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Justin M. Stoddard

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What Did You Do Today?
January 3, 2010 — 11:45 am

I’ve had this blog since 2003 and have never really thought of it as any more than an outlet for what I may be thinking/feeling at the moment. As I am wont to do, I have engaged in a few abortive attempts at something larger throughout the years (blogging the bible, one photo a day, 1001 Journals project, etc…). I don’t regret that. I often shoot for something and end up wide instead of deep, meaning I gain just enough experience from something to sate me…then I move on. I’ve been this way for as long as I remember and I don’t regret it. My ability to shift focus rapidly has served me well over the years, though it’s been a source of great frustration and amusement for those close to me.

The above, of course, is a symptom of ADD; something I’ve lived with all my life. When I was younger, the condition completely ruled me. A child psychologist once recommended that I be put on Ritalin (something my mother disregarded, thank God) and when in class, a screen be put around me so I would not be distracted by the other children. I repeated the 2nd grade. It seems I had “great potential” but just couldn’t sit still long enough to get through the lessons. I was always the odd one out…the one the other kids beat for sport. That all changed by the time I was 14 or so. I learned to fight back. I learned to use wit and intuition to be likable. Later, I learned to relax and just kind of be myself…a confidence born from bloodied knuckles and a knack for comedy. In those years I made some of the best friends of my life. Friends I still talk with on a weekly basis.

But, nothing has ever cured me of paying attention to things that bore me. And, brother (sister), school bored me. I graduated high school with the lowest GPA possible. I’m still proud of that fact. It was the same with college. I really did try my hardest. I did. But, in the end, it bored me. I realized later that I simply cannot abide being told what I should and should not learn. If something does not interest me, it’s not worth my time. That’s just simply the essence of me.

This is how my mind works. I once saw the line, “Hell is other people”, while reading a newspaper one day. Sure, most anyone educated in the Liberal Arts should understand this reference right off. I, however, did not, but it spoke to the introvert in me. So, being intrigued, I searched the net. I then went out and bought three books by Jean-Paul Sarte and read them all. A week later something else caught my attention. And, so it goes. Like I said, my vision is miles wide.

But, sometimes it’s deep as well. In spite of all this hopping about from one subject to another, I have had some constants in my life. The over-arching constant is a passion for learning. The specific things I focus on more than others are: art, photography, literature, science, languages and traveling. One can see that by looking back on this blog over the past several years. I imagine I’ll be following these pursuits for the rest of my life.

Which kind of brings me back to the beginning of this post. As I said, I never really thought of this blog as anything more than a “snapshot in time”. “Hey! This is what I’m thinking right now!”. But, I’m starting to realize that it can be so much more. It can be used as a tool to help strengthen my focus on those things above that I love so.

There are several projects bouncing around in my head at the moment and I don’t want them to bounce away…they really are great ideas. So, I think I’ll start using this space to document what I’m working on. Perhaps this will keep me on track to completion. Perhaps it will allow others to provide encouragement.


When dusk starts to encroach, the eyelids get heavy and the labors of the day are behind….when I inevitably ask myself, “What did you do today”.

I don’t ever want the answer to be, “Not much”.

-Jam Master J wants to know — “What Did You Do Today?”

— Justin M. StoddardComments (0)

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