No, this isn't some existential question about the nature of God or the universe. I was just thinking about the nature of blogging, or at least, blogging as I practice it. Which is to say, I've been doing quite a bit of blogging on various subjects for several years, often sporadically and never consistently. For example, if there are readers of this blog out there, they might know that I have several different themed blogs, which you can read by clicking on the links on the top of this page. Meanwhile, from time to time, I share thoughts that don't fit into one of the themes of my other blogs right here, on coryhowell.net. Blogging is just a little hobby of mine: it's not a business, it's not a systematic form of keeping a journal, or anything like that. I blog when I have ideas that I want to share. I don't pay much attention to any of the statistics that are available, stuff like how many visitors are checking in...that type of thing.
My brother Toby keeps telling me I should do more writing, and figure out ways to make money at it. So far, that hasn't happened, probably because I'm not very disciplined about any of my online writing pursuits. Whenever I post something on any one of my blogs, I'm always kind of wondering if anyone's reading it. Don't worry, this isn't one of those things you see on Facebook: "I wonder how many people are paying attention...copy and paste if you're really my friend." I hate those posts, so no one need feel, if they're reading this, that they need to chime in to make me feel good about myself.
Today, I was going through my Facebook News Feed, and there was a little thingy that said I could start my own Page (to "promote" myself, I guess). I thought it might be fun to have something on Facebook, apart from my Timeline, that would serve as a kind of Facebook Cory Central HQ, or some such thing. So I created my Page, shared links to my blogs, and now I've probably got a whopping...eight followers? I haven't gone viral yet, that's for sure. Anyway, it got me thinking about all these online interactions so many of us participate in every single day: Facebook, Twitter, blogging, Instagram, and on and on. Lots of it is just putting something up there that we find interesting, and if someone responds, great. I tend to spend an inordinate amount of time on Facebook, as it is my main method of keeping up with friends who I don't see every day (and a few friends who I do see every day). I never quite got the hang of Twitter, and the 140-character limit has never gone well with my particular verbose style. So much stuff out there, and who knows who's seeing it all? I know, i could get really detailed about my permissions on all these sites, but I prefer to just put it all out there, and let it float around.
Several years ago, there was a site called Posterous, and it was the first blogging platform I really embraced. The very first "Corybanter Blog" was on Posterous, I think. (Or maybe it was the second one...I may have tried Tumblr first.) I used to love posting on Posterous, but eventually that company was bought by a larger company, and then it went away. Since then, I've split a lot of my blogging between Weebly (where you're currently reading) and Tumblr (where my Willy Wigglestick blog resides, as well as the blog where I have been transcribing my Grandma Howell's poetry). I have been gravitating a bit towards Medium.com, because of its neat, simple style. Still, it can be a bit like multiple personality disorder, trying to figure out where I'm going to be typing next. That's why coryhowell.net functions as a central hub for all of my blogging...or most of it, I should say.
To make a long story short (too late!), if there are readers of this blog, you can comment if you like, but you needn't feel any compulsion to do so. One nice thing of being a complete amateur in the blogging world is that I mainly write all this stuff for one person...me. If someone else finds it interesting, then cool. If not, I still had the chance to put some of my thoughts down on virtual paper. So, Hypothetical Reader, thanks for reading!
Yesterday I turned 47. I know, it's not a milestone or anything. I mean, I suppose it means I'm officially in my "late 40's," whatever that is worth. And sure, it means I'm within spitting distance of the big 5-0! Anyway, I just thought I'd take this opportunity to look back over the past year.
This time last year, I was beginning to prepare for my new church job at Grace UMC in Mt. Juliet, after 8 years at St. John's UMC. I was excited about the new opportunity, of course, but I had no idea what it would be like. I'm happy to say, it's been one of the greatest spiritual and musical times of my life, and it's still growing and developing. The staff is a dedicated, tight knit group of people, and the congregation has been friendly and welcoming. My daughters absolutely love it there, which makes me even happier. Good times all around.
Another musical chapter of my life came to an end, though. After thirteen seasons with the Nashville Symphony Chorus, 4 1/2 of those as Assistant Director, it was decided that my position would no longer exist. I was disappointed at first, of course. After all, the Chorus has been a big part of my life for most of the time we've lived in Nashville. I've had some wonderful musical experiences singing with that organization, and I learned a tremendous amount in my time as Asst. Director. But there is no rancor in my departure, and I'm looking forward to having more flexibility in how I schedule my church music. And so, life goes on.
Meanwhile, my daughters continue to grow, and continue to amaze me all the time. I was never sure, before our children arrived, what kind of father I would be. I think I'm doing okay, even though God knows I've made my share of parenting mistakes. Main thing is, I love my kids, and I love seeing then become who they're meant to be. I guess that makes me a successful dad. I hope so.
And so, here I am, 47 years old and--dare I say?--happy. It's not all "shits and giggles," as they say, but honestly, there are quite a few giggles along the way. Is life an adventure, a circus, a voyage, a vale of tears? Oh, it's all these things, and more. It can be messy, but it can be delightful. May I continue to enjoy a few more decades, God willing, and keep a smile on my face much of the time. Thanks for reading.
(adj.) wild and frenzied; from Greek κορυβαντες (Korybantes)