Today is the seventh anniversary of my blog. The actual date was November 29, but the spiritual anniversary is today, since today is the first day of Pennsylvania hunting season. It was this day seven years ago that I wrote an email to a good friend detailing a misadventure early that morning in which I came the closest I ever have––consciously at least––to getting shot.
I had had a blogger account for a month or two to comment on other peoples' blogs, but had never thought of a topic to write my own post about. The next day though, I had the idea to adapt that email––which didn't take much work––to be my first blog post.
At the time, my blog was named Bradford County and I supposed that it would be about hunting and other things related to life in a rural area. The name has changed––several times––and my days of posting about hunting disasters and crazy neighbors were short-lived. One topic that has steadily endured though is misadventure.
I've always been enthralled by the idea of adventure. So it isn't that surprising that several years ago, I began to model my life––and by extension this blog––toward seeking adventure. In the end though, I feel like a great deal of what I've found––and an even greater deal of what I've written about––has actually been misadventure.
Whether it was getting shot at while hunting, hopping a train in Italy––to a city I wasn't trying to go to, running around naked in the snow in Latvia, getting stranded at an intersection in Beirut, having my camping plans in Wadi Araba interrupted by Bedouins, writing a newspaper article that made half my college hate me, driving 700 miles without a muffler or getting the very flesh cooked from my body on Nassau and then accidentally taking a girl to eat conch salad from a drug dealer under a bridge, just to recount a few, the last seven years have been full of it.
Even this summer, as I've supposedly been relaxing at my parents house and trying to "figure my life out" I somehow ended up entangled in a police brutality protest, hiking the steepest mountain in the Adirondacks with the worst hangover of my life, getting stuck on the wrong side of the Hudson by an unplanned Navy Parade, and inciting Google to briefly delete this blog––proving that even it is not immune to misadventures.
Of course not everything that I post is about adventures-taken-a-wrong-turn. My entire life hasn't been like that, so it wouldn't really be honest to portray it that way. I have found though, that of all my posts, the ones that strike the strongest chord with the most people (something I wasn't even interested in doing in the beginning) have been those that were somewhat discordant––but not too discordant. Basically adventures with just a bit of the "mis" prefix in them.
I've had many of my readers (that sounds so effing pretentious *makes slightly post-ironic face and says in overly enunciating accent somewhere between Oxford British and North-Eastern-American-metropolitan-liberal aka. NPR host: "My readers...."*) independently make the comment that after reading my blog, they didn't know "whether to laugh or cry." And I guess if I had a goal for how I wanted people to feel after reading, that would be it, because in the end I guess, that's how I feel about the world most of the time.
And besides that, I think if you look at literature in general (*face and accent again* "if you look at literature in general") from The Sun Also Rises to The Hobbit you find that in the end, the greatest adventures are almost always really misadventures.
So it's been seven years full of misadventures. And until one of them kills either this blog or me, I look forward––if a little bit apprehensively––to writing about a lot more of them, and hopefully continuing to connect, possibly (emphasis on possibly) inspire and at least entertain along the way––and I say those last three things with much less apprehension than the first.
Thanks so much for reading!