On October 6th, 2008 my inability to sleep drove me to take my laptop from my dorm room into the common area. I blogged a lot growing up - Xanga, MySpace, even some Facebook notes.
More often than not I wrote about loss. I have never seemed to be able to keep people in my life. Friends, family, significant others. I was tired of being unhappy and doing it so publicly. I felt like it was a burden to the people I loved, friends and family alike. So I registered the domain sixbillionproud.com and started a self-contained blog.
The name "Six Billion Proud" was a slight tweak1 to a lyric from the song Seek Up by Dave Matthews Band:
"look at this crowd, five billion proud, willing to punch it out"
At the time this song embodied - both in word and in sound - the constant sense of loss, shame, and guilt I couldn't escape from, and my desire to be free of it: "Sometimes I feel like I'm falling..."
Six Billion Proud gave me an outlet I was desperately in need of... a place where I knew I could express myself freely and that anyone reading my words was opting into sharing my experience. It served that purpose well until I found other outlets, other strength.
10 years later, on the verge of 30 years old, I am resurrecting the site. I find myself in need of that familiar outlet. I'm tired of my own pain... though in truth it has only just reemerged, furious for being ignored for so long. Revisiting Seek Up has been funny in this context. I am exhausted from feeling like I've moved in fruitless circles and want desperately to break free from that... "Everyday things change," it goes "but basically they stay the same."
I'm hoping this new iteration can be the bastion it was for me before. It isn't connected to what I do for a living, to any specific initiative, to anything but my own raw words. I haven't been able to hear the words of the people most important to me for some time now, and it's in part because I haven't been truthfully letting myself hear my own.
It's time to change. Again.
1. This is the studio version, live performances have kept up with population growth :D