Thursday, March 16, 2006

Why the heck do I blog? Why do you?

If you have been a regular reader of RGV Life, or perhaps stopped by by accident, you may wonder, who is this guy and why the heck is he blogging? After all, what makes me, a guy from Mission, Texas, significant in the grand scheme of things? Why would anybody care what I think? According to some comments I've received in previous posts, I don't know what I'm talking about. I would agree with that assesment. I don't know what I am talking about, or writing about, as is the case. No, I'm not a complete moron. I have a perfectly good explanation, so please indulge me.

You see, RGV Life is not my first exposure to writing. I'm not a writer. I'm not a journalist. What I have done is write a journal since my graduation from high school. At times, I have been lax in maintaining my journal. At other times I do it religiously. Often, if I'm heavy into blogging, I lay off the journal. There is a little redundancy in doing both. I started writing a journal as a means of documenting a trip to Europe with my best friend after graduation. I was then, as I am now, a poor Mexican. My friend had the means and the desire to take me with him to Europe for his graduation present. So, we went through London, Paris, Madrid, Roma (Italy, not Texas), Berlin, and back to London within 2 weeks. Obviously, not knowing if I would ever be able to go back in my lifetime, I wanted to preserve the experience. So, I bought a notebook somewhere and wrote about the adventures of two 18 year old Mexicans in Europe. My friend is in possession of that that journal; he tells me it's funny.

After that experience, I went to UT-Austin with another friend and her parents because my mom could not afford to take me or buy me a bus ticket to go to Austin. Somehow, I managed to get accepted to UT with the Texas Achievement Award. So, I was alone, somewhat, and about to experience something new. I bought a journal from the Co-op and started to write about the experiences. When I got there, I had not registered for classes and did not know the first thing about what I needed to do. So, the journal served as a documentation of the experience and as a way of making notes in case I needed to backtrack.

That first journal ran out and I got a second, and a third, and a fourth. I have been writing down stuff ever since. In total, I have written almost 1,000 pages. Almost because I have 10 pages to go. This doesn't include the writing that I have on shainemata.net and shainemata.blogspot.com. It was only natural that this experience of writing down stuff would transfer to RGV Life, which is somewhat of a journal with a theme to it.

Going back to my previous statement that I don't know what I am talking about, I have already given you a big clue. RGV Life is written in the way that I write in my journal. I'm aware that there is an audience, but it's mostly a way of thinking on paper, or in this case on the computer screen. So, what I write on one day may be developed later into something more cogent or more in-depth. Or, I may simply chuck it altogether and start over. RGV Life is written to force me to structure my thinking. Outside of writing things down, it is difficult for me to formulate an opinion. The added benefit of writing here is that any questions I have, as I did whilst deciding for whom to vote in the primaries, can be answered or assisted by readers of the blog. In short, I don't know what I'm talking about. RGV Life is simultaneously a record of my experience of living in the Rio Grande Valley and a way of working out my opinions about what is happening here.

I started RGV Life as a way of telling people who don't live here about how nice it is to live here and what is great about our local culture. Of course, I'm sort of trying to convince myself of it too. RGV Life has evolved a bit to include my opinions, or lack of, about our local politics and events. But overall, I'm not here to convince you that I'm right or that I am some authority on anything. I'm just a poor jobless schmuck who writes down what he sees here in the RGV. On occasion, I have an opinion. Sometimes I'm right. Sometimes I'm wrong. At times it's a moo point (like a cow's opinion, it doesn't matter).

There you have it. That's why I blog. That's why I don't know what I'm talking about. That is why accusations of "losing credibility" don't bother me. I'm willing to rethink ideas and change my mind if the facts present themselves. It's your choice whether you agree with me or not. That is not my intent or focus. I just write what I see and think through blogging.

How about you? Why do you blog? What is your purpose for blogging? If you don't blog, why not? Why do you read RGV Life?
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