Do you remember your first time?

! This post was written long ago. What you're reading is not necessarily how I feel about things in 2017. This blog was started by an 18-year-old in 2001. Please, keep that in mind before you freak out.

Da capo.

I have deleted my blog. I have reinstalled WordPress and decided to start over today. Why? Now, why today? According to my memory, which still isn't rusty enough for me to say that I'm aging, I started my first online journal on this very date eight years ago...from an internet cafe that no longer exists, where I would often owe up to a week's worth of hours.

My-first ever entry, posted at 18:20 on 06th December 2001 said:
That's my first post here...Silke has been begging me to sign in and I did it,just to get her out of my back...then I saw that this is cool and I am sorry for having bad thoughts about my friend...

Silke's response was, as far as I can remember, a nice way to say: "Iva, you're an idiot."

Grammar-wise, I've sure come a long way since then. In fact, I can't believe how I confused "that" with "this". Silke-wise, we have not spoken since November 2002 or so and a mutual friend of ours tried to reunite with her earlier last year, but she told him off, more or less.

What was my world like in December 2001? Complicated. I was a freshman at the University of Belgrade's faculty of philology, at the Italian language and literature department I From day one, I was one of the worst and most hopeless students in the class. I had everybody laugh at me as the bloopers in my translations were epic. All those bloopers were coming from a really, really bad dictionary I had borrowed from a friend until I get a properly-written one. The assistant in charge of our group thought I was anything but a talent for languages. Sometimes I wish she'd been older, perhaps she would've had a different approach towards me and perhaps she would've realised she's wrong. This way, all she was doing was laughing along with everyone else. In addition to this, my low blood pressure would often result in being fast asleep on our longest and most boring class at 8:30 on Friday. I was just getting by, collecting bad reputation. Then I would come home to a dark street, dark stairs and a dark apartment, as December 2001 was the last time my country had daily electricity restrictions.

Once the light would turn on again at home, I would go to my room, sit at my old, inherited mahagony desk facing my hunched reflection and my black locust on the other side of the window...and code HTML! I had a PC with a 386 processor, Windows 3.1x and 16-colour-screen at home, given to me by my cousin Dušan to mess around with as my mother couldn't afford to buy me a brand new one. And the trouble was - I had already been doing web design and whatever was the equivalent of web 2.0's social media in web 1.0. I had two websites, I was working on a third website. At that point, CSS wasn't widely used yet, I was editing pages in Microsoft Front Page 2000, very often just pasting the code some free web service would give me to echance my page by using forms, games et cetera. When I first opened my code in Write (that was the program that came before WordPad!), I was surprised at how messy it was. Then I started organising everything, putting all style elements in a .css file.

By the time 2002 knocked on my door, I actually had validated all my pages. In the meantime, however, I managed to spill lemonade on all my floppy disks. One of those floppy disks destroyed my floppy drive. Mom couldn't buy me a new one, but she somehow still had a 5' 25" one at work. So, each time I wanted to work on my pages, I would download them to a floppy disk at the internet cafe, go to mom's office, rename them all to .txt and move them to a 5'25" floppy disks so I could view them at home.

When I wasn't spending all my lunch money at the internet cafe, I would look around for the one-armed one-legged man sitting in the park accross the street from the National Theatre. I would buy him pizza or some pastry and stay hungry at the lectures all day long. I had almost nothing, my family was barely making ends meet in 2000 and 2001 - but he had much less and I was doing what I could to make him feel a bit happier. And I needed someone to talk to as well. At that point, all the way until mid-2003, I literally had no friends. Everyone left me after we'd finished high school...they only needed the geek who was writing their essays, anyway. I was foolish to think they actually considered a straight-edge borderline-poor person who prefered sitting at home and writing to partying and being seen.

Come to think of it, 18 might be a more flattering age than 26. But I don't care. I really don't care. I would not go back to 2001. In 2009, I'm aware of everything I am and everything I could've been, which I barely even regret. I have at least three true friends in real life and they're complete opposites to everyone I knew back then. In December 2001, I was dreaming of THE thing to happen. THE thing is about to happen in about two weeks. And in December 2001, it was only halfway around the corner. Had I know that, I wouldn't think about it. I wouldn't swear at television and radio, I wouldn't break plaster figurines in my room, I wouldn't argue with most of my foreign friends. I would know it takes time.

(What's THE thing? You'll see on the day it happens, stay tuned!)

06th December is an anniversary of a yet another first time for me as well, but I thought this occasion deserved more attention, as in the other case the second time was better than the first!

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