I don't even know where to begin. It's been 13 years, 3 months and 22 days since I started writing on this site.
I remember it was the 5th of June, 2000 - I was a webmaster and really wanted to play around with an online diary. What we know of as blogging software or Content Management was still in the works in Silicon Valley - at the time I was just hand-coding HTML, throwing "BR" tags to separate my paragraphs.
It was cathartic. I wrote just to keep my practice up. Thought one day I'd compile the interesting stuff. Or maybe I'd write a book about my experiences. I didn't know. It was an exciting time, and I was blogging in 2000, about 2-3 years before "blog" was a word most had heard of.
I find myself nostalgic tonight. I read a few past entries (those are blocked a bit now, to prevent google from discovering everything about "the old me.") and really just thought about how much has changed since that 22 year old kid got in front of a keyboard and started writing.
This site was always with me. I blogged from most of my stops along my 48-state journey. I blogged through the entire process of earning my Masters degree, the job hunt in Richmond, living "the single life." I blogged about pain and heartache. I shared goals and dreams. I wrote about girls I loved and other passions. I posted about politics , grammar, faith and religion, food, exercise, wealth, and Christmas memories.
13 years. It goes by in a blink.
In that time, I ran marathons. I cooked and shared my efforts (who knew that would be a thing!?) I blogged about cross-stitching, I posted about my job, my feelings, my fears. Each night, I'd lay out a stream of consciousness and try to make sense of it, sometimes attempting humor. Some posts were just lewd and angry. And now here I am, a father of two beautiful girls. A husband of a beautiful wife. Blessed beyond measure. But I feel so...
I'm not the guy I was when I started this blog. I suppose that is normal. I'd love to take some time and pour through this blog. I'm sure the memories will start flowing back on me. I remember the night I posted on my laptop from my hotel room in San Francisco. I was so eager to share photos from the day. I remember sitting in my apartment, blogging in Richmond. And how many times was I posting before leaving work in Herndon to hang out with Tiago? Or posting from Sterling while hanging out with Paul? I couldn't even count.
Today, everything is drips and drabs. "micro-blogging" became a thing. I loved it. Ate it right up. Twitter and Facebook came around. Photos got RIDICULOUSLY easy to take and share. The need to hand-code anything was gone. Everything was instant, brief, and mass-published.
But here was my blog the whole time. Just sitting here.
And you might have been here to read it, too, over the years. I had a pretty vibrant group of readers. At its peak, about 3,000 readers a day were curious to see what the heck I had to write. I hope I didn't come off as narcissistic, but I'm sure I did.
I'm facing another crossroads in my life as I am sure many of you do from time to time. And coming across this blog reminds me of how many decisions I've made that made me the guy I am today. I see evidence of a network of friends that I haven't felt in recent years. I see courage and strength or just sheer naivety perhaps, but I lept when most would tiptoe. It seems these days that with four mouths to feed in my house (mine being the biggest) that I am permanently in a slower gear. If you keep revving that gas pedal in those lower gears, you're bound to burn out. And then you'll coast before you finally can pull over to the side of the highway, look at a map and figure out where the hell you are.
I've done that. Many. many. many. times over the last 13 years.
I wonder where I'll be 13 years from now. Will I be the man I want to be? A great husband celebrating 17 years of marriage? A proud and honorable father of two teenage girls (and, who knows, maybe more?) A good neighbor and friend? A crusty old curmudgeon? A good brother to my brothers and a good son to my parents?
God only knows. But maybe this old blog will still be here so I can think on it some more then.