Friday, May 01, 2009

ten years ago, I wrote my first "blog" Ok, so actually it was written on what is called a website . . . but still I was trying to make it like a blog before blogging platforms were abundantly everywhere. Ten years ago, in a school's computer room somewhere in northern Taiwan, I became a blogger, and I didn't even know it! To get my printed photos online, I began using using a scanner in Chinese and yahoo's geocities to record my daily life here in Taiwan. The photo quality is terrible . . . and the layout was tedious, but, if I do say so myself, the design was better than many "homemade" websites from the late '90s. But OH! if I had had flickr and blogger back then, not to mention a digital camera . . . how sweet that would have been!!!! In fact, I carried my mom's 35mm film camera in my purse daily for a year. Soon after that I got my first digital camera, and so for nearly 10 years now my purse has always housed a point and shoot camera. It is essential--more important than lipgloss and a driver's licence! Anyway, Geocities is closing later this year, which made me want to take a walk down memory lane. Feel free to click through and see what life was like for me as an exchange student in Taiwan in 1999. Here was my very first "blog." (nothing is there now besides the "first blog," which I didn't even know was a blog at the time.) I had an index/home page (which originally was set up kinda of like flickr's sets page), that I changed when I started using another site and then changed again when I moved to blogging. Here are the "1st pages of each group of photos": flying cows in taiwan summer in taiwan studying in taiwan residing in taiwan friends in taiwan sightseeing in taiwan holidays in taiwan classmates in taiwan religion in taiwan vacation in japan Based on these "album" names, can you guess what I called that very first site? That's right "amanda in taiwan." And, yes, my love for not using capital letters in my online world titles started with this very site . . . ten years ago!! (Can you tell I'm having a hard time accepting it was a decade ago that all this happened!?!?!) Bye-bye, my dear first online home. Rest in peace.
confessions of a newlywed who surrived "extended singleness" #2 I vow never to make fun of others as they delight in "new love." I really appreciated the people who encouraged me and were excited for me when we were "falling in love." I am thankful for those who cheered on all the "foot-popping, birds singing, the world is a beautiful place" feelings associated with "new love." And, it really irritates me when people--especially younger-than-me-couples who married in their late teens early twenties--"poo-poo" (make fun of) the idea of "new love." It seems that they equate "new love" with "immature love" that only "young people who don't know any better" experience. Or they even think of new love as being fake. I guess I can understand that if all the "ooey-gooey," star-gazing love for them happened when they were young and immature that they would assume that the "ooey-gooey," star-gazing love is also immature. But it's not. It's a necessary building block for developing a lasting love. You have to "walk on air" before you can walk together on the solid ground of commitment. New love is exciting. It is delightful. It is fun. But, it is not immature. :) I like the way Ed Wheat talks about it in The First Years of Forever. He claims both new love (what he calls "belonging love") and "absolute love" "need to be at the heart of a relationship" and that the "two loves merge into one to bless [a couple's] new life together." Wheat further gives this advice for a "sure formula for a lasting, love-filled marriage: Enjoy the feelings of love and guard them well, but live by the facts of love." Like I said . . . we have to get to experience the excitement of new love first before we can build our lives on commitment and agape love. And, therefore, new love should not be made fun of or joked about in a way that puts down those that are living it. It is great and wonderful. In fact it is exhilarating! :) If you have had the privilege of experiencing new love you should count yourself blessed . . . not poo-poo the idea of it.

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