Happy Eight-Year Anniversary!

I’m surprised WordPress hasn’t prompted or sent notice, but it’s okay because I remember. I remember. 

In fact, to be completely honest, this is probably the only anniversary date that I commit to memory:

blogphilic turns eight today!

I think I’m a little – okay, a lot – obsessed with timelines. I have always thought of my life in episodic blocks, categorized not only by where I was at specific timelines, but the ages I were when I lived these stories and turn-of-events that eventually made their way here to this sacred space. I think my time-obsessed self also explains why I dedicate an anniversary write-up each year for every year that blogphilic survives another year; a lot can, does, and has happened in a year, you know?

For instance, I remember exactly where I was, what time of the day even, when I wrote my seventh anniversary dedication post: I was seated at my favorite spot in grad school, that leftmost table in the religious/spiritual reads library on the third floor of Stanford’s Old Union building — it was about 4 PM and I wrote it mostly because I was looking for an excuse not to do work. And now, a year later – I’m back in Malaysia, for good. I’m back in the family home, specifically in a new bedroom that now, after four-and-a-half months finally feels like mine, and the clock is halfway past midnight. I think I know where I’ll be next year …but I’ll let the future sort itself out, yeah? Let’s live and rejoice in the present; here, now.

Although this is my eighth year here in WordPress, I’m pretty sure it’s my tenth in blogging years. So you know – wow. I’ve crossed a decade with something significant in my life, you know?  Blogging means a lot to me, it truly does. Because it’s the only means that keeps me writing regularly and freely; this space is truly an extension of my mind and heart, and it’s wholly mine. I let others in by keeping the doors open at all hours and welcoming regulars, lurkers, one-time passerby… in short, I allow just about anyone to dissect, scrutinize, chew upon and ponder on my stream of thoughts, life happenstances. But until today, I still maintain this: blogphilic is definitively mine. And that’s important to know and remember because it reminds me that no matter who I let in and love – “it’s just love give it away” – I belong (first to God, second) to myself.

If in Blogging Year 7, the greatest lesson I’d learn was the following:

“Writing is hard work with little validation, but write anyway!”

Then I think for Blogging Year 8, I would sum up my greatest lesson as:

“Write hard and clear about what hurts …then write harder and clearer about what gives pleasure.”

I’m not going to write about stats, readership or even recap my blogging journey – you’re free to peruse this blog and time-travel – nor am I going to relive the past year because I’ve waxed enough poetic about first the upcoming return then the homecoming itself. Again, you can easily find what you want – if you’re interested – with the help of my right-hand widgets.

Instead, I’ll just reaffirm that my writing voice is indeed steady – I now hold my own, truly and sincerely – and I confirm that I write myself differently this year (but of course). Hitting ten years of blog-writing is personally a huge deal and I can’t be any happier and prouder of myself because over the decade where there were tons of growing pains; significant coming-of-age turn-of-events; emotional complexities and heightened senses… I was – am – myself throughout. “Prove real.” Yes.

In the wise words of my father, “You’re you. Why would you want to change you?”

It took me eight blogging-in-blogphilic years, ten blogging years, and a lifetime’s worth – twenty-four thus far – of writing years to come to terms with myself and consequently, accept myself in all my weaknesses and strengths. It took me this long to form a coherent, confident, and steady writing voice and to fly and dance – experiment – with said-voice. It took me just as long to understand that while it’s true that home takes many shapes and forms – sometimes physical, other times conceptual – perhaps it’s still best when it means our true selves. So I’m home, physically sure, but hey? I’m home.

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