Next month will mark my fourth year of using livejournal.
It started off as just a way to keep in touch with my family while I was in Hirakata, Japan for six months. But it quickly became something much much greater.
I suppose I'd always wanted a journal. I'd tried on several occasions throughout my life to keep a daily paper journal, but my attention waned after only a few entries. Yet throughout my life, I'd kept snippets of ideas of poems or novels or stray thoughts, very un-diarylike, and it was only through livejournal that I realized a journal didn't have to be a laborious daily affair. I could write when I had something to say or an idea I needed to record. And now my paper journal has become much the same, slightly sparse if measured by dates, but always with a point. I have filled up whole journals with my thoughts over the years now, which had never happened before.
Livejournal allowed me to find a niche of journaling that worked for me. And I use it to keep in touch with my friends. Perhaps I'd never have continued with this journal if I hadn't had a community to share it with. Admittedly, a significant portion of my posts are completely private, but I doubt I'd have lasted four years with one journal without the friends-only feature and the option to share some of those posts with everyone. I've kept it small, and sustainable, with people I can trust, and filters for times of paranoia and topics of discomfort.
So, even though livejournal is changing hands, I know that my journaling habits would be nothing more than a few stray, child-like diaries with only the first few pages of writing if I hadn't been introduced to LJ.
I have flourished. My journals (both paper and electronic) have flourished. My writing has flourished, although never in published form. And I thank you.
Thank you, Brad Fitz, for starting livejournal. Thank you, Charles Martin and his now defunct journal nyarl, for introducing me to this place. Thank you, birdofparadox for being someone I actually knew when I started my journal. And thank you to all of you who have been part of my journal.
/end cloying sentimental garble.