It occurred to me yesterday, as I walked across campus on my way to the evening’s classes, that I am soon going to have to shut this down. The thought rolled off my back and may as well have fallen on the sidewalk behind me for how much credence I gave it then, but tonight my retraced steps have brought me back to pick it up, dust it off, and appreciate what that means.
Right now, the blog I’m typing will be published on adambogert.com. Up until six months ago, that was fine: this site represented the best of me, or at least the most of me. The words across the top — Writer. Reader. Gamer. Scholar. — were arranged in a way that made sense at the time. And for the most part there was nothing more to my self-presentation than that. Since I started The Forge back in December 2006, I have always had a “blog,” a site to vent my thoughts, whine about my life, reflect on things that had struck me, review the movie I saw over the weekend, etc. I’ve always been intentional about being straightforward and being honest, about wearing my heart on my sleeve. After all, the only people who were looking for me were people who, ostensibly, cared about me or knew me personally.
But much has changed in the last six months and even as I still take the notion of independence and honesty seriously, I recognize that this isn’t the best way to achieve it. Starting in June, I will be a teacher. I already have seven students enrolled in my course and the push for registration hasn’t even gotten into full swing. Those students have my name. And perhaps they are curious enough to find their way here. Heck, perhaps one of you is one of my students. That’s a crazy thought.
And it’s a realistic one. The kind that says for better or worse you can’t have a blog in which you post about your personal struggles and anxieties and experiences with peers and teachers and students — a blog anything remotely like what I’ve written over the past seven and a half years — attached to the official website with your name attached to it. Such a site may be permitted to exist (and indeed, I’ve not ruled it out), but it can’t be here, it can’t be this.
On the other side of the coin, it’s high time that I took advantage of having a website with my name attached to it and got used to the fact that going forward, people entering “Adam Bogert” into Google will be looking for a professor, a graduate student, a researcher, or a colleague — not an introspective dude bleeding melodrama into cyberspace.
I have forged some great relationships through this kind of blogging over the years. I’ve also lost some relationships because of it. I’ve grown in some ways and regressed in others. I have made some people laugh, and I know for a fact I’ve made some people cry. And it has been good. Not always enjoyable, but good.
But it’s ending. Disengaging from social media was the first step, but it was not enough. This all has to go, pocketed away in the annals of my childhood, boxed up and stored in a basement where I will look back at it fondly and with all the proper embarrassment of reading one’s adolescent diary.
This will be a process, for sure. I do not know for sure how long it will take, or when it will be finalized. But, as it were, this is the beginning of the end, and I want to thank anyone who has been along for any part of the ride. Keep in touch, if you can.
-Adam K. Bogert, February 26th, 2014