Today I have a few things to celebrate. Firstly, this is Bulletin Board number 156. Some quick maths will reveal that I have now been writing my blog, once a week for three years - that’s close to 150,000 words - not bad for someone who started writing as a way to get over their fear of writing. (Note to self - I wonder what would happen if I fed all 156 blogs into AI and generated a book? - interesting thought...)

Three years ago I just started to write. I gave myself the mission of writing 500-800 words every Friday morning. I wasn’t allowed to think about it during the week (as this made it stressful). I had two hours to write and I had to do it no matter what. 

My objective was to get better at articulating myself in the written word, something that I’ve always struggled with - I still secretly blame a mean high school English teacher for extinguishing any confidence I had in myself academically. The topics I was to write about would come from all of the learning and personal development I was going through at the time. 

The Bulletin Board was designed to share newly acquired knowledge and help me retain that knowledge since there is understanding in articulation - if I can explain something to others, I have to understand it myself. This was great in theory, but the blog has taken on more of a ‘blow by blow’ commentary of my life, rather than a design industry thought piece. 

Some of the Bulletins are well written, useful pieces that might help another designer in a similar position, most of them are raw, emotional rants that I instantly regret posting. The raw rants always get the biggest response. I’ve found connection to others in my very public vulnerability. 

A surprising but now quite obvious side effect with publicly publishing a running commentary of my life is that it’s kept people close to me without me knowing. Cousins, ex-colleagues, distant friends are all up to date. Some close friends say they don’t need to catch up as often because they know what's going on already. I love that. Again, this connection to others, whether I know about it or not, is still so precious. In the chaos that is life, that someone will give me 5 minutes of their undivided attention is so humbling. I’m always completely taken aback when someone says they read my blog. 

The second item on the celebration agenda today is that it’s Frank's 7th birthday. I have a theory on life being set out in 7 year stages or chapters. Frank has just finished Chapter 1. Seven years is enough time for your life to completely change. Seven years ago today my life changed in ways that would make it unrecognisable from any other year before.

Parents always go on about how much their life changed after having children, normally it's associated with some sort of loss, like ‘remember when we could go out at night?’ Or ‘remember when going to the supermarket alone was a chore, not a fabulous session of alone time?’.

My truth is that having children reprioritized my entire existence. No longer was life just about me, it was about this tiny human we’d just created. That shift has by far been the most profound in my life. 

Out of curiosity, I checked out my diaries last night to see what I was up to on this date during the previous 7 years ‘chapters’. 2008, I was living in Melbourne and was at the sad but inevitable tail end of a 9 year relationship with the Kiwi I moved over with. In 2001, I was in my first year at uni and living away from home for the first time. This was my first taste of adult freedom. My diaries don’t go back to 1994 - I was 12 - but they do go back to 1995. On the 23 of December in 1995 I played cricket with my brother on the street - I was 100 not out but I’m pretty sure I changed the rules as we went along. Sorry Shawnie.

Frank writes a diary now, he has done for a year. Just a sentence with his highlight of the day. He never writes about bad things that happen, he only mentions the good. Today he’ll probably write that he got Maccas pancakes for breakfast. It is a habit now for him. I hope he keeps it up.

Ironically writing about my writing has made me realise that I’ve actually always written. If anything it makes sense that I’ve written this blog for three years straight because I’ve kind of been writing for myself since I was 13. What the Bulletin Board has taught me is that sharing your stories and experiences can be valuable - or at least entertaining - to others. 

Storytelling is what connects us all. I’ve carved out a little bit of space for myself here to share and connect (or not) with others and in a world where deep connection is harder and harder to achieve. I'm incredibly grateful for that. I’m also a sucker for keeping score and to not write a blog at week number 156 would be too much to bear. 

Video of the week
Confirmation Bias | Tim Minchin
Podcast of the week
The Cryptid Factor: 80 The Irreversible Issue
Font of the week
Baunk: Font of the week by Bagerich Type Foundry

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