One Year of Hiking and Foraging.

It is delightful, although unintended, that this anniversary post comes right after the one entry of mine that broke, nay, shattered, all my personal records for views, likes, comments and rebloggings to date; something I will elaborate on shortly. As it stands, and thanks to WordPress’ handy scheduling tools, when this post comes up it will be exactly one year (with a margin of error of 59 seconds) since Hike and Forage took off with the primordial question Who am I?. And, truly, what a long, strange trip it’s been.

The story starts with a fellow who had dabbled into writing at an early age but had since essentially quit, letting life swallow him and his aspirations whole. Someone with hardly any sense of self worth to speak of. This someone (me, in case you had not figured it out) had a friend: a friend who had all the look of dipping toes into everything artistic. This friend insisted that I had talent for writing and a wit which I should not keep to myself. After some time, the blog and the Mental Vagabond identity (complete with a Twitter account) were born. I don’t tweet a lot nowadays, only when I announce a new post or I have a weird thought I want to get out in the open which is too short for a blog post. If you’d like to follow me on Twitter though, let me know in the comments and I’ll gladly share the handle.

Anyway, I started with a nice pace: bit of politics, some musical rambling, and dwelling into a major hobby of mine (that remains so to this day): webcomics. However, for reasons which I shall not elaborate on, during this period my mood began to worsen, slowly but steadily; this began to seep into some of my posts, which started with I’m feeling lost, I wonder if I should blog at all, and similar niceties. The blog was cathartic in that I expressed through it my ramblings about my creative process, my condition of introverted, and also an effort to remind myself that I am, in fact, never alone.

In my search for the inner peace I had completely lost, I left no stone unturned. This being my podium, my sound-proof dome, I touched upon religion, the value and strength of friendship, all while chattering about my adventures related to roleplay which was (is) the activity that consumes most of my free time (a wonderful creative outlet and one which has graced me with the greatest friendships I could ever hope for). But it was to no avail. Events and people in my life kept sending my psyche in freefall… until at last it happened. I broke down.  One last post rife with depression signaled my descent into a pit of despair (metaphorically speaking).

Fortunately, it was not to last forever. Things have a way of righting themselves; certain noxious presences were lifted off of my shoulders, and some very beneficial ones filled that void. At the end of the conflagration, the person that had encouraged me to start this blog had fallen out of my life and the name would become taboo for me; and after the devastation left by the explosion that meant for me to break off of my beaten path, I began to pick up the pieces. In due time I bounced back. A take on romanticism was followed by a few cultural snippets, a reflection on the year that ended, and later I even dared to dabble in reviews by talking about Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist (honestly, I’m pretty proud of how that one came out. I want to do more reviews in the future).

This marked the start of another hiatus. This one was not caused by horrid depression, fortunately; but this was also a bad time which rendered my emotions wibbly wobbly timey wimey… sorry about that (I’m not even a Whovian). During this period of confusion I fell back to the old habit of trying to murder my emotions and being stone cold. This, coupled with my schedule being thrown in disarray by other duties, left me thinking that blogging had been just a silly phase of mine; that this was an activity for those who can afford the time to do it. I should be a good boy and focus on what other people expect of me.

It worked. For 4 months or so. Then I realized I could not stay away from it, I had so many ideas and I wanted to write about them. So I came back with a vengeance, and you know what? It felt good! That’s when I realized this activity is not a simple hobby for me. I like it, nay, I love it. This is part of who I am. So what if I have to nip some time away from my other duties? So what if I have to work harder to catch up? Life is not all about surviving, there should be some living in the mix.

The past 4 months were not a complete waste of time either; I would like they were a ramp towards my epiphany that blogging is part of my personality. I started learning French, and in doing so realized I love languages, I love learning about other cultures, it is a passion of mine. I can only hope I can earn a living working in a related field, but I really have no idea; I am not scared, however. Not anymore. I’ll find a way.

So, quite the trip, non? I’ve gained and lost, laughed and cried, learned and forgotten. I’ve sparked conversation, small as it may be. And… I have inspired others to begin blogging! (I’m looking at you, Red Mama). Now hey, I know it maybe purely coincidental that she began blogging some months after I did; truth is, she never outright said Ohmai you inspired me! But I lay claim to it and I know that if I am wrong she will forgive my childish arrogance. Whatever may be the case, it remains true that she has been a constant encouragement for me with her comments and her feedback here and through other channels of communication that we share. And now I get to share in the journey she is undertaking into the blogosphere, and trust me… it is delightful.

Special thanks go to all those who reblogged any of my previous posts; that is always a huge boost of confidence. The Neighborhood is incredibly welcoming! It feels like… like walking round the street, waving at a neighbor, and that neighbor points at you and is like hey he’s a cool guy, let’s say hi to him! The post about the Neighborhood is to date, as I mentioned previously, the post that broke all my personal records and which strengthened my resolve to go out and play.

To those that are following me, thank you; please have a seat. I apologize for the crummy furniture, but I honestly did not expect visits. Nonetheless, I am glad to have you here. It has been a fascinating year, and there is much yet for us to share and chat about. So! Who wants a cup of tea?

I am Mental Vagabond, and this is my story. See you next week.

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5 Responses to “One Year of Hiking and Foraging.”

  1. Your furniture is quite comfortable, your storytelling is engaging and your hospitality is delightful. It is my pleasure to get to know you and your community too.

    • oh! Congratulations on your one year anniversary of foraging. And here is to year two….{mock click of the champagne glass}

      • {Click and sip of the champagne glass} Thank you, sir, here is to year two and beyond! All journeys begin with a single step, and I must say this one is particularly wonderful. It is thanks to you that I found new and strengthened purpose to keep to the merry path.

        It is always a pleasure to see you come by, good sir. Cheers!

  2. Thank you love. You were absolutely the reason I started my blog and you are my inspiration to keep writing ❤

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