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Ben Made This for Me

January 17th, 2022

This blog-thing was inspired directly by Ben. Actually, Ben (who knows how to use technology, while I do not) explained how to set it up, wrote this theme for me, and sent me on my way. Thanks Ben!

I had a lot of ups and downs to my writing in 2021. In the first months of the new year, I wrote no more than a couple of entries in the red Moleskine journal I've kicked around since I was a freshman in highschool. In mid-March, I started using Notion to write entries—a short little recap of how I was feeling at the end of the day.

Notion proved to be wonderful for me, because most days my entry would be a couple sentences. But on days when a lot was weighing on me, the daily habit forced me to dump what I was feeling onto the page and I think it netted a lot of introspection.

Midway through October, though, I fell off the Notion wagon, probably because college got so tiring and fast-paced. In hindsight it isn't surprising that this happened, because I feel like if college is anything it's an environment designed to be too frenetic for introspection so that students will feel more happy and carefree.

That brings us to this website, which looks to be the first real effort at writing since stopping Notion. But those entries were written solely for me—intimate reflections of my feelings. That's not gonna happen on a public blog on the internet.

For inspiration, I looked at Ben's blog, which is a reflection of the thoughts in his head on any given morning.

But I think Ben processes his ideas differently from me—he seems to be able to very effortlessly pick his passing thoughts out of the air, examine them, and put them back in the stream with a cogent understanding of why he's had this particular idea and how it connects to everything else.

I think I'm a little more scattershot—I'm not fast enough to be able to break down my train of reasoning or ideation like I can with emotions. Stuff will fly into my head and I'll make a decision on impulse, without really understanding what's going on upstairs. So this can't be functionally similar to what Ben does.

And then there's the real elephant in the room, which is that in making this public I'm embarking on a bit of a vanity project based on the assumption that people will read this thing. I mean, if I was my friend looking at this I think I'd be rolling my eyes a little—who does this bozo think he is? That his insignificant thoughts are worth sharing? And they really aren't. I can't get over the fact that this reeks of secretly-resented-by-her-neighbors soccer mom writing the annual holiday card. All I can really offer in response is that I think I'm motivated more when I know I'm putting this crap somewhere, rather than just in a notebook on my bookshelf.

Which means this remains a bit of an ambiguous medium for me. I've already started to think of it like the sort of stuff I would bring up in a conversation with someone I know fairly well—well enough to share pretty specific, already developed ideas that aren't actually that personal.

Perhaps that's ok. I like conversations with people, so it's fun to approximate them in writing! And even if/when nobody sees these, there's a certain parasocial relationship with the internet that will probably give me the same feeling of expression.

Last night someone texted me about the blog, which morphed into one of the deeper conversations I've had in a while. Fantastic! I'm gonna call that a win and not overthink what I'm doing here.