The Complete Picture

I remember my first day of kindergarten. The morning bell rang, I tripped over a hula hoop, and started to cry. Before I knew it, I had two big square bandages on both my knees.

I remember my first day of high school. I brought a pencil case to gym class and was late for third period English.

I remember my first day of university. There was a residence-wide barbecue organized for dinner and I sat at a picnic with two people I had just met, eating a burger with a side salad that had cucumbers I didn’t really want but still ate, and a half dozen bees doing figure eights around the table.

I remember the day I started this blog. It was June 23, 2013. Five years ago, today. I didn’t know what I was doing, but something inside me said I had to do it.

I had just graduated from university. They were the best four years of my life. They were the happiest years of my life.

And if I’m being honest with you, these last five years haven’t been as happy. To be fair, the bar was sky high.

They’ve been hard and challenging, and just when I think I’ve erased all the question marks, the whiteout peels off and there they are again.

I’ll think back to the person I was in university and wonder where that guy went. Did I leave him behind? Did he take off on me? Why do I feel so different?

At the same time, I feel as though the last five years haven’t even happened.

Sometimes I think I’m reading the calendar wrong, or if I just squint a little harder at the clock in the distance, it’ll show me the right time. Heck, before I started writing this post, I counted on my fingers, just to make sure that it has been five years.

While these last few years have felt like collecting puzzle pieces in a maze, I know I can always turn to this blog and put the pieces of myself together to find the complete picture.

Don’t get me wrong, writing isn’t always easy, but my stats page tells me I’ve written 603,084 words since I started this blog, so…yeah. That’s just an overwhelming number.

Three months into this blog’s existence, I gave up on trying to maintain a facade. Every post felt like a school essay, with little emotion behind anything.

I didn’t start this blog thinking I was going to tell strangers on the internet that I miss school, or that I watch The Bachelor, or that I love professional wrestling. I never thought I’d share poetry – I didn’t even know I could write poetry.

With every post I wrote, sharing exactly how I felt became second nature to me.

People aren’t as judgmental as we deem them to be in our own mind. In reality, I think we’re all just looking for someone to relate to. Someone who says the things we’re thinking, so we know we’re not alone.

That’s what I’ve tried to do here. I’ve put my words out there in case someone else can relate to them.

We’re drawn to passion. We’re drawn to words that make us feel something. We’ve all read too many textbooks that put us to sleep because there is no oomph behind the words.

Other bloggers inspire me all the time, and all they’re doing is talking about things they’re passionate about. When in doubt, write about what you love, right?

The reason I started this post by listing off my first day of school memories is because those days felt like the start of a new era in my life. Starting this blog also felt like the beginning of a new era.

In many ways, it also felt like I was enrolling in an online school that didn’t have a specific end date.

In this “online school” we call blogging, we are all teachers and we are all students.

You can learn so much about someone just by the way they write. What they say becomes secondary to how they say it.

I say pop, you say soda.

I put a “u” in favourite, you might not.

I say Grade 6, you may say 6th Grade, or 6th Year, or something completely different.

We’re all saying the same thing, but we all live somewhere else and that’s reflected in our diction.

The milk in my fridge right now is sitting in a bag. To most of you reading this, you’re wondering what the hell that means. But to me, it’s perfectly normal.

Small things like that reveal of our culture and way of life. Scour through the blogs you follow and you’ll learn so much about the countries around the world.

Like I said, this kind of education has no specific end date. It ends when you don’t want to blog anymore.

I’ve seen so many bloggers come and go in the last five years. On one hand, it’s sad because there were some really entertaining blogs that are now collecting dust. On the other hand, I’m grateful for crossing paths with them.

I don’t know when the last day of this blog will be. I can’t see it being any time soon. However, I imagine there will be a final day.

And when that day comes, I hope every post I’ve ever written will act as a puzzle piece of my life, so when you put them all together, you get the complete picture.

Thank you all so very much.

Paul, The Captain’s Speech

About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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49 Responses to The Complete Picture

  1. Omg, Paul – at the end there I thought you were going to say that you were shutting down your blog! EEP!

    I don’t feel like the same person I was back in university either. I loved those years! I had great friends and I was happy (or so I thought). Life is totally different once you have a big change like that, and it took a while for me to find my place and rhythm in my new role as a non-student. Nothing really prepares you for that transition. But I guess that’s also part of the transition, finding it out for yourself? I’m not sure. Most days I just put on my shoes and hope for the best haha

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Ha I pulled a bait and switch at the end!

      I appreciate your comment. From this side of the screen, you’re a model citizen on how to be an adult and someone to look up to.


      • Aww thanks, Paul! But please don’t get confused – I am a full on “adult-child”. Or so my kidlets tell me on a daily basis. I have been demoted down to 5-years-old making every one of them older than me and thus they don’t have to listen. Sometimes they will pat me on the head and go “there there baby T. It’s ok” And if they give me a sticker or some bubbles or some jumping time on the trampoline, I’m usually ok with it 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Hahaha that’s awesome! Being an adult-child is ideal, especially when others going along with it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha most definitely! Thankfully I’ve found the perfect job that allows me to stay an adult-child as much as possible

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Catherine says:

    Congrats Paul. I celebrated 5 years on WP this year as well. What a journey its been.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. micqu says:

    Happy Anniversary, Paul. As one of my favourite blogs (and the only one I really check regularly), I am fairly confident to say, that even though I read everything you write, I will never had a complete picture of who you are, simply because I don’t see your face or mannerisms when you talk, I don’t hear (or see) you laugh… Those are things that make a blurry picture a high quality image. That said, I like that there are many sides of you on your blog. That’s how it should be and that also gives it a real and authentic feel – one of the reasons why I keep coming back. You are an amazing young man with lots of insight. You make blogging seem easy (even if you admit that it is not – which I totally believe). I hope this blog will have many more anniversaries. Here… have some cake.
    (did you see that there is a “u” in my favourite, too?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      What a nice comment, thank you Cathy! I think I’ll come to you if I ever need a pep talk lol. I sure did notice the “u”! Thanks for teaching me Luxembourgish too. Never in a million years would I have expected that when I started this blog! 🙂


  4. misifusa says:

    Happy Blogaversary to you Paul! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. markbialczak says:

    Congratulations on providing such a compelling puzzle here, Paul. That means as much about you and your life as it does about this blog, don’t ever forget.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tony Burgess says:

    Congratulations on your blogiversary. Your posts are great. Keep on blogging good Captain.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. yarluna19 says:

    Congrats, Paul! Your blog is one of my favorites. I have to ask (as someone that only buys gallons of milk) what exactly does your milk saying mean? Haha

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thanks, Yari! It’s great to see you back blogging again! As for the milk thing, in Canada our milk comes in a plastic bag and then we put the entire bag in a pitcher, cut a corner, and pour from there. Haha it sounds crazy but if you Google a picture of it, it makes more sense. We also have cartons.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hira says:

    First..Happy Anniversary..Lets have pizza party with pineapple toppings and watch The Bachloer together🎇
    Thanks Paul for this post. You have put my thoughts exactly how I feel, I could never put in writing as good as this. It isnt possible to write without emotions.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. onebigstressball says:

    Beaut as usual!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ariel Lynn says:

    Happy WordPress anniversary, Paul! I hope you bought the site some flowers & a card, otherwise you’ll be blogging in the doghouse!

    I’m quite happy I came across your corner of the world here. It’s given me many hours of amusement, education (in sports, mostly), & laughter. Here’s to the next five years!! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Barb Knowles says:

    I’m baaaaaaaack! And you haven’t taken long breaks, thank God. I’m allowed to. You are not. I literally can’t imagine blogging without you and your blog. I don’t remember how I came across The Captain’s Speech or when. I do remember emailing you (how did I find that?) and hoping you didn’t think I was stalking you. And I don’t remember when I officially became your blog mom.
    Congratulations on 5 years. I feel that I’ve known you always.
    What’s a bag of milk?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Guess who’s back, back again, Barb is back, tell a friend, Barb is Barb, Barb is back, Barb is back…

      Anyway, in Canada our milk comes in a plastic bag and then we put the entire bag into a pitch, cut off a corner, and pour. It makes more sense if you Google image it!

      You have about 456 blog posts to catch up on. Can’t wait!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Tanushka says:

    I don’t know what else to say, but you’ve been a big brother like to me, liking and commenting for my past one year. I don’t know when the last day will be, but you can be sure I will cry that day.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jess says:

    I’m not crying, you’re crying.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Loewe Chan says:

    Happy Blogaversary! I feel you about the “u” in favourite, but not so much the milk in a bag.
    Your blog is always interesting to read, not sure why but the title and snippet always captures my attention. As you get older you’ll probably find less time to blog but don’t let that stop you from squeezing in a post every few months or even year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thanks Loewe! Ideally I want this blog to be around until I’m an old man haha but who knows what can happen in the future. As for the milk thing, I guess it’s more of an Ontario/Eastern Canada thing where our milk comes in a plastic bag and then we put it in a pitcher, cut a corner off the bag, and pour. It sounds weird but it’s normally to us lol


  15. Ely says:

    This post made me way more emotional than I’d like to feel in a Friday morning! Lol. How can you even say there will ever be a last post! GASP. Don’t ever. If you go I go! Lol I fully intend on being 86 and giving no fox 😜 and cursing at the hair stylist who left a strand of gray in my hair. Anyways I’ve probably said this a gazillion times but every time I leave your blog, I leave a little bit inspired, a little bit more humble, and a little bit less pressured to be something I’m not when I write. So again, THANK YOU for being you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Haha I also fully intend to be doing this at that age, but 60 years is a long ways away and who knows what will come up. If we’re still both kicking around here in our old age, my blog will be called “The Captain Says You’re Making Too Much Noise” and yours can be “She Gives No Fox, Deer” because older people say “Dear”. It’s a pun. Hahah.
      Thank you for your kindness! I always walk away from your blog feeling better than I did before I read it. And I’m so glad more people have discovered it since I found it a year ago. You deserve it!
      I don’t know how I turned this comment into a compliment to you, but just take it OK!? LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  16. msidharthan says:

    Congratulations on five years of blogging with plenty more to come, I hope. 😀
    The whole relatable thing is so true. It’s amazing how you find people all over the world talking about all the things (and sometimes very specific quirks) that you thought was the way that only you felt.
    Anyway. Kudos. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Bryan Fagan says:

    Life’s lessons, my friend. You’re learning them. It may not seem like it but you are.

    I know what you mean about college. Universities create a wonderful climate. We are surrounded by friends. We are home. The energy, the excitement and just when we feel we’ve got it all figured out….BAM!….they boot us out because we were foolish enough to graduate. WTF?

    Life is tough but I have a feeling you’re a survivor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you. Life has so many lessons every day, it’s hard to keep up. As for school, graduating is a mistake we all make haha I told my friends who were still in school at the time to never graduate – extend it as long as they could.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Bryan Fagan says:

    I had tears in my eyes the day handed in my keys. Tough memories we but grow and it gets better and better. Trust me on this.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Gosh I don’t know how I missed this post but congrats Paul! Mine is this week 😄 Weren’t our blogs supposed to start Kindergarten this year??? Sorry 🤦🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

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