I haven’t written anything on this blog in quite a while. I made huge sweeping life changes in 2020, but have been silent here. What changes?
- I left my comfortable job as a technical writer in the Telecom Industry*
- Sold our house that my wife loved
- Moved my family across the country to become a full-time seminarian to pursue eventual ordination as an Eastern Orthodox priest
The immediate question that comes to mind is “Why would I do such a thing?” but the answer to that question is a bit more involved than I care to write about right now. I’ll come back to it later.
I’ve always tried to have the perspective of someone who isn’t afraid of talking about their faith but doesn’t go out of their way to do so. I have a lot of friends of many faiths and of no faith and did not want to alienate anyone when most of the topics I discuss like productivity, gaming, and literature aren’t specifically tied to faith. The only dogmatical statement I wanted to make was my desire to be a friend to all and hopefully reveal my faith moreso in my actions than in my words. And I think many of my friends have appreciated me having that “narrative voice” in my blogging.
At this point, though, it’s difficult to not mention my faith in most posts, and I guess that led to friction when I wanted to post here. I was afraid of disappointing possible future parishioners by not being religious enough and of disappointing old friends by being too religious. Languorous silence was easier, and Lord knows I was busy enough to justify posting less.
Shortly before the end of the year, I decided to start a new blog dedicated to my new life at seminary and eventual ministry. At the time, several journalists and other personalities were moving to a platform called Substack which made for a clean minimal layout and built-in payment system to make it easy to run a small writing business. It’s kind of a mashup between WordPress and Patreon. Given that we now mostly live on the charity of others (along with the rapidly dwindling funds from the sale of our home), having the possibility of raising funds this way appeared useful to me and I began posting daily at https://davidgalloway.substack.com. That timing also coincided with the end of my Fall semester of classes, so I had a bit of time to kill. When I came back to NY to resume classes, my posting fell by the wayside.
At the same time, when we began figuring out how to finance going to seminary last summer, I opened a YouTube channel and a Patreon account. My thought was that I would create video updates for the people who were interested and giving them an easy way to support us at seminary. I’ve made six videos, the first of which is posted below, and I plan on making more, but perhaps once a quarter.
At this point, I feel too spread out—like Bilbo telling Gandalf he felt like “butter scraped over too much bread”. I have two blogs, a YouTube channel, and a Patreon creator account, all of which are woefully relegated to a minor concern when family, studies, and ministry takes precedence. I know exactly how Bilbo felt!
At the same time, with all of the political and cultural divide stuff in the zeitgeist right now I want to spend less time on social media, but because of my former work I have an active presence on most platforms. Thankfully I don’t have much need for LinkedIn now that I’m out of the workforce while at seminary, and I’ve also been actively spending less time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Reddit. I have one main FB group I run for Orthodox Pipe Smokers but I’ve shut down another group I ran and removed myself from around 75% of the groups I was in before seminary. I’ve recruited three moderators for that one group, so my active involvement time is much less, and I really try to stick to family and seminary updates right now.
All that said, as I continue to find balance and cut down on my online presence, I need to figure out where to spend the small amount of time to have the best presence for the couple of dozen of people who are interested in our lives and updates. As much as I dislike Facebook as a corporation, that is probably the best social media network to keep up ties with the people with whom I care about staying in touch. When it comes to blogging, I’m not sure if I should keep everything here, everything on Substack, or continue this current schizoid existence. If you have opinions or suggestions, feel free to share them!
* Technically, I was laid off from my startup ISP job in January, we toured seminaries in February, went back to my old job in March, and left that in July, but I didn’t want to needlessly complicate the point of the story above.