In May 2014, I began this blog after returning from a fateful trip to Iceland, in which it seemed to be a necessity for writers in the modern world to maintain some kind of online writing presence. This was a fact realized all-too-late when delegates of the Iceland Writers Retreat wrote down our contact information for a collated list, and I had nothing to put under “website.” I kicked myself again for not starting a blog earlier when my very first blog post (about Iceland and depaysement) went viral, and I had no other content for my sudden flood of visitors to peruse.
I’m still trying to figure out what the purpose of this blog is. Is it an impersonal collection of travel itineraries and tips? Is it meaningful reflections on travel experiences? Is it an endless stream of playlists? Is it no more than mindless blabber no different than my inane Twitter account?
This past month, I have been involved in a readathon fundraiser with my friends, Bookstravaganza. I have been so tied up with reading that blogging fell by the wayside. But it’s not just this month, where I’ve been doing something for the greater good, that I haven’t kept up with blogging. How idealistic of me to create a Google spreadsheet back in May, shortly after buying my own domain name, with a content calendar of the travel reflections, itineraries, and tips I wanted to write for the remainder of the year. 25 pieces, unwritten blank titles saved amongst tens of WordPress drafts.
2014 is better documented than most other years of my life, but I’m not sure I could summarize it here for full justice, or without falling into cliché. 2014 was the year I lost my grandfather. The year I went to Iceland twice. The year of 30 days and/or nights of concerts. The year we got a puppy. The year of the tattoo. The year I had a favourite story, one I liked to tell over and over again.
In my downtime at work, I tried to quantify the parts of 2014 that for me were quantifiable. Favourite albums, favourite songs, favourite movies, favourite books read. But in the end, once the lists were compiled and completed then edited and compiled again, they felt like too vacant a representation of what really happened this year. Just another Listicle among other year-end listicles. Then there are the things that are too hard to quantify – favourite memory, for one. And why does it all have to be in terms of favourites – what about mediocrity, about days without anything exciting, or does that get excluded because our minds can’t handle all of that data? I don’t want to quote Rent, but really – how does one measure a year?
WordPress sent me a summary of my year in blogging – my online life in all its numbered form. But it’s really only when you look back and read the words that my 2014 is given any justice, and with my current blogging track record, that justice is sparse and missing gaps.
In the new year, I would like to embrace this blog more, and maybe not constrain myself to a certain kind of content in hopes of more views. Even behind a vapid stream of travel advice, a human presence should be allowed.
So, to spare you from listicles, from numbers and data, from a year so personal that it means nothing to anyone else, all I can say is, to sum up another ending year: “All this happened, more or less.”