It’s Been Real

I’ve been mulling over this post for weeks. I figured you all could handle some time off after the marathon of Europe posts. At least that’s what I was hoping, since it gave me more time to think without the crushing guilt.

Okay. Brace yourselves. Are you bracing? I am bracing because even at this very moment I’m kind of in denial that I’m about to say this. *deep breath* …I think Extra Credit Life is retiring. *wince* Are you still there? Are you okay? Is everyone okay? I think I am okay.

I had been planning to continue the blog, to write about my experiences in life and as a new engineer. I even wrote about it in this post. I promised you guys more blog and I’ve changed my mind and I’m sorry. I wanted to do it and part of me still wants to, but after the fog of my last semester and graduation and Europe lifted, I realized a few things.

First, I liked that my blog had a focus. I had wanted to write a blog for many years and I never did because I didn’t have a theme, something particular to dissect and explore. Then school came around and I had a huge amount of material to write about, and it all made sense together. It all told a story. So I went for it and it was exactly what I was hoping it would be, and people (you) seemed to like it. Now that I’ve graduated, my focus has zoomed way, way out. I want to do so many things and go in so many directions and it’s not going to all make sense together. It will, eventually, tell a story. That’s what a life is, a big long story, but in the context of this blog, it won’t hang together and I don’t want to live my life subconsciously trying to make all my experiences fit a theme.

Wait, you say, but there is a theme! You’re a new engineer going to work every day and constantly learning new things. Why not write about that? Which brings me to my next realization.

Second, blogging about your job is not the same as blogging about school. I work with the same people every day at a large company that supplies electricity and natural gas all over the state. Blogging about what I do at my job could not only expose my co-workers to scrutiny, but could expose my entire company to scrutiny and could certainly endanger my job. That’s not to say that my co-workers or my company have done or are doing anything inappropriate (in fact I feel just the opposite), but nonetheless, talking on the internet about the details of how a power plant owned by a huge public utility is being run day-to-day is just not a smart thing to do.

Third, I want to focus on more personal writing. I love the personal essay format and would like to use that to explore other areas of my life. Writing about school was a great way to dig into particular aspects of my personality: perfectionism, my need to control everything, my fear of failure, my love of the learning process. Being an engineering student taught me a tremendous amount about myself. But it was also a very specific, safe topic that I could write post after post about without getting into details about myself that I wouldn’t want zipping around the entire world on the internet. Lacking from this blog have been any detailed discussions of my relationships with family and friends, my love life (or lack thereof), my political or spiritual beliefs, etc. And for good reason. There are many blogs out there about exactly those topics, and that’s fine, but it’s not something I’m comfortable doing myself.

Will I ever blog again? I’d like to. I might. But I just can’t predict it at this point. I’ll see how the essay-ing goes. Maybe one day I’ll decide to post certain pieces online. Maybe one day I’ll find a way to post about the above topics in a way that feels comfortable to me. If I do, it will be a new blog with a new name. As for Extra Credit Life, I’ll keep it live for the time being. I would only want to take it down if I could archive it fully and I haven’t looked into how to do that yet. I’ll keep the Facebook page up as well.

Thanks so much to everyone who has read, enjoyed, commented on or been inspired by this blog. I loved writing it and I can honestly say it helped me and changed my experience as a student. It helped me make sense of what often felt like insanity. Thanks for letting me tell my stories and for coming with me on the journey. It’s been real.

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8 thoughts on “It’s Been Real

  1. I’m so sad to hear this, but completely understand. I hope that you DO continue to write – as you know life totally gets in the way of our grandiose plans and best intentions. Your blog inspired me to keep notes and writings about my own random and fantastic experiences. Happy retirement – Extra Credit Life!

  2. So sad it is over but so happy you did this! For me its been very nice to keep in touch with you in this way since I see you so irregularly now. I do hope you continue to write!

  3. I’m so proud of you, Blackitay, for what you’ve accomplished and what you’re envisioning for your future. And proud to be your friend. I miss you and look forward to getting together once again soon to share some pre-essay thoughts over a beer and a burger. xoxo

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