It was March 2005, and my first two weeks of blogging. No one was reading Citizen of the Month, my “blog” named after a award that I frequently won in grade school for being such a goody-two-shoes. And without any comments, the idea of writing a blog seemed like a waste of time.
Then, a woman named Mary commented on several posts, writing notes such as “great post” and “you are a talented writer.” I was so excited; I was connecting with a stranger through my writing! This type of immediate feedback more satisfying that writing scripts for soulless Hollywood.
But then I noticed an oddness in the “IP address” of this Mary person. It was the same IP address as mine — not similar, but exactly the same.
This was because “Mary” was my wife at the time, Sophia, encouraging me under a false alias, not wanting me to quit.
This is a dedication to my first ten years of blogging.
I started my blog on March 7, 2005, on my birthday.
There are so many people to thank. Citizen of the Month has been a personal journey of my last ten years, and I have made countless friends along the way, like Frodo meeting the dwarves and elves while heading to Mount Doom. But there is only one person who truly deserves a special dedication to my first ten years of blogging — and that is Sophia.
If Citizen of the Month were a novel, it would start with my marriage to Sophia, proceed to my on-and-off separation with Sophia, my on-and-off divorce from my Sophia, and finally to the aftermath of my marriage, from my chapter with Juli in New Zealand, to therapy, to my first stabs at online dating. Even my topical posts were filled with secret messages and personal details.
Even when Sophia wasn’t present in the online story, she was somehow in the background, such as when she hacked into my blogger address book and secretly arranged a virtual birthday party for me (with Danny‘s help) in 2007.
My second decade of blogging will be a different story, one that I haven’t written yet, because I am not in complete control of the plot. My divorce is now further in the past and I live in another city. I haven’t been the greatest blogger of late, spreading myself thin on social media, but in my mind, everything I do online is a continuation of the personal journey that I started here on this space.
Thank you to everyone who ever stopped by, commented, or argued with me here on Citizen of the Month during the last ten years. I promise to try to put the shine back on to my space. Thanks to my mom, who has always been the most popular “character” on my blog, even back in 2005 when I got some laughs at her calling Citizen of the Month a “blodge.” To Elan, who taught me everything. To Martin, the best and most intelligent commenter that ever appeared on this blog. Bon, Jana, Juli, Sizzle, Josette, Lotus, Megan, Pearl, Tamar, Sarah, Jenn — jeez, you know who you are. Those names just came popping out and I apologize if I don’t mention you personally. I even apologize again to Liz from Mom 101 for calling her a Mussolini-type dictator for her “blogging with integrity” movement from years ago.
Throughout the years, I’ve always had an eccentric definition of a “blog.” I don’t see this space as writing or photography or a business. I’ve seen it as an extension of my life, as a living and breathing entity that expresses my inner soul, writing to myself, the wind, and sometimes just for Tanis, simply to annoy her.
And thank you, Sophia for always being supportive of my online life (except for the one time you called my favorite blogging friend, Veronica, on the phone and yelled at her for that one comment, but I promised I would never mention that), and for being my muse during the Golden Age years of my blog.
Now on to my second decade of blogging.