Wednesday, December 7, 2005

The Last Word on The Subject

Yes, I will be leaving AOL. Mr. Boss’s Boss’s Boss, and the flying scooter, pushed me to the edge of the precipice. But TIME made me jump.

I am on dial-up. At first, because it was the only internet access available out here in the boonies. And then because the new technology (DSL, cable) was too expensive. And, eventually, because I was too lazy to deal with it, and slightly slower internet access didn’t bother me (though it drove my husband crazy…)

Unfortunately, with all the fancy animated ads, I can now walk around the block and have a cup of coffee waiting for internet pages to load. Mail, journals, news sites…I spend more time sitting twiddling my thumbs than actually experiencing the internet. And that is what tipped the scales. I called my local phone company, and found out that I could have "9x faster than dial-up" DSL for $24.95 a month. I pay $23.50 for AOL. Kind of a no-brainer, eh?

I’m not exiting AOL as a "Spit in your eye" gesture to the company. Why waste a perfectly good tantrum on a brick wall? It’s strictly a business decision, and I’m not ashamed of that. ;-)

So I’ve set up shop over at "blogspot." And a crazy-making two days it has been. You’ve probably heard others lament that blogspot is not nearly as user-friendly, or just plain easy, as AOL Journals. They are right on the money about that one. But I’m challenged now, by golly. And I’m gonna conquer it if it’s the last thing I do.

I posted a link to "Better Terms"—my new chapter—in my last entry. By the response I got, I have to believe people are just so tired of this whole exodus that they don’t want to deal with yet another exile. I understand. I was in that same place less than a week ago. But I think what follows, which is a slightly edited copy of my official "introductory" post at "Better Terms," is something I would like everyone here in J-land (who is interested) to read. And this is the last thing I’m going to say about the whole affair.

I plan to continue posting here until the deed (switching to DSL) is done, but from this entry forth, I promise only to post things of a more creative nature…pictures, poetry, essays. No more beating the "AOL Sucks" dead horse. AOL gave methe great gifts of "Coming to Terms" and "Brainsurfing" for these many months. And for that, I cannot help but be eternally grateful.

The Latest Chapter

“Better Terms.” The name itself signifies its connection to “Coming to Terms…” That place where I was literally reborn. Pulled out of the womb of my own head. Through a tiny keyhole, brought forth into a larger world. Waiting for me in that world was a family that welcomed me, nurtured me, encouraged me, admonished me. I was never an outgoing, exuberant child; didn’t throw my arms around every family member, close or distant, I came into contact with. I had my favorites, and I stuck with them. Maybe a little too closely for anyone’s ultimate comfort…

But now we have been graduated from that place. Not an event we foresaw or desired, but it happened nevertheless. Our “parents” redecorated our rooms, perhaps a trifle prematurely? to encourage us to get out there and try our wings… So, we flew. Though some of us had to get kicked several times before we finally fell out of the nest.

Graduations…rites of passage. We sally forth with the best intentions of keeping in touch with our “bosom-buddies;” our soul-mates. The special circle of friends whose love and support seem as essential to our lives as breathing. But after a season or two of new directions, new people, different dreams…those bonds dry up and crumble away. It happens in the “real world.” Why should the virtual world be any different? What does it take to create a truly life-long bond? Hard enough to find in the realm of flesh and blood. Maybe impossible in the ether. For me, anyway. Come so late to this world, perhaps I crave something that it cannot give. But I can’t seem to stop looking…

So, “Better Terms” is the next step. How will it differ from “Coming to Terms…?” I don’t know. I’m fresh off the bus there. Haven’t even decided which way to walk yet. The only decision I have made is that it will not be “Coming to Terms…” I will not carry the baggage of every moment of my previous virtual life with me on the next leg of the journey. I will keep the words, of course. Mostof my posts started life as “Word” documents, copied and pasted into my journal, so I don’t face the horrendous job of downloading and saving them. I already have them. “Coming to Terms” is the story of a finite time and place, and will be “put to bed” with my other journals—like the story of my sister’s final illness and death, and the journal I kept when Dad left us, and the explosion of our family that followed. Life’s lessons on paper. Saved…for what? I don’t know. Just to let someone know I was here, when I am no longer?

Ultimately, I don’t know if this new chapter will be short, long, the beginning, middle, or end. I have no idea where it is going, or where I am going. I hope for a next next chapter…a place where my writing will really come into its own. Ideally, that would make “Better Terms” a very short transition point. Then again, writing in a larger, harsher, more anonymous world may just discourage me to the point of stuffing me back inside my own head, never to be publicly heard from again. That, too, would make “Better Terms” a short chapter…a swan song. Whatever direction it takes me, it doesn’t feel like somewhere I’m going to be for a long time.

Then again, I just got there. I may find something totally unexpected, something that keeps me there, thriving and growing, for a long time. (Historically, that has not been how my life has unfolded; but, what the hell, there’s always a first time…) I thought I had found that something special at “Coming to Terms….” But it ended. And not because I was done with it.

Que sera sera. The world will have its way. What’s the use, in the end, of making plans at all?


  1. I've been considering the switch too.  I'm paying $45 a month for high-speed PLUS the $15 AOL BYOA charge... so talk about a no-brainer!!

    I'll bookmark your blogspot journal and continue to be a faithful reader, I promise!


  2. I found you, I just haven't figured out how to post comments consistently yet.  If it won't take my comment, I'll e-mail you. You can't run and you can't hide. LOL :-)


  3. I will continue to "read" you, Lisa.  I don't see myself switiching over to attempting a new journal at BlogSpots.  Hell, I don't have time any more for my own journal and the very last thing I need at the moment is the challenge of figuring out a new format in a different place.  Best of luck to you and even though I probably can't comment, I'll be lofting.

  4. I'm on my way Lisa :-)


  5. Lisa,
    You can get BYOA for $4.95 a month if you really want to keep AOL. Just an idea.
    Michelle :)

  6. Lisa, I'm sorry to hear that you'll be leaving aol.  Although I can't say I blame you with the cheaper price for the other.  I'll confess that I've been discouraged with the whole journal-changing business.  I didn't care so much about the ads, but everyone leaving got to me in a weird sort of way.  I felt like a traitor for even having my own journal, and I haven't posted.  Oh yeah, was this about me?  Hee.  I'll read  you on blogspot, and good luck in getting it all set up. :-)

  7. Aw, the news definitely did not make me happy.  I have become addicted to your words and wisdom.  I will still read you, but I will miss knowing you are here.  Pennie

  8. won't be getting rid of me no matter what you do.