Rohit's Realm

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August 18, 2012

Some Reflections on the Tenth Anniversary of the Realm

Even typing that title is a little disorienting: has it really been that long? Have I really been tending this miserable little spot on the web full of irrational rage and misguided existential angst and random computer shit and really crazy ideas for ten years? Am I really so old that a decade can pass me by with nary a notice? Hardly seems possible.

And yet it is. Although some manifestation of this website has existed since Halloween of 2001, the blog that would eventually become its highlight (if such a term can be used for a place as dark as this one) had its start on August 18, 2002. I was eighteen years old at the time and about to enter my sophomore year at Cal. It seems like a lifetime ago, and in fact, it's probably been several—in the time that has elapsed, I have gone from Berkeley to San Francisco to Chicago and now New York. I have graduated from both college and law school, accumulated potentially crippling debt, and of course, experienced countless failures. And very clearly, I am in a very different place in my life now than I was then.

In some respects, I think it's rather silly to drone on much further about this subject. So it's been ten years of writing for an audience of very few about whatever nonsense may have come to my (quite nonsensical) mind: so fucking what? But at the same time, I can't help but recognize the occasion. (Hell it even managed to wake me from the somnolence of this year that has caused this blog to be dormant for many months.) The Realm has been with me for nearly my entire adult life. Like Cal football, it's been a reliable constant in a life otherwise composed of seemingly unending transience and relentless change. It's provided me with a constant technical project to manage and upgrade (though less so in recent years than in early years) and more importantly, a place to write—an activity I obviously quite enjoy.

Of course, as I discussed in greater depth last year, this blog has long stopped being about me—the real person—if it ever was, the first person nature notwithstanding. As I noted then, I write—and have always written—for an audience on this site, and with a voice that as years have passed and this site has evolved has become increasingly distinct from what might be considered my 'normal' voice. Nonetheless, voice distortion or not, the intensely personal nature of the enterprise can hardly be denied. It's not just that the Realm has been around me for ten years: it's quite unequivocally a part of me—and a nontrivial one at that. In many ways, it may be one of my few meaningful enterprises of the last decade. (I hope the incongruity of that last statement is not lost on you, dear readers.)

Having reflected a bit on the past, let me say a few words on both the present and the future. Obviously, I don't write here with nearly as much frequency or vigor as I once did. In the past, I have tried to attribute this drop in productivity to law school and then work. And while certainly I have far less time these days to read or write as I once did, that doesn't explain everything. Truthfully, at least part of the reason I write here less often than I once did is because I have less to say.

In its early years, the Realm was my avenue to vent my anger and bitterness at the world. But as I have gotten older, I have become less angry and bitter. The minor annoyances of day-to-day existence simply don't have nearly the effect on me that they once did. In some ways, it was inevitable. You can only be a teenager for so long.

After I graduated college, the Realm became a place for me to explore my role in the world and my discontent with existence writ large. And while I haven't necessarily purged the existential angst that plagued me in those years (far from it, really), it no longer torments or overwhelms me in the way it once did. I will likely live with low level existential angst for the rest of my life, but that's hardly something to write home about. Absent some sort of religious awakening, I don't think I'll be finding any answers to those questions any time soon and what's the point of blogging about the same questions over and over? I have said my piece on the subject, I think. And that too was likely inevitable: you can no more go through a quarter life crisis forever than you can be an angry teenager.

So where does that leave us? Months of silence interspersed with book reviews and ramblings on weird computer shit? Is that all that the future holds for this once illustrious blog and its once prolific (and still profoundly awful) author? Possibly. But I wouldn't discount yet another transformation just yet, dear readers—you just might have to wait until I finally succeed in ruining my life and move onto a new phase.

In the meantime, I do sincerely hope you keep my largely silent feed on your feed reader. Maybe some day, I'll make it worth it your while. But I wouldn't count on it. This site is nothing if not wrought with the shambles of unmet expectations. If you want evidence of that, just take a look at the archive—all ten years of them.


As one of your random fans who hasn't had the distinct displeasure of making your acquaintance in person, I thought I'd drop by and say congrats on your tenth anniversary. I've been reading your blog off and on since the mid 2000s and it's always been an interesting read. I'll definitely be keeping you on my reader. Hope you find your muse again soon!

As a former blogger (my last post was December 2010), and now abandoner of my gReader (which is why I'm just now reading your August post), I say your lack of writing has more to do with the popularity of blogging in general. Our ever-ADHD society has stopped writing and reading lengthy posts and opted for the 40 characters or less micro-blog. Now I have Google's data to back me up!

And I'd agree, law school and all, this is probably one of your most meaningful accomplishments. :-P

Except the Cal degree(s), Go Bears!

I have to say, one piece of "literature" waiting for your scathing review is the Fifty Shades series. You upto it?

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