This is the 1000th post currently stored in this LiveJournal. It is the 1054th entry that I have posted, meaning that I have deleted 54 entries for various reasons. (Knowing me, it's for testing stuff - even when I make grave and utter mistakes, I seldom actually delete posts).
I originally joined the service to participate in support. I was part of a group called "Muggles for Equal Treatment of Magical Articles" (or was it artifacts?) which has always been very LiveJournal centered. Although there are entries in my journal dating before that time, they are copied in from other sources, such as an HTML only log I kept, or Free Open Diary. When I joined the service, the entire purpose for me was to get "Invitation codes" to share with friends: they were a valuable commodity among the METMA group. I bought an account (I was one of the oldest members, at 18, and did have my own credit card at the time), and I gave the two codes I got out immediately.
I then dived right into support, aiming to prove wrong everything that people had told me about how hard it was. For the most part, they were wrong. I did well in support, and despite all the warnings that invite codes were hard to get, I had another by the time I got my "one week" invitation code. Thus, in the first week I had an account, I gave out four invitation codes.
As I moved into college in the fall, I stopped doing so much support - I varied at my level of supporting the site a lot, as I do in many of my interests. For a long time, it was my life, then I'd quit, and the cycle would begin again. I did meet a lot of interesting people throughout my time in support, the most important of which to me is one Jessica Allan, the love of my life and my partner in crime, til death or an ugly, bitter divorce do us part.
I've grown. I've turned from a whiney emo kid to a relatively self-sufficient, employer of a marketing and web design firm. I've learned 3 different scripting languages, mostly due to the fact that xb95 took me under his wing so long ago and helped me by starting out hacking Perl for LJ. If it were not for him, I would almost certainly not be where I am today, something I owe him a lot for.
I've made and lost a lot of friendships. Currently, there are over 200 readers of this journal on the LiveJournal service - many of whom I have never met in person, but all the same, would be willing to lay down my life to protect. Some of the most important relationships to me in this world have been formed entirely on LiveJournal. beginning, for example, is a confidant that I would do anything to help if I could, and I've still never met her.
I have met a lot of people from LiveJournal. Over the years, I think I've met approximately 50 people who I knew, previously, only from the service. I remember at a party back at school, I was able to go around the room of 15 people - and every single one of them had a LiveJournal, and I could name it. It's interesting to be able to know so much about people while still knowing so little about them in the "real world".
I got a $108 check at one point. It went towards paying off the road trip I made in the summer between Freshman and Sophmore year in college. An interesting trip all around, where I learned a lot of things about myself and about other people. One thing to note is that you should never ever plan on driving cross country more than once with people that you wish to like at the end of the trip. It probably won't work. Being in that tight of a space for that long simply changes the chemistry of your mind.
I've moved from having a crappy cell phone to having one of the more complex models available, and although it's dated, it's earned me a lot of respect in various ways from the work I've done with it. Whether it be small tutorials that people have found on how to connect to their computer via bluetooth, or helping people to debug their own phones and what they're doing, or writing Python scripts and being the first out the door with them, it's all come out of having a LiveJournal.
My first relationship was forged before I had a LiveJournal, but it was kept alive because of LiveJournal... and in the end, died, in a way, because of LiveJournal. I have witnessed more fights than I wished to count, detailed the most intimate acts of my life, and talked about personal feelings that I still can't understand why I want to explain to strangers to this day. I am able to write here like I can no where else: I can write like my audience cares about me.
I've changed from writing for myself, to writing for an audience, and back again. I've participated in development, and I've participated in support. I've learned good and bad management techniques from observing the world around me. I've seen how to make people feel appreciated - and how to make them feel like crap. I've learned much of what I know about HTML and CSS - which has led to the job I have today.
Without LiveJournal, I would be out a roomate, partner, kids... you name it. I'd have fewer skills, I'd have less of a group of friends, and all in all, my entire life would have been different. I can't really imagine what it would have been without LiveJournal, but I can honestly say that it has had huge effects on my life.
I've seen the Space Needle, I've flown Southwest more times than I can count. I've driven across Montana, watching the mountains appear around me as the sun rose as I drove west. I have seen Portland. I have been on almost every inch of I-90.
There are so many things that I would never have done, never have seen. So many people I would never have met, never have loved. And just because I didn't mention you here doesn't mean I've forgotten you - trust me, there are dozens, if not hundreds more people who have made such a significant impact on my life via this website, that I couldn't even begin to describe them all. And I really just think it's amazing.
People say LiveJournal isn't good for anything. They're wrong.