I am not a huge birthday fan.
Yes, birthdays make a good day to sit back and say “wow, was that a year that just happened?,” but they’ve otherwise been turned into the same materialistic nonsense Hallmark holiday as all of those other holidays that I habitually ignore. By this point, my friends and limited members of my family have discerned my general distaste for typical birthday fare, and have compensated accordingly with a recent avalanche of off-kilter gifts, unusual cakes, and the now-annual beer-tasting festival.
Today marks the fourth birthday of my blog. You’d think I’d remember it, or have it marked down on my calendar, or buy myself a gift, but year after year it blindsides me just like the birthdays of my friends and aunts, all of which I typically remember just as they are upon me. I didn’t remember this one at all. Instead, I happened to be at Rabi’s, reading about this year’s Howl festival, and I was thinking about how it’s been exactly a year since I last saw Rabi, and then I looked at my posts from the New York trip and realized that it almost coincided with CrushingKrisis’s birthday, and then I realized that meant that CK’s b-day was once again upon us.
Four years is not the longest time to do something. High school only took four years, thank god. For most people, college only takes four. There are marriages that don’t last as long, and beloved children who are younger. It has been enough time, though, for over 2,500 posts, and for over four hundred thousand words.
CK’s birthday is a good point to look back across that lifetime of posts and words, but it’s also useful for gauging what can actually happen in a year. In a way, this past year’s posts represent even less of my life than they ever did before; they depict fewer moments, impulses, and sudden fixations. At the same time, these few posts reveal more – in my increasing impulse to let thoughts percolate through multiple passes of writing and editing I find a more robust view of my life as I look back over a sparser number of posts. Not as many thousands of words to depict the pictures; less polariods, more portraits.
I sometimes miss “the old” version of this page, but I know that’s it’s unrealistic to expect anything to stay the same. Television shows grow stale. Musicians evolve. Life goes on. For me to decry the state of this page, lamenting that it no longer portrays my minute-to-minute fascination with the minutia of my existence, would be ignoring the growth not of my writing, but of myself. I might still look (mostly) the same and think (mostly) the same, but each post I write has an effect on the outcome of the next one.
I have given myself the gift of four years of identity, thoughts realized and jotted down for me to re-live, re-think, and re-assess. You have given me the privilege of airing that identity, forcing me to repeat, repent, and resolve again and again in an attempt to find something truer, funnier, and realer the next time.
I want to promise you that this year will bring hundreds of interesting links, scores of engaging reads, dozens of awesome new recordings of my song. I can’t. I want to promise that I will be on the cutting edge of blogging, finding new resources and fresh writing to day daily. I won’t.
For all that I cannot promise you, I will promise you this: you will always be privy to a unique view of my life. Sometimes that is represented by a sprawling journal-like entry, sometimes by a new song, sometimes by a brief by-line to a link, and often by lengthy self-assessment, but every time it’s a topic I bring to this page, to you, because it is a key part of this identity. It’s something I’m crushing on, or that’s crushing me.
Thank You, and Happy Birthday to This.