A snapshot frozen in time

I’m gonna go off the rails for a minute, and just talk about this whole blogging thing with you, whether you read blogs, write them, or are obtaining this info from some wierd torture session.

Something I’m wondering, never having done what is effectively a daily journal or fracking diary before, is what if anything I can learn about myself from having done this thing daily for years.

Like everything else, I write on the blog one day at a time, as and when something to say crosses what passes for my mind.

But those days add up, don’t they? After a while, hey, I’ve been doing this for years.

So, what I’m wondering is, if I go back to my own archives, will I find any signs of personal growth?

I’ll explain what I mean.

I think it’s important to always be open to the world around me, observing, thinking, analysing, myself and my own behavior as well as others. Testing my own previously held conclusions in the light of new information received, or different perspectives of viewing things.

I know I don’t know everything, but I knew that when I was young. Now I’ve finally reached what passes in my opinion for wisdom… I also accept I don’t really know ANYTHING, either.

One way for me to recognise how my thinking may change over time is simply to revisit books I haven’t read in many years, and see how much more I get out of the book, how much more I may understand, or what connections or meanings I just missed before. 

The best way for me to clearly see just how much my thinking has changed over the years, however, was simply to pick up something I wrote creatively, a story or (heaven forbid) poem, and re-read it.

The naivety, in my opinion, fairly screams from the page, begging me to purge it’s existence from the universe. 

I go back to something I’ve written as little as five years ago, and it seems as though I was a complete idiot, there are so many things I would do differently, or phrase differently, or areas where I just wonder what the hell I was thinking.

What’s different about this now, is that I don’t have one story to pick up from five years ago to get a stark “That was then, this is now” perspective. Instead, I’ve got a couple years of daily writing, and it seems to me that if I’ve changed, it’s happened a bit at a time along the way without me noticing.

What’s my point to all this?

Well, I wonder if the very act of daily writing down things, of thinking about things and expressing them here, of being actively analytical or of cogitating on random events and the game and associated stuff has had any effect on my personal growth whatsoever.

Wondering if by writing and thinking about writing and wondering how I feel about this or that, or remembering my past more than I used to (mining for stories, of course), or simply looking deeper at the things that go on around us on a daily basis, my mental behavior has changed.

And I don’t mean that change necessarily means I’ve grown. It just means I’ve changed.

If I went back to those old posts and read them, would I feel like I do about my other creative writing?

Will I find that, again, I’m amazed at how immature or naive my younger self now seems….

Or instead, will I find that I can’t really find any signs of growth or change at all? That I’ve been stagnant, that I’m standing still?

Or, and this is the best thought ever, would I find that I used to actually think clearer or seemed MORE mature back then, and I’m heading backwards? Am I regressing to an asshat?

Well, more of an asshat, I suppose I should say.

My fellow bloggers, what do you think about this blogging thing? I really wonder, are we kind of freezing ourselves in place as we write daily, spending so much time thinking about the now or dwelling in the past that we aren’t spending enough time moving forward and growing and changing?

Am I?

Change in life usually isn’t big events that transform your life, it’s usually small things, grains of sand that drift or settle a little more each day, and over time, those grains of sand become a beach, and the beach the foundation upon which a castle of identity forms.

When you’re moving forward, you don’t see the grains of sand settling in place, but when you look back upon your life, you should find that you are looking back upon your past from the battlements of your castle of understanding.

I guess I’m wondering if, in the last few years, I’ve gained any sand, if I’ve just paused to sit in my castle and do nothing, or if the water is eroding the foundations under my feet.

Oh hell, today is Friday, I’m supposed to be posting something lighthearted and fun.

Crap, sorry about that.


18 thoughts on “A snapshot frozen in time

  1. “When you’re moving forward, you don’t see the grains of sand settling in place, but when you look back upon your life, you should find that you are looking back upon your past from the battlements of your castle of understanding.

    I guess I’m wondering if, in the last few years, I’ve gained any sand, if I’ve just paused to sit in my castle and do nothing, or if the water is eroding the foundations under my feet.”

    I wonder this myself sometimes. While the Friday post isn’t lighthearted, I think it was excellent and I’ve got something to think about while I eat my lunch.


  2. I’m not a WoW blogger, but I do keep a Livejournal to keep in touch with far-flung friends. To my mind, a blog is for discussing what’s on your mind, at that moment, whatever it may be. You do it well enough and regularly enough you have quite a few of us who visit here daily just to see what’s on your mind. And yes, of course, you’ll see changes over time. That old joke about Death and Taxes? Well, number 3 is Change, hands down, no competition.

    I think contemplation of now and yesterday is part of growth and change, so I dont think you are regressing at all. 🙂 Putting things out in public forum like this gives you feedback on all that, a different perspective that can give you a new light on things. That is a good thing. You may not agree with that new slant, but you’ve been made aware of it and thought about it. I believe that is a win-win situation. 🙂

    As for the castle and the sand… you’ve gained sand and lost it, both. Parts of the castle may crumble in time, but new ones will also rise, Bear. And it’s a good post, don’t worry about depressing anyone… it’s introspective, not down. 🙂


  3. A man should be modest in his speech, but exceed in his actions, turning into the person he has always been in the future, unchanging forever within his dynamic consciousness.

    Or something like that. 😛
    .-= Trixie´s last blog ..The Great Escapes. =-.


  4. If i understood this correctly, you have not gone back and looked at the old postings/writings. Partly out of fear of what you will find. Well, information is simply that, information. What you choose to do with it is what will define you and your actions. If you look back and find yourself on the slow spiral into asshattery, or stagnant to the point of having to shower to remove the pigeon droppings, then you can identify what you need to change and work on growing into the person you want to be. However maybe you will find that you moved in a totally unexpected direction. Not unwelcome, just unanticipated.

    Go back and take a look, bring Cassie along for laughs and an outside perspective. I could be a lot of fun.


  5. I thought it was a pretty darn good post Big Bear. It’s good to get that kind of perspective, especially on a Friday. It sets a nice tone when planning for the weekend, like “am I going to waste the time off I have this weekend, or am I going to make it count?”. Rather motivational, and I like your analogy.
    I like to think of those past blogs to be paw prints. Do you like where they were headed? There must have been lots of spots that seemed like they were doubling back, or doing circles, but in the end, do they lead the same direction that you would like them to? Or is it time to pull over, get out the map, and set out on a course.
    Personally, I just pulled out the map not long ago to reassess where I was headed and how I would get there. Its been great, and I’ve decided its something I need to to more often. So thanks Big Bear for reminding me of that.
    Oh, and happy Friday.


  6. We are constantly growing Bear, and I think thats exactly what you’d see if you looked back. Look at my RL blog. If I go back to the beginning of those archives, I can see how much I’ve changed over the years, both in my writing and personal sense. Maybe not be leaps and bounds, but definitely constant growth. I didn’t start writing Daily again until Hubby left 48 days ago. And it’s a challenge to put that out there every day. But reading my posts from OIF 2005/2006…omg have I learned to blog better…lol


  7. Since everyone seems to be waxing oh so philosophical today, here’s my sophomoric addition:
    ‘Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways – Chardonnay in one hand – chocolate in the other – body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ‘WOO HOO, What a Ride’


  8. People have a tendency to feel like “I’ve ALWAYS been this way!” because they can’t see the change. My mother used to tell me when I was a kid if something was bothering me or something was on my mind to write a letter about it to myself. And then keep it. Which, back before the interwebs is kind of like blogging in a sense. To this day I still do that. I have (password protected of course!) Word files from the really hard times in my life. The more lighthearted funny things I posted about on my own site. But the deep personal stuff I kept to myself and it felt very good to get it out. Even though I was the only one reading it. I sometimes read those files, just to remember how I was feeling back then, and to see what I learned, or, sometimes to laugh at how I have repeated mistakes again. Writing about something that you just can’t get out of your head is fantastic. Because later when you read it, you can sit and wonder just why it was so important at the time. And a little self reflection is always good for a person. Kind of reminds you where your compass was at the time, and where it is now.

    One of the biggest bummers for me is when I used some password that I can’t remember, and my own secrets are hidden, even from me.


  9. Separate the blogging from just being an introspective person. Blogging in the manner you do it and have done on this entry is just a public version of the same introspection most people do every day or at varying points in their lives. Whether publicly displaying that introspection changes the process, I don’t know. I don’t blog because I can’t imagine anyone caring what I have to say, at least publicly like that. I would venture to say that the fact you are asking this question says you are making “progress” (or whatever that means to you). The unexamined life, etc…


  10. I’m not a strong writer. English was always my worst subject in school. I suppose in part I’m hoping that writing my own blog would help improve that aspect of my life… but the more pressing reality is that I’m writing so that I have a place of my own. Somewhere that I can vent my frustrations, share my victories and joy’s… and who knows? Hopefully help someone out in the process. I wonder where I will be in 5 years… but I know in 5 years I can look back and see where I was. That to me is a pretty cool.

    Your blog was the first I ever started reading a few years back.
    .-= What’s my main Again?´s last blog ..Death of A Nub =-.


  11. I think one grows, by writing, atleast, the mind grows. I’ve always been writing stuff, more recently started blogging. Because of the simple fact of doing something creative so that other creative ideas spin of from that. I think it’s important for oneself to do something like that just to keep challenging yourself at an intellectual level.

    Seeing as you’ve kept on blogging for so long I think is a good indication of yourself growing, because otherwise what would be the point in doing it? Because if you didn’t grow, at some point you would’ve hit a stonewall.
    .-= Puttan´s last blog ..What to do for the weekend? 090904 =-.


  12. I think that practice helps, and everyone has their own voice. Perhaps doing the blog makes you help appreciate life more, idk. I’ve been blogging wow off and on for two years, and i’m pretty sure nobody reads my blog. And that’s okay, i don’t really care. I do like going back and reading ‘oh okay 3 weeks ago i was 70 on this toon now i’m 80, cool!’, etc. Maybe the best thing is to take a break from the blog. It’s kinda amazing that you are still blogging after all this time, after so many big names have folded up camp. I’m surprised i’m still playing to be honest (now more than ever).

    But yeah i guess if i had any advice, change your writing/blog style a bit? post more short things (like several sentences) and less huge rambling things. But you know, its your damn blog, do what makes you happy.


  13. This is why I like using Livejournal. It’s not as public so I tend to write more personal things in it which becomes even more of a tool to track your own growth/failures as a person.


  14. You start out saying that when you want to see how you’ve evolved, you go revisit things you did in the past (whether it’s reading or writing) – that implies that the writing is the product and the reason it seems “bad” is that you’ve evolved. The writing then was caused by your “state” at that time. So it’s not the writing that affects your mental state, it’s the other way around. As such, I don’t think the medium (or the frequency) have such a big effect on whether or not you’ve “advanced”. Obviously they do to some extent, but everything in life does.

    I would say the only big difference is that when looking back at blog posts that were written daily in relatively short periods of time, changes would be less noticeable than when looking at a stories that took a long time to write and were written a while apart.


  15. I think that blogging (and writing in general) is a lot like teaching. They say that if you really want to know something; teach it. The constant re-examination of one’s place of departure and arrival in a work means that to progress we must always attempt to come from an honest place. This honesty keeps us from being posers in our craft. It is my belief that our continual working at the craft means that we hope to, at rare times, transcend the technique of craft and make art.

    Keep up the good work.


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