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… posts. Why am I still here?

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It began with a promise. I knew how difficult it is to stay in touch when distance and time zones interfere, when you follow fundamentally different schedules and routines. I said Goodbye to friends, family and colleagues. Many times making the same promise that is so easily given, and so hard to keep, that in its most basic form sounds something like … I call you.

Well, there is another side to this promise. Who was really interested in what I was up to, and who was just caught up in the moment? I did not know the answer. So I started a blog. Come, if you like.

Then something unexpected happened.

It was fun.

I did no longer have to confine my photos to some obscure hard drive. It felt good to once in a while do something that resembled work, but was not. In the process I went through several stages …

Stage One – Procrastination: I thought a lot about hosting, layout and technical issues, until I figured out that setting up a blog takes about 10 minutes. Then I thought for a long time about a name, for the blog and my blogger-self. All the good ones seemed taken. I realized that I was late for the party.

Stage Two – Impulsive Action: One night I sat down, opened my browser and went through with the setup process. There it was. A promise to the world but still empty. What now?

Stage Three – Stage Fright: The first words were easy, but I remember how hard it was to finish it, to actually publish my first post, to put it out there, for everyone to see.

Stage Four – Excitement: One day someone liked my blog. Then I had a follower. Hardly anyone I knew showed up. People I never met did. Thank you! It felt reassuring. Somehow I was doing something right.

Stage Five – Illusions: Of course, I wanted to improve. It was not hard to find the How-to-become-rich-and-famous-with-your-blog articles, and so many blogs that tried. Some were successful, mostly, so it seemed to me, because the author was already well-known in the first place or it was not really a personal weblog but rather a platform for news or rumors. In any case, it seemed to take a lot of effort, knowledge and sheer luck. I went through this stage rather quickly.

Stage Six – Routine: I just kept going. That is how I got here, some three and a half years after I started. Maybe there is another stage waiting for me. I will see …

Well, that is what happened. But why did it happen?

What motivates me? This is a hard question. I have no answer I can be sure of. All I can give you are some guesses.

Photography Freedom Act: I like to take pictures, and it feels good to know that others can actually see some of them, if they want.

Reflection: When I write a post I have to make sense of what I have seen. I have to put my own experiences into something that is coherent and basically tells a story, to me, and hopefully others. I am regularly amazed how perception changes when I really look at things, and their context; when I start thinking.

Judgment Day: Putting something out there means that it might come back in unexpected ways. In my experience this is an effective way to check on my believes. Am I sure enough of my thoughts to put them out there? Do I think that they can stand the test of time? … Is my spelling correct?

Memory Lane: Scrolling down my own blog surely is one hell of a time machine. A lot has happened in three and a half years. Good things. Bad things. I remember every picture, I know the context and what happened at that time in my life. Every post triggers memories.

Perspective: I have taken every single picture in this blog myself. I know them to be real. It feels good to have some experience of my own, to not completely rely on what others tell me about the world.

Company: It feels good when someone choses to come along for the ride.

I guess, that is why I am still here.

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