Thursday, November 8, 2012

2002: Let's Do the Time Warp Again

I'm what we in the biz call "an early adopter." When it comes to new technologies, I just adapt to them. I download them, install them, explore them, learn them, become fluent in them, and then prepare as the target moves. That's the nature of the beast that is social media and the digital world.

It began way back when in the late 1990s when my family invested in a computer. I can't remember the exact year but I think it was 1998, because that was the same year that I started my first LiveJournal account. I also can't remember what my first account name was on LiveJournal, but I think it was "shakinbakin02," which still exists on the interwebs as a purged user on LiveJournal.

Yes, when I was in high school I went through many an over-emotional phase where I created and deleted accounts, some locked up tightly to write about someone I was dating or hating, others public. But that account was the big one up until college. I repeated the overly emotional antics in college, but the unique thing here is that there was one LiveJournal account that survived from 2002 up until the present, off and on, sometimes skipping entire chunks of years, but it's still there.

It gives me a sort of time capsule of 10 really strange and completely transformative years of my life.

It also shows me how incredibly ridiculously sentimental and quick to fall in love I've been in my life. I sometimes forget this fact, especially because since the year 2008, this hasn't been such an issue with me. But now that I'm single again, I'm finding myself in that quick-to-jump-in-and-get-hurt kind of headspace. I'm back to wanting romance and fireworks and that connection of what one friend recently called "profound understanding." If I could lead off every encounter with a potential zivug with requesting profound understanding, we might get there. Someday.

So where was my head at 10 years ago today? I posted six posts in one day on November 8, 2002. The benefit of LiveJournal was that you could post that many times a day and it was normative. They were more "this is what I'm doing today" and "this is how emo and cranky I am" than actual substantive and meaningful blog posts -- I transitioned to that arena in 2006.

I went from being unexplainably happy at 12:53 a.m. after a party in my dorm (the Honors Dorm, mind you) called "Bootie Grind," to being really depressed and crying at 1:48 a.m. Up at 7:54 a.m., I was poised to register for Spring 2003 classes, and by nearly 10 a.m. I was back to my happy cheerful self with this little gem.
today is the most beautiful day. more gorgeous than yesterday. the sun is hitting the leaves in all the right ways. the noise is enough, and the wind through the nearly bare trees is comforting. its beautiful, so very very beautiful.
(Note: I cringe at the day when I didn't use proper capitalization.) And then a little after 1 p.m. I was angry and depressed again, and by the end of the night I'd experienced my first visit to Knickerbockers for a show and a viewing of "8 Mile," yes, the classic Eminem film. 

Yes, I'm a personality of extremes. I've always been that way. I suppose I would have done well in the theater. The interesting thing is that LiveJournal was very much for me what Facebook and Twitter are today. I used LiveJournal as a microblogging platform, before "microblogging" was even a thing. I'd argue, as an early adapter, that LiveJournal was the first microblog -- people weren't using it as a means of collecting personal thoughts for private use, it was a sounding board for your friends. It was a broadcast medium. I don't think I know many people who wrote novellas on LiveJournal back in the day. 

So every so often, when I'm feeling curious, I'm going to adventure back to LiveJournal -- sorry folks, it's off limits to everyone and it's unsearchable on the web, so good luck finding it. And even if you did, so many of my posts are clouded in ridiculous mystery. I know -- even today -- what they're about. November 8, 2002, for example? I know exactly what was happening on that day and what was driving the emotional roller coaster. I was attempting to balance a complicated long-distance relationship while dealing with evolving emotions and a space full of new people and friends. When I think back to that period of my life, it was quite messy. One of the messiest. I ended up really hurting and destroying someone that I loved very much. 

I also was only 19 years old at that time. Those were some serious growing pains. Although I'm a person of emotional extremes, I don't think my life will ever compare to the emotional ups and downs I experienced over the past 10 years, especially in those early days. Why? I know myself a lot better these days. I know when I'm falling into an emotional up or down. The difficulty these days is finding the way out that came a lot easier when I was younger. 

Do I love having a 10-year catalog of my life? More than you can imagine. The 10 years before that, of course, are all in paper journals boxed up and packed away. Yes folks, as shocking as it may seem, I've been documenting my every move since at least 1992. 

For this, it seems, I was destined.