Happened upon a Paul Fidalgo post via Justin Whitaker while skimming Twitter. Funny how that works. I don’t make it a habit to frequent anyone else’s blogs. In fact, judging from my sporadically dated posts, I don’t make a habit of frequenting my own blog.
How many readers does it take to make a blog worthwhile? What constitutes a sufficient number of pageviews for a given post? The most obvious answer is that there is no line of demarcation; the act of writing is an end in itself. If I were to have a meaningful conversation with a single person, or even just have something good and substantive to say to an audience of one, would that not be enough?
Ignoring of course the obvious irony that it takes Fidalgo a blog post about people ignoring his blog to again take notice of his blog (or is that coincidence? I never can tell), his musing on the significance of our efforts as bloggers (or journallers or diarists, we’ve been called all sorts of names over the years) reminded me quite tangentically of a lovely lady whom I have not thought about in years. A woman who probably would prefer I never think about her again, because our communications long long ago were not on the best of terms. I lusted after her brain and she fell just short of demanding a restraining order be put on me. That was a long time ago. I’m sure Magdalena Donea (maggy to her friends, of which sadly I am not one) has forgotten all about me.
But one thing she said to those who read her words that still haunts me to this day is a phrase that she didn’t coin, but from my subjective perception of reality, that at the time placed her on far too high of a pedestal, it seemed uniquely wise and profound:
It’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey.
It’s not about where we’re going, but the things that happen to us along the way. It’s not about attaining whatever goal you set for yourself or what was set forth by others. It’s about whether or not you enjoy yourself as you go, about the people you meet while traveling, and about the traveling itself. It’s not about the degree or diploma or commendation or trophy. It’s about all the little things you learned to get you to that place. I like to think I learned that lesson from her, but perhaps I had already learned the lesson before I read her words, and how she put that thought into words galvanized my own thoughts and put everything into perspective for me. I wanted so to return the favor, and never could. I never will be able to. Any attempt fell short of what I felt at the time she deserved.
Now fast forward to over a decade later. Maggy has practically removed herself completely from the web, at least to stalkers like me. I’m sure her friends can still find her. I think I know where she tweets, but I keep my distance out of respect. Besides, it’s just a guess. I’m probably wrong. At the time she was to me a guiding light. She was showing us all how this is done. How do you put slices of your brain up on the Web for others to admire? She knew how. She did it. In fact, she made it look easy, like ballet. There’s almost no evidence of that now, unless you know where to look.
Back in 1997 when I started actively putting myself up on the Web in some form or fashion on at least a semi regular basis, I had all kinds of crazy aspirations and hopes and dreams. I had wanted people to recognize my gift of gab and my off the wall sense of humor and my quirky individual me-ness. I was hoping somewhere out there an unspecified number of people would naturally and unequivocally accept me for who I am, even if I never figured out just what that was. I reached out. Sometimes I was met with a handshake. Sometimes I was met with a slap on the wrist. In the case of Maggie I was met with a high pitched scream and a run for the hills. We live and learn.
In many ways, I have completely failed as a blogger. Yet in terms of longevity, I’m still here. Granted, I feel like a crazy old man with a megaphone on a busy street corner shouting to whomever happens to pass by, but long ago I stopped doing this for you.
I’m here for me. If you happen to like it, that’s great. If you don’t, that’s great too. I don’t keep score anymore. Perhaps I never did. I’m gratified when others acknowledge my words, or thank me for sharing. It’s fun to share with them what they have.. well, sometimes. I try to learn from my mistakes. I no longer ingratiate myself to the Maggies of the world. I just admire from a safer distance now. Well. I try. Gravity is a harsh mistress.
Just the other day I found myself DMing with a beautiful, talented, intelligent, funny woman who happens to teach comedy somewhere on the west coast. I was enjoying myself. I thought she was too. We were flirting.. I think.. anyway, I had an opportunity to attempt an uniquely humorous verbal dance with her, and let’s just say I metaphorically tripped on her feet. The end result was awkward and cold. She’s not DMing me anymore. I think I’ll just leave it that way. I don’t make this look like ballet. That much is certain.
We are all Near Earth Objects revolving and spinning around the sun and each other. Sometimes we bump into one another and that’s sometimes fantastic and sometimes that’s cataclysmic.
How many readers does it take to make this worthwhile? One. You.
It’s all gravy.