Ah, I know... BME!
I remember back in 1999: I'd written a nipple piercing experience, taking care to omit anything that could possibly identify me, or give any sort of clue as to who I was. I submitted it for publication and I remember too the agonies of self-doubt I went through during the ten days while I waited to see if it had been accepted, wondering endlessly if I'd done the right thing. I had. During the eleven years that followed, as I became part of a thriving online community, I changed and developed in a way I'd never thought possible. I shed much of the shyness and timidity which had plagued me since my earliest boyhood, I lost my inhibitions, I grew in self-confidence and I enjoyed a decade of self-discovery. I shall treasure for the rest of my days the memories of all the happy hours I spent online (and occasionally in person) with some of the nicest people I've ever met.
Invevitably, though, nothing stays the same forever. I started to find that, bit by bit, many of the things I'd grown to know and love, and the people I'd become friends with, dwindled steadily until there was - sadly - little left of the enchantment or allure that I'd once felt so keenly. With a heavy heart and a tear or two in my eye, I decided it was time to cut the proverbial umbilical cord and call it a day.
But I've come too far to just retreat back into my shell as if none of it had ever happened. Back in November 2000 I'd started writing an online diary - the first diary of any description I'd ever kept. Steadily over the years, as my confidence grew and I started giving away more of my innermost thoughts, feelings and emotions, I found it almost by accident turning into a proper blog. As I charted my progress through life - unfolding before me all my achievements, triumphs, disappointments and disasters - I enjoyed doing it.
This is its successor.