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Welcome to My Freakin’ Blog!
I’m SO excited to present to you my very first blog post, on my very own blog! In order to explain what this moment means to me, the fact that YOU are here on this page reading this text, I’d like to take you on a trip back in time…
[Insert time machine noises here]
The year is 2015. You’re walking through rows of cubicles featuring khaki-colored office chairs. You come upon a different-looking office chair: faded black, a little ratty, clearly well-loved. You peer around the side and see a woman: mid-twenties, long brown hair, thick tortoiseshell glasses, sitting cross-legged. That’s me! I’m bored and I’m feeling hopeless, like I’ll never make a difference in the world. I work for an online school so you’d think I’d be positively bursting with purpose. Once upon a time, when I was younger and more naive, I was. But after six years, a slew of events, and the sudden passing of a dear friend and colleague, my light has dimmed.
I refresh my screen. Another ticket has come in to our helpdesk program. The same question I’ve answered ten times for ten different people today. I copy and paste the same message I’ve copied and pasted to the rest of those people and close the ticket. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t keep pushing this boulder up this hill. I can’t keep fighting a losing battle in so many different ways. At my core, I’m a writer, but I’m tired of writing things I don’t care about for money, and writing things I do care about that no one will ever read. I want to put some good into the world, throw some entertaining, uplifting content out into the universe where other people might find it and get something positive out of it, like I have gotten so many times from the writing of others.
Once upon a time I had a blog, but I didn’t like it. It didn’t look how I wanted it to look, or work the way I wanted it to work. Something about cramming my words into a template created by someone else still felt like I was trying to force myself into someone else’s space when what I’ve really always wanted is to build my own. I feel the resolution like flames in my bloodstream, heat and motion and undeniable force. I will learn how to code, I will code my own blog, and then I will put my writing there. I log into my Codecademy account. If the internet could collect dust, you’d see me blow the dust off. I’ve dabbled before, started and stopped the HTML course a handful of times. This time it’s going to be different. This time, I won’t give up.
The scene fades, and montage music begins to play. Let’s go with “Eye of the Tiger”, the most classic montage jam of all time. In this montage, Codecademy courses get completed, YouTube tutorials get followed, coding textbooks get read. I get a new job as a Project Manager at a web design company, I meet my amazing coding mentor, and I discover a passion for the act of coding itself in addition to what I can use it to create. I still love writing, and now I envision my blog as the perfect union of these two deep and thrilling passions.
Then – record scratch and the music stops – I hit a wall. I’m doing so much professional copywriting I lose the will to write anything creative for myself. I set up WordPress and discover exactly how much I still don’t know. I’ve started coding my blog and I don’t want to throw all that work away, but the design is what I learned at work, and it’s just not me at all. In the silence, you see me sitting at my desk in the wreckage of all I’ve worked toward, staring into space, too overwhelmed and unmotivated to type a single sentence or line of code.
You lean around me and wave at my face. Maybe you even shout, “Come on, you’ve come so far! Look how much you can do now that you couldn’t do four years ago!” I remain unmoved. I can’t see or hear you, because that’s how that film trope works. I get up and start to walk away, and you chase after me, try to grab my arm, but your hands go right through me. “It can’t end like this…” you whisper, so invested in my story that you forget you’re reading my blog at this very moment, so clearly there’s a happy ending yet to come.
“You’re right,” I say, and you look up, surprised. Can I hear you now? No, in yet another classic film progression, it turns out I’ve been having a similar conversation in my head. I walk back to the computer, delete everything I’ve coded so far, and start over. I type feverishly while you look over my shoulder, in awe as this blog begins to take shape. Suddenly you’re outside looking through the window, and the sun sets and rises and sets again like it does in movies to indicate the passage of days, and all the while I’m sitting there typing away until finally I lean back, stretch, and nod with satisfaction. It is done.
[Insert time machine noises here, and maybe like a fairy godmother wand animation]
Welcome back to the present! Anyway, that’s basically how it happened, with a few cinematic embellishments for effect. Four years of hard work, of losing my way and finding a new one, of tripping over obstacles and taking breaks and scrambling back on track, has all led to this. You might think it’s anticlimactic – it’s just a blog, after all, and not a very intricate one. But it’s mine. I made it. I wanted to do it, so I learned how to do it, and then I actually did it. I wrote the code and the copy, and I even created some of the images. Now you, an actual person, have arrived here. You’re clicking on buttons I’ve built and reading words I’ve written, and hopefully you’re feeling inspired and entertained, or at least less bored than if you weren’t clicking my buttons and reading my words. It blows my mind that it’s really happening. Silly as it may sound, this blog is a dream come true. It is a dream that I made real.
Because this is the internet, I have to ask that since you are here, please respect the positive mission of this blog by being kind if you comment, and not commenting if you can’t be kind. I know this blog isn’t perfect, and I’m not perfect, and life isn’t perfect. All I’m saying is, there’s a difference between constructive criticism and being cruel, and if you don’t know what the difference is, it’s probably best if you keep your comments to yourself until you figure it out.
I’m incredibly proud of this blog, and I’m incredibly grateful that you’re here. One more time, thank you for being here, for clicking, for reading, for confirming to me that this is really real and not just a dream I’m going to wake up from any second now. You rock, dear reader, denizen of the internet, amazing human being, and I hope you have an amazing day. Welcome to my freakin’ blog!
</ XOXO >
[Photo credit: Code Copy Coffee]