anachronistic, on purpose

Last week, I got swept up with another defunct blog.

This is a habit of mine: discovering corners of the internet I adore long after their authors have closed up shop. A few years ago, I got hooked on Deb’s tales of dating and career soul-searching – around the time she was celebrating her fourth wedding anniversary and reveling in her book deal. Last Spring, I fell in love with Mindy Kaling’s shopping blog with such reckless abandon that I added it to my Google Reader before realizing the last entry was dated March 2008, not March 2010. And then, last week, I found myself plodding meticulously through the author Jennifer Weiner’s online diary, attracted, typically, to the tales posted in the wake of her first book deal, first months of marriage, first book tour – back when her little blogspot site was called a “weblog.”

I used to think this fascination with blogs of days past meant I was just kind of perpetually late to the game, out of touch with everything on the cool kids’ radar. But I’m starting to think it’s about more than just my (proven) lack of hip-ness. I suspect I’m addicted to these vintage posts precisely because I know there’s a happy ending in store for the sometimes sad, sometimes discouraged, always clueless-as-to-what-the future-holds authors. Because I can drink their tales of insecurities and neuroses and frustrations and chase them with proof that it’s worth it in the end. Because I can spot a teeny tiny piece of my admittedly insecure, neurotic and frustrated self in their early days. And it makes me feel better.

More than advice from a networking contact, or positive feedback from an interview, or yet another phone conversation with my mother, it makes me feel like there’s a chance that I too may, someday, get my shit together. That just maybe, a decade later, someone will read my own posts, colored by age, and say “wow, she was a hot mess,” knowing full well that wasn’t where the story ended.

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