So I realized today that it is somewhere near my TENTH blogiversary. That’s right, readers, Dr. Crazy has been at this whole blogging thing for ten years just about now. I don’t recall the actual date (for I’ve changed locations 2 times since the first version, and I can’t be bothered to figure out the actual date), just that I started at some point in July (during the Republican Convention I think? I know there was convention blogging, in part about a bizarre fixation I had on Tucker Carlson at that time, and I surely was seeing a fellow whom I named “Stupid Freud”) of 2004, assuming that I would quit almost immediately. But I didn’t quit. I still haven’t quit. Weird, huh?
Lots of people from when I started are now gone, or mostly gone. Indeed, a lot of those people from the very early days are now my facebook friends and that is how I keep in touch with them. But along the way new people have found their way here, too. I don’t look at stats at all anymore, because I guess I don’t need to know that people are reading? And/or I’m not paranoid about who is reading? And I am totally open now about claiming the blog as something that I write, in a way that I surely wasn’t in early days. How I figure it now is that most everybody in the world knows who I “really” am, and that is really ok.
Although, to be fair, I did learn from BFF that she met a person at a conference who was talking about my blog and who didn’t know who I was, so I suppose there are still some people out there for whom Dr. Crazy is a mystery. Why have I never gone public for real? Well, a couple of things. First, I think people like a Dr. Crazy being out there, and I think it would change things for them if I explicitly outed myself. As Dr. Crazy, I can be an “everywoman” of sorts. Second, I do think that it would change the way that I write and the kinds of things that I write about if this site were the first thing that came up with googling my real-life name. I’m not saying I’ll never reveal my real-life identity in an explicit way, but I suppose I’m not sure what the value of that would be for this space, at least not right now. I have never seen my blogging as a professional vehicle – in fact, what I loved about it was that it WASN’T a line on the cv – and I really am not interested in seeing it as that. So who knows what the future holds, but this is it, for the time being. If you’re dying to know who I am in real life I’ll tell you, and if you find out who I am I don’t actually care. But I think there is value in the “character” of Dr. Crazy, as it were.
But so once upon a time, Michael Berube (and I can’t be bothered to do the accent marks properly, because I am lazy, but he is delightful and generous so I know he won’t judge me) wrote a blog post about my very first Dr. Crazy incarnation, in which he described my blog as “raw.” And, well, looking back, that blog WAS raw. I was a newly minted Ph.D. and I was only a year into a tenure-track gig (and I only defended my dissertation a week before my contract started for that job). And blogging was this new and uncharted territory way back in 2004, and lotsa people were writing “raw” blogs, and I ended up blogging on a whim and the whole point, or so I saw it at the time, was to confess the TRUTHS of what it was to be an assistant professor, and the TRUTHS of feeling alienated and at sea in a new place, and oh, who the fuck knows, but that was what I was doing. And then somebody threatened to out me, and I decided that I should acknowledge that threat and yet not acquiesce to it but yet move to a different space to signal that I would be slightly less raw. And then I earned tenure and was on sabbatical and thought that I needed to move to yet another space to acknowledge that transition. And so here I am now.
And what I realize is this: I no longer write a “raw” blog. That said, I don’t think it’s fully cooked either. I think that I give a par-boiled representation of things these days. I still care about personal writing, about authentic and not-for-publication, not-for-reputation writing, but the reality is that since I’ve earned tenure I know a lot more, and I have a lot more to say, but I also feel much more limited in what I can say authentically on a blog. Tenure does not give you license to say anything anywhere anytime. It gives you the privilege to fight certain battles, and it gives you the authority to do certain things at your institution. But, frankly, it also gave me a lot more information than I had before, and a lot of that information is stuff I can’t just bitch about on a blog. In some ways, I am much more careful about what I say on-blog post-tenure. And in some ways, I actually think that this is the right thing. I’m not sure that I believe anymore in the whole CONFESSING THE TRUTHS thing. I realize now that what I think is true is a fuck of a lot more contingent and that there are things I certainly don’t know.
That said, I still try, in this space, to TELL the truth, if not to confess it or to preach it. If that makes sense.
So yeah, I am considering this my blogiversary post, even though it might be early or late from the actual date. And I hope that this blog is still entertaining for people, or helpful to people, or whatever, even though I recognize that I am kind of a shitty blogger these days, in terms of frequency and even in terms of the interest-level of my posts. And also that I recognize that only Comrade Physioproffe is interested in my golf-blogging :) (By the way: we finally used the drivers today, and while it is not my best skill, as long as I manage not to have anybody watching me and I don’t actually allow myself to think I do ok.)
Ten fucking years, people. How is that even possible?!?!