When I was growing up, I got a new diary at the beginning of every year. I was determined to write in it every day. I never made it out of January.

In 2002 I started my first office job, where I sat in front of a computer for the majority of the day. I wanted to do something creative with my spare time (I had a lot of it then), so I started an online diary. I hadn’t even heard the word “blog” at that point. I set myself up with a space on Diaryland.com, and started keeping track of my days.

I got bored with Diaryland quickly, and I decided to put some of the HTML skills I learned in college to use. I built myself my own website (all hand-coded), and I wrote about my life there. I’d stay at my desk after my boss left for the day and tell my latest adventures. Being able to type out my life was so much easier than writing it by hand.

Over the weekend I spent some time reading my old blog. I wrote about mostly superficial stuff – what I was listening to, what my friends and I had done over the weekend, and Mike. I sound so young (and I was, I started when I was barely 23), like a different person. I laughed a lot, not only at my attempts to be funny (I am my own best audience) but also at how silly I was. I mean, I REALLY cared who won American Idol. The pictures show how young we were (and BLONDE):

Yes, three of these pictures were taken in the same bar.

On the other hand, I blogged through some exciting and wonderful times. I started writing right after I met Mike, so I have our whole relationship chronicled. I have a detailed record of the time I lived in New York City, down to the restaurants I ate at and the places I went.

I am really thankful I kept that blog, as silly as it might be now. It’s where I learned the discipline to write every day. I get a little sad thinking about the person I used to be, so carefree. It’s almost impossible for me to put myself back in the frame of mind I was in then. I almost feel like I’m reading about a character in a book where I know the ending. It’s hard seeing how happy and hopeful I was, knowing my whole world would be shattered down the line.

I received a notice that it’s time to renew the domain for that blog. I’m uncertain if I’ll keep the entries online – no one is reading them anyway – so I think I might let it expire. I’ll keep a copy for Annabel to laugh at someday – I want her to know the silly young side of me that used to be.