The year was 2013. I was eighteen, freshly scrubbed and newly moved out of my parents’ house, living with my grandma in a small town in Oregon, and all signed up for fall college courses at the local community college. The classes were basic—the first tiny steps towards my chosen degree of Computer Science. I’d picked the degree primarily based on its coolness level. Naturally. Also, I figured that since the future was online and I wanted to be able to work from home, a degree in the science of computers and technology would somehow aid both myself and the world.
A couple months into the semester, something changed. I met a guy who actually had a Computer Science degree, and he’d gotten it at a way more prestigious place than I was attempting: a ***university***. We chatted a bit, and I found out what he did for a living. He went to events and ran the electronic ticket booth. He ran a ticket booth.
To the dismay of my parents, that was all it took. I stopped going to classes. Completely stopped. There was no way I was going to spend the prime years of my life learning skills in order to become a girl behind a counter. So I took to the internet and looked up how to make money online. My New Plan™ was to move to Portland and sustain myself through writing and blogging, because I was suddenly frantic to not ever work a horrible job ever again (flashbacks of my old job at Burger King ran through my mind repeatedly).
The world of blogging was confusing, and nothing in my research made sense or connected. Until suddenly everything became clear to me when I stumbled upon the blog of a man reclining on a beach in Costa Rica. He was a success story in the world of blogging, and he was going to tell me all about how I too could move to Costa Rica for just a small $25 membership fee…
But before this horrible story gets any worse, I must take it back further. Because the tale actually begins several months earlier, in my hometown in Idaho, at the start of 2013.
I had just befriended this real life hippie. I had known him vaguely as a regular guy years before, but then he returned from his travels transformed as a full blown hippie. He introduced me to bands like Pearl Jam and The Grateful Dead and we started playing music together and he told me of adventures he’d had while living on an island off the coast of Washington. He was inspiring. I wanted to be free and adventurous like him. I wanted to be a hippie.
I didn’t have the means to go live on an island off the coast of Washington, so I did the next best thing: google. My obsessive research brought me back to the world of blogs. It was here I discovered that the first step to becoming a hippie was to stop washing your hair with shampoo and to join the “No ‘Poo” movement.
Before anyone could say “sodium lauryl sulfate” I had thrown out my shampoo bottles and started washing my hair with baking soda. It was cheap, it was organic, it was healthy, and it was what the ***bloggers*** washed their hair with.
Until suddenly one day I scratched an itch on my head and pulled out a clump of hair. And another. My hair was falling out, and I was only seventeen, young and sweet.
But before this terrible story can continue, I must take it back even further. Because the tale actually, actually begins two years before this incident.
It was 2011. I was fifteen. There are two important elements that come into play into this particular story: Ted Dekker and Facebook. I loved reading books by my favorite author, Ted Dekker, and I loved following his fan page on Facebook. My love went so far as to progress into my being one of the formative people to start a new group on Facebook. To be part of the group required four things: a love of reading, a love of writing, a love of Ted Dekker, and a love of Jesus.
It was amazing. Who knew there were so many people who fit those four criteria? It was in this group where I first learned about the hallowed term “blog”. There were people in the Facebook group who often talked about receiving free books from publishers in exchange for blog reviews. Obviously I had to be a part of it. It was then that I made my first blog: ordinaryreviews.blogspot.com. (Don’t even try stalking 15-year old me—the blog no longer exists.) Things were great. I had stacks and stacks of free books in my room, my own website, a group of friends on Facebook, and even the chance to interview Ted Dekker’s editor, Erin Healy, thanks to my ***blogger*** connections.
Until one day I was on our Facebook group and I realized that everyone was becoming super close to each other, like actual friend-friends, not just internet friends, and I wasn’t a part of that. I was hurt. I felt betrayed. I had been there from the beginning, nay, I had helped create this precious world they loved, and I was being slowly edged out. Little did I know that this was due to my chronic condition called Professional Lurking™.
Here we are, back amidst the Get Rich Quick Scam™. By this point, I’m out $100 and no closer to Costa Rica than I was before. $100 doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a lot to a kid. It’s worth even more to a broke college student. It took a lot of angry phone calls and emails for the nightmare to finally end. The moral of this dreadful story is: don’t. Just don’t.
To conclude this taxing narrative, I just wanted to say it’s been a long journey to get from point A to point… Q? (I’ve lost track of which point I’m on anymore.) There are many more stories I could tell: html nightmares, the horrors of an ex having control of a domain, trolls… so many trolls.
I’ve learned so much and have hopefully progressed beyond the point of utter stupidity (although if I wrote about the trials and tears of getting this current website up, one might say I haven’t). As you can see, this website is white, plain, ad-free, and uncopyrighted. It’s dedicated firstly to my peace of mind; secondly, to the people out there who constantly ask to read what I’ve written, and now as a result, have been granted unlimited access; and thirdly and most importantly, to Jesus Christ, who saw it fit to give me ten working fingers and an insatiable urge to write. May my silly words bring Him glory forever.