If a blog sits dormant, seemingly abandoned, without a new post, is it still a blog?
I’ve had a few big firsts since I last officially visited this space one year ago today. I’ve had several drive-bys here, but until now, have not stopped and left anything behind. Maybe not as important as some of my other firsts during the first year of my 40s, but never before in the shockingly long – if unspectacular -- history of Out of Focus have I ever gone an entire year without posting … something. Never before have I left one birthday and arrived at the next with nothing in between.
But this year, too, I continue this humble tradition: I’ve never failed at the birthday post. Like this one.
It’s my third Jack Benny Birthday. As I get deeper into my 39s, my relationship with writing as an act, action, activity and art develops in complicated ways that I don’t always understand.
For more than two decades, in an on-again/off-again fashion, I have kept a journal. Or rather, for the vast majority of the past 20+ years, I have actively not kept a journal: the off-again clearly overpowering the on.
A few nights ago, I was examining some miscellaneous crap I had under my desk at home, and I ran across the journal I kept in 1993. It was a UCLA-branded spiral notebook. I had ripped out most of the pages, but as I read the scribbles my 21-year-old self wrote on those lined pages with an extra-wide margin, I flashed back to those late nights, sitting on the unused sundeck – upon which nobody ever sunned – of my Westwood apartment, late at night, chain-smoking and trying to ignore the noise from the fraternities across the street.
An intense period in 21-year-old Aaron’s non-existent love-life, I spent many a witching hour on that deck during August 1993: One night, bemoaning my inability to figure out how to turn my infatuation with a friend’s friend into the courage to simply ask her out; the next, dreaming about my new – and gorgeous – upstairs neighbor; and when not flip-flopping between the two, discovering that I still couldn’t stop thinking about my high school crush, who I hadn’t seen or spoken to in over three years and who had essentially dismissed me from her life even before that.
What better time for me to mark my return to journaling?