The diver stands tall, looks down, and begins to…

I have tried this blogging thing in the past. When I graduated college, I did so with a major in journalism and had no intentions of ever becoming a journalist. I think what appealed to me most about blogging was the fact that it was a lot like journalism, only you didn’t have to interview anybody. I have always been a good writer, but the problem I had with interviews was that I had already created the story in my head and would want to get my interviewees to say exactly what I wanted them to say and how I had it drawn up in my head.

“Can you take a look at this list of answers to questions I emailed you earlier and read lines 1-5 out loud into this microphone please?”

Anyway, my biggest hurdle as a young writer was this idea I had that you had to be an expert on something in order to validate having an opinion on it. My first blog was called “Political Cupcakes,” and I wrote about 3 entries from notes I took while accompanying my mother to right-wing Tea Party meet-up’s around central Ohio. Now, I was neither interested nor educated on politics, the Tea Party, meet up groups, anyone (aside from my mom) in the group, who the Speaker of the House was or even what everybody seemed to be so upset about at the time.

**I think it was taxes, but it might have been healthcare?

Anyway, I thought that I could just listen to what everyone was talking about, interpret some of the things the more charismatic people were saying and turn it into a blog. I was going to be the “Voice of the Tea Party!” Well, it turns out that these meetings were extremely boring and it usually ended up going down at a Panera bread where only 5 or 6 people would show up. We would grumble about taxes for a few minutes then talk about Mary’s daughter’s prom the weekend before or how much better Panera used to be before they started popping up everywhere.

Needless to say, “Political Cupcakes” never took off.

So with one failure in the books, I took some time off from writing to explore some of my other lifelong dreams like working in chain-restaurant kitchens and moonlighting at chiropractor offices for a third-party company that measured the strength and flexibility of people with neck and back problems. Eventually, I landed at a pretty decent job and was ready to pick back up the pen and see what else a more matured, veteran-version of myself had to say. At the time, my mother owned a weight-loss clinic, and while I wasn’t overweight by most standards, I decided to take the 10-week program and write about my experiences. I wanted to know what those who went through the program felt. I wanted to experience their hardships and struggle, as they struggled, with eliminating my favorite foods from my diet and regularly drinking a powdered food that was literally called “medical food.”

So I began a blog entitled “12 Almonds” because, according to the program, the suggested serving size was 12 whole, raw almonds. Every week I would write about where I was at mentally, physically, and emotionally. I would title each entry things like “The First Almond: The Beginning.” I was wrapped up in being creative and thought that if I made a product that was shiny and clever that people would eat it up.

The blog went well enough. By this time, I was using Twitter and Facebook was being consumed by the masses, so I had a fair amount of readers that would comment.

**Side note – I lived for those comments. Since it was about weight loss, very few people had anything negative to say and I celebrated each comment or “Like” as if it were a tiny victory on my way to success.

Anyway, while I was interested in nutrition and health, I don’t think I ever believed that “12 Almonds” had any kind of real staying power in me as a blog went. I mean, I did the program and learned a lot, but wasn’t sure how I was going to steer that ship towards something I really liked.

So I took some more time off from writing. I found a new job, got married, did some things in life. I am sure that as I continue to write, I will elaborate more on myself. But for this entry, I wanted to lay out where I’ve been (writing-wise) and where I see this blog going.

I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned from past blogging is that you DON’T have to be an expert to talk about things.

I am curious about a lot of things and I intend to comment on all of them. I am fascinated at the way people think; how decisions are made and what drives us to formulate opinions is something I hope to explore from time to time.

I am still interested in health and nutrition. I have been a vegetarian for about 2 years now and am very excited about what I have learned and how I feel after having converted.

I love running. I do my best thinking when I am able to clear my head for an hour and be in my own world. I imagine that the songs playing in my ear are a soundtrack to my life when I run and I seem to take the world in differently when I put miles behind me.

I have a dog and am starting a new life as a married man and I feel like excitement and opportunities are there everyday and if this blog doesn’t achieve anything else other than chronicling how I feel and what I think at this time in my life then I will still consider it a success.

So cheers to something new. Whether it is marriage or a new job opportunity, doing something new can only open doors. My hope is that this blog will become for me a creative outlet that lets me think critically and comment casually on where I am at this point of my life.

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Author: ryanjrauch

I am not here to change the world. I am here to change my world.

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