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Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Things I've Learned Over The Last Three Years and Eleven Hundred Posts

Once upon a time, in a living room with a sticky window and a computer that was on its last legs, a man who had just turned thirty came up with the idea for a blog.  It wouldn't be just any blog though.

The idea came to him while he was watching television.  The idea a blog on pop culture.  Bring up memories of favourite childhood shows, and try to spark some discussion on them.  But at the same time, a little voice kept nagging at him.  It said, "You can do pop culture, but you should also talk about your own experiences as well because people might be interested in those as well".

So, that's exactly what the man did.  He started up a blog on pop culture while adding in personal stories along the way.

Of course, the blogging venture did not do so well at first.  In fact, this blog was almost stopped as soon as it began, due to the fact that the man didn't realize that his modem was on the verge of melting down.  But, thanks to the wonderful people at his Internet service provider who fixed his Internet connection on a weekend no less, the blog was back up and running, and continued to write and share his thoughts.

Sure, the blog changed many times over as months became years.  Comic discussions gave way to music discussions.  The Tuesday Timelines kept people reading.  And, the Wednesday topic changed more times than most people change their underwear, but he continued to try new things in order to keep the blog fresh and new.

Well, as fresh and new as a blog could be given that 90% of the content was about nostalgia.

But this blogging venture was also a form of healing for the person who created it.  It took a lot of courage for him to talk about some of the more miserable experiences he had gone through, but once he did it, he felt better about it, and could move on to a happier topic the next day.  He also found great strength in sharing his own personal stories to other people.  And, slowly, but surely, he found a way to open up to people more, especially within the last six months or so when he began using videos and chat shows to insert more of himself into each entry.

That blog, as you may have guessed, is "
A POP CULTURE ADDICT'S GUIDE TO LIFE".  And, that blogger is...Kanye West.

No, it's not.  He's too busy getting married to a Kardashian today.  No, instead, it's me.  As if you haven't guessed already, right?

It seems hard to believe, but today is the third anniversary of "A POP CULTURE ADDICT'S GUIDE TO LIFE"!  Coincidentally, this is post #1,100 of the blog as well!  

Yes, on May 24, 2011, this whole blogging adventure began.  At the time, I had just turned thirty years old, and I was recovering from a surgical procedure that had I let it go any longer, it most certainly would have killed me.  And, I'll tell you one thing.  That surgery caused me to have a lot of time on my hands to think about a lot of things.

I spent sixteen days in the hospital.  What else was there to do, right?

But in all seriousness, I was thinking about how things could have gone completely wrong, and I very well could have died three years ago had my timing been completely off.  At the time I had my surgery, my gall bladder was so infected that it tried to kill my liver...and well, without a liver, you can't live.  In many ways, I kind of cheated death that year, and there could have been so many instances in which it could have gone terribly wrong.

And you know, when I looked back on that time in my life, I thought about what I would have left behind if I did breathe my last breath that frigid February day in 2011.  I came to the conclusion that...well...I had nothing.  And, I'm not just saying this to be overly dramatic either.  I am being absolutely serious here.  As serious as a gallstone attack.  I literally had nothing that I could leave behind.  I honestly thought that I would be leaving this world as anonymously as I entered it. 

Turns out I was completely wrong with that assessment, but in that case, I was absolutely glad to be wrong.

So, I was thinking to myself while I was recovering from surgery...what would be a way that I could leave a piece of myself behind for people to visit whenever they wanted?  And, what if I did it in such a way that it appealed to both the young and the old?

Certainly pop culture was a topic that almost everyone in the world could relate to.  As someone who belonged to several discussion forums that were based on all things nostalgia, I always have had a love for all things pop culture, so choosing that as the basis of my blog was a no-brainer.  But, how would I do it so that people would be interested in reading it?  Well, I thought about it for a while and the solution hit me.  Do pop culture themed blogs that were linked to my real-life experiences, and use the blog as a bit of a growing experience for myself, as well as sharing some embarrassing anecdotes about things that I did in my childhood, some moments which really shaped me as a person, and other miscellaneous tidbits.  That way, I'd be leaving a little piece of me behind for the world to really get to know the person I really am.

Because, as I've mentioned several times here...I'm not exactly a genius when it comes to social networking - based on a variety of reasons.

I communicate best through written language.  And written language is what I want to leave behind on this earth.  And, well...if the dream of getting a book published isn't in the cards, at the very least, I have this blog that I can post instead.  And three years later, I'm not ready to give it up.  In fact, I have a feeling that 2014 is going to be a banner year for "
A POP CULTURE ADDICT'S GUIDE TO LIFE".  We have a new look, new theme days...and I have a few more other surprises coming up over the next three hundred and sixty-five days!  Just keep it posted here.

So, now here's a question that I ask myself.  What exactly have I learned in the three years since I've begun this blog?



Maybe it's just me, but looking back at my older entries, I think that my writing style has definitely gotten better.  I know that I still have a little bit of improvement that I will work on as I continue this blog (such as not typing the word "actually" several times in each post), but that will come in time.  I'm certainly improving my confidence each day.  Which leads to the next thing...


Seriously, if you asked me when I first did this blog if I would be doing video blogs, I would have laughed in your face.  In truth, the fact that I didn't want to show my face was largely due to my limited technology back then.  It wasn't until I bought my first iPad that I gained the power to film videos and post them in this blog.  But even if I had the most elaborate media set-up by 2011 standards hooked up to my computer, I still wouldn't have felt comfortable doing them because of my belief that my voice sounded nerdy and that the camera would make me gain three hundred pounds.  Needless to say, filming that first video was like peeling a Band-Aid off of a wound.  It was scary and it stung a bit, but I got used to it.  I'm certainly no Regis Philbin...but I'm working at it.  Right now, I'm Cable 10 Public Access Host.  And, at this point in my life, I'm perfectly all right with that.

For now.


And, I'm not talking about using pepper to spice up your eggs instead of salt, or switching to boxers from briefs here.  I'm talking about watching the blog closely to make decisions on what will work, and what won't, and making the necessary steps to make impromptu decisions.  The Tuesday Timeline is one of the biggest hits of the week, and that influenced my decision to keep it going for another year.  Simultaneously, I had to switch the concept of "WHO AM I WEDNESDAY" after just two weeks because it seemed as though it was not as well-received as I thought it would be.  And, hey, if there's anything that I will say about myself, it's that I'm not afraid to admit to my goofs. 


Because I'll be honest here.  Some of the best blogs that I have written have come from my readers.  There was even a time in which I had an all-request theme day that lasted a few months before I retired it due to dwindling suggestions.  But I will state that if you have a topic that you want to suggest, please let me know!  I have an e-mail address which is which you can also use to send me your recipes for the Foodie Friday postings!  Even better, if I use your topic in the blog, you will get full credit for suggesting it!


You've heard me say it before..."I love a challenge".  And, I do!  When I first began writing this blog, opening up about some of my personal traumas that I experienced in my childhood was a very difficult thing to do.  But now, I find it easier because talking about it makes me realize that these moments helped shape who I am today...which is someone that I'm getting better acquainted with each day.  And, going back to the requests that I do, sometimes people will send me requests for shows that I haven't seen, or movies that I've never watched, or anything to do with sports or science-fiction (two things that I never had any interest in at all), but I'll challenge myself and do blogs on the subjects so that I can honour the requests.  They took the time to send one to me...the least I can do is give them what they want!  And it's been great for me, because I learned a lot more along the way!

And, finally...


Here's to three years of pop culture fun, and three years of one of the biggest projects that I have ever worked on.  And, I couldn't be more grateful to all of you out there who keep clicking on this blog and keep supporting me in this venture.  I truly do love each and every single one of you, and I look forward to see what will happen within the next year!

The Saturday Night at the Movies post will return next week!

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