I should have known the time would come. Open Diary shall soon be no more. I’ve neglected this place quite a bit over the last several years. As it is I haven’t visited in almost ten months. I’m quite removed, and yet hearing the news from Tammy that this place will soon no longer exist is like a punch in the gut. Anxiety immediately crept over me, even if I’ve not the right to feel that way. I’ve taken it for granted, as one would some safe haven that has been left behind with the knowledge that you can always return.
My younger, immature teenager self was formed during my days on Teen Open Diary, back when that existed. It was very important to me. I just felt like I couldn’t open up to the friends I had around, but online there were always people who could understand my thoughts and beliefs and even make me question them. So many faces have come and gone, faded into the digital mist with no sign of ever having existed, save for any notes left and memories retained. Others have remained lifelong friends, even if only as faint acquaintances. The basis of my current self still started and was formed here on OD. I feel like a much different person now, but I wouldn’t exist as I am without how I was then. Since I moved away from Michigan five and a half years ago, I’ve become extremely social, to the point that there isn’t time to hang out with everyone. I say what’s on my mind, and I’ve become more confident and assured, more optimistic about myself and life and what can come from it. I don’t need anyone. That wasn’t the case years ago. I was quite often depressed, things felt hopeless, and I did need people. Even distant and increasingly sporadic online insight was important. Mostly important from the people who noted me regularly and who I tried to keep up with. Friends and family have often been critical of me, and have almost never believed in me. For example, when I moved from Michigan, my parents supported it, but told me I’d be back in three months. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t open up to anyone around me as a teenager, and why I only showed my lyrics to a couple people. Here I felt safe in thinking what I did and feeling what I felt, immature and infantile as my essence was. I even found someone who I felt I loved. In retrospect, I don’t know what it was, maybe it was love. It didn’t last long, and I essentially caused it to end, certainly proof that I wasn’t a great candidate for a long-distance relationship. I’ve never had what I would consider neither a great nor loving relationship, so the memory of that love and that person became distorted such that I longed for something and someone that didn’t really exist. Technically I still know that person, they are on my FB, but they are a beautiful stranger. Nevertheless, I’ve written tens of songs inspired by what once was and what never was involving them. It wouldn’t have happened without this place, that brief time period of feeling like someone truly understood and connected with me. I guess that’s what love is, although I don’t really know and I’ve spurned the efforts of some who perhaps could have helped me find out.
This is not the best time to rant, but it doesn’t really matter. I’m getting up at 6, in four and a half hours, to go to the gym – that’s a thing I do now, when I can be consistent about it anyway – so I will be balls tired, but who knows how much longer this place will be around. I hope for those that I’ve gotten to know, when I did know you, that we can keep contact over Facebook or something. If not, I want you to know that you helped get me through some very trying times. I squandered opportunities to stay connected to you, and maybe neither of us needed that anymore, but a hole shall forever remain somewhere in me for knowing the chance is no longer there.
Everything ends. Finality will find all of us one day. I worry less about when it will find me than I once did. Perhaps I should worry more. The end of this place inevitably causes me to lose sleep tonight and look back on how life was when I resided here regularly before. The faces change, only to be replaced. The problems are solved, the puzzles completed only for the pieces to fall apart and become jumbled, forming a different configuration ultimately. I used to be lonely, wishing for someone to date. Now I know that I could find someone, but not just anyone will do. I’m indecisive, fickle and flighty, unwilling to attach myself to anyone, be it out of distrust or apathy. I went almost two years without a job before moving, just wanting something, anything to feel better about myself. Now I debate whether to keep the stable, although often unpleasant job I have or to attempt to jump ship to a more lucrative but relatively unknown job. I debate whether to stay here with all that is familiar, the devil I know, believing I will still come to what I desire out of life, and wonder if the only sensible decision is to keep my shitty job and transfer to a bigger city. To force myself to leave all I know behind, pouring all the friends and distractions through a filter, leaving only the bloated, jagged dreams that prevent me from wanting to pursue anything else.
Life, my perception of it and my perception of self, only keeps improving. Still, there are times when a feeling of despair, dread, or emptiness fills me, and I cannot make it go away. It deprives me of sleep at night. It’s the same feeling that has haunted me for twelve years, ever since I wrote my first song and thought that for some reason, I should strive to make music and want nothing else out of life. I haven’t done anything to achieve that, and the suspicion that I am living a nightmare, occupying a life meant for a stranger and not myself, is something that I cannot shake. Perhaps it is the decaying of hope, the dying of dreams. Even describing it here doesn’t do it justice, it feels so nameless and formless. Anyway, knowing this place is heading for a digital graveyard gives me a twinge of that same feeling.
I’ll catch up with the people I remember, or you can seek me out. Even if you’re a new noter who finds me interesting, feel free to look me up on Facebook. My name is Travis Schilling. I have a Twitter and a website that I never use, and am not foolish enough to just post my phone number on the net(though it’s also on the FB, gahaha), so the FB will do. Oh yeah, I guess there is email too. psychic.dynamite @ gmail for those inclined. Certainly a time-tested method of communication, though probably not so common in this smartphone-and-texting era.
In closing, thanks for the memories OD. I will save this diary and hoard the memories, as I did with TOD. I can’t let go of them, even if I can’t explain why they are important. Here’s hoping the memories aren’t in vain. Good luck to all of you, may you each find what you desire from life.
EDIT: Apparently Prosebox is a thing. I made one. Same username as this. No idea how to use it, but it’s there. All that’s left is to actually use it. Perhaps knowing I don’t have months’ worth of updates to catch up on with my favorites will make it easier to be regular there, if I decide to try it out.