24 May 2011

Thirty by thirty: a preview, and #1

I’ll be honest with you, imaginary audience. I actually have a very specific reason for starting this blog, but I didn’t want to tell you yet because it requires more background and I have this delusion that we’re building a dramatic narrative.

So. I started this blog for three reasons:

1. My friends and family live far and wide, and while I am unfortunately an “out of sight, out of mind”-type friend, they are actually nice enough to retain a vague interest in what I’m doing nowadays

2. I like to talk, and write. Especially about myself, it seems.

3. It’s on my 30 by 30 list.

Granted, “starting a blog” is on my 30 by 30 list because of reasons #1 and #2. But I haven’t bothered to start a blog for years despite reasons #1 and #2. I got as far as registering the domain name three years ago, but didn’t actually post anything. Reason #3 is time-sensitive and ultimately the swift kick in the pants that I needed to get this off the ground.

I had what could now be considered a blog way back in college, back before Blogger and Wordpress existed. I posted every Friday morning, after coding the HTML by hand in Pico. It was hosted on my university’s UNIX web server, and I updated it while working in my cubicle at the university’s computer center. Mostly I wrote about my classes, the professors in my classes, things that happened in my classes, and studying for my classes. Which, combined with the method I used to create the blog, fully secured my nerd badge.

But nowadays, I feel far from computer-savvy. I do not even own a smartphone, you guys. Despite the fact that I was one of the only kids in high school with a cell phone, my current cell phone is that cheap one that we got for free. And I only upgraded from my previous phone because a short circuit developed under the 3, 6, and 9 keys of the seven-year-old device, such that any time I tried to dial those numbers, my phone turned itself off. I thought the solution was to store all the phone numbers that were important under speed dial with the other digits because the only other option was to own a phone with a CAMERA and oh my gah, a camera on your PHONE? (I still don’t know how to use the newest phone’s camera. On principle.) Similarly, I guess I was just really, really good at web 1.0 technology such that I’ve resisted contaminating web 2.0 social networking personal branding blogspeak with my severe cases of the Olds and Behinds, despite having things to say, or at least say to myself.

So, I made a 30 by 30 list, which for those who do not read as many blogs as I do, is a list of things to accomplish prior to your thirtieth birthday. I also resisted making a 30 by 30 list, mostly because it took on that feeling of a meme, and doing a meme makes my irrational indie anti-mainstream sensibility start to twitch. And also? If we’re being honest, I got a little snobby about other people’s lists. Like, making pad thai was important enough that it had to be accomplished in your twenties? Didn’t want to aim too high, eh? Or you hold pad thai in such high regard that it is a life goal to be able to make it? So between not wanting to do what everyone else and being worried about the Judgy McJudgersons – myself included – I thought I would not write a list of my own.

But then! As you have already discovered because I gave it away in the title (writing voice: rusty), I had a change of heart. Mostly, I realized that 30 by 30 lists are always not about ending the Grand Era of Twenty-Something by having an awesome adventure-filled year leading up to the thirtieth birthday. They can also be for refreshing and getting things started on the right foot. They are for realizing that even though you are no longer receiving letter grades in red pen, you are still able to improve. They are for saying, Ok. Now? Now... I think I am ready to be a grownup.

I am twenty-eight, “only” twenty-eight. I turn thirty years of old in February 2013. That’s a ways away, you say! I agree. But also? Not that far if I want to accomplish a number of good things while I am still in my twenties that do not involve pad thai.

I'll be writing frequently about this list to jump start the blog, taking you through my list on my journey to grownup.

#1: Start a blog.