Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Blog Post 300

So when I began writing this blog in 2007, in the Spring (although not posted until the Fall), I was a dejected young Junior in college. I’d just had my first serious physical romantic relationship. I was living abroad, in Leeds. I had just begun my music collection, with about 30 albums culled from the Rolling Stone list.

What’s happened since then?

I went to Italy and Turkey, the latter being my first trip to a foreign country on my own where they didn’t speak English. I made pilgrimage to Tintern, ironic now since Wordsworth’s poem is a reflection of five years passed… I met someone I thought was my soulmate, and saw her married to a wonderful man. I created a whole new set of friends my last year in college, and then rekindled a long-dormant set from years before. I helped a friend through the pain of his fiancée changing genders. I graduated with my Bachelors. I graduated with my Masters. I studied Heidegger, whose ontology I have borrowed as my own, and had my philosophical presumptions shaken by Wittgenstein, while my humanism was rejected by Camus. My music collection swelled from 30 albums to 30 days’ worth of music. I began to watch movies and threw myself into foreign cinema and art house, with my ‘best of’ list changing from entries such as ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’ to Renoir’s ‘Grand Illusion’. I met a girl whom I dated on and off in varying degrees of seriousness for nearly four years, to the point that I was considering proposing; every vision of my future had her in it. I got my first job, and moved to Reno. I worked in an inner city school in Boston. I was a private tutor in California, and learned how to drive. I was a lecturer in a junior college in Singapore. I made a new set of friends, and hung out for a spell with that country’s shnazzy crowd. I went to Malaysia, Indonesia, and Cambodia. I’ve enlarged my list of UNESCO sites seen from eight to thirty-two. I went to Japan for half a month. I saw my mother try her hand at a new career, and not make it. I saw my sister literally travel around the world, and find a dream job. I saw my dad’s retirement shed forty pounds from his frame. I’ve read 282 books or seminal writings from Dracula to Keynes, Sin City to Schrodinger. I’ve lost my adolescent ability to consume vast quantities without consequence. I began writing two unfinished works of non-fiction on world history and campaign finance reform, respectively. I owned and commuted daily on a scooter for a year. I’ve owned five mobile phones, and three laptops. I traveled the country looking for interested parties to open a school with. I’ve visited Maine, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington State for the first time. I got a dance lesson from my high school crush. I switched from being a vegetarian, since I was eighteen, to eating meat when I turned 21. I bought my first professional wardrobe, which I am still wearing. I reached the landmarks of having $5,000, $10,000, and $15,000 dollars in the bank. I’ve voted twice in national elections. I had a major depressive episode, and came out the other side. I stopped writing this blog, and after nearly a year’s hiatus began writing again. I’ve discovered and changed nearly every one of my daily webcomics I read now. I got addicted to 4chan and haven’t been back in four years. I counseled my Georgian and Russian students through the 2008 crisis. I awarded my first A+ and my first F. I received my first administrative praise and first censure (for occultism). I began teaching comedy improv, having never even tried it before. I did my first stand-up routine, which bombed. I began keeping a consistent diary.

I sat in the plaza of the Boston Public Library on a summer day drinking lemonade, reflecting on our century.

I biked with my girlfriend around the island of Palau Ubin at sunset.

I spent first one, then two Christmases away from my family, in Cleveland and the tropics.

I lived for six months in a four-room flat with my father.

I accidentally started a relationship when a friend in crisis from a car crash turned to me for solace.

I rekindled a friendship with two friends from high school, and spoke for the first time in seven years with anyone from my middle school.

I was tested for HIV for the first time, and got my chests x-rayed for tuberculosis on the same day.

I one day realized that I may want kids – and am the last procreating male in my family.

I took a taxi after being broken up with, and having lost my back-up earlier that year realized I’d not been so alone in five years.

I for a time took daily walks on the California coast, regardless of time of day or weather, to see the Pacific, the clouds or the stars.

I ate fish ball soup in New Haven, in preparation for a trip abroad.

I learned how to cook Indonesian food one afternoon from an old woman in Jogjakarta.

I learned about post-relativity physics.

I made a friend in one day, eating at food stalls in Portland, Oregon.

I bellowed at a room of frightened Singaporean history students who didn’t take my subject seriously.

I marked the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor in Kyoto, eating at a yakitori restaurant.

In Union Square in San Francisco, regarding the Westin St. Francis Hotel, a friend and me fervently discussed our shared belief in the imminent technological collapse due America in our lifetimes.

I took a group of students on an over-night field trip and didn’t lose any.

I toured the Doge’s palace, the ruins of Ephesus, and the Ben & Jerry’s factory.

I memorized the route I walked from the uni to my flat in Leeds, walking it a hundred times.

I memorized the route I walked from my apartment to the 7-11 in Reno, walking it over a hundred times.

I memorized the route from the MRT station to my HDB in Singapore, walking it hundreds of times.

I ran my hand across the Vietnam Memorial.

300 blog posts in about five years. Who I am now is so radically different from whom I was then, the college Junior just discovering music and brooding on Hume and Thucydides abroad. These reflections are compounded by my now dating a college Junior, five years my junior, who I can only wonder the same question for. I can only wonder where I will be in five years’ time, and what thoughts I may record in those next 300 blog posts.

I hope any who read this will still be there to join me for it.


John Wiswell said...

Would you like to teach me about post-relativity physics some time?

Karen said...

A good time for reflection. It seems that you've had a much more interesting young adult-hood than most ...