A recent post on Alice’s blog, More than Toast reminded me of my online diaries from many years ago, and so I spent a large part of this weekend tracking down and rereading my old blogs.
My blogging history started in 2002, and is spread over 4 different blogs (this one is the 5th). I had forgotten about most of it, and in my memory they were all very brief writing stints that didn’t last more than a few months. So I was very surprised to find a very thorough account of my years at college (6th form), my gap year, the first year of Uni, and my post-Uni travels.
The teenage years were most revealing. Mostly because my life was far more interesting back then, but also because they were the furthest from my memory. Reading through two years of my life from 17 to 19 years of age put me right back there. After immersing myself in my old life for an afternoon, I had difficulty speaking to friends without reverting to teenage vocabulary, I had the most surreal ‘I can’t believe i have a child now’ moment. It got me thinking about people who I haven’t seen in years, putting them right in the forefront of my mind as if I’d spoken to them just yesterday.
It was an excellent reminder of why I like writing about my life. And it also made me think a bit about the differences in blogging nowadays. I’ve almost been left pining for the simplicity of the Livejournal days – where design was minimal, everyone had the same font, and the emphasis was completely on the words on the screen. Back then, the only thing to draw you into someone’s blog was the writing. Not an eye-catching design, a photo header or a smart tagline. I don’t even think there was a stats counter (or if there was, I never checked it). The only way I knew anyone was reading my blog were the post comments. I wrote just for me, motivated by catharsis and wanting to keep a record.
I’m pleased that re-reading my blogging past wasn’t the horrific experience I thought it might be when I first logged back in to accounts that have not been touched for almost a decade. Of course, there are embarrassing moments, and posts where I definitely sounded like a typical self-centred teenager, but most of what I read just made me really happy that I am still blogging today.