revisions

I decided to take down several previous posts. It’s fine to tell my story, but it’s not fair to tell someone else’s without their knowledge. I’ve been warned about this before, but I had forgotten how it was unfair to other people. From now on, it’s just about me.

I also decided to shut down my poetry blog. I created that site to share with my real-life friends, but I get almost zero traffic when I post anything. I posted links for my Fakebook friends, but the only people who visit the page arrive via the WordPress Reader tags. That’s not what I had in mind. I wonder if the algorithm prevents my posts from being seen by my friends since I almost never use Fakebook.

Isn’t any blog an exercise in vanity? Really, who wants to know the life story of an average guy with bipolar who does nothing remarkable with his life? Yet I continue to write, posting things that seem important to me but are next to irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. I say I post for myself, but I secretly wish I had hundreds of followers (real people, not bots) who cared about every word.

I suppose the internet is moving on from blogs to shorter formats, but I have resisted using those platforms. Most of the time, I can’t share in real-life the things that occupy my thoughts; it’s too deep and too personal, and I have to constantly censor myself. Having anonymity helps me write out my private thoughts while having the knowledge that I could pull the plug at any time.

Maybe I will unplug things sometime soon. I’ve done it before. I could start a shiny, happy site where I only post the positive things about my life, but at that point I may as well be on Fakebook again. The problem is that even if I rebranded and opened a new blog, it would still be me doing the writing. The leopard can’t change his spots, and I would still have the same doubts and fears and demons that show through in everything I write.

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blog bits

I’ve reached 100 posts since I rebooted the new and improved version of Swimming Upstream in March 2020. I don’t really count this as any kind of milestone because I’ve been blogging under various names and banners since 2004, and probably written over 1000 posts in that time. Hopefully those old blogs are lost to the mists of time; not even the Internet Archive thought they were important enough to save.

Why does WordPress say I have 160 followers, but it only appears that fewer than 10 people read here on a regular basis? Are some of you reading by email and not clicking through? Please let me know by liking or commenting! I think a significant portion of the “followers” are scammers or clickbaiters, and some are people who are no longer active here or have closed their accounts.

How do people get so many followers so quickly? I guess they write about more interesting things, while I just write about my life and my mental health. I’m not trying to “break the stigma” or influence anyone, and I certainly don’t think I have much in the way of “useful information”. I write for myself, but I am grateful when other people listen.

I wonder about bloggers who have dropped off the radar. Maybe they found another creative outlet to document their lives. Maybe they had significant life changes, or maybe they got discouraged by a lack of interaction in blog-world. Some of these people became blog-friends, and I have been concerned for their health. It’s unfortunate how many people I have lost contact with over the years, as they stop writing and I have continued for almost two decades.

I have met two of my blog-friends in person. One of them became a very good real-life friend who has been there for me many times over the years. Ordinarily I don’t make new friends in real life, but it is easier for me to interact with and build a relationship with strangers in this forum.

I have a public blog under my own name with a few poems and stories. No one reads it, and I haven’t contributed to it in a couple of years. Maybe I will post stuff there and link to it here so you can see what a bad poet I have been. Just don’t tell anyone about this secret identity. We take this shit to the grave.

we were on a break

I thought this would be a good time to write here again, since the world seems to be crashing down around us. I haven’t missed writing until now; in fact it has been a relief not being obligated to think of things to write. There have been a few occasions where I thought “I should blog this,” but the feeling passed.

I’ve been really busy with work in the past six months; I’ve worked a lot of overtime with early mornings and Saturdays. The money is good, but I have had a lot of stress to deal with. Otherwise my mental health has been relatively stable, a little down at times but nothing I haven’t dealt with before – in other words, my normal. I haven’t done very many things for myself lately, although I bought a nice color laser printer for the “atheist holiday shopping season.”

One interesting thing that happened was that I finally found my birth father (he died in 2012), and I have been in contact with several of his brothers and sisters. That deserves a future post of its own.

We had plans for this year. We were planning on spending about 10 days visiting people and redwoods and beaches in California in July; I was considering visiting newly-found family members in San Diego in September; and we were doing our annual camping trip in August. We were even thinking about saving up for a trip to the UK in 2021.

Then the world changed.

the kibosh

At the moment, I’ve completely lost interest in writing in this blog. I have content, I just have no energy to put anything here. I don’t think anyone cares, and I care even less. I’m planning on taking down the archives and removing much of the content that I don’t want to identify with for various reasons.

I’m doing okay at this time, and there’s no single reason for putting the kibosh on this project. I just think there is too much of my personal life on the web right now.

<the rest of this post was sanitized for your protection!>