As can be seen from the date of my last blog entry (click on the date to go back 'a day') I'm not blogging much anymore. And while I'm not sad about that, I AM sad that I haven't posted an explanation, or a 'final entry'. So here it is. Yesterday I bought a new guitar amp, which was a reason to blog on its own, but I also had an existential meltdown on the train back from Bprax (band practice), and it kind of relates to why I stopped posting here. Instead of writing this blog, I tend to post pictures of StarWars figures on my Instagram account, or do recording related posts on my other blog, which fills the 'excessively documenting things I did' void that would have normally been filled here. But mostly I stopped because it begun to feel like a chore, rather than a creative pleasure, and that had a lot to do with how my attitude towards online presence has changed over the last fifteen years. I started this blog pretty much the same time facebook kicked off, back when you needed a .edu email to join. I loved documenting my daily adventures and mishaps, sometimes over sharing, sometimes being cryptic, but generally being as open and as honest as one can whilst preserving their own online 'brand'. But now that I'm 36, and married, and supposedly a responsible adult, I don't really enjoy putting myself out there, as a brand, or as a person. My other blog, i.e. my 'professional' blog, is about as much as I'm willing to share of 'this is what I'm doing with my life'. And hopefully it makes me look busy, successful and creative (I'm barely one of these).
Last night's revelation on the Blue Line, whether it was caused by low blood sugar, exhaustion, or the various mind altering substances I'd consumed throughout the evening, was about the justification of happiness. If you tell the internet that you're unhappy, it requires no justification. The world is a horrible place (more so now than ever, it seems). We're all entitled to be unhappy. But if we tell the internet we're happy, we need to justify that happiness. When you're younger, you can just say 'I'm happy to be alive'. I'm having a good time regardless of others' pain and suffering because I'm entitled, as a Generation X/Y youngster, to some kind of fun before I knuckle down and make something of myself. And maybe that backpacking trip across Thailand (I've never gone backpacking) or that three day acid binge (I've never done acid for three days) or that time I snuck onto private property and climbed up a gasometer (definitely did that) will inform my decision making skills as a responsible adult. But once you become that adult you're subject to providing justification of your happiness. For most people, the instagram of your fancy brunch, or the fifteen dollar craft cocktail you're about to consume is justified by the suggestion (or hopefully the fact) that you worked hard at your job and that you deserve it. The facebook post of you and your cute kids by the pool in an exotic sunny location is justified by the suggestion (or the fact) that you spent a lot of time and effort raising a family. If you expect to justify a moment of happiness whilst unemployed, childless, and not an active member of a charitable organisation, and approaching 40, then you will appear selfish and irresponsible.
Despite the horrible world that we inhabit, I am a happy person, and I'm tired of justifying my happiness, and scared of having to justify it in ten years time, when I'll still be renting, childless, and earning a living from multiple unreliable and inconsistent sources. My wife makes me happy, even when she asks me where I want to go for dinner and picks somewhere else. My dog makes me happy, even when she eats too much grass and pukes on the living room rug. My new guitar amp makes me happy, maybe just because it's bright orange and smells like tolex glue. So I'm signing off because I don't want to have to explain myself, in ten years time, when I'm still regularly cleaning up dog puke, going for dinner with Zoe under the illusion that I chose the restaurant, or spending most of my disposable income on guitars and space dollies. I don't want to have to justify my happiness.
Check back in ten years, I may have blogged again.