25 years of The Observer

Though I didn’t know it at the time — how could I, I was but a lad of 16 — my blogging alter ego, The Observer, was born 25 years ago today.

Twenty-five years ago, my family took me to the airport, dropped me into the hands of chaperones who would keep me out of the gulag (or at least out of serious trouble), and I set off on my first real adventure.

Well, that’s actually kind of unfair. The problem with “adventure” is trying to understand it through perspective.

Let’s be honest, shall we? It is very difficult to recognize the importance of an event at the time of the event. Did anyone really know that Woodstock would become the event of the 60s? Did anyone truly recognize that the Battle of [Insert Location Here] would be a marker of change in [Insert War Here]? Or how the discovery of something as innocuous as “spoiled” fruit juice would bring us wine? (Okay a bit of a stretch on that last one, but you get my point…)

Time gives us perspective, and through perspective, we see importance. And for me, time has shown me many of the things I’ve done were adventures, even in my disturbingly-distant youth. Such as my first flight without my parents (which I recently related to Monkey), going to Disney World when I was 7 (and chickening out of Pirates of the Caribbean…), even those first few road trips (however numbingly dull they were).

But there was something about going to the soon-to-not-be Soviet Union, into forbidden territory that really stood out to me, and still does 25 years ago.

A quarter of a century. One of the (many) weird things I’ve noticed as I get older is the recognition of passed time. When I was 16, the previous quarter of my life seemed infinite in length — all four years of it — and the life ahead of me was impossible to consider. Skip ahead all those years, and my god how could I have been so naive?? Well, there’s age for you, right?

I will be happy to say that the adventure is not over. I’ve had many adventures since that “first” great one, and there are many things yet to be done and seen.

And most importantly, I’ve now got offspring upon whom I can gift adventure, just as my grandmother gifted to me so many years ago.

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