New blog, first post. First-time things tend to be difficult. There’s no precedent to follow, and you inevitably have to give some context. How deep do you have to go in your account of the context? And how far back? Between Genesis 1:1 and the most recent past, there’s a continuum of reference points available for contextualization purposes. For wordy and indecisive people—like me—the need for contextualization makes first-time things even more difficult. But I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible.
You might find that this first post has a bit of a deceiving title once you find out what the blog is (not) supposed to be about. And you may well be right, but I wanted this title for a reason. I’ll get there, starting with two basic contextualizing points:
- The post title is not an announcement that I’ll spend the next year in New York (in fact, I’m sure that I won’t); rather, it’s an assertion that today I have completed one year living in New York.
- The post title is not an indication that the post itself or future posts in this blog will be about my New York experiences over the past year. They won’t, for at least two reasons: (1) there already are comprehensive reports on those experiences in plain Brazilian Portuguese, and (2) I’m saving the effort of retelling personal stories for my memoirs (which I’ll probably never write, anyway).
Writing is one of my greatest passions, and during the past year in New York I often felt an urge to practice written English in a more informal setting and to make my writing subject to public scrutiny. (Feel free to criticize, by the way—it will make the experience way more useful and fun for me and everyone else.) I couldn’t use my then-only blog to satisfy that urge. Blog do Guri has always been a Portuguese-only space, and it should so remain, mostly because of its audience, but also because of my own need to have a Portuguese-only space.
Only recently I’ve realized I needed to create a parallel English-only space, and I’ve decided to use my first anniversary as a New Yorker as the launch date for my new blog. It’s a significant date for me. I mentioned earlier that this wouldn’t be about my first year as a New Yorker, but let me just point out that the status of a “New Yorker for a year” is not something you win by chance, like a lottery. Standing under these big, inspiring lights for an entire year is a privilege you’ve gotta earn. I’m not sure I can say I’ve made it here—and hence will make it anywhere!—but I sure can say I’ve earned it. I’ve become “just another New Yorker with an accent.”
Today, as I commemorate this status I’ve held for 4% of my life (!), I’m setting aside my reluctance to have a blog in a foreign language that I had always thought I’d never feel free to play with. And with the authority of just another New Yorker with an accent, I’m starting a blog with an accent. I don’t mean a blóg. You know what I mean.