Stephen Bahl (nedu) wrote,
Stephen Bahl


Well, this is it: the last post of my journal ever (maybe). Six years. Six hundred posts. An average of a hundred posts per year. I could try to distill the essence of this journal down to some theme or collection of a few sentences, but that would be silly. And since I'm not doing that, I don't know what to do. Some things have changed. Some things haven't. That's how it always is with everything.

When I started this journal, I certainly didn't expect it to last six years. But then, I didn't expect it to not last six years either. I did originally title it "Connect Six." But that was a coincidence. I called it that because of the game Connect Four. I have this handheld Connect Four game and I learned how to always beat or tie the computer at any difficulty. I've had it for quite a while—much longer than this journal has been around, and the battery on the damn thing is still good, I think. Anyway, that game gets its name from how you win by connecting four playing pieces in a row, but five works just as well and so does six, which is the most you can possibly get. I took inspiration from the name somehow—instead of just winning, I would utterly dominate. But then I found that the phrase had already been used elsewhere by a lot of people. And the company that owned LiveJournal back then was called "Six Apart." So I got annoyed with the name and switched to "The Story of the World" as an intentional expression of ludicrous pretension. Of course, this journal could never be the story of the whole world. But it does tell the story of part of it, I guess. Don't ask me which part though. I have no idea.

I started this journal when I was a senior in high school, and more than halfway through the school year at that. The biggest thing for me at that time was the fact that I would finally be out of high school. Done with it. Move on. I was sick of high school. Of course, this is six years later. My youngest brother would have graduated this past summer if he'd stayed in school instead of dropping out. But it's not just about then and now. I don't care to contrast the two times so much. This journal covers the time in between those points (with some considerable gaps on occasion). And things have been happening that whole time.

I finished awfully in my last season of wrestling (illness), started judo, got the hell out of high school, played Magic as much as circumstances permitted me to, wandered around at nights, started watching way more movies than I used to, inherited the family's old computer, got my first job and it lasted a couple of months, finally got a doorknob for my bedroom, watched everyone else quit Magic, gave Nick over 400 hugs, tried (and failed) to improve my vocabulary, got attacked by an owl, made an effort to go back to school, got back into judo, started going to Green River, beat my dad in bowling, was in a real play, started my tradition of eating a Tollhouse sandwich after taking an exam, had to leave judo because I was running out of money, started thinking I really wanted to do this whole science thing more than other things that are not science, got a DS and started actually playing video games again kind of, started a second journal for some reason, began working for my neighbor, got a job at UPS, got hooked on labwork, was too busy with school and to do a damn thing and too tired from work to even have any emotion when the old dog died and when my great grandmother died, spent some time with my neighbor when he was dying, got rather jaded about biology, went to school in the summer for the first time ever, convinced myself that I wanted to be a librarian, slacked off to an unreasonable extent (even for me) in organic chemistry for three quarters in a row, got hooked on YouTube, founded my own political party, quit UPS, got my awesome library job, went back to judo again, graduated from Green River, became rather obsessed with creationism (the history of it and mindsets behind it and such, in case anyone has the wrong idea here), became the greatest library page of all time, decided to try to get into the University of Washington in order to major in chemistry, started relying on Google to run like my whole life pretty much, didn't get into the University of Washington, ostensibly supported the Kent teachers during their strike (but only actually did if moral support counts, as I didn't really do anything), got shingles for some reason, returned to Green River and well, here we are.

I learned to play go. I changed my judo style repeatedly. I learned more about music than I ever knew. I read a ton of books—a ton. I became a fan of mixed martial arts. I became a chemistry quasi-major. I got my drivers license at some point (mostly useless because I don't have a damn car and can't afford one anyway). I started a blog for myself to review chemistry concepts and I started another blog to replace this journal, but then re-posted everything I'd posted there to this journal anyway. I wrote some poems I guess, but, as you can see, not many. I learned what the hell a technological singularity is and grew to think that it could potentially happen in my lifetime. I injured my ankle a bunch of times. I reminisced about the past. I pondered the future. I got older. I argued with people, of course. I grew a tomato as big as my house.

It's been, well, my life. It certainly could have been worse. It could have been better, and I blame myself for it not being better, but it's not that big of a deal to me anymore. Sometimes I'm sad and sometimes I'm worried. Sometimes I lose hope and sometimes I feel lost. But it's nothing like the way it used to be. I'm relatively calm. I am patient. I am like, totally zen, man. But there are things that I want to do and even though I can't be sure that I'll accomplish my goals, somehow it feels like nothing can stop me. I'm ready to take on the world, but I'm not all spastic about it. And really, this can't be anything like how I felt in 2004. I remember that in the past, I felt like everything that was wrong was my fault, but somehow, I felt cheated, like I deserved better. I was anxious about my future, but wanted to ignore it because the present seemed intimidating enough. None of that changed overnight, but change it did. I'm not perfect, but perhaps I've grown up...

...Nah. Not quite anyway. Not in the conventional sense. Don't you worry, I'm still the same impossible brat I've always been. And I'm not going anywhere until my work here is done. Well, I am going somewhere, I guess. I'm going to Blogger. And I hope you'll come along. We've got a great show lined up for you. So sit back, relax, and—get plenty of fluids, I guess. That's probably pretty good advice, right? I have an exam tomorrow that I'm absolutely not ready for. And I can't cram all night like I could six years ago. I guess even if I don't grow up, I still age. Note to self: do something about that. I don't consider this procrastination though. No, I committed to this. It means something to me. What it means, I'm not sure. But it means something and I guess that something is enough.

To everyone who, reading this or not, has stuck with me in some way or another and remains a friend to me, thank you. It means a lot. No really, I'm not just saying that. I shudder to think what I'd have become if it hadn't been for some of you. And if I've provided something, even if it's just a brief amusement, then good. I'm glad. And to those of you who are freaked out by me and want nothing to do with me because I am or was so despicable: lighten up. I've never been that bad. So we've had our differences and yeah, I'm not perfect, but...actually, I can't think of who these people are that I'm referring to. Everyone likes me! Well, I like you guys too. So long. Farewell. Auf Wiedersehen. Goodbye. Don't forget to write. And if, for whatever reason, we never meet again, well, just know that this was enough. It's been awesome, really. I wish you all a long and happy life.
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