10 Years of Blogging

10 years ago today, I sat down for the first time at my computer and decided it was time to join the blogging community. Not that blogging was a community in any sense. But, at the time, blogs were big, and everyone who was everyone was writing about their lives in a long form.

Nowadays, hardly anyone does. In reality, no one ever had the patience to read endless, tedious discussions about random people’s lives. Hence the inevitable success of the short form, in Twitter and in other social media, though to a lesser extent.

However, to me, it was never about the audience. It was all about me. It was all about writing down the thoughts I have always had in my head but never really committed to. Now there is no getting away from it. There are over 560 posts and counting to testify that.

And it is incredible. I do occasionally click the “random post” button above. It’s the best way to explore what happened in the past. I really enjoy reading back on what I thought about events at the time. A great majority of them I don’t even remember… which goes to show how so many things are seen as really important at the time, but in the end don’t even stick around in the memory. But that is good, because it just goes to show how much things you forget…

I write now from the same place I’m sure I did last year, no more than a couple of metres from when the whole thing began 10 years ago. I arrived after having a sudden attack of illness this morning, which, I’m pleased to say, is clearly fading quick. Which is good. I had been on the decline since Monday morning, with some sort of cold/flu thing. It smacked me hard this morning… stopping me from even getting out of bed. Totally unlike me. I finally made it out around 10am. I can’t remember the last time I ever slept that long.

The past few days in work have been horrendously busy. Not what I wanted in the run up to Christmas. I’d probably say the whole month in general has been such hard work and unnecessarily stressful. I feel like I can relax now, hundreds of miles away from it, but it will be back with all its associated woes on the 29th.

What matters, though, is that I have, for now, four uninterrupted days, where I can just park up all that crap and think of nothing other than our family festivities. I write this now in the middle of the family, as we often do on Christmas Eve, talking nonsense, catching up, and watching Christmas songs on TV. Kind of ironically, but also because we do enjoy it. It’s something that I started about four years ago, because I thought we should have things like this to remember. Too often we spend all the time on our own, doing our own things. This event, while wholly optional, has kind of become our tradition. Usually because I come home on this day, so if I sit here most people will want to hang around as they haven’t seen me for a while.

I think I’ll write separately on what’s changed between now and 10 years ago. For now though, it’s just enough to say that I’m home safely, and the Christmas festivities are under way. Here’s to a good few days.

Merry Christmas.

Is It November Already?

Yes. Yes it is.

I have to get used to the fact that 2014 is fast drawing to a close. In a little over seven weeks time it will be 2015. The year in which I will complete my 30th year on the planet. To think of poor me, sitting alone writing furiously about a dull and depressing life, aged 19, is enough to bring a tear to my eye. I don’t like reading old posts from the past, but they are utterly precious.

There will be plenty of time for reflection this Christmas, particularly as it will be 10 years of blogging, which is a remarkable achievement. I’m so thrilled I have stuck with it.

And Christmas is almost all I think about at the moment. I have booked my tickets to go home, on exactly December 24, and I’m so incredibly looking forward to it. I love it, every single year, that I can feel like I’m 14, or 9, or 16, or 18, or 6, again, and be at home with the family, all together, all safe, all enjoying a successfully navigated year, all – hopefully – enjoying each other’s company, with no worries for two weeks (I like to drag it out…) about work, or school, or money, or depressingly mundane existences.

But that is then. This is now.

November is a sad month, primarily because it is the time by which my spirit and will is finally broken, and I must, at long last, switch the central heating on. I always try to make it into November, but this year was almost no challenge at all due to a remarkably good spell of weather in October. Indeed, I remember the very same a mere five years ago when I first moved here. It was great weather. It’s so much better than home, a mere 150 miles north.

The cold is everywhere. It feels more so at the moment as I am, as I have been for the last year “inbetween coats”. I have not owned a winter coat for about three years. I thought it was time I did so, and have spent a not unsubstantial amount of money trying to achieve it. I wait patiently for it to arrive. Maybe it will be here tomorrow? I hope so. It will be just in time, for the coldness is really setting in. Our first 0 degree night is upon us for the first time since early in the year.

This time of year also tends to lead to a lull. The main IT business carries on regardless, but the other one that I’m part of starts to wane. No one wants to start big projects in December, so the usual preceding weeks, in which projects are planned, are empty. It happened last year. It is happening this year. It worries me as our admin lady has almost nothing to do at the moment. All very disappointing, especially when only a couple of months ago things looked very promising. Suddenly the cupboard is bare.

I always, however, keep my eyes on the future. I have to make progress. The passing of a whole year without any change in my house situation is a strange one. But I may have a new sideline with my business partner. Plans are afoot for a property development fun and games. We shall see.

For now though, I have to plough onwards. I hope I can make it to the end of the year without too many more disappointments. We’ve had enough this year.

(This is post 555 on this blog, woo!)

It’s Never A Good Time

There never does seem to be a right moment to blog. When I’m busy, it’s no good. When I’m not busy, I start to feel guilty about sitting idle, and then quickly manage to find something to do. When I’m angry – which happens a lot these days – I don’t feel right. When I’m depressed, I fear writing about it only makes things worse. When I’m happy (a precious rarity!), writing about it would distract me from the happiness, and probably only encourage me to overanalyse and forget why I’m meant to be happy.

What an introduction. I remember when I wrote my dissertation, which majored quite heavily on the role of blogging, I did a little background research, which found that the average blogger was a pretty depressed individual. It is a “melancholy medium”. It feels right to me. Confirmation bias, perhaps, but I think those of us who live lives of sweetness and light probably don’t have the right character to write all about it.

But right now, it’s not a good time. I’m generally feeling a bit sorry for myself because I have a cold which hasn’t even got the decency of being a real cold. I might be tempting fate here, but after three days of coughing and having that permanent “just about to sneeze” feeling behind my nose, I’m getting more than a little fed up. I keep wondering whether I’m at the end of it or just the beginning. If it would get worse, at least I would know it can only improve from here. But it just keeps being the same, for 3.5 days now. Irritating.

And life goes on, of course. Business has been generally shit this week. There’s something about the Easter holiday that makes everything go rubbish. I remember it being crap this time last year too. And the jobs I have had have all been irritating in their own special way. As well as harbouring a boatload of customers who waste my time and aren’t worth much.

I need them though. I have a love-hate relationship with my customers of late. All the good ones never come back. The bad ones just keep annoying me. There is one particular one at the moment who paid me double to come out on a Sunday to inspect their laptop. I quoted it, and said I’d have to take it away. They agreed. Every weekend since then, with this being the third, they have arranged and then cancelled my visit to return with the goods at the last minute. I know people aren’t like me, but I just can’t understand: you either want your computer fixing or you don’t. If they didn’t want it fixing, they shouldn’t have called me in the first place, let alone pay me extra for an unusual Sunday call out. All a bit weird, as I like to say.

Then there is the constant depression of being here. I am totally fed up of living with my housemate, but there is no escape. That definitely is never a good time.

But life in general is just never a good time either. I am sick and tired of waiting for good news. For years now, so many of them slipping away in front of me, I am in a perpetual state of “waiting for something good to happen”. The upshot really is that it never does happen, and even when it does, it makes you happy for 5 minutes, and then you start hoping for the next good thing to happen.

Honestly, life is utterly tedious. I have often wondered… I would love to have children, but then it is for purely selfish reasons. There is, actually, no good reason to bring another person into this world. A world of constant suffering, constant struggle, and increasing pressure to spend all your time slaved to the economy without ever really enjoying it.

No. Life has absolutely no purpose whatsoever. This suddenly dawned upon me the other day, when I was in one of my moods. It doesn’t matter if it has intrinsic “purpose” once you’re alive, whereby you can ascribe happiness, and love, and family, and other values to it, and pretend that they make it have some purpose.

There is no purpose at all. There is no extrinsic value to life even existing in the first place. It is a quirk of biology, a twist of fate (which doesn’t exist), and chromosomes, and DNA and other weird stuff that just so happened. It is all a nonsense really, an utter nonsense, and we pretend it all has some meaning, some value, and that we must enjoy it to make it worthwhile.

No. None of it means anything. In 1 billion years time, life will probably not exist anywhere in the universe. And yet the universe will still continue, pointessly, fruitlessly, counter-intuitively.

It’s never a good time around me, I can assure you of that.