The More It Changes…

Well, well, well! Look who’s turning 10!

10th Anniversary

Ten years ago tonight, after a few months’ hesitation, I turned off the TV, went to my office, downloaded and installed Moveable Type, and started blogging. I didn’t even have a name for my blog when I started the installation, so I guess even the monicker aMMusing is turning 10 tonight. But one thing’s for sure: I didn’t think this blog would still exist 10 years later.

Me: Hi. My name is Maurice and I’m a reluctant blogger.

Chorus: Hi Maurice!

Those were my opening lines on December 17, 2002. Indeed, I had reluctantly decided to become a participant in a phenomenon that had started a few years back in the U.S. but that hadn’t really caught on yet in Canada, let alone in Halifax where I was living at the time. However, as someone who has always enjoyed writing, I knew that blogging would be a natural fit for me, but then, as now, I also worried about whether or not it was such a good idea to post what essentially amounts to an online diary within such a public space. Plus, I wondered if I would run out of things to say or if anyone would actually be interested in what I wanted to say.

Like many new bloggers at the time I started enthusiastically, posting daily and sometimes several times daily. Then, after a few months, I would skip a day or two; eventually, over the decade, I would abandon my blog for months, leading me and others to wonder if aMMusing had come to its “natural end.” But, for whatever reason, I simply could never bring myself to definitely throw in the towel. I simply couldn’t, even though other online phenomena like social networking sites had widely replaced the blogosphere and even though the unique ambiance that existed within the blogosphere disintegrated when marketers decided that companies, not people, should “have a blog.” It was like how the magic in a special neighbourhood disappears once the merchants’ association breaks down and allows Mickey D to open an outlet on the best corner of said neighbourhood.

When I look at what I wrote in aMMusing in the last decade, I marvel at all that has happened and all that has changed. But, at the same time, I find slightly disturbing not just what hasn’t changed but also what themes, ideas and regrets recurred through the decade and even before then. It’s enough to make me wonder if I’m just a hopeless creature of habit or a stubborn soul who keeps refusing to learn his karmic lessons.

Last night I spent several hours rereading some of my postings. I’ve written nearly 1,300 in 10 years, so it would take a long time to read them all …not that I would really want to do that. However, I’m glad they’re all there. A handful has become so trivial that I’m not sure anymore what the posting is about, but most still have some resonance.

I was glad to find the postings leading to and following my father’s passing. Unbelievably, it’ll be nine years already next March since he left us. It was a watermark event to be sure, but my exact thoughts and feelings of the moment would be lost today had I not written them down. Indeed, the memories today would be vague if it weren’t for those records.

But aside from such pivotal events, I’m struck by how often I’ve expressed sentiments of inertia — of wanting to change or lose a habit, for instance, and finding that it’s essentially still there, just like it was in 2002. A decade ago, I struggled just as I do now with my tendency not to want to socialize but feeling that I’m missing out on something. And certainly not due to lack of trying, but I’m still single and, perhaps, even more likely to remain that way — not because I’m feeling that NowEx has burnt me, but because I’m coming to realize that perhaps I don’t have the temperament or the personality to be otherwise.

On the other hand, when I look back at a decade of aMMusing, not all is as bleak. In fact, had it been all bleak, I probably would have abandonned it long ago! On the contrary, for the most part, aMMusing has been a source of pleasure and fun. It has allowed me to get to know some people I otherwise would probably never have met. It has allowed me to vent, to “think out loud,” and to tell little stories about an ordinary guy’s life. It has even helped me make decisions, like finally getting off my duff and moving to Montréal.

So to that — because of the overwhelming good — I say “Cheers to aMMusing!” And who knows: Perhaps I’ll be posting a similar entry on December 17, 2022…