The year was 2004, the spring. I was a tree-hugging, protesting, politicized, hippie sophomore taking International Politics at UCSB. I remember when he walked in the door. He was wearing a tan coat, rocking a jewfro and four day stubble. His eyes were so blue and his teeth so white and straight and my stomach fell right through me. I instantly fell in love.

He raised his hand and argued with the professor during lecture, and I found out his name. Thus began an internet search, which led to the finding of his AIM screenname, (this is BFB – before Facebook) which led to endless hours stalking his away messages, trying to figure out his schedule of classes based on what other times I saw him on campus, trying to casually run into him, or sit in the row in front of him at an angle, trying to spot him on his cruiser in Isla Vista, find him at parties.

We actually did end up dating for half a second. It was amazing. But somewhere between a sharpie, a desk, a tank top, and a night at Zelo’s, we parted ways. But I always, always loved him. I remember how we talked about Modest Mouse music and listened to a cd on repeat for three hours, and him carrying me when my shoes hurt too much to walk down Del Playa. I remember the shy way we looked at each other and then looked away the day at lecture after the first night we talked.

After we stopped seeing each other, I still would look at his AIM away messages, and I discovered he had a blog. This was before I knew what a blog was. I discovered it was an online diary. With FIVE pictures! He was actually a really talented writer, contributing to our campus newspaper every once in a while, and seeing his headline would make me giddy. And so I thought if I had one, he would read it, realize what he was missing out on, and together we’d fall back into place.

So this thing that I am doing now, blogging every day for the year of 2011, click-clacking out my nonsense for everyone and no one to read, was born out of unrequited love, on the beaches of Santa Barbara, the wild nights of Isla Vista, for a boy with crazy amounts of chest hair and ironic sweatbands and too many plaid shirts.

I began blogging for his attention, but I realized how much I loved writing, and started recording all our crazy college years, then our adventures through Europe, Central and South America, mission trips, blogging about things I think people should know about, friends that need prayer and help, stupid things I don’t want to feel alone in. And all that writing led me to pursue a job at the SB Independent, and I spent some of the best days and nights with some of the craziest, coolest people there. I learned a LOT, I slept very little, I partied very hard, I met so many people, I drank so much coffee. And bloody marys from the Sporty. :)

Maybe one day, I’ll look him up again, and write him a letter to say “thanks for leading me to writing and ps you were kind of a jerk. But I’m still cool. best wishes. and go Gauchos! ole!”

Then again maybe not.