One year ago today I wrote about turning 30. I challenged myself to be less cynical (still working on it) and recounted how strange the previous year had been. At the time I thought it was one of the few instances I had blogged about my age, and I thought well worth it given the pseudo-momentousness of ending my twenties. Going through some old pieces, though, I found I had written about my age before.
Before the candler blog, almost all of my writing was done at poritsky.com/blog. And before that I kept a blog on MySpace. Most of those pieces, including the one I’m writing about here, got transferred over to my site, thankfully, since MySpace’s blogs have disappeared from the web.
Those early pieces are what I would call more bloggy blogging. I’ve always tried to treat the candler blog like an outlet for published articles as opposed to an ongoing personal journal.1 I’m proud to call this site a blog; the writing, I hope, speaks for itself.
That I’ve held this site back from going fully diaristic came to mind when I found a piece from June of 2007, “Tired of my age.” Now this is some bloggy blog writing. Here it is in full:
I’m tired of people asking my age. I recognize that I’m a kid. People hear 22 they think I should be doing kegstands between exams. Professionally, this is becoming an issue, but only when people ask. I’ve been blessed with a thick beard so the question rarely comes up. But the most annoying iteration of this confusion, the absolute worst, is when women ask. Should I start lying? I tend to hang out with 30somethings, which is fine, and they like hanging out with me, until the issue of years comes up. They’ll ask my age or they’ll reference things I know nothing of, baseball players from “when we were kids” only “when we were kids” happens to be 10 years apart. Ah well, I guess everyone thinks they were born 10 or 20 years late. Anyhow, who cares about those people anyway. Next time they ask me my age I’ll just have to say I’ve got a better shot of seeing 2060 than you, babe.
Pretty sure I wrote that after a thirty-something rejected me at a rooftop party.
I would never publish something like that now, anywhere. Why is that, though? Sure, that last line kinda makes me cringe, but so what? It’s out there and I’m not going to scrub it from the web.
I wonder how much of my reticence to publish anything like that piece has to do with my growing older and how much has to do with the web growing up. Maybe it’s not just that my years have made a bit more hesitant to fling every last idea out there; maybe it’s that there are so many things on the web nowadays it feels silly to throw my little fit into the mix. At best it will get lost; at worst I’ll be harangued by mobs of commenters rubbed the wrong way by my words. And so while pondering the question “What’s the point?” I’d write nothing.
I’m reminded of something Kanye West said last year when Steve McQueen asked him how he was able to express himself in the way that he does:
I just close my eyes and act like I’m a 3-year-old. [laughs] I try to get as close to a childlike level as possible because we were all artists back then. So you just close your eyes and think back to when you were as young as you can remember and had the least barriers to your creativity.
Now that I’m 31, I kind of wish I had the fool-hardiness of my 22 year-old self, whining about my age because my site gave me the opportunity to vent. And when I think back to being even younger, when the world seemed so huge and anything seemed possible…2 that’s something I’d like to bring to my writing. To all of my work, really.
But now I’m just some guy, blogging about his age. And it kinda feels great.
That “blog” is right there in the name is only because I couldn’t get the other “candler” URLs I wanted, so I appended “blog” and started writing.↩
In elementary school I was active in the after-school program, Young Astronauts. I wanted to be an astronaut and believed that one day we’d all go to the moon and bring back rocks to show our friends, as if on vacation.↩