I’m still alive. Still (knock on wood) haven’t caught COVID. Of course, that may have more to do with the fact that I’ve adopted the lifestyle of a bloody hermit than anything else.

So what have I been up to? Quite a lot in the last almost three years. Left one job for another. Haven’t done much coding of late, which makes me sad. There’s always so much stuff to do, you know?

And despite always having stuff to do, I had an idea last night that I thought about more today. Parts of it are a brilliant idea and I want to bring it to life. But parts of it are a terrible, awful idea, so maybe I shouldn’t.

Thinking about this idea, though… It’s in my head. It could be great. But it could be awful.

And it’s gotten me thinking about the past. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about how temporary everything is. How temporary everyone is, largely.

At the turn of the century (and yes, that means 1999 to 2000. Horrifying, isn’t it?), I was in near-constant contact with a bunch of awesome people I’d met online. Thinking back over those times today, I was shocked to realize I can’t name them all. Like, not even close to all of them. Maybe half?

People are just gone from my brain. People whose names would show up in my inbox regularly, just gone. A name comes to me out of nowhere and I have to ask myself if I’m making that up or if that’s a real memory. An email address comes up and I recognize it… and realize I have no idea who it belonged to, while I can decipher another email address to remind me of the names of this person’s kids.

Then, there are certain people from back then who I’ll always remember, though I don’t really know them anymore.

Both are a kind of loss and I don’t know which makes me sadder — that there are people out there with whom I used to communicate regularly whom I’ve almost entirely forgotten (did I make up that name? Did I remember? Oh, whose email address was that?), or that there are people out there whom I knew well, and don’t know at all any longer.

A lot of things can happen in 23 years. While I never looked at the future as something which is set in stone, I don’t think I ever imagined my life as it is today back then. I don’t think I ever imagined forgetting whole peoples’ existences. I don’t think I ever imagined not having certain folks in my life.

And that’s the folly of youth, isn’t it? When we’re young, things are unchangeable, unshakeable, everything will be as it is for the rest of time. We know everything (or we think we do) and we radiate confidence that life is this, whatever this is. We think we’ve figured it out when we’ve barely even begun.

I’ve always been reticent when it comes to change. (Okay, that’s putting it extremely mildly.) I still don’t like it. And I especially don’t like it when I look back and see such major differences between then and now. Even the last couple of years are filled with change. They’re good changes that have happened, but there’s still change.

There will always be change.

And I will probably always be very cranky about change, even when I’m grateful for it.

Still, it’s always so very strange to see so much of it when you think about the past the way I have been. How could whole, actual, full people just be missing from my brain? How can it be that I’m not in touch with others? Younger me is surely upset over it all. Present me is less upset, but still bewildered that nearly a quarter of a century has passed since those days. How is that even possible?

Somewhat deep and rambling thoughts. Welcome to my brain.

(PS: The trivia game stuff in the last entry worked out extremely well for that online community I belong to. In case you were wondering.)

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