So, here we are. Against all the odds, and my own laziness, this blog is a year old today. It is somewhat ironic, considering that this has been a creative outlet, that it was born entirely out of boredom in my slightly worn leather chair in the corner of my room. From the moment that I gave Third Time Enabled its name and began its first post on that Saturday afternoon, however, I had a constant companion and something in which I could confide any of my thoughts. Indeed, Mum and Dad have told me within the last few months that they’ve discovered things they never knew about me through reading my words. The ability to write here has certainly brought me a great deal of joy and comfort over the past year, and I hope that it can for many years to come, but I suspect that by now you’re thinking this is all very cliched. Instead of telling you what you already know, about how great this has been, how about I give you some of my highlights from Third Time Enabled so far?
I’ll start off with what is by far my favourite post and the one I am easily proudest of. On 3 November last year, I wrote “VIP (Very Important Post)” in an attempt to cheer up my friend Tamara, who had to have a very important operation to correct her scoliosis a couple of days later. I knew that the experience and its aftermath would be immensely hard and painful for her, so after all the support she’d given me I wanted to send something that could go at least some way to cheering her up. I’m told that it worked, and that Tamara was touched and moved by what I said about her – every word was the truth. It had the added bonus of making me smile too, and I’m tremendously glad that I recorded as many thoughts as possible about her to look back on time and time again. There was so much to say, to the extent that I probably had to be ruthless in deciding what to leave out! If there’s one post mentioned here that you decide to revisit, make sure it’s this one, so that you can see for yourself how proud I am of Tamara and how much her continued support means to me.
My next highlight is Third Time Enabled’s most-viewed post, which achieved 63 views upon its publication on 5 March 2016. “The De-Boring Process” was written hours before Deanna and I went on what was my first ever night out, and the response to it far exceeded what I was expecting. I usually say that I’ll be happy if one person reads a post, so to have 63 take any notice of this one was a very welcome surprise. I also received a few very nice messages from people also going out that night who seemed pleased that I was venturing out, and finally living a little! Like the aforementioned post for Tamara, it is uplifting to know that I can refer to another positive decision I made whenever I please. Even if it was effectively just a night at the pub, said decision did mean that I stuck to a plan, left my comfort zone, and went to socialise and connect with others in a way that I hadn’t before, just like other normal people my age do. I felt like it unlocked many more possible options for me where meeting people was concerned, because I wasn’t as anxious about hitting the tiles and letting my hair down as before. Despite this, however, Deanna and I haven’t made a repeat attempt since that night, and seeing as I have promised a few people I will go again, I should probably make the effort in the near future!
I’m restricting myself to three highlights in this post, otherwise you’ll be here all day, but in this last one I am going to combine the efforts of two co-writers, as I’m very pleased for them and what they mean for this blog. On 17 and 18 May 2016, Will and Emily wrote the first posts by anyone other than me – “A Gratuitous Cameo” and “The Price of Politics” respectively. They are both excellent posts, getting straight to the point of what their authors are trying to say, by two very capable writers who are both very good friends of mine – friends whose input has proved in my eyes that Third Time Enabled has the potential to succeed in the future, both as a group and a solo project. Will contributed his second post, “Lest We Forget”, on 29 June, and Emily’s follow-up is a work in progress. I have assured her that she can take as long as she likes, and that in any case I know it will be well worth the wait. The same goes for the fourth writer in our group, Grace, who became an official user in March but who is yet to make her presence known to all of you. I know that when she does, she will bring another unique and valuable voice to the life of the blog. I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read even one post over the past year, and anyone who has inspired or contributed to it, including all of the friends mentioned in these four paragraphs.
Here’s to the next year or two!