On Saturday, one side of my family held our pre-Thanksgiving reunion. It had been two years since we were able to do it. I offered to host this year when our previous venue’s loss threatened to sideline the event for yet another year. Needless to say, I was exhausted by the time my last cousin and his wife got in the car and drove off toward their home in south Alabama.
Sunday, the day after, was the first relaxing day I had taken in weeks. But, I am not one for spending the entire day dedicated to watching TV — except when Squid Game was released.
Dusting off my rarely-used personal blog, I began to pen an update post on my National Novel Writing Month progress. Instead of actually doing that, at least until later in the night, I looked over years of published blog posts.
There is a rich history there, at least to me. My blog is a journal of my personal memories going back to 2003. For 18 years, I have been writing something, spitting out words into what can sometimes feel like an endless void. That naïve 19-year-old kid who was just setting foot into the online world was not thinking he would still be doing the same thing all these years later. He was just blogging. It was one part an extension of the angst-ridden notebooks he had filled as a teen. It was another part of a new and exciting journey.
For around an hour or so, I simply clicked and read and clicked and read. It is an extraordinary time to be alive, to take part in this moment in history where anyone from all over the world could live those same memories with me. And I can read their blogs. I can read about their hopes and dreams, view galleries of their pets, or catch up on their goals for the new year.
This is one of the reasons I subscribe to people’s personal blog feeds more so than news or development sites. At the end of the day, everything we do here is about people.
I took a deep dive through my archives, caught up with some fun moments I had shared with the world, and read over some of my old WordPress development tutorials. I even scanned through my obsession with Marie Kondōs tidying rules.
I was only disappointed that there were many moments that I decided not to share. I perused some of the notes from unpublished drafts of various instances of #WPDrama, discussions where I decided to keep my thoughts to myself rather than rock the boat. I skipped over headlines for books I had read but never reviewed. I remembered some life-changing moments that I never bothered to even write a draft about.
Aside from reminiscing over the past half of my life, I realized that my blog is older than many people who are just starting their own blogging journeys. WordPress, which also turned 18 this year, is older than its next generation of users.
I also realized that I simply enjoy blogging. I had never given it much thought before — the why behind my continued participation in this artform. Perhaps it is because I have something I want to say from time to time. Maybe it is simply therapeutic. In the end, it might not matter. However, I am grateful that we have platforms like WordPress that allow us all to do it, regardless of our reasons.
As we close shop for the week for some much-needed rest, I am making a note to read through the bookmarked blog posts I have not gotten around to (thank you to everyone who has shared). I want to dive into the backlog of personal blogs I have yet to catch up on. I always check out every Tavern commenter’s website when they leave a URL in the form. I do not always get around to them immediately, but I have found many blogs that I genuinely enjoy reading this way.
Heading into this year’s U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to be a part of the WordPress community. It is a living, breathing ecosystem that has always remained true to its blogging roots. The platform allows millions of people to share their voices while owning their content. That alone is something worth being thankful for.
Great retrospective Justin! You have always been one of my favorite writers and teachers in the WP space…even if I have a couple years on you 😉
I hope to continue seeing great content from you in the years to come…and maybe even some more of your technical posts, like the “old” days?
Here’s to the next 18!
very good honest story from Justin , he shares unique moments about his journey with WordPress , and if there is one word to describe him , is , that he is ‘Loyal’ , a very rare situation in todays World….. I have always read his articles , and I’ve learned WordPress , from Justin’s column…
Albeit , I’m an amateur ,
I have to mention , Sarah Gooding as well , both I’ve learned from ,
thanks , Greg , from Ireland
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Justin. My “blogging” started as a website, posting stories that I call my “glorified journal”. You touched on a sensitive nerve when you talked about the “why” behind my blogging. I truly believe that I share my stories in hopes that they will bless others, but somewhere in the recesses of my pride-filled abyss I ask myself “why do I think anyone cares about my life to take time to read my journal?” But as you also shared, it is “my” journal and I return to it often and the person it blesses most is ME! I need to remember where I’ve been and how the Lord is growing my character. I still hope that my site blesses others, but thankfully I have taken the time to jot them down because I ENJOY IT! Had I not, those sweet memorable lessons would have been lost or at best, become a hazy shadow. You have encouraged me to dust off notes in my archives and consider their potential. Thanks for reminding me of that!
Just like you, I am thankful for the open source WordPress. Didnt imagined, I could make my career, establish small scale businesses with this amazing CMS. Started with blogging and journey goes on. I feel some regrets for stopping blogging but when I did that, wordpress offered me lot more ways. Wish I can start writing again.
WordPress has really changed many lives including me. It gives me a platform to share my passion and knowledge worldwide. Blogging is not a passion right now it’s a proven business model. Thanks to WordPress for making blogging easy.
A few of my blogger friends and I were just discussing how grateful we are for WordPress! Thank you for your wonderful posts.
Nicely portrayed brother
You made me think that maybe it’s time to start writing something for myself for a change. I’ve been working with WordPress for a year, mostly as a writer of articles (of various kind) for my company and the projects we are engaged in.
However, outside the professional sphere, I write fantasy scenarios for role playing games, I used to write poetry for my loved one, I also enjoy sharing my reviews of books and video games on sites such as Goodreads, Metacritic or Steam. I like putting my thoughts to paper. Now that I learned the basics of WP, maybe it’s time to set up my own thing. I’ll think about it.
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