It comes as no surprise to me that it is Ernie Hsiung who has said exactly how I feel about this website right now. After all, our websites grew up together:
In another world and time, 8Asians.com would have no ads and would be similar to what my blog used to be – completely ad free.
What killed this? Jealousy. Jealousy in that you see other people around you doing similar stuff, and then you meet them at parties or social gatherings and they’re like, “I just booked a sponsor for $1,000 and I’m going to hang out in Asia for a week [true]” or “I just scored a sweet book deal with Random House and I’m only 20! [also true]” And you think your self, “girl, you’re like twelve years younger than me. Where’s my thousand bucks and book deal?”
And then you realize to your horror that you had a pretty successful site that has been around for years, and apart from random strangers recognizing you from Florida you don’t really have anything to show for it, besides your dad pissed that you’ve written about his business for the Internet to see. If my dad is going to be pissed at me, I might as well cash out from it.
Maybe that will change if I suddenly get laid off or fired, and free time is ample; but I feel like as I’m getting older I’m less creative, less funny and instead of having kids or a partner to spend it with, here I am, trying to do the hustle.
I don’t technically think that I have NOTHING to show for this website. It’s gotten me friends and dates and jobs and skills and experiences I wouldn’t have had otherwise. But sometimes I look at the nearly nine years of writing and photos and miscellany I’ve put on this site and think, WHERE HAS IT GOTTEN ME, REALLY.
I’m currently dating a guy who doesn’t read my website. At all. Has never been to my website as far as I know. Doesn’t follow me on Twitter. Doesn’t look at my photos on Flickr. Doesn’t read my secret LiveJournal. And you know what? It’s nice. He’s the first guy I’ve dated in a long time who didn’t fall for me on the internet first.
The other night I was telling him some story or other about myself, one of those stories I almost always tell to people I’m getting to know. I was halfway through when I realized that in the weeks I’ve known this guy, I’ve never, EVER needed to preface a story with “I wrote about this on my website at some point,” and watch for his reaction to see if he remembers reading it so I can tell the short version, the way I’ve done with so many people over the years.
It’s nice, is all.