(insert "life is a journey" cliché here)
After all these pondering years, finally a blog. Why have I, a writer at heart, started so late?
I remember when I ‘discovered the internet’, back just prior to the turn of the century; armed with only a Hotmail address – before the plethora of spam had really hit its strides – and a lesson in ‘how to use Alta Vista.’ Everything was all geocities, and I knew nerdy types who suffered from social anxiety but were as verbose and witty as you please on topics such as ‘Who shot first? Han Solo or Bobba Fett?’ I’d never read the like before, and worlds opened, and my dial-up modem rang daily like a demented telephone on drugs, failing to connect more often than not, but oh I was patient back then.
Eventually I wondered, wouldn’t it be great if I could have a webpage of my own where I’d write a regular diary of sorts and people round the world could swoop in and leave messages for me if they wanted. As though responding only to me, but no doubt to the collective thought that was happening at this time, Live Journal was born and came to my attention. Quick as a wink, I had an account and could communicate with college students all across the US, for, it seemed, that was the mass L J populace. But what was this? I actually didn’t feel like writing a daily, weekly or even monthly post after all. I couldn’t understand it.
Years past, blogs became more sophisticated, Blogger waxed as LiveJournal waned, and social media became the domain of anyone with fingertips. Having ignored MySpace (didn’t we all), I was an early sign-up of Facebook when I received my first friend request from a friend working in Qatar with US journos. (thanks Sam!) No one else around me knew what it was. I signed up then proceeded to not use it for at least a year. (Now, of course, people without an FB account are the exception.) Now I post sporadically. But still, after a false start on Blogger, no major blog. Why was I not jumping onto this communication avenue I had longed for?
Let’s put it down to these things: my own sense of privacy / mind-boggling procrastination and sheer lack of motivation / a perception that I am too ‘time-poor’ (but really it’s about priorities) / more recently, a reluctance to be part of the perceived bandwagon of boredom-fuellng over-sharing and ‘feelpinion’.
I’m not being fair to myself. I want to write, I like story-telling, I like other peoples’ stories. For donkeys’ years I’ve taken travel photos, crafted hand-written travel diaries (in above photo), and penned observations in notebooks. And maybe I’m tired – at long last – of curating my life for an audience of one. It’s time to share.
So it’s mainly about travel. But this is worth keeping in mind as well, quoted from Issue #8 of ‘New Philosopher’ mag:
Perhaps conventional travel is the easy option – an escape route from life that requires no effort on our part other than to tag along and see where the adventure takes us, much like waiting for the effects of a substance to kick in; whereas ‘room travel’ – well, that requires much more willpower, imagination and creativity. To see novelty and newness within the mundaneness of life is possibly the most momentous journey one can take.
*press send; blog initiated. We have lift off.*
Oooh. Now the pressure’s on.
Playlist while writing (from a 2001 mix cassette tape, yes I can still play those):
Nick Cave – ‘God is in the house’
Fine Young Cannibals – ‘Wade in the Water’
Lazaro’s Dog – ‘Home Entertainment System’
Cocteau Twins – ‘Frosty the Snowman’
Paul Kelly – ‘Sweet Guy’