This may or not be the place for this. I stopped writing many years ago. Well, I stopped writing things DOWN many years ago but the dialogue is always in my head.
When I first started blogging, I was in my early teens and the internet was still pretty fresh. I had a LiveJournal and a blog. Then I had a Myspace account and then a Facebook account and it all just sort of fizzled out.
If I really think about it, there are probably a quite a few reasons why things changed. I’ve grown up, gotten married, started a career, had a kid, etc. The most notable, though, is that I started to feel like my voice wasn’t important. When you’re young and your world is small, everything you say matters. Life hadn’t beaten me up yet and I had a million dreams that were still achievable. As I got older and began to internalize the enormity of it all, those dreams melted away and were replaced by practical matters and being practical means you have to acknowledge how unbelievably insignificant you really are in the grand scheme of things.
As an artist, that can be kind of a deal killer, right? I mean, I’m important to my mom and my brothers. I am THE most important to my son and I’ve got a husband who loves me dearly. But who the hell am I to chime in on the atrocities in Syria? How do I take that horror and outrage and put it in words or on a canvas if my first move is to destroy my own credibility?
And then there’s Facebook. It originally seemed like a pretty cool idea (and I suppose it still is but it’s for completely different reasons) but it eventually evolved into this complete intrusion into our personal lives. When I was 14 and typing away about boys and work on LiveJournal, there was a sense of anonymity that made writing cathartic. I could literally pour out my soul and I made great friends that I still care very much about to this day. We played online games together and shared stories but I had a little bit of control.
Now with Facebook, everything I say or do is subject to review by close friends, family, coworkers, and random people I’ve met along the way. It took me quite a while to realize that I would need to tone myself down and filter myself in order to maintain appropriate boundaries and maintain normal relationships. Even worse, I was getting to know hundreds of people in a way that horrified me. Why do I need to know what my brother’s friend’s mom thinks about abortion? Why do I care if my boss’s husband reads breitbart?
What I eventually realized is that I’ve spent so long trying to cultivate a neutral online presence that I’ve essentially silenced a very important part of myself. I recently became active on twitter, which has been very nice. I don’t have it linked to anything and so I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this new freedom. I even got some likes from Jon Ronson and Mike Birbiglia, which inadvertently brought my confidence up. I’m not a fan girl but I have a tremendous amount of respect for both of those guys and so it just happened to make my world just a tiny bit smaller again.
So, here I am. I may end up talking to only myself here but I’m OK with that. If anyone decides to join me on this venture, I apologize in advance for being super wordy. :)