I think I want a blog

A friend said that to me a year ago today. Blog… blog… the term seemed vaguely familiar. Where had I heard it before? Weren’t "blogs" those Dutch wooden shoes? No wait, "Blög" was the name of that entertainment center that I saw in the IKEA catalog last week, right?  She laughed.  When she told me what a blog REALLY was, and that she wanted me to do one also, it was my turn to laugh.

I told her, a very talented (and published) freelance writer, that there was a reason I took engineering in college, and it wasn’t to meet girls (never had a single one in any of my classes): I hated, scratch that, I downright loathed  English, and the major only required three basic composition courses.  They were the only C’s I got in five years.  Writing just wasn’t my thing. 

In the end, obviously, I humored her and opened this site.  I posted the only thing I had ever written, a few pictures and a couple dorky lists, thinking that’s all this would ever be.  53 entries, three trips to the MSN homepage, 15 minutes of fame, a contract with a literary agent, and and over 900,000 hits later… here I stand (well, figuratively).  It should also be ironically noted that said friend pretty much lost interest within a week, and has only posted three things ever!  And while the list I just mentioned seems pretty amazing, they’re ultimately just things.  There’s one thing this goofy site has brought me that’s value could never be measured.  This "community" we’ve built.

Call it fate/God’s plan/whatever… it’s crazy to think about what has happened since my site was featured on MSN.com that fateful day last summer.  What started out with a bunch of complete strangers leaving comments of support, has developed into this close-knit community of friends who care and look out for one another like family.  Personally, there are SO many people out there who I haven’t actually met or spoken to in person that I hold very close to my heart… i.e. Jennifer, Keith, Marisa, Cori, Pilgrim Steve,Vanita (get well soon, girl), and Paul’s mom, just to name a few.

But I must say, it’s a little overwhelming to see how I was used as an instrument in all of this.  I was going back through my comments not too long ago, and it’s crazy to see how many people decided to tell their incredible stories after seeing mine, and how each one of them has gone on to make such big impacts on people’s lives they otherwise would have never known.  It’s humbling to think about.

My link on MSN.com that morning said "quadriplegic seeks purpose."  I’m starting to realize that that one link alone just might be a big part of it.  What a difference a year makes, yeah?

Comments

  1. Unknown says:

    Hi, Kenny ..
     
    Enjoyed reading your words, guy.  I gather before your life changing accident, you were atypical!  I\’m glad I got a slow moment to tell you so. 
     
    I love dogs.  (Kissy, kissy pouch!)
     
    I\’ll check back.  Take care!
    Cee
     
    P.S.  Happy BlogBirthday to ya!
     

  2. Hi Kenny,
    Happy Annie (that\’s anniversary, not the girl..I don\’t even know an Annie let alone a happy one heh)
    I\’m one of those people that read your space and it got me started on my own. I had created it some time before I even wrote a single word. Guess I didn\’t know what to do with mine until I read yours, and then the blogs of those who were commenting on your site. I STILL don\’t know what I\’m doing with my blog, come to think of it. Sometimes I write and hit the Publish Comment key, sometimes I don\’t.
    Still enjoy your writing very much.
    Happy 4th!
    Suz

  3. Hey, I just came upon you\’re site.  When I heard Sunglasses at Night playing I started laughing. I work night shift sometimes and there is a guy at work who wears sunglasses all the time. One night I was walking by him and that song was playing on the radio, I started laughing my ass off and had to walk away. Everytime I hear that song that\’s all I can think about. Great site. Later

  4. Francesca says:

    hi…
    I\’m francesca&I write from Italy!
    I "visit" your blog for the first time, I probably haven\’t understood every concept or sentence and I\’ve never spoken with you in person but I think you\’re really special: with your particulary way to express yourself you can reach the heart of people.
    surely I\’ve made a lot of mistakes -I don\’t know english so well-however I wanted to \’speak\’ with you so I left this short message…(I\’m not able to write long complex ideas in english! 😛 maybe I am ridiculous!…sorry)
    I must go!byeee
    *francesca*

  5. that girl says:

    I have you to thank Kenny for my friendships with Marissa, and Jennifer.  Two women I find to be quite amazing.  Thank you.  Without your occasional postings, 😉  I would have never found them.  Marissa has become my confidant and giver of nicknames and through Jen I have found music that has healed my soul, her sister\’s music.  See what you did?  I wish you wrote more often because I love your sarcastic wit.  In you I find a kindred spirit that way. 
     
    I have no idea how you can possibly read all the comments that come to you page in a day, if I get more than 5, I freak out.  I have been blogging for a year and have gotten 17000+ hits and that suits me just fine!!
    Thank you again,
    Ronna

  6. A year later I still enjoy reading your blog as much as I did the first few times that I stumbled on it.  Through this blog I also found others that I read often and Vanita stumbled onto my blog one day as well.
     
    I remember the fawning comments that you seemed to get sick of.  I remember the ribbing you got from your friends to help counter act the mushy-ness of some comments.
     
    And I STILL want to hear the monopoly story involving Mandy.

  7. TexasGirlJen says:

    Sunglasses at night?!
     
    Anyway…hey I picked up some writing magazines today for the plane trip tomorrow…. Some I had heard of and scanned through before and one or two I haven\’t seen yet. Anyway, I\’ll let you know if I come across something interesting.
     
    Adios, amigo….
     
    j

  8. Kandyce says:

    hey kenny,
     
    I think you should totally capitalize on blog advertisements.  I mean, why the hell not?  Its not going to make any of us stop reading your stuff, that\’s for sure. 
     
    So, do you get to pick what types of advertisements are on your site?  That would be neet–then you could do a poll to see what types of stuff your readers may like to see. 
     
    Lets just hope that you DO get some sort of "creative input" on what sort of shit gets advertised on your site.  Guess I\’m just worried that if people see, say for example, a big ol\’ flashing ass cream ad on your site…they may jump to conclusions about the nature of your "Atypical situation"
     
    Food for thought   😉
     
    Kandyce

  9. Kenny, dunno if you\’ve seen the movie "The Butterfly Effect" – if not, I highly recommend it. So much of what is portrayed in that movie is represented in these things you speak of here in this entry.
    Like you, I have a background in hard science (computers), and my idea of "writing something" was to build a sleek, sexy, elegant little computer program to do some task hitherto thought to be next to impossible.
    That\’s what gave me a chubby.
    Although reading as always been fun, and a relaxing pastime for me, the idea of writing something (in English) ranked somewhere close to getting a root canal – with no Novocaine.
    When I "accidentally" clicked on the link to your journal on the MSN front page last August, I never dreamed that simple action would result in the chain of events of this past year. Or that it would bring the things into my life that it has: dozens of new friends and acquaintances, a newly discovered talent (if you believe some of my visitors), and a rekindled purpose to at least try to make a difference in the world, even at this late date, and even if it\’s just a small difference.
    I strongly believe that we are all interconnected, to such an extent, and to such a degree, that everything we do affects everyone else. The simple act of stumbling into your blog almost a year ago has changed my life, and the lives of many others as well.
    At the risk of sounding maudlin, what you have done with your life thus far is, to me, nothing short of abso-friggin-lutely amazing. My hat is off to you.
    You have already accomplished that which many, many people live their whole lives attempting to do, which is simply to make a difference.
    I hope someday I am able to thank you in person, face to face.
    Happy Anniversary Kenny! May there be many more…
    steve

  10. Kenny
     
    I came across your blog through someone else\’s.
     
    I\’ve spent the last two hours reading through it.
     
    I\’m amazed.
     
    You are inspirational. I don\’t know how else to describe you.
     
    I wish I had the courage you did.
     
    But life tests in ways that we never thought we could handle.
     
    I will be visiting again.
     
     
     

  11. Hi Kenny!  Thank you so much for deciding to blog.  I am not a quad, but I have MS and I rely on a wheelchair and scooter for my transportation, and most of the tasks of daily living are performed by other people.  As you, I have often wondered during these last 5 years what exactly my purpose in life is.  I can no longer work, I can barely take care of my personal needs, I just AM!  When I start to feel down, I turn to your blog – you truly are an inspiration.  I\’m sure you question why this happened to you and I wonder why I had to get MS.  My feelings now are:  Why NOT me??  So this is my destiny in life and I think you\’ve figured out what your destiny is.  I often wish that I could go back to being normal, but I can\’t, so I\’m not going to waste my time or anyone else\’s crying about it.  I am often told that I am an inspiration to others, which I find incredibly unbelievable.  How can that be?  I\’m just living my life the best way that I can.  Sure, I miss a lot of things, but I\’m so thankful for the things that have stayed constant in my life – my good friends, wonderful family, my sense of humor.  If I can laugh at my self, and I often do, then others don\’t feel sorry for me.  We all have our crosses to bear, and this is mine.  Stay strong, Kenny!  I don\’t know you but I think of you often!

  12. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your entries and I still have quite a few to go through, however, something you put in this particular post reminds me of the impact I had on hundreds of young soldiers in their developmental process. Sometimes when I look back on my life, this is one of my proudest moments. If only two or three of the soldiers took something which I thought them (and I hope they did indeed learn some invaluable morals and ethics) and then passed this knowledge on to more of their soldiers, imagine the trickle-down effect. You have something that I wish I could have been around to enjoy — the ability to see the impact you have made on a multitude lives. Enjoy it, because you definitely have made a difference.
    Billy

  13. Unknown says:

    Kenny ~
     
    Enjoyed the water skiing pictures.  Looked like you were having fun.  Must be sweet when you have dreams of flying through the water.
     
    Hope all is well in your little part of the world.
     
    God bless you and keep you,
     
    Nae  :o)

  14. Hey Kenny, I heard you were everyone\’s favorite blogger 🙂  Just
    wanted to say hi. I started mine last January because my friend Jake
    had one and I thought it was interesting to do.  Now I\’m
    addicted!  93 comments…man you must spend just as much time
    reading comments as writing!  I\’m impressed 🙂  Have a good
    day! 🙂

  15. Hey, Kenny.  It has been quite a while since I last left you a comment.  Glad to see you are doing well and good things are happening.  Definitely good to see. 
     
    Nothing else really to say… I should refain from commenting when I am half dehydrated!  Hope to check back sooner next time.
     
    Take care.
    Janice

  16. Clinton says:

    Been following along for awhile, don\’t think I ever left a message. I\’ve always seemed to have a writer\’s block when it comes to everyone else\’s thoughts and writings. For here particularly.. always have been such a sea of people and supporters. Best of luck in life. For all the people who know not to take a moment for granted, I\’m most glad that I think you\’re probably one of them.

  17. Hey Kenny,
    Just stopped in after a long time away.  Great to read some blogs from you.  And some messages from your 90 million fans.  Thought I\’d be 90 million and one. 
     

    Did you hear about the new device that they gave a paralyzed man and all he has to do is think about moving a cursor of a computer mouse and it worked!  Not sure the full details, so excuse my ignorance – I heard it briefly on the way to work today and thought about you – I\’m not a morning person so it was a little foggy and I know things can seem great but there are so many twists and turns and its hard to get hopes up only to have let downs hit, but in the same breath  – I pray and hope they continue to improve technology for advancements and things thought impossible, to be possible.
     
    Hope you are having a great day, in whatever great means to you.  Visits, your dog, the lovely lady….. etc.  Well until a few months from now….. Liza

  18. Kenny,
         Just met you today…in fact you made my day!
    Maybe a w/c race to unblock your writer\’s block?  LOL….anyway…if you need any material…let me know…..like when our caregivers are as insane as us???  hope to see you again….soon!!!!
    Jenn   
     

  19. Hey…i\’m not dogging…I forgot my Brother\’s bday party was today. We\’re just running out the door…i\’ll call ya later to plan our day! Love ya!

  20. TexasGirlJen says:

    lovin this song…..puts me in a good mood when I REALLY needed it.
     
    Just checkin on ya…. hope you\’re well.
     
    xo,
     
    j

  21. k, so i get it, the trick is to go long periods of time without writing. you accumulate more comments that way and have people begging for more…. i\’m on to you Kenny…..

  22. Unknown says:

    I\’ve been reading your space since you were featured on MSN and I check regularly to see what is going on in your world or brain.  So you can consider me a sort of extended family friend that you only see at weddings and funerals.
    Anyway, I had to write back on this one because in the last year and a half I went back to college part time to finish that degree that I pushed off after having kids so young.  I too loathed english/grammar classes.  In high school I opted for Drama and an extra social science class in place of a traditional english class. 
    Well turns out that I\’m pretty good at the writing thing after all and I really enjoy it now too.  My writing power comes in terms of persuasion and I am now responsible at work for writing up grant proposals and enhancement requests.  I love writing now.  Funny how that can sometimes just happen.
    Anyway, thanks for continuing to share pieces of yourself with us "people".  I hope that you are doing well and I wish you all the best!
     
    Love,
    Charline 

  23. Hey Kenny,
     
    Just checking in on you again, it\’s been a while since I\’ve posted on here, but I swing by your blog regularly to see what\’s new with you.  I hope things are going well with you, and I hope you\’re enjoying the summer.  And please keep us posted, we all love hearing from you and we need to know that you\’re still doing well!!
     
    We all love you, you know. 🙂
     
    -Becka 🙂

  24. Brittany says:

    not even a song of the day update?! C\’mon, your starting to scare me!

    p.s. something only you would find a \’funny\’ as me. . .dad bought another boat.

  25. Brittany says:

    nice!

    xoxoxo

  26. Brittany says:

    Oh, and "Captain Overtime" cracks me up!

    (there three in a row, bumps you up to a solid 106)

  27. It\’s me again…
    I figured you\’re just about due to be posting another update, so I thought I\’d mosey on over…
    My highest aspiration in life these days is to be the very first commentor on one of your entries…
    (how sad is THAT?) *laughing*
    Hope this finds you well my friend…
    steve

  28. Heather says:

    Awwww, I love this song!  So good.

  29. lol…i didn\’t really want one either…it\’s funny how that works eh?
    :o) smiles are free… :o) and contagious… :o) so pass them on… :o) to people you love… :o) and even to those you don\’t… :o)

  30. Vanessa says:

    yes a year makes a big dif. you come a long way.. i rmember last year.. i  hope in my heart it continues to grow.. your very much the man of true heart and respect.. which is admirable..

  31. So, are you trying to break the record for least amount of blog entries in a month? 😉
    Hope you\’re well…hope you\’re smiling…and I hope you\’re enjoying the warm weather. Stay outta trouble! 

  32. Angélica Katherine says:

    YOU ROCK!!!!!!!

  33. My name is Anthony.
    Thanks for making my day man.
    The tears didnt stop rolling down my face.
    I will definitely take your advice and do the things you said are important.
    I have found that special someone who is my wife, my lover but most importantly my best friend.
    I tend to take her for granted at times but not anymore not after today.
    God bless you man.
     
     

  34. Wow, Kenny!  I\’m amazed.  I didn\’t know anything about you or your blog until a few minutes ago, and got directed here by another blog which I got to by clicking on an MSN search.  I have to admit that I have only read this entry.  I intend to read more, but I could not continue to read without commenting.  I was just so \’impressed\’…which is funny considering the subject matter, but I cannot get over your obvious talent and honesty.  I believe you are a natural gifted writer.  I noticed you mentioned sports at the end of the entry, and just as someone can \’see\’ something in a person that makes that person a \’born\’ or natural athlete, I can see that as well in you as a writer.  I want you to know that I am not in the literary industry or anything, I just love to read….so I have seen different styles and methods of writing.  In my opinion, which isn\’t worth much, you have an undeniable talent.  If you take the subject of writer\’s block and make it that completely honest and still compelling, you can write about anythng.  I\’m off to read some more of your blog, but I want you to know that I read many, many blogs and this is the first time I\’ve ever felt the need to comment on an entry, much less the first and only entry I\’ve read.  You are a very good writer.  Take care and good luck.  I may respond again as I read your entries and find out more about you and your writing, but I couldn\’t pass up the opportunity to give credit where credit is due!……kim

  35. HELLO KIND SIR, I  MUST ADMIT I MUST HAVE VISITED YOURE SITE ABOUT 6 TIMES BEFORE I DECIDED WRITING YOU. IM NEW TO THIS BLOGING(IF THATS EVEN WHAT I AM DOING) BUT I WANTED TO THANK YOU, I RECENTLY BROKE UP WITH MY BOYFREIND OF 5 YEARS AND LEAVING THIS RELATIONSHIP LEFT ME WITH AN EMPTYNESS I DID NOT KNOW COULD EXIST. HE WAS ABUSE BOTH MENTALY AND PHYSICALY BELITTALING ME EVER CHANCE HE GOT. AND EVEN THOUGH THESE PAST 2 MONTHS HAVE BEEN THE WORST IN MY LIFE I FIND KIND SOLITUDE, SWEET COMPASION, AND A WARM FEELING SUROUND ME WHEN I READ YOUR INCREDIBALE STORY IVE ACTUALLY LOOKED FOR YOUR SITE EVERY TIME I FELT I HAD NOTHING TO LIVE FOR. I FEEL FOOLISH TO COMPARE MY SITUATION WITH YOURS, I REALIZE THEY DO NOT,AND WILL NOT EVER COMPARE. BUT THE WORDS YOU SPEAK BRING A SMILE TO MY FACE I JUST WANTED TO THANK YOU, AND IM NOT EVEN SURE FOR EXACTLY WHAT. ALL I KNOW IS THAT I WISH I COULD GIVE YOU A HUG. CRY ON YOUR SHOULDER AND THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART FOR IMSPIRING ME TO BE MORE THAN A PUNCHING BAG. FUNNY HOW TO STRANGERS CAN FIND A COMMON SMILE , AN AN INSPRATIONAL STORY. THANK YOU , THANK YOU , THANK YOU. ALL MY LOVE. BRANDY

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