Ordinally speaking, this is the 300th Soapbox I've written in benturner.com's now lengthy history. Following the tradition of the 200th Soapbox, I went back and reread the 100th and 200th essays for perspective on where I am now.
I found some good things, and some bad things.
What was most apparent was that everything I placed external importance in besides my parents is now gone. I used to write a lot about how those things kept me going and were the source of my happiness. I had a hot, intelligent Swedish chick, a sweet web design gig, an entertaining college course schedule, all sorts of promise. Somewhere in between the 200th and 300th Soapboxes, those things drifted away from me. The good news is that I learned to live without them. The bad news is also that I learned to live without them.
I read my first Soapboxes sometimes, from back when I was in high school. They're so BRIEF! And they seem lighter to read, easier and more fun. More personal even, in a way. Some essays are just delightful in their innocence.
I find paragraphs that are gems of wisdom. Paragraphs that, after I've read them, I can't believe I once wrote. Stuff I can't believe I could come up with. Sometimes I leave little notes and tidbits that I'd long since forgotten, but when reading them now, seem like they were left for me to find in the future. Planning ahead for yourself for even after you forget about it is a very cool thing. It's like when Bill and Ted meet the future Bill and Ted. Something strange is afoot at the Circle K.
These days I feel as though my Soapboxes get far too lengthy. I feel that I perhaps do not say what I really want to say, thus cutting out a lot of circumlocutionary bullshit. I feel that I try too hard to disprove competing theories, or to make concessions in order to make a stronger argument. I am not even sure with all my age and experience, my current writing style IS a firmer argument than my pure off-the-cuff early shit.
I guess it's good in a way that what I tend to write about has a more varied and eclectic base of research and knowledge to spring forth from, instead of one small article or tidbit setting me off. I guess I'm more aware of how things interconnect and influence each other. Granted, what I write now would still make my brother's eyes roll, but I think I'm getting better.
At first I had a site partially for attention. By the 200th 'Box, I said I didn't care. Well, by this 300th Soapbox, I'm not even sure why I continue to do it. I mean, I like to write, but I'm not a hardcore writer. Like someone who has to write or else he'll die. I'm not writing this FOR anyone. And I don't get anything for this. It's all really my own motivation. And honestly, I was one of the first and one of the last (it seems) to be doing this writing online stuff.
So, where do I go from here? Well, first things first, I really need to practice being more streamlined. I know I said I'd do that before, but I have to now. I think the reason I write so much is that I have a lot of things in my mind that I've read and I feel I need to get it all out until I get so tired I can't write anymore. And then of course I fall further behind on Soapboxes. So it has to be short and succinct. Oh, and it's okay to be dumb and stupid sometimes. The trivial is often entertaining; comedians and Seinfeld have proven that.
Man. I've spent so many hundreds or even thousands of hours total working on my site over the last 6 years. I sit for the most part alone, typing in the dark, getting nothing external from it, typing to myself, having little conversations with myself, sharing my feelings to myself, debating viewpoints with myself. One day I could become famous, and fans would rape my virtual host's bandwidth looking for info. Or I could become infamous, like some posterchild for whatever the police-state law of the day is. Or I could just die of old age and then 200 years later someone will unearth this site and read through it...and then promptly hide it again for safety. :P
The bottom line is, few people have made it this far. Most people can't even keep a site going for a week. Like diaries. I don't know how I did it. I guess I just didn't care about other people enough, or doing other things enough, or needing a motivation to continue doing this enough. I just don't know why I'm still here, able to do this. I just do it.
Here's to many more Soapboxes, the not-so-private dialogue I have, am having, and will have with just myself.
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