On destroying your identity

i screenshotted from tumblr a shitload of time ago but hey there’s a username there counts as a source

So my deadname’s web domain is about to expire (march, woo!) and like inmediately next day i can ask name.com to delete the whole account forever and on a week remove gmail and be done with that forever.

Like two years ago I kind of went nuclear over a single week. Moved, redecorated, threw away letters, deleted internet accounts all over, opened new ones, the whole shebang. I surgically removed every tiny part i could find of my old life.

This is probably not the standard operating procedure but i had lots of self loathing, I really didn’t want anything to do with the person I was. Also it was kind of a fun aspirational idea to get to decide who i was going to be. Guess that’s normal puberty for everybody else, i just kind of drifted through my original one.

Thing is it was like fucking psychologically terrifying, you know? There’s no magical “delete my life button” so i had to revisit (and dwelled!) on well, everything. Over that week i went through photos, posts, letters, tweets (so many tweets).

At the time & for the last couple years I was really struggling at friendships and stuff (turns out hiding your entire self does not make for close friendhsips, who knew) so anyway i was kind of alone and your early 20s are after all a time for foregoing friends and just focusing on relationships and career, at least if you ask the people I used to hang out with.

Destroying all those memories was a sort of admission that they never actually happened, (at least not to me, a Laura). I had this massive archive of cute letters, fun conversations, complete friendships from the past and all i could think of is that I might never be able to relive them or anything similar. Maybe that photo i was throwing away was my last beach party. Maybe that letter was the last friendship that close I’d ever have. Maybe my phonebook, even if filled with names of people I didn’t even like that much was better than an empty one.

I wasn’t really living before, more like walking around and letting stuff happen to me so the familiar was pretty bad but at least it was there. After choosing to break free from it I went from having memories everywhere around to having nothing, nobody, and for a long time it felt scary.

Anyway that was almost 2 years ago and…well, i was so extremely wrong and i’m so happy I was. I ended up making new friends. Better ones. Awesome ones really. My bedroom and laptop are stuffed again with memories. Also better ones. Real ones. Actually I can’t even fit all of them, i have so many photos and letters just lying around in drawers.

It’s borderline funny now how easy and trivial it seems to delete the last lingering pieces of that person now, when the same thing was such a massive deal just 2 years ago.