This is my 500th blog post. Admittedly, a milestone without any real meaning. There is no prize and really no reason to celebrate 500 blogs written. Some people post that many blogs in a year (it took me 17 years). Columnists and journalists can be tasked with lengthy bi-weekly stories, and I’ve consistently seen daily Instagram posts longer than some of my own blogs.
Yet, although I cannot see my reflection in the blank page, which I’m slowly filling with little black letters, I can feel the faintest smirk on my face. Recently, my youngest daughter took her first steps and said a few words. She smiled because of our reactions, knowing she’d done something significant, although not exactly sure what. So that’s how I feel. Like a proud baby!
The chapters of my life unfold throughout these 500 blogs. I shared my first steps of freedom, exploration, and self-expression while hitch-hiking across Canada and traveling through South East Asia and then South America, in my “In Search of Sunrise” and “Project World Citizen” Blogs. Then there was the Primus Blog where I waxed poetic about my travels and life in New York, followed by the Joel Primus Blog, where I earnestly pretended I’m a some kind of “self-help thought leader.” That’s where this blog is posted; however, my blogs these days are more curious musings about my life than anything else. Speckled elsewhere on the internet were business and travel blogs for various companies and projects I’d started. Alas, Finding Nowhere and Raising Global Citizens are two such blogs that still have a pulse.
Most of what I’ve written online cannot be found anymore. They rest in digital graveyards. A poster on Quora says we should assume everything we put on the internet exists there for eternity, and a quick review of Wikihow suggests I could potentially Indiana Jones the relics of my lost art, but I have yet no desire to go digging. Why I didn’t keep the blogs active, or even keep the saved drafts, I’m not exactly sure. My sense of it though, is that they served their purpose in the moment — for me to contextualize and embrace my own experiences — and, although this may be self-generous, hopefully share some measure of inspiration or information for the (very) few who actually read them.
Ultimately, each blog was simply an act of creativity. Part practice, part ritualistic and part art for art’s sake.
From these blogs, from this daily practice, I’ve learned to bring my personal experiences, a sense of self-deprecating humour, as well as personal pains, into an expression of creativity and clarity. Thanks to consistency doing what consistency does, my editor seems to think I’ve made improvements as a writer. Moreover, as a result, and some combination of continued curiosity, ambition, synchronicity and intention, some of the blogs alchemized into books, T.V. show treatments and, even, films.
They would come to me, almost like a dream, a waking dream, in a flash, full of life and with very little pretext, explanation or logical pattern. A sentence, a phrase that only asked one thing: Complete me. Then the nastiness began. The battle of words, knowing where I sit in the shadow of writing giants — not even on the list. You love to read them, but know you cannot be them; you still have to find your own way. When one modality isn’t enough, you try to find a way through whatever else you can — colour, sound, texture, physicality, visual motion — as a means of translating the moment that beckons for release from inside. At least, that is how it has been for me.
As Steven Pressfield says, “Going big [with your creativity and art] evokes the muse (defies the resistance), and aiming small pisses her off.” From what I can tell, that’s how I’m designed — to go big and piss off the resistance! While I do this, my wife reminds me of her favourite glorified soul, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, known as “The Little Flower of Jesus.” She promised to do good from heaven and shower roses upon the earth. My wife’s take on the lesson Saint Thérèse of Lisieux taught is that it’s about the incredible power of doing small things, consistently, with a big heart and intention.
With all the modern distractions, amidst the chaos and busyness of daily life, consistently creating the space to blog is a little victory, and, maybe in a way, my own rose, deserving of a small smile.
Thanks for reading