A few days ago, I spent some time feeling homesick for the interwebs of my misspent youth and for the people I met there. At least a fraction of what I missed about those days (and that place) was the extent to which everyone had a sort of instant audience for the things they were writing. Recently updated journals would pop up on the main page feed; there was a running list every time you’d log in. There were thousands of journals, but after awhile, you “knew” the ones you wanted to know. You made a little effort to keep up with their lives, and you virtually “hugged” them when things went south.
But as I said the other day, I left OpenDiary behind years ago, before they were ever hacked or suffered data losses. When I went, it wasn’t because I had any desire to leave behind the community, and I let all those who were important to me know where I was going. But nothing was ever quite the same, and every time I moved over the years, I lost some folks. It turned out that having my own domain name and my own webspace and having the ability to design it however I chose wasn’t nearly as awesome as I thought it was going to be. I had a freakin’ amazing site, yes, but it was frequented by about three people. I missed all the people. And I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how (or where) to get that back.
Fast forward to ten days ago, when I remembered that WordPress wasn’t just a content management system used by independent website owners — wordpress.com was also a thing. I investigated further to see what had become of the site since last I’d looked. Whoa. Thousands of blogs, instant readership, a few decent stock themes…free? Sign my ass up, dude.
I could not have predicted what has transpired in the few days since. Most importantly, I’m writing like I actually care about writing again, and I’m doing it every day — that hasn’t been the case since last I was doing it for a grade. Second, it seems that sometime in the past 15 years, I’ve learned how to write about my life (and the people in it) without infusing it with ALL THE DRAMA EVER. Back in the dramatic days, I used to spend a lot of time really really hoping that no one I knew would accidentally stumble on the site. Now (probably owing to the fact that I’ve hit 40 and lost much of my ability to give a shit) that is not the case. My real name is in the sidebar. There are actual pictures of my face in obvious locations. There is a (albeit inconspicuous) link to this blog on my private Facebook page. And today, I sent my mom the link to an entry that featured her rather prominently, I taught my husband how to set up an account for following and commenting, and I asked my step-daughter if she’d ever heard of WordPress Discover, because “OHMYGOD I GOT THE EMAIL THIS MORNING AND SOMETHING I WROTE GOT PICKED.”
Yes, you read that right. And no, you’re not alone in your stunned disbelief.
It hasn’t officially happened yet, but I guess it will sometime in the next few days. In the mean time, I’m adding some stuff to the site and tweaking verbiage and graphics in that crazy, nit-picky, utterly ludicrous way I do when I want things to be perfect. It’s like that neat-freak, judgmental aunt I hate is coming to visit. Except it’s just you guys and you don’t seem all that judgy and I don’t hate you…I don’t think.
Anyway, today’s COMING OUT has been a mite gut-wrenching for someone so accustomed to watching and cheering while other people shine. I’m thinking I might tune out from the interwebs a bit early tonight and turn on The West Wing. There’s also wine and pizza in the fridge, both of which (I’m sure) will be insistently calling my name by suppertime.
For sure I’ll hear from the wine. Cheers, y’all!