A few weeks ago, I realized that a milestone in my life was approaching. It will soon be 5 years since I up-ended everything, quit my cushy job, sold everything I owned, and took off for India. I started my blog around the same time, mostly to give friends and family a way to check in on me without receiving those painful travel mass-emailings that so many people are prone to send. I told everyone “If you are interested, check out the blog. If not, no big deal. But don’t worry, I will not be sending you SPAM.” And so it was a few weeks ago that I went back to look at my very first blog post. As fate would have it, it was on Sept 11, 2006. I clearly could not have picked a worse first date to start a blog (except perhaps for Sept 11, 2001). I could never celebrate the birth of my blog without being reminded of the chaos and horror of 9/11, could I? And yet, it must not have been such a terribly big deal to me on the 5th anniversary. At least not enough to occupy my thoughts or emotions to the degree that I would not be able to focus on setting up my first blog and post. I was probably in denial about living under the Bush terror regime, and equally excited about the incredible changes that were happening (and god knows, about to happen) in my life at the time. The road to my mid-life crisis trip was well set in motion by that point, every day closer to taking that leap.
I honestly never could have imagined all that awaited me, and how much gratitude I have every day for what it taught me. We really can change our lives in dramatic ways, and a great leap into the unknown pays huge dividends. But this post is more about the blog itself, and the process of writing it. Five years later, I admit to being surprised that I have kept it going all this time, and what a labor of love it has become for me. It is my soapbox, my corner of the world, my outlet, my confessor, my scrapbook, my silliness, my memory. It is the place I work thorough ideas and hone them. It is a journal of my experience, and a way to reach out to the world. It is my art, in the truest sense of the word. For it is not for sale, beyond the reach of commerce. It has no specific purpose or function, although it embodies many different ones at different times. It is about everything and nothing.
Five years. Half a decade. It went by so very quickly, but was filled with so very much. I am flabbergasted when I look at this map showing where I have been in the last five years:
So here’s to the next five years. If there is one thing I can predict with certainty, it is that I can’t predict with certainty. And that is one of the greatest things about being alive.