2 million minutes have passed since the first post on this blog, marking a truly huge part of my own life. Over the last four years, I have grown so much in my personal life, and perhaps now – before I move on to the next chapter – I should examine everything that I have already done.
Blogging was an adventure for me from the start, when I was first finding my way around the internet in the mid 2000s. As a young child foolishly clicking through the 18+ agreements needed to create Facebooks, Bloggers, Gmail Beta accounts, the whole world suddenly seemed to get so much larger. Moving into an arena where I could see the writings of an astonishing variety of people inspired me to keep posting, even with nobody to really read through them. It was the excitement of learning how to touch-type and putting my writings into a forum where people could potentially(!) see them that drove me to keep writing.
I’ve since forgotten the address of my first, long-dead blog, and even my second and third experimental failures. Time after time, with different software and different hosts and even, briefly, different styles of fiction, I was unable to find the niche that could drive me forwards. In frustrating times, when it felt like I had nobody to talk to, I would try to turn towards writing down my thoughts, but found myself paralyzed by fear that some enemy would dredge that up and mock me. But, behind layers and layers of passwords, security, and anonymity, I finally started my shaky foray into the world of the blog.
Those early posts had the zeitgeist of a standard diary made digital. Inspired by Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Diary of Anne Frank, and to a much lesser extent, even Robinson Crusoe, I wanted to remember everything that I did. I would jot down the daily events of my life, add a bit of snarky commentary here and there, all peppered with profuse apologies of not posting enough. Looking back through those early days, I see a boy who was bored with the world around him and found writing as an escape from his own mind. The move from Knoxville to Seattle may not have truly been that much of a change in my social development, but for the first time, I was aware of how few people I knew and could talk to. For the first time, I yearned to have an audience.
The second semester of my 8th grade year was truly a transitional period for me, as I sought out new friends and new conversations to have. Trapped in a small apartment building away from the bustle of Factoria, I found and strengthened my voice by talking to myself. I became self-aware of my language, trying to inject self-referential and self-deprecating humor wherever I could. And then, static.
Jumping into the Gifted Class at Interlake was like drinking from a fire hose and for the first time in memory, I was busy interacting with people all the time. I finally saw Facebook as not a place to idly say “Chunyang is playoo” for vague reasons, but as a place to talk with my newfound friends. I was finding a place to fit in, and during that time, I didn’t need to chat with myself; I could chat with everyone around me. It was a glorious recognition of how I’ve changed since middle school and how I would continue to grow in the future.
But eventually, I would need to return to my own citadel of thoughts for quiet reflection. I rediscovered my WordPress blog in the end of 2012 and took towards writing with a new and unmatched passion. Over that summer and subsequent year, I started blogging in earnest from my phone, laptop, school computer, or any other device I could get my hands on. Some may say it was to impress a girl; some may say it was an outlet for IB stress. Regardless, my sophomore year blog started me on so many different paths of life, pushing myself to express ideas in ways that others could understand and relate to. It was because of my blog that I found out about Student Voice, and it was my blog that got me really looking into various types of poetic expressions. I’m proud of this era of my blog because I became unafraid of posting my thoughts to the world. Gone were the days of passwords and secrecy!
And so, my blog evolved to be my companion, a friend that I would talk to and plan out long drafts of my views. By writing often, I started to shape my believes and truly dissected why I believed what I did. It was the fun endeavor that was unique to myself, that not many others in my class seriously took on. I enjoyed dwelling in those thoughts between my other activities, like a breath of fresh air from the hustle and bustle of constant emails or messages.
This past year, I’ve considerably marked down my blogging efforts, which seemed strange to me for a while. As I lay down to sleep, it would nag at my head – why does this senior, who clearly has much more time than an IB student, somehow have less time to blog and write? Today, I realize that the purpose of my blog was never because of when I had more time, but when I needed to reflect more or less. These days, many of the conversations that I would previously have with my blog, I have with my trusted friends and parents. I have the luxury of getting more involved into what I want to learn at all hours of the day, filling up any remaining free time with self-led research or readings.
To be perfectly honest, I have never been happier in my life.
And so, as my class looks to the future of college life, I also look towards the future of the story of my blog. I don’t know where my writing endeavors will take me in the future – if I will become more technical, focusing on specific issues or causes, or if I default back to a documentation of life in New Haven. Even the title of this blog must once again change – no longer would I live in Seattle. Does this mean I must abandon this blog for a new domain? It would be quite a shame now – this blog has become such a large part of my high school life, and to relegate it as only archival significance seems quite sad. But whatever may happen, I know that the story of my blog is only a small chapter of my life as a whole. The world will be moving forwards, and it is up to me to keep racing ahead.