It’s been a while.
First posts are always so excruciating to write. I feel like I am required to explain why I am back, and by extension, why I was gone in the first place, but I do not want to do any of that. This is a fresh space, and I would like to begin with no baggage.
I have been blogging on and off (mostly off, who am I kidding?) since 2008, though, and I had some readers, however few, so there is history to be acknowledged, and maybe I can start with that. *waves at longtime visitors who somehow found their way here*
Against all common sense, I still haven’t let the idea of blogging go, or at least the idea of blogging when I first started doing it. I know it has morphed into something totally different in the thirteen years since then, but to me, it’s still, and will always be, a writing medium.
I am not here to sell myself; I just want to write. To repeat my own words: I think it’s a side effect of keeping a daily journal during a lot of my formative years; my brain experiences and documents moments as if I’m going to write about them later, even if I never do. But, obviously, that’s not nearly as fulfilling as actually having written.
So here we are. Another attempt. Is it demented to keep thinking I have something to say, and that I possess the command of language to express it? Maybe. These days, there are a million things to write about, but at the same time, nothing at all to write about. In any case, I am still stubbornly hoping I find the words.
Of course, I have to start with a disclaimer of sorts.
My problem with the way I have been blogging before was that I treated it like sharing perfunctory life updates, and with each new significant thing that happened in my life that I missed posting about, the pressure to fill in the gaps would mount. I had begun to feel more and more like I was in debt to my readers, that for however long I was gone, when I posted again I had to make sure the absence was explained, and that I maintained a narrative from post to post that could still be connected to form an authentic picture. Yet that feeling was at odds with another, more grown-up voice in my head which was adamant that a) I do not owe anyone my life story so therefore b) I do not need to explain myself to anyone. This latter voice has won over, and so for years, the blog has been left on display, gathering proverbial dust. (Similarly, my posting activity across all social media accounts have flatlined.)
I have not changed my mind; I still think that I do not owe anyone my life story. But I have identified my mistake—this blog is not supposed to be my life story in the first place. There are people who are willing and able to blur the line between what is daily life and what is content for audience consumption, but I am not one of them (and I am glad, tbh). I would still be sharing life experiences here, yes, especially to give context, and because I am still woefully unable to write outside of myself, but it’s no longer the point of this space. For all my posts from here on out, I am more cognizant of the question being “What am I thinking?” or “What do I want to share?” rather than “What has been happening in my life?”
Although, hm, come to think of it, sixteen-year-old me was probably operating more along the lines of “What do I say to get them to know me better? How do I show the world the real me?” to which my current self can only reply—LMFAO. I have come to be certain of only a few truths, but one of them is 100% this: Your idea of me is not me. What you know of me is not me. I may behave exactly like that idea in your head, or contrary to it, but that is irrelevant to me, because I exist outside of it, separate from it, and free from it. The me you know is but a shadow, a romanticization. I could never be known.
It is therefore futile and naïve to expect strangers on the Internet to read words on a website and know the person who wrote them.
If you read what I write, my greatest hope is that you understand me. But this does not mean you know me. I do not write to be known. (Man I’ve really posted some zingers in the past lol.)
I am not saying this to alienate you readers, by the way. I mean, the fact that I have not yeeted this blog out of existence yet, that I am choosing to publish writing here when I have the option of writing in private notebooks instead, is because I still think there is something powerful and worthwhile in sharing our experiences and vulnerabilities with one another. I have never attempted to quantify my readership over the years (and I don’t want to entertain hubris so I probably never will) so in my head, this corner is small, but even so, I have received many a kind message from people who found some good in what I have posted, and I have always kept these sentiments close to my chest. I do not mean to diminish that kind of connection. It’s just … being openhearted on the Internet is not as easy as it was when I was sixteen. I must emphasize that what you read here is merely a curated version of myself.
Furthermore (and I feel a little icky that I am even spelling it out), I ask that you take my words as they are, because I have meticulously chosen them that way. If I write the statement “I met a man today,” for example, then that is exactly what I mean. It is not an invitation to speculate on the identity of the man. It is not me being coy in the hopes that you will figure out who he is because I am targeting him. Nope. I know that is probably going to be infinitely more interesting (gossip is human nature and the foundation of our species’ survival, after all, or so says Yuval Noah Harari) but I refuse to provide gossip fodder. I will be honest, best believe, but I am going to leave out names and obscure some details, because here, they do not matter more than the story I want to tell. And given that I am not under the veil of anonymity, the least I could do in respect to the humans I interact with in real life is be a responsible storyteller.
Basically if you are only here for receipts, or tea, or shade, well, kindly stay away because you’re not getting any. ?
But anyway. What a long ass disclaimer this is turning out to be. I sound so defensive! ? Things will be more lighthearted and not as breaking-the-fourth-wall after this, I promise. Really, I am back because I want to offer up my brain and my thoughts again. Without all the confinements. Freer! Clean slate, no character limit, no predetermined list of users to which my content will be broadcast. I am allowed my introvert comforts despite the extroverted activity of exposing my thoughts in public.
I am excited to stretch these essay muscles, but until then, stay healthy out there. Be smart and wear your masks. Get vaccinated if you can. Talk more soon!