I’ve been blogging a long time. Since September 2006. Some of you have actually read every entry, maybe even commented on most of them. Thank you for that, thank you if you’ve just read some of them.
The blog began when I quit my job and went back to school at age 50, working on a masters degree in Information Sciences, what used to be Library Science. I met a young man named Spike during my first semester. He was into technology and was putting together a host server. He asked me if I wanted to blog. I didn’t know what a blog was, but I like to write and I liked the idea of having a place to publish some thoughts. So he set me up.
It was kind of interesting and definitely fun to be back in school at my age with a bunch of 20 somethings. I felt both younger than my age and older, depending on the moment. I’d often forget I was so much older during discussions, but then someone would say something or do something and I’d realize I was old enough to be their parent. Perhaps their grandparent. In group projects I felt like their mother. I lent money to them to get home during stormy nights. I brought cake to the class with the snack break. I reminded them repeatedly that this or that assignment was not the end of the world, that there were bigger issues in real life. I told them often to enjoy the freedom that being in school affords. I luxuriated in that freedom myself, loving the public bus rides, the walks between classes, the work in public libraries where stories were always presenting themselves.
I especially like being in school at the university that both parents attended, graduated from, with most of my classes in the building my dad studied chemistry more than a half century previously. I liked walking the stairs he climbed. I said hello to them as I passed the house he grew up in. I thought about them when I wandered near the river.
So I wrote about school, and life, and my folks. And when I graduated in 2008 I wondered if maybe I should just close the blog down. After all, I was no longer an interesting student. I was back in real life and it wasn’t all that exciting. But I still liked to write, and I had a few readers, and while I tried to figure out what the blog was, it was still a place for me to put thoughts. To get support on life’s challenges. To offer my own support to others. To explore ideas. To play with the dog. To express sadness and joy sometimes in the same post.
1500 posts later I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. And whether or not I will ever make a difference. And if any of it matters. Social media has changed. Now there’s Facebook and twitter and a whole lot more that I don’t even know about. And going into the future I suppose blogging will become even more old fashioned. On the other hand blogging allows people to express complex, more complete thoughts than Facebook or twitter. It slows people down for a bit longer, makes them think a bit more. It can be elegant. And thoughtful.
So I’ve rambled enough. This post was supposed to be something significant, and here it is all nostalgic about my student life. But that was significant. And I’m glad I did it even though I didn’t get to work full time at a public library. I’m glad I did it for lots of reasons…
…one of which is because it led me to all of you.