Monday, July 20, 2015

This blog and me.

This note is a page-holder for things to come. Get ready, it's long and rambly.

If it isn't obvious from previously posted content, I have a difficult time posting anything less than 591,847,236 words long. Case in point here with this one. Usually when I sit to write, it's because one of two catalysts occur: 

1. I've been mulling something over for a very long time and finally feel ready to put it down.
2. I'm struck by or experience something that inspires "a light bulb moment" and feel the need to write about it right away.

Point being, I'm long-winded and I'm not very good at making anything a habit, unless we're talking about caffeine and chocolate and binge watching Netflix. So regular posting has never been easy for me because it takes time and apparently (over) thinking, and then I just talk myself out of it in the end. Like I do exercise. Also, even though it might not be obvious, I tend to spend a good deal of time on what I write. Rarely Never do I sit and write and then click publish without a good proof read or several revisions. Sorry, that's just the English major in me. And THEN once it's all up there I immediately start to doubt it: the tone, the style, the content. I'm a judger - it's what I do - and don't think that I'm exempt from my own criticism. (I once tore diary entries out, because I later thought they were "stupid.") I worry that it's too contrived, too indulgent, too narcissistic, too anything. The list is long. Everything about putting what are essentially personal journal entries out for public consumption leaves me wracked with about a bazillion feelings. 

And let's for a brief moment (because I know this is a very over-worked subject) talk about the fact that I'm a little torn about having any social internet presence at all. There is a VERY big part of my soul that would love to snub social media as a whole forever. I miss my flip phone where I could only receive text messages and make phone calls and occasionally get really, really grainy photos, so so so bad! I find myself falling into the black hole of click-me! headlines and endless youtube videos, and then feeling so disgusted at the total time I just wasted. I would love to be uber hip and go completely off-grid. 

BUT. I'm also fascinated with the way technology connects total strangers. Most of my generation doesn't even have a clue what the world was like before chat rooms, forums, and online dating services. I still remember the excitement of hearing "Welcome" and "You've Got Mail" and the little door opening and closing as your BUDDIES signed on and off of AOL. A whole new world, that's what that was. So while I hate all the stereotypes - the snarky comment threads, the oversharing, the people who use Twitter and Facebook for their own political agendas, you know the kind - I sort of love the weird, modern beauty of how the interwebs link perfect strangers together. It's why I recently turned off the private settings on my Instagram and started using hashtags. I've found and followed so many other ridiculously interesting people with amazing life perspectives on Instagram. It's cheesy, but I've been inspired by them. Those people thought they had something worth saying and were brave enough to share a bit of their life with the world, and the fact that it was accompanied by a photo didn't hurt either. It's brave - EVERY time you share something - whether it's on the internet or face-to-face. Don't disillusion yourself that because you put something on the internet you can't hurt or be hurt because it all happens through a screen.

I often think about what tangible, recorded history I'll leave behind. Not that I think my life is or is going to become quite astonishing, but I know how much I've treasured old letters my parents wrote each other, cards I received from my mom, or even how much I enjoy rereading hand-written trip entries from just a few years ago (I always take a real journal with me on trips). Emails get deleted, computers break, files mysteriously vanish. I can't tell you how sad I am that I don't have some of the email correspondence between me and my dad from when I was in college. Heartbreaking. Before the internet, history was often recorded through letters. What do we have now for future generations? Blogs?

There's the pressure (is it all in my mind?) to have a categorized blog, or have a purpose. Gone are the days of livejournaling all your deepest emo thoughts, and knowing everyone was gonna be channeling the emo right along with ya. Now there are a million fashion bloggers, or fashion-travel bloggers, or fashion-travel-photographer-home-renovator bloggers who make shit and sell it on etsy. Few just write about their lives anymore. Maybe because everybody's trying to make money. Most people's lives aren't interesting enough to make them money, and we, as consumers, aren't interested in regular life anymore. Our culture prefers the sham that is a curated internet lifestyle. Our own personal museum pieces. I'm guilty of it too. I want my life to look and sound interesting. WHY ELSE WOULD I SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD?

Suffice to say, I have major mixed feelings over this blog and blogging in general. I feel supremely foolish telling people I have a blog - it sounds SO cliche - so I never promote it. I never really considered trying to make money off of what I write, either. When people who do read it comment on something I've written I usually feel embarrassed. Exposed. I think I need to get over it all. Blogging is here to stay. I like it. I enjoy doing it. But I have always struggled with the purpose. I mentioned living life with intention this year. I'm trying to decide what that means for this blog. Am I writing for ME, or am I writing for some (mostly) unidentified audience? Is it for therapy, pleasure, or the need for attention? What's my motivation and do I have an agenda? I'm not entirely sure. I think it's a combination of things, but I keep coming back. To write. I just like to write. Can I leave it at that?

Since the end of May, when I turned 30 and found myself with an excess of "free time" on my hands, I've been having a lot of deep thoughts and BIG feelings. All of the feelings. About everything. About BIG stuff. It's not world-changing, but it's world-view-changing... for me. I feel like during the transition from 29 to 30 I lived a whole mini-lifetime. I need to - really need to - write it down. Not for the internet, or my 3 readers, but for me. I want to remember it, it's my history.

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