It was about 200 weeks ago that I started writing my weekly Soapboxes. A little more than that, since I'm writing this late, but this IS the 200th Soapbox written. I'm quite proud of that. The Soapbox makes up the bulk of the content on my site, and to see that I've persevered with it through the years is an achievement.
In preparation for this 'Box, I went back to read the 100th Soapbox, in which I wrote about my achieving perfection. The dominating forces in that essay were learning and Anna. They heavily dominated what was on my mind. 100 Soapboxes later, I find that this is still the case, and that is good.
I thought about how I have changed since earlier days. These days I will readily admit that I had a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I wanted my site to be popular, to be known by my peers, to be written about and admired. I still maintain that it was never to the degree that critics would phrase it to me (they liked to come to the conclusion that I was struggling for acceptance and couldn't get it), but I DID care about getting my site noticed.
At this point in my life, I no longer care about any of that. I have lost interest in the community, and I really do not wish to interact with people through my web site. Since Soapbox 100, I've cut off communication with other web designers, other personal site authors, all of that. It is simply no longer important to me. I learned nothing from them, after awhile. I became irked by them because so many know a lot about one thing, but nothing about everything else in life. People are so specialized now, placing no value on being well-rounded. Many of the computer techheads I run into laugh at going back to school instead of earning the money they're making now. As if that leads to fulfillment. Maybe, for some, it does. The concept of knowing things that don't affect your job is foreign to them. How many people, after turning their back on their own personal education, return to it later in life? Intellectual death at age eighteen, with sixty to seventy years left to live. An education is a satisfying, lifelong process for those who never stray from it.
Sometimes I wonder how people manage to live out the rest of their sad lives.
I don't believe any of the shit that people will give you about meeting as many people as possible and keeping up with them. I don't have a large circle of friends, but they are my core. They help me succeed, grow, learn, and thrive. I never will be a schmoozer. It doesn't look like I'll ever need to be one, either.
What has become more of an issue to me is my desire to scale back my presence as far as my site goes. I'm still grappling with the whole mess about strangers becoming too personal and knowledgeable into the details of my life. The audacity and sheer tactlessness of some who asked probing questions about me was shocking. Seeing firsthand that people are more interested in the day-to-day activities of your life than the opinions you hold about certain issues disgusted me. As I transitioned from writing about issues that really pissed me off, to writing about friends and relationships around me, I received more e-mail, more interest, more questions. Before that, I received little to no feedback about my political and moral stances and that sort of stuff.
Simply repulsive. How is Anna? Where is Anna? How are you coping? Etc. etc. Granted, there was a point where I divulged personal details fairly easily through e-mail, so perhaps many properly assumed that it was okay for them to ask about it.
But the bottom line is that the Soapboxes were attracting more voyeurs than thinkers. And that pissed me off.
It will take me some time to find a comfort level for my writing that I can deal with again. To some degree, I have been alienated from my site and from people, even more than I used to. I don't contribute much to anything. I used to do mailing lists, newsgroups, web communities, etc. I don't do that anymore. Just like everyone in high school, I don't think I'll ever hear from these people again. They will not accomplish great things, or change the world, or impress upon others a new way of thinking. They will...resign...themselves...to nothingness.
And I have complete confidence in myself that I have made the right decisions. The sheer amount of knowledge and insight I feel I've obtained since I started the Soapbox is startling. I'm almost done with school, and it has been pleasing to me that I've been able to get a well-rounded liberal arts education. I have work experience now, thanks to one very cool boss in particular, and other clients who took a chance on me. I don't need to worry about a job, even with my academic background (heh). In many respects I've opened up as a person and have done more cool things that I was too shy to try before. I have much stronger relationships with my family and with Anna. I wouldn't say I'm completely happy yet, because so many pieces of the puzzle remain so far apart still. I am laying the groundwork for the rest of my life. It should not be expected of me that I be content with what I have, to be satisfied, to sit back and enjoy. I have so much work to do. But at least I'm off to a huge head start.
I think the person in my 100th Soapbox would admire and envy the person in my 200th Soapbox. What more can I ask for? The same feeling when I hit the 300th Soapbox.
I have so much work to do! My god. This next year for me is crucial. I can hardly wait to see what happens. I graduate, I travel, I get a full-time job (maybe). I gain experience and I continue experimenting with new things and I can finally chop off parts of my life that I have had to hold onto since my days as a child. I approach life with far more passion than I think I did before. Life also happens to make more sense to me now.
If you only had an idea! I look upon the world with wondrous eyes and hungry spirit. The world waits patiently for me to soak it in! It goes on and on on its own, in its own beautiful way. I will experience it in due time. It is in no hurry. There's so much to learn about, to enjoy!
This web site, this Soapbox section, they have both given me so much. I will continue both as long as I can, but I admit I rely on it far less than I used to. I admit that it's gotten harder to come up with things to write about for the 'Box than it used to. Or maybe it's just harder to find things I want to disclose to the leeching, careless reader.
I have other outlets now. Fortunately, this came at a good time, when I COULDN'T rely on my site as much because of what was going on through it.
At any rate, the 200th Soapbox serves as a way for me to see that what I'm doing is right. It shows that I don't go away and quit, while others do. Where are all my peers from the olden days? Gone. Never to be heard from again. The 200th Soapbox is another large step for me, and I feel as though things haven't even really begun to get started in my life. LOL, I was so dumb 100 Soapboxes ago. At least I'm a little wiser now. Still dumb, but not AS dumb.
What will happen in the next 100 Soapboxes? Can I manage it? What do you think? I've always wondered what would make me decide to stop adding things to my site and Soapbox. Will I just one day decide I don't have time? Will I say I don't need to keep a site anymore? Will I become unhappy with how outdated the site has become?
Where will I be in another two years? What things will I learn? What books will I read? What new friends will find their way into the core of my life? Where will my career take me? Where will I have traveled by then? Will I be married that soon? Will I finally come up with the big idea I've been patiently fostering and waiting for? The possibilities make me giddy with anticipation. I love dis shit, folks.
Do NOT dismiss me, reader. I do not go away. I do not resign myself to nothingness. I said this years ago, and I say it again now.
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