When I started this blog, back when I was almost a full year younger (and much better looking – you shoulda seen me), I told myself it was for the practice. I said to myself, “Self, stop being such a wienie, you with the big ideas. Now’s the time: Put up or shut up.”
Normally, I don’t respond to such threats. But I had this one coming.
You see, I’ve got a history of shaky follow-through.
Like the short (and oddly satisfying) foray into boxing. Two weeks of aching muscles. I couldn’t pass a mirror without a couple of feints at myself. What a stud.
There was also my commitment to learning Italian. I rode the bus for a little over four months, listening to CDs, mouthing along to questions regarding the whereabouts of the cathedral and my desire to have liquor sent to my hotel room.
I was actually quite excited about the Italian language and could read at a fast-food-server level; but where to use it? Minnesota is curiously lacking in Italians. You can’t swing a cat without hitting a Swede or a Somali, but Italians? Nada, bambino.
And no, it never occurred to me to actually just go to Italy.
Where was I?
Oh, yes. The blog.
Strange thing about the blog. 280-some posts later, I’ve done what I set out to do – I write every damn day: tired, sick, or drunk; telling the truth or completely making it up, I write.
But that’s not the strange thing. The strange thing is what I’ve learned.
Let’s look at it.
I’ve picked up slang from other countries without having been there. Its bloody well changed how I speak. Good on me, eh?
I’ve learned that once you’ve had a blog for a while, and developed a bit of a following, people will send you things. So far, I’ve received an historic book on Minneapolis, some really awesome lotion I need to mention at some point (but not now), and a box of home-made, hand-dipped chocolates from Dar. (She’d made them for her sister’s wedding.)
I ate them by the grubby handful.
The thing I’ve noticed most, though, is that I’ve come to care deeply for people I’ve never met, may never meet in person. England, India, Australia, Idaho, Ontario, Mississippi, Arkansas, DC, New York, Alaska, California, Utah, Illinois, Sweden, Ireland, Wisconsin, Belgium, New Hampshire, Italy, Colorado, Texas, and a host of places I’ve only dreamed of.
My point? I’m richer, for this experience, and I wasn’t expecting that.
Thank you, my bloggy peeps. The world has become a warmer, happier place because of you.
You have a friend in Minnesota.
Survey Responses from John, Elly, and Elaine
11 hours ago