Confession: Every now and then I like to go through my older blog posts; to get some sense of perspective and perhaps re-live particular moments in my life... and I'll admit, to make some edits here and there; mostly corrections to the typos and the woeful grammar and punctuation I've used in some of my earlier posts, but also to occasionally add a phrase or change a word that would -at least in my view- add a different dimension to the story I'd been attempting to weave. I've never changed something pivotal in any of my past narratives- as I believe that is nothing short of historical manipulation/negationism- but my reasoning is that the odd bit of slight beautification here or there wouldn't compromise my integrity as a writer/chronicler of my own life.
Back to my main point; for any gamers reading this, I like to compare going through older blog posts to re-spawning at a video game checkpoint -for any non-gamers reading this; a checkpoint is the point at which the game saves your progress so you can reload your save file later without losing too much time replaying the parts you've already completed... so in effect, it is saving the game at every significant milestone; which is more or less what I've always tried to do with my writing. As I've hinted in a past blog post- the title of which currently escapes me- this very specific brand of escapism essentially allows me to time travel back to who I'd been at the time I'd written a particular blog post, and that generally enables me to see things much more clearly and learn more about who I am now, who I was then and how much I've evolved in between.
For that reason, this blog has been invaluable to me; I can basically trace my character development from my teen years all the way until my twenty seventh birthday. It can sometimes be a curse; being able to go back in time to a particularly cringe-worthy period of my life, but mostly this blog has been an excellent tool to catalog and track my growth over the years.
Besides, I cannot overstate how big a confidence boost a particularly well-received blog post can give me, or how giddy a mood it can put me in... and yet, even the less popular posts give me a profound sense of release; the relief that can only come from venting out your worries and deepest fears to the world -which is somehow simultaneously an intimate yet impersonal act- is practically unparalleled for me. This blog has therefore not only been a way for me to get the acknowledgment I so desperately crave; but also a crucial tool for my very survival- a beautiful yet dangerous tool to be almost wholly dependent on for emotional support.
And now is the time to retire it.
It has been slightly more than eight years... eight whole years of ups and downs and pain and worries and fears and hopes and dreams and failures and successes and love and hate and, in a word, life... and while I cannot deny how big a part this blog has played in shaping who I am as a person and how I view myself, it is fast becoming clear to me that its time is long gone. Heading into my thirties as a young professional, I can no longer afford to post intimate details of my life online for the whole world to see; for I've realized that in the act of avoiding vulnerability with those closest to me, I've instead opted for vulnerability with some of those furthest away from me- many of whom may wish me harm or misfortune, and that is the exact type of people one generally avoids baring their soul to. This blog is therefore unfortunately not only my greatest source of pride, but also my Achilles' heel.
Not only that, but I've also realized that in the act of succumbing to the quick fixes of blog posts rather than putting what little talent I have into writing a single, cohesive narrative- with the view of possibly publishing a novel some day- I've been regularly draining my creative juices (masturbation euphemism not intended) with relatively limited and rapidly diminishing returns, instead of pouring them into my ever-illusive magnum opus.
I've been seeing the signs everywhere over the past few weeks; little hints here and there that it maybe time to draw the curtains on an ambitious yet stagnating dream of mine, which I've somehow managed to keep alive for more than eight years- much longer than any of my relationships and some of my friendships... and thus, I see no more fitting conclusion to this chapter of my life than calling it quits on my 100th published blog post, in the final days of the year 2018. Few people reading this will realize how devastating this is to me -and how unthinkable it would have been only a few short weeks ago, given how I view my writing (and by extension, my blog) as an integral, core aspect of my identity and how I choose to define myself- but I saw no other way; it had to be done.
To everyone who has followed my writing up until this point; I cannot possibly thank you enough for the love and support you have shown me over the years. I truly love and appreciate you all individually; and it is no exaggeration that at times, your kind words and encouragement were all that kept me writing- and that the thought of disappointing you is what makes writing this particular post all the more painful to me... however, a good writer doesn't drag things out; a good writer knows not to overstay their welcome; a good writer appreciates a tidy, dignified ending- and a good writer is what you've all made me believe I am, or am at least capable of being.
I dedicate this final post- and this entire blog- to those few of you who've made me feel like a celebrity, time and time again; for this blog is more the product of your work than it is of mine.
I am not going to delete any of the posts; this blog is only retired in the sense that I will likely not be adding any more content. Only time will tell if I am strong enough to keep this vow -for I do see myself possibly making more posts in the future in moments of weakness- so I will not be making any sweeping, irreversible claims that this blog is indefinitely dead... but what I can possibly promise with a much higher degree of confidence is that I will at least no longer be sharing links on my social media accounts; be it Facebook or Twitter. You're all, however, always welcome to follow the blog itself or check it periodically in the future for new content- and of course, you're always welcome to shoot me a note just to chat.
Even though I have a flair for the dramatic, I am -as discussed- very decidedly not going to end this with too much finality; if only to give myself some possible wriggle room to pull off an Arthur Conan Doyle some time in the future...
For now, I will instead leave you with a very simple and heartfelt "farewell"... or perhaps an "until we meet again".
With all the love in the world,