But still, I could have been running things through my mind over the last few weeks as to what my final HNT words would be. It's currently early afternoon on Wednesday, and I still don't have a clue as to what my picture's going to be!
I could re-hash the history and concept, but you can find those in my archives, or check the "HNT GUIDELINES" button at the top of this page. I could write about all the things that are wrong with HNT, but I'm going to save that for a future post. I'm sure to offend certain people with that one!
I could do a post where I list all my favorite HNTs of the past six and a half years, but I've never envisioned HNT as a competition. There are many who made it a competition in their own mind, trying to outdo someone else's shots, then get frustrated when they couldn't. Sort of defeated the concept, I thought. Do I have favorites? Of course I do. There is one in particular that I've felt was far superior to any others. Beyond that, though, there's no list. I treated myself to listing 20 of them for my 5th anniversary post (actually turned out to be 22). But I won't do that now. Nor will I simply list my own HNTs that were my favorites. You can see all of mine here. Well, all except the last 10, maybe--I've been slacking...
I suppose that the best thing that has come out of all of this is the community. And that's different than 'friendship'. From the very earliest days, that community has been evident. Everyone was welcome to join. No dues, no site to join, no personal info to share. As with any community, there's various neighborhoods, and that has shown up here, as well. Without the gang warfare. Someone once said they felt it was more like a zoo. Where we were on display, and 'outsiders' could come and see us. Some would look and point, others would come back over and over, yet never become one of the displays. An interesting viewpoint. Regardless, the community has thrived. It's policed itself pretty well over the years, and we should all be happy we were a part of it.
And since this post is far longer than necessary, let me make it longer. An example of the community. Follow the timeline (approx. times--not terribly important), and the players:
- May,2005 - HNT started by me. By end of summer, also joining in were Bloggers A, B, C D, E & J.
- Late Summer, 2005 - Blogger B lets Blogger A and me know about Blogger F, who was having some very rough times with her life. Blogger F becomes part of the community. I do think we might have saved her life. Blogger F's boyfriend is Blogger G, a soldier.
- Oct., 2005 - I pop in unannounced on Blogger A.
- Nov., 2005 - Blogger B visits Bloggers H and A (H was A's daughter)
- Dec., 2005 - I go to Nashville and meet Blogger C (and others).
- Winter, 2007 - Bloggers F & G get married (and have a couple of kids)
- 2007-2009 - Blogger C joins military. Bloggers F & G visit Blogger E. I meet Blogger D. Blogger C gets stationed in Germany at US Hospital.
- 2010 - I meet up with Blogger D again. Bloggers F & G visit Blogger E some more. Blogger G gets deployed to Afghanistan.
- Spring, 2011 - Blogger G suffers serious injuries in Afghanistan on Blogger F's bday. Blogger D reads this and contacts Blogger C in Germany, knowing she might run into Blogger G while he was evacuated there. She did, and she quickly becomes friends with Blogger F in the brief time G's there. The amazing part is that neither Blogger C nor F had a clue that the other used to HNT! Summer of 2011 - Blogger J spends a week with Bloggers F & G, to give them a hand in the midst of a chaotic time. Blogger J had never met Bloggers F & G before, other than online.
As for friendships...geez, where do I start? I won't list names. The list would be too long, and inevitably I'd forget to include someone. The people I consider close friends should know who they are already. I've made many friends here that I would someday like to meet. I've made many friendships that I anticipate will last a long time. I know they will, because they've already lasted a long time after they walked away from HNT. This community knows far more about me than anyone offline does (including the family). I'll miss that to a degree, but then again, the friendships will continue on. OsTours will continue, and be blogged about. There might even be some half-nekkidness!
And you people have made similar friendships apparently! I am often amazed while surfing through the statuses on Facebook. Facebook is infinitely more "real" than blogging was ever was. Sort of tears down the precarious walls of online anonymity. But what often catches my eye is recognizing someone unexpected who comments on another's wall. It dawns on me then that these two people originally met through HNT. Even though neither of them has participated in years. It's seeing that sort of thing that I take the most...what, pride?...in. Maybe not so much pride, as a warm fuzzy feeling. And I'm generally all about the warm fuzzies!
Where do we go from here? I'm not sure. I anticipate that a good number of blogs will go belly up. There's many bloggers that only come back on Thursdays to do HNT. Others will look for other outlets for their nekkidness. But I suspect that we've seen the last half-nekkidness from many participants. To that end, though, "...the Other HNT" will be continuing on for awhile. Quitting things cold turkey is never an easy thing, so if you need to post a few more HNTs, then send them over there! And by all means--if you're comfortable being nekkid on your own sites, then don't wait for Thursdays to do it!
My final thoughts today... Thank you for daring to share yourselves with the rest of us. Thank you for making HNT something that was important in some way to your own lives. Thank you for putting up with me. I suppose that when I arrive at the pearly gates of Heaven, and a list of my life's accomplishments is read, HNT will be somewhere in the top five. And you know what? That's not such a bad thing. But if I end up at the fiery gates of Hell, I have an inkling that HNT will be on that top five list as well!
I am writing this to remind you of your 'essence beauty.' This is the part of you that has nothing to do with age, occupation, weight, history, or pain. This is the soft, untouched, indelible you. You can love yourself in this moment, no matter what you have, or haven't done or been.
See past any masks, devices, or inventions that obscure your essence.
Remember your true purpose, WHICH is only Love.
If you cannot see or feel love, lie down now and cry; it will cleanse your vision and free your heart.
I love you; I am you.”
Stop by Thursday afternoon to find out who this final Mystery Guest is!
Of course, this last MG for HNT is the lovely Shizzle! There's really no one else who I'd have wanted to be in this spot. Thank you to EVERYONE who was the MG at one time or another! There have been probably between 250-275 of you (computer issues--can't tell exactly at this moment) who have held the postition, with many of you appearing multiple times. And a special thank you for those of you whom I could contact at the drop of a hat when someone else flaked out for some reason or another. I've only had one person flat out refuse my invitation to be MG--it was like she was miffed about not having been asked before--like being the last one picked for dodgeball or something (interestingly, she dropped out of HNT very soon after that). Oh, well--her loss! Thanks to all of you, once again!
As mentioned above, "...the Other HNT" will continue on for awhile. Stop by and see who's joined in for the final one of 2011 though! Leave some year-end comments for your fellow HNTers, too! NSFW, of course...
What an end to 2011! May all of you have a very safe and very Happy New Year! Don't drink & drive, and don't make too much of a big deal about those pesky resolutions! Love ya all!