Saturday, January 29, 2005

What was I thinking?

This was inspired by a couple of posts written by two poker bloggers whom I greatly respect.

This is not the first blog I have ever had. Sometime last year I started my first blog after being inspired by my friend Maura and remembering that I used to write all the time when I was younger. As I grew older I developed new interests and the time that I spent writing dwindled down to nothing. This blogging thing was an opportunity to rekindle my old passion for writing and I jumped at the chance. So, "April’s Addictions" was developed as a place to rant about all the things that occupied my life.

As I have stated before, I started playing poker last summer at the end of hockey season. I never expected poker to become a big part of my life but as the rumored hockey lock-out became a reality, I found myself playing a lot more poker and actually enjoying it. In an effort to learn more about the game, I started searching for information on-line. I found web-sites, books, and, eventually, Iggy’s blog. It was also around that time that I wrote my first poker related post on my blog.

After a few more weeks I realized that I wanted to write about poker a lot more but I didn’t feel that “April’s Addictions” was where I wanted to write it. I had a few regular readers and I didn’t want them to feel obligated to read a bunch of poker posts if they had no interest in the game. So, last October, I started thinking about creating a new blog that would mostly be dedicated to poker. In November I thought of a name and reserved it on Blogger with the intention of writing my first post after Thanksgiving. Let’s just say that my life got a bit “dramatic” right after Thanksgiving and I decided to put off that first post until things settled down a bit.

In the meantime, I started clicking random links on Iggy’s site. From there I bookmarked my favorites and continued to check-in on them daily to read about what was going on in the poker blogger world. When the Vegas trip reports started coming in I discovered even more poker blogs and also started to realize that this was more then just a bunch of people who happen to have a shared interest. I realized that these people had become friends and had formed a fun little poker community. I think I was a little envious and, at one point, was probably thinking about how I could get the “cool kids” to notice me. That’s when I realized it was like my school days all over again. When I was a kid I thought that being popular would bring me instant happiness. I almost destroyed myself in my efforts to fit in. At this point I considered nixing the poker blog idea completely because I was no longer sure of my true motives.

Then, something happened, I placed 16th in a tournament of around 1500 players. I was excited and wanted to share. The template for my new blog had been chosen so all I had to do was post. It was too easy. I decided to forge ahead and start my poker blog. I also decided that I needed to add a few links. I added the non-poker blogs first because Maura and Kevin were supporters of my first blog. (Wil got listed because I’ve been reading his blog since before I knew what a blog was.)

But, when it came to adding poker blogs, I wasn't sure who I should include. I decided to just started with the ones I was being drawn to every day although I realized most of them are considered the founding fathers of poker bloggers and it could look like I was sucking up or trying to gain acceptance by the “cool kids". What happened next was a shock. Iggy became the first person to comment on my new blog. Then Iggy, and later Pauly, pimped me on their blogs. After that, I noticed a few people had also linked to me. People were actually reading what I had to say. To say I started to get nervous would be an understatement but I also realized my nervousness didn’t stem from a desire to be one of the “cool kids”. It stemmed from a desire to be respected by a group of people I consider to be very talented writers and poker players. Trust me when I say there is a big difference between the two.

See, once upon a time, I was a “cool kid” and let me tell you, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. The entire time I was popular I knew that one false move would find me out on my ass like a piece of garbage nobody wanted around. It was way too much pressure for me to take and I eventually pissed off the wrong person. That was the last time I played “follow the leader” and I haven’t regretted it once. I wasn’t myself during that period of my life, I was whatever I needed to be to belong and, after that, it took me a long time to figure out who I really was.

After reading the recent posts that drove me to write this, I reflected on those years of my life and my reasons for starting this blog. I needed to know if my posts were coming from some hidden part of me that still wants to be accepted by the “cool kids” or if they were coming from the me that I discovered over the past few years. The "happy with my life" part of me. As I re-read my posts I realized that they truly were from my heart. I meant every word of every line and nothing I wrote was an attempt to be anything other then myself. So, if I happen to get some respect or acceptance from other members of the poker blogging community I will consider it to be an added bonus but, as long as this blog represents my true self and not the me that wants to be a part of the “cool crowd”, I’ll be happy. That’s all I’ve ever wanted out of life to begin with.

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