Passion and Poetry: Turning 500

WordPress has notified me that this is my 500th blog post.

The fun and frivolity all began on December 16, 2009 with the following declaration:

I have one goal in life: to publish a book before I die.

Thankfully, I accomplished that goal within two years of penning (“typing”? “keyboarding”?) those words. Please don’t think I’m ready to die just because that goal was met, though. Life is pretty good these days. A lot different than when I first began this blog.

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In thinking of how to celebrate 500 blog posts, I thought I would talk a little about blogging itself. Specifically, how it has changed my life. Because I can’t think of another person more influenced by blogging, other than perhaps my wife. Whom I met through blogging.

See what I mean?

I started blogging a long time ago. I don’t think it was even called “blogging” back then. It was simply an online journal. I’d tried to keep a handwritten one when I was younger, but always seemed to give up after a few entries. Back in 2001, there was a lot of talk about how the internet was suddenly inundated with digital versions of diaries, and I was intrigued. So I found a site called digitalexpressions.nu (it’s still around) and started a blog. My first post is dated April 23, 2001.

Amazingly, I am still able to pull that blog up. I just did so this morning. Had to guess at the username and password, but it took exactly one attempt. I was pretty predictable back then. And also, angsty. As embarrassing as it is, I’ll share that very first blog post in its entirety right here.

I feel so old :(
04-23-01 05:44 PM

After reading the other entries on this site, I feel like an old man. I’ll be 32 in a few days. Can I really be twice as old as many of the people that post here? Is there anybody who can relate to a married guy with two young children? I don’t act my age. I just got a Playstation 2 for my b-day – first game SSX is fantastic! And the CD in my car stereo is Shaggy.

I’ve got a serious Lester Burnham crisis happening (see “American Beauty”).

Woe is me.

Current Music: “It’s Been Awhile” – Staind.
Current Mood: Tired 

I felt old then?! Give me a break. And what was up with Shaggy? And CDs?? At least I can still say American Beauty is one of my favorite movies.

So, it’s pretty obvious to me I was feeling disenchanted with my marriage, even back then. In case there’s any doubt, the opening sentence of my next post on that blog was,

What does every red-blooded American male want? That’s right…a bandage to stop the hemorrhaging.

Ouch. It’s a wonder my marriage lasted another five years.

I abandoned that blog two days later for greener pastures. There was a new site making a splash called Open Diary. OD (as we all called it) was like a self-contained little community, and was the first platform to allow comments by strangers – a novel concept back then. I blogged on Open Diary, off and on, for the next 13 years, though I pretty much gave it up for good in 2009 when I started Mark My Words. One of the first people I got to know really well on OD was Monica. She was living in Denmark at the time and unhappily married. We struck up a friendship that continues to this day. Since we first “met” she has gotten divorced, moved to California, and remarried. She and her husband came up for a visit last year and stayed with us. There have been many people I met in person after getting to know through blogging. Heidi, Nancy, Laurie, and more – friends to this day. One blogger even became my mother-in-law. There are others I hope to meet someday. Jess, Kathy, Ron, Wendy, etc. The one thing that impresses me most about blogging is the friendships it has led to.

In 2006, I went through a divorce (guess I finally stopped the hemorrhaging) in a very public fashion, documenting the whole thing on OD. And if it weren’t for the support of my readers, I don’t know if I could have gotten through it unscathed.

In 2007, I started dating a blogger I had known for a few years. She moved up from California to pursue a relationship, one that was on-again/off-again for years. Ultimately things did not work out, probably due to the fact that she was secretly still married (oops!) and also crazy with a capital CRAY, but this showed me that even romance was possible with fellow bloggers, and paved the way for my relationship with Tara.

She and I started reading each others’ blogs in 2003. Met in person for the first time in March, 2011. Kissed for the first time that August. Moved in together in April, 2012. Got married in September, 2013. But most of you already know that story well.

Blogging has been about life, and about love. It has been passion and poetry. Birth and rebirth. Ecstasy and acrimony. And death, as that person I dated earlier passed away unexpectedly last year. I have experienced all its highs and lows, for better and worse. It’s more than just sharing words and telling stories. It’s experiencing this shared existence we call life together. Blog

If I had never decided to hit “publish” at 5:44 PM on April 23, 2001, I can’t imagine how differently things would have turned out for me. Blogging has had a deep and profound impact on my life, one that continues to this very day. It has made me the person I am.

Considering the other blogging sites and years’ worth of posts that existed prior to my WordPress blog, 500 is kind of an arbitrary milestone anyway. But one I felt I should pay homage to regardless. If nothing else, it shows persistence, commitment and dedication. Not to mention long-windedness. (My posts have gotten shorter, but this one is an exception. It’s number 500. Cut me some slack).

I’ve probably written about every topic under the sun. Love. Sex. Death. Travel. Politics. Religion. Geoduck. There is nothing left to cover…except everything.

Will I ever stop blogging? I don’t see how I could. It’s in my blood now, as ingrained a habit as breathing and sleeping. Every 3-5 days, the itch returns, no matter how much I scratch. I will be that person blogging from my deathbed.

Mark my words.

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16 thoughts on “Passion and Poetry: Turning 500

  1. “There is nothing left to cover…except everything.” Exactly! Holy cow, man. 500 posts? That’s fantastic! At the rate I’m going, it will take another six years for me to reach that number.
    Keep writing, Mr. Petruska, and I’ll keep reading.

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  2. Mark, first I want to CONGRATULATE you on your 500 post!

    *cheers and thunderous applause*

    Second, I totally agree with you about blogging…

    “Blogging has had a deep and profound impact on my life, one that continues to this very day. It has made me the person I am.”

    Amen! Blogging has had a HUGE impact on my life; not only when it comes to all the things it’s taught me, but also because of the many wonderful people I have met through this media – and YOU being one of them!

    “Will I ever stop blogging? I don’t see how I could. It’s in my blood now, as ingrained a habit as breathing and sleeping. Every 3-5 days, the itch returns, no matter how much I scratch.”

    Me as well!

    And I look forward to blogging MANY more years with you, buddy!

    So, write on!

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    1. You’re probably the most reliably prolific blogger I read, Ron – so I knew you’d relate to what I’m saying here! Your numbers must be pretty high, too. Write on, indeed! Have a great rest-of-your-week.

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    1. Thanks! I get the same thing. And I always reply, “How can you not know who Lester Burnham is??” Man, when that movie came out, he became a hero to me because he had the balls to change the exact things in his life that he did not like…things that I was experiencing myself at the time. Long live LB!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m humbled. I think many long-time bloggers can relate to the overall picture. After all, that’s what makes us long-time bloggers! How was your Halloween? Only 359 days left until the next one!

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  3. Happy Belated Blogiversary! Or…time to put your blog on Centrum Silver Vitamins!

    hehehehe j/k

    So glad we met via the blogosphere, Mark, and I do hope Joe and I catch up with you and Tara some day. We will stuff our faces with seafood and donuts. It will be glorious.

    Like

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