To some extent the blog is a good thing, as it allows me to keep my writing skills in shape and remain outspoken—but I also get myself into a lot of trouble this way, as we've all seen. It's troublesome to be known. It's troublesome to have people read your opinions and take them to mean things you hadn't dreamed they could mean. Perhaps it's better just to internalize a lot of the things I think, letting them out only in IM conversation and at rare moments in person. I started this blog last semester, and it obviously didn't help me escape my sorrows in any measurable way. I still fucked up a lot of things—yea, more things than usual—in those few months. There's no causal link here, though, and I doubt writing in the blog really did anything more than exacerbate my already-present tendencies toward extreme procrastination, at least as far as academics are concerned.
I suppose part of the problem is that I use this more as an "idea log" of sorts than as a journal—plain-Jane journals generally bore me, especially the ones that are written by me—so instead we get all the ideas and news that strike me as worth writing about. These ideas usually end up concerning ponies, people I dislike, and ideas and events I dislike or take issue with. Ponies are almost invariably a pretty safe bet, albeit one that gets me teased, but the latter items are what cause me trouble.
I could just keep these things to myself and my few trusted confidantes, but what fun would that be? Writing for the limited public has the advantage of letting people see the particularly worthy ideas I come up with, albeit with all the semiworthy ideas keeping them company. Perhaps it was better when I'd keep all but the very best ideas to myself, then write those good ideas as opinion articles and submit them to the newspaper. This year my opinion article output has become severely stunted, and that may well have to do with having this ready venue for all my outpourings. Then again, I also grow increasingly disillusioned with the newspaper and its staff, methods, and audience, so that doesn't really help, either.
My online reading diet has changed considerably since last year, too. Whereas at this point in 2003 I was immersed in the vagaries of the skinning/emulation community at Aqua-Soft and moderating/promoting the MSA Invision board, most of the sites I regularly check and contribute to now are either blogging- or MLP-related ones. I find myself continually missing these bits of myself that I've shed across the last couple of years. All this compromise and change takes its toll.
So what do I do? I'm going to keep the blog, but that doesn't stop me from lamenting what I've become. I used to be better than this, quicker and more tactful, more widely talented, more understanding. Sure, I've maintained a bit of continuity with who I was in high school, yea even surpassed myself in a few areas, but a lot of times I really think it's not enough. I feel like I'm in decline. When does the decline end? When do I get myself back? My guess is that I'll have to fight myself for it, even once I manage to escape the university.