Wow, a lot has happened in 4 years! Since I last dedicated time to this website or wrote a simple blog post, my life has been quite an adventure. One would think that would have been enough to keep the fire burning to maintain an online presence. Yet for many reasons, some of which I’ll explain in this post, I simply didn’t contribute a single “personal” keyboard stroke to the web during these last four years.
The Blackout Period
Here’s just a quick snapshot of events in my life over the last nearly 1500 days since my blogging blackout began (with links to the related “Filling the 4-Year Gap” Photo Journal):
- I made and bottled two vintages of wine (2012 and 2013)
- My business earned over $500K in revenues and, as a result, I’ve awarded $10,000 in flight scholarships to aspiring female pilots (2012–2015)
- I paid off my student loans – oh happy day! (2014)
- I studied Italian for a total of 6 weeks in Bologna, Italy (2012, 2013, and 2016)
- I proposed on the Spanish Steps in Rome, lived in Italy for 5 weeks, and attended the 3rd round of the French Open in Paris (2013)
- I spent 2.5 weeks in Central and South America (2013)
- I watched Mexico win a World Cup soccer match from the Zócalo in Mexico City and studied Spanish in Cuernavaca, Mexico (2014)
- I earned my complex aircraft rating and learned to fly a Mooney aircraft (2014)
- I got married and spent my honeymoon in Asia for 3 weeks (2014–2015)
- I started learning Vietnamese (2015–2016)
- I lived in Europe for 3.5 months (2016)
Yet, I didn’t write or share a single keyboard character about any of this online. Why was that? Well, I could spend time ranting about my overall displeasure with the social media industry, their privacy policies, Silicon Valley unicorns, and so much more but I won’t. (Actually, I did in the original draft but decided it would be best for my peace of mind to delete those paragraphs).
Regardless, I’ve decided to rejoin the fray and like most times that I decide to do something, it’s going to be on my own terms. Though I’ve been living the digital nomad/location independent life since July 2011, now that I do not have a home base (I put life in the SF Bay Area on hold as of April 2016), I’m finding it more difficult to share my experiences with dear friends/family and even more challenging to make new connections. So I’ve decided to fix up the site and begin sharing my experiences and reflections with the goal of giving back to the web some of what it has given me over these past four years.
I have gained so much from some of the people I’ve followed online, and I know that the content they chose to share helped me gain new perspectives, see the mountain top when I was in a “mental valley,” and learn new things to help me reach my goals. And now, I think it’s time I get back in the game and do the same for new strangers in the distance who may need the same inspiration.
While part of the struggle to get back online has been the hurdle of feeling like I have to fill the gap of the last four years, I look forward to sharing my experiences (both new and old) and reflecting on some of the experiences listed above that have guided me to where I am today. Until then, I’ll leave you with an excerpt from the final lines of the final poem I wrote nearly 14 years ago, titled “Who I Am” (which also happens to be the title of my self-published book of poetry).
…But this is the last time I shall lift this pen,
And the last time I shall fear the emotions of men.
For when you’re vulnerable, you’re really strong
if you’re able to take the blow and move on.
For this is the true strength that lies within man
And something that I cherish in who I am. – 9/3/02