I've been blogging here for so long that I don't immediately understand how the people I've known through the years would be surprised that I still am blogging here.
In the last few months I've had at least two friends from college see my blog and say something along the lines of "the Upper Blog still exists?!" My initial answer would always be "I never stopped!" and then I remember that for the most part people have only seen my duplicate posts back when Facebook still had the notes function.
I also remember how I made this blog a part of my identity back when I was in college. Like, "Niko Batallones is a blogger" was virtually my logline in those three years. A bit idiotic in hindsight, considering how we really treat our writers - as workhorses who aren't capable of anything else - and also because nobody really reads these things. I've accepted that for the most part, although I get frustrated when I feel I've written a particularly strong essay and it gets little traction.
But then, blogs like these - journals, essentially - is the sort of thing you only dabble with when you're in high school or college, and during a particular era at that. Yeah, these things feel so mid-noughties, when all we had was Friendster and we didn't know how slow our country's Internet connections really were. These days, if you're blogging, it ought to be useful to your audience. Preferably, it ought to be a source of revenue for you. Otherwise, nobody really cares about your thoughts, especially if you're ultimately a nobody who doesn't know his place. But then, I won't go there. I have not gotten over being told that my opinions don't matter, but I'm not in the mood to dwell on it now.
Today is this blog's 16th birthday. It's not an anniversary that usually merits a celebratory post, and I didn't really plan to. But, on my way to the grocery today, it occurred to me that today - this year, at least - marks the point when I can reasonably say I have been blogging for half my life. This is 16. I'm 32. Whatever's left of what I learned in math class tells me that's half.
It also means that, at some point this year - most definitely from next year - I can say that I have been blogging for most of my life. I remember declaring back in college that I would keep on writing until I die, but then, that was when I was Niko Batallones, the blogger. I don't think that's my identity now, or at least, not my sole identity. (Besides, again, "blogger" nowadays means I am just a shill selling a mish-mosh of products that isn't applicable to virtually all my readers.) Still, this landmark would be impressive for 16-year-old me.
32-year-old me, on the other hand, would feel a tinge of sadness. All my friends who did these things too have either stopped updating and gone on to living, or, well, have died. And then there's me, still writing these things - perhaps taking it more seriously than ever before - knowing fully well that virtually nobody reads this. I haven't grown up. I haven't moved on. What has become of me?