Don't know what to tag this. I'll figure it out later.

It was my birthday two days ago. Yay me. So begins my yearly retrospective.

I was up late, doing some video encoding. Really, not much to do beyond start the encoder and wait. I'd exhausted all the online material I'd been interested in reading. So, naturally, I started looking at message logs from the past.

I used to be meticulous about making sure I logged everything. If it was said in a chat I was connected to, I wanted a transcript that I could refer back to later. Sometimes to find something funny someone had said, sometimes to use as evidence in an argument later. It's something I've gotten out of the habit of recently, as I now will purge logs occasionally. (I also haven't really established a very good backup routine. Do as I say, not as I do.)

Anyway. One of the things I noticed is that, contrary to what I believed, I was actually fairly talkative in the past. Not generally in an open channel, of course, but in private I was involved in some pretty through discussions with others. Discussions that I had actually forgotten I'd taken part of, discussions with some people that I didn't think I'd ever spoken to. It's a weird feeling, bringing up a log with someone who you could swear you'd only shared maybe a couple words with, but actually you'd had several long conversations with them about all kinds of things. Sometimes it'd be a topic related to something we'd be working on, sometimes it'd just be current events and random chit chat.

I know that I'm definitely a lot more quiet online now than I ever was in the past. The silence I exhibit takes lurking to new limits. But while I used to just accept it as the norm, knowing instead what I know now, it actually hurts a little; seeing familiar names in chat pop online, but not saying anything to them nor spoken to in exchange.

It hurts for those I used to call close friends, but it oddly hurts more for those I thought were mere acquaintances, but instead where fairly close, too.

That's not even considering how much some of these people have changed. Not necessarily for better or worse, but.. in some particular cases, how friendships were broken between friends while I was away, only to be discovered now when I try to mention someone in passing.

But, that's just how time passes. Nothing ever stays the same.

So it goes.