I have vanished for a whole year now. Almost twelve months ago to the day, my personal facebook account was hacked and as the thankyoubaseball instagram account was linked to that same account, it was shutdown by proxy as well.
I tried and I tried and I tried again to get my account back and after four months of trying and baseball season about to get underway in April last year, I felt absolutely defeated. Facebook does this thing where they have no human beings for support and so you get stuck in an AI loop trying to get your account back. Essentially, someone got a hold of my password and since I didn’t have two-factor authentication turned on, I lost it all.
It really hurt.
Thank You Baseball was something I had built up over the course of almost five years and it was taken away from me in an instant. I immediately downloaded a password manager and began changing my passwords to random gibberish that was generated from their password generators. Hopefully this will never happen to me again. That being said, 2022 was a tumultuous year for me so maybe it was a good time to take a break.
I got married in March and as any newlywed will tell you, as fantastic as it is, it definitely takes a toll on you mentally. You lose your entire sense of self for a few months because you’re not sure where you belong and some days felt like I had to piece together my identity before eventually having it shattered again a few hours later.
But the one thing that kept me anchored was knowing that I was going to get to watch the Vladdy show every night and boy, was it another wonderful season of Blue Jays baseball (we’ll get to the playoff breakdown in another post, I promise). I had a bunch of changes all at the same time, I got married, I moved out for the first time, I got a new job and so one of the things that kept me grounded and feeling right at home was hearing Dan Shulman and Pat Tabler call a ball game in the booth. It’s weird how there’s men out there I feel like I’m pals with but I’ve never even met them in my life.
I’m back now and trying to get back into the swing of things but I’m going to go a bit of a different route this time. I feel slighted by the fact that Facebook/Meta/Instagram could take my account away just like that, just when I felt like I was building some real momentum and so I decided to find a place where I could have full control over what happens to my account.
Could I get hacked again? Probably. Could WordPress go out of business tomorrow? It’s possible. But this way at least I feel like I’m in control of what happens and I hope that you stop by the page whenever you can to take a peek into the world that I’m trying to build. I remember a time when I would log into a desktop computer just to scroll through Drunk Jays Fans and Kickette just to see what was going on in the world of sports and hopefully I can take you back to a simpler time where you can scroll a feed dedicated to articles about random brain droppings rather than being thrown into the mix of reels and tiktok reposts that have taken over instagram.
I’m going to go in a broader direction too, this time. There will be heavy baseball content once the season rolls around, but I’m going to try and make it gratitude for anything and everything. I have been doing this thing where I have been trying to spot one good thing that happened to me during the day to keep myself grounded and I’m hoping to share those day-to-day stories with everyone as much as I can.
Hopefully I can keep this up and hopefully I can get back to collecting all those wonderful stories that I found on a daily basis just a few short months ago. I got down on myself one day over the winter break when my cousin asked me why I stopped posting to the page. I told him I felt defeated and that it took me so long to build up to twelve whole thousand followers that I didn’t feel like starting from 0 was going to be as fun. He asked me if I enjoyed baseball. I said I did. He then told me “If you enjoy posting and you’re doing it for yourself, who cares about the followers? They’ll come fast and furious just like they did last time but you can’t just quit, you had such a cool thing going.” That really hit me. Within the same week, I was wrapping up Humble The Poet’s “Things No One Can Teach Us” and had another quote hit me in the face like a sack of bricks:
“… (we are) afraid to share, even though sharing could save countless other people who are going through the same things. So let’s flood the world with our stories to help equip, empower, and embolden others to feel a little less alone. This is how we’ve been doing it since the beginning of our history. Not all the stories will be pleasant or easy to tell, but they’re all important to share, because they’re all important to hear.
It’s okay to feel, it’s okay to cry. This book isn’t simply something I wanted to do, it’s something\I had to do. I had to do this for those looking for something to connect to, to relate to, so that they can feel less alone. More important, I had to do this for myself, to face myself and make sense of myself. I had to do this to understand how my story so far has shaped me, and how I can shape the rest of it. I want you to do the same with yours.
If you made it this far, then you can help take this even farther. Please tell your stories in any way or fashion you choose, whether you sing them out, paint them on, write them down, dance them off, or sculpt them away. It doesn’t matter how you share, because your stories-all our stories-are essential and will find a way to connect.”
Writing was my way of sharing my stories and the stories of so many others who were touched by the game of baseball. I realized that I am in love with those stories and I hope that I can continue to make them come to life as I have in the past. A revival, of sorts.