I've written an entry!

I skipped class to do it.

Gary Allen:
"Right Where I Need To Be"

Campus food:
Chicken tenders and french fries.

Oh, my. Did I just write an entry? I think I did. Hot damn.

22 March 2001
The story of Alex & I.


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Quote du jour:
"I've dealt with my ghosts and faced all my demons... Finally content with a past I regret. I’ve found you find strength in your moments of weakness. For once I’m at peace with myself. I’ve been burdened with blame, trapped in the past for too long... I’m movin’ on." (Rascal Flatts, "Moving On")

When the semester began in the fall of 1999, I didn't even know Lindsay Alexander existed. A little more than a year later, she was my ex-girlfriend and she'd expressed her desire to never lay eyes on me again. It's funny what can happen in a year's time.

In almost three years' time, we have practically come full circle. I never see Lindsay. I never talk to her. I know few people that do. As far as my day-to-day life goes, it's almost as though she doesn't exist. Almost. I think the idea of her will be with me forever. After all, if it weren't for her, I wouldn't be talking with you here today.

The combination of drama in several facets of my life -- including my relationship with Lindsay -- forced me into some dark times in early 2000. I drank too much and I thought too much. Many times, it wasn't a pretty combination. Shortly after hitting rock bottom in May of that year, I started writing an online journal.

I talked about Lindsay a lot. I worked through the feelings that I had and came to terms with a good amount of stuff that had been clogging my brain. The benefits of the journal were indescribable. It allowed me to sit down, take a look at my past and come to terms. Unfortunately, that turned out to be a negative side effect, too. I transformed from a guy that looked ahead to the life he had to live into a guy that dwelled only in what had come and gone.

The more that I realized I was letting life pass me by, the more I realized this journal was part of the problem. You can take a look at the frequency of my writing in 2001 to see how I was moving away from my journal. The further I got away from it, the less I lived in the past. But alas, the longer I was away from it, the more frustrated I felt because I didn't have a suitable outlet for what was on my mind.

I'd been playing with several new designs and concepts to reinvent the journal when my hard drive crashed in December. I didn't have an abundance of cash available and put off getting a replacement and playing with the site until March.

In the middle of my forced hiatus, I discovered that a guy I work with was reading my journal. I'd like to think that he's "good people," but I was worried about who he'd share the information with. I'm not ashamed of what I've written here because, after all, I've published it for all the world to see. However, I saw no reason to invite trouble and I deleted the site.

I thought I was done with journaling for good. I thought the security breech and the lack of a hard drive where signs that the party was over. Yet, I still missed this outlet of communication. I missed being able to turn to my understanding readers with what was on my mind. I knew I had to come back... I just wasn't sure how.

I've spent time off and on during the last few weeks dealing with the "how" element. My writing must change some. Foremost, I want to publish a better quality product that before. But also, I must write with the knowledge that at least one person from real life is along for the ride. This reader and I share several friends and acquaintances. While I'm not ashamed of my life, I haven't been alone in living it. Writing about some details of my life would equate to sharing others' secrets to this guy without their permission. I don't think I want to be a part of that.

The only real omission you should notice as you browse the site is the lack of archives from the first version of the site (what I like to call Chapter 1 in the story of Thomas Fletcher). Of course, I think they are pretty important. They are a frame of reference for who I am and will serve as a foundation for where this journal is going. Unfortunately, they are still offline. I am planning to go through them entry-by-entry to update meta tags and to screen for sensitive material. I'm hoping to bring them back in chunks over the next month or so. Of course, I'm hoping to put more energy into new entries, so that timeline could change.

So, this is it. Tell your loved ones. Call your friends. Stand on the corner and preach the message to the masses. Don't keep the secret to yourself. Fletch is back. And I'm hoping that he's not going to disappear again for a good while. (I'm also hoping that he doesn't refer to himself in third person too much. After all, he's not a professional athlete.)

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