I started blogging on September 16, 2002. And outside of the really inconsistent posting during my period of unemployment in 2003, and my self-imposed blog hiatuses and vacations, I have done it on a daily basis ever since. To the tune of a post almost every day and a half. Or something. I didn't really try to do the exact math. One of you math nerds can help me out with this.
Karin says that changes come and turn your world around. Well, in the years and months since that afternoon when I first signed on to Blogger, they have. I was thinking about this the other day. During the lifetime of this blog, there have been two election cycles, including a presidential election. A war in Iraq. The deposing of a dictator. Terrorist attacks in London, Madrid, Indonesia. A tsunami in the South Pacific. A hurricane's destructive force, a little closer to home. The deaths of all sorts of public figures. Big events.
Lots of smaller events have shaped this blog too. The Cubs getting five outs away from the World Series. Getting to see my three favorite bands perform. Watching hundreds of movies, reading dozens of books, listening to thousands of songs. The birth of my love for my favorite TV show. The marriages of so many friends. Meeting so many new friends, both in person and online. Contemplating the death of my 18-year-old cousin, and the incarceration of a high-school friend who wasn't that much older. Losing my first grown-up job. Finding a new one. Moving out of my parents' house and to an apartment five minutes away, and then a year later, moving across town. Travelling to places I've never been, like St. Louis and Pittsburgh.
A few minor events have actually occured on this blog. I've started writing two different books, that I actually intend to finish. Regular weekly segments have come and gone; some have lasted(like the ever-popular "Cool Ten"), while others have quickly faded from memory. (Anyone remember the "PBB Dead Letter Office"? Chaucer still owes Manders a letter.) The blog name and design have each changed twice. You've been witness to the "Slackie" Awards, and the newest and greatest fake Internet holiday, International "Embrace the Lame" Day. I've started and then closed a handful of side-blogs, ignored a few coblogs, invaded and occupied Will Sansbury's blog (which I ruled for a week before being overthrown in a bloody coup), and seriously contemplated purchasing a new domain and continuing my blog (and eventually literary) career under a new persona.
And in the end, here we are. You, the reader. And me, the writer.
I called myself "TeacherDave" on that September afternoon, because that's what I was. A high-school English teacher. Some of you first knew me as such. A few of you had the privilege (or misfortune) of actually being my pupil.
Since then, I have stopped teaching English grammar and literature, and have started teaching Sunday morning Bible study to people my age. So, I'm still a teacher.
But throughout the intervening 3+ years, I have been more often a learner. And I'm still learning, each day. How to live and work and love and write and be. I'm still learning how to blog rightly, so that I don't abuse or misuse or squander this opportunity to teach and entertain and amuse and love each of you.
One of the things I've learned most often is that a word, whether written or spoken, is a source of incredible power. Too often, especially in this context, I've been shamefully cavalier with this power, this gift. My hope is that, as I continue to write, I can do so with more humility.
I was trying to think of a big theme or topic for this post, but I couldn't come up with one that seemed to do the moment justice. Yes, Tiff, this is a big deal for me. This website, you readers, you've all been such a big part of my life for the past 3+ years, that I wanted to mark the occasion with something worthwhile, something grand. But I have nothing grand to give you today, except my thanks.
Thank you for reading, for commenting, for encouraging. Thank you to the few of you who have had the courage and kindess to call me out and kick my butt a little bit, when I've been out of line (which has happened much too often). Thank you to new friends and new faces, who have sent such kind regards. If not for you folks, I wouldn't do this. Seriously. I can talk big about how this is all about self-expression, but really, it's about connection, however ephemeral.
Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to speak to these folks, and the blessing of sharing part of myself with them, and receiving part of them in return. Help me never take such things for granted.
Onward to the next 1,000 posts? Perhaps. Unless the Lord intervenes somehow, nothing much is gonna change here. Maybe a little more temperance and prudence in what I say and how I say it. Less self-pity and self-involvement is surely in order. No more Xanga-teen posts about how sad it is that no one lurvs me, because that's both childish and untrue. I am loved, even if not in all the ways I hope yet. But I am loved, and that is enough.
You know, I thought about quitting this whole blogging racket. Really, it crossed my mind for a second. A poetic finish, to say goodbye, out of the blue, in the 1,000th post? But I couldn't bear the thought. I'm enjoying myself much too much to think about leaving.
I sometimes worry that this online community prevents me from establishing real flesh-and-blood friendships. But even if that may be somewhat true sometimes, I'm not done with whatever I am supposed to be doing on this silly old blog.
So, until such time as God changes my plans, I remain indebtedly and respectfully yours,