why I feel overwhelmed and tired is because of the information overload I willingly bring on myself. I've always been a curious person who is eager to learn new things. In today's information environment this is becoming a bit more of a curse than a blessing. 

Like many blog posts, I started this one without really knowing where I was going. I've had these thoughts for a while now but I had not really put them down in a coherent manner. I think I have made an important realization about my life lately--I've been stuffing a lot into my brain without letting it make much of an impact. Perhaps I can step back a bit, do some thinking, and come up with some better blog posts. Hopefully the next nine years of blogging will be much more interesting.


Th. said…

Who exactly the audience of public personal blogs is these days doesn't seem very clear, I agree. Though these days I'm much more likely to be surprised someone's reading than that someone isn't.
Amira said…
I look forward to the next nine years. :)
Aerin said…
I too am glad you're still blogging. Here's to another 9 years!
Tricia said…
Over the years, you have provided me ideas, inspired me with insights and given me so many "me, too" moments that I feel less alone in this life journey. Thanks for your openness and candor and awesomeness.

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