I used to be very comfortable sharing my story with the world, in a form of a blog. After all, my life ten years ago was the same story as everyone around me: a constant stream of Age-Appropriate Adventures that made for outstanding blogging material. I surfed through a couple dozen old entries earlier this week, for very little reason at all, and realized that I had a lot to work with, all of it age-appropriate enough to be almost anonymous.
Then I became a wife, mother, career person. Now I can add “community leader” to that through my Scout involvement. And my blog started to wither from neglect. I have written less in the last two years than I used to in a month.
I realize, re-reading all those entries, that I have let Facebook updates and Twitter quips replace my blog entries. As a result, I really miss writing about my experience in the world. I haven’t decided whether I am comfortable sharing everything, but I do miss chronicling it. Part of the appeal of short form social media is that it is subtle and superficial, but I miss long form writing. And I miss having pages of memories to read through when I feel like visiting my past.
So maybe there is something here, something I should be bringing back from the past. There is something about the challenge of describing an experience, of selecting the right words, the right language, that I really liked. And now I wonder if I let it go because I wasn’t quite sure about what to say or what context to say it in: for some time, I have been uncertain about my identity and about what words to describe myself with. I think I was unable to properly contextualize experience without understanding the perspective I was writing about it from.
Now, I’m feeling more secure about who I am, and about how everything I’ve experienced and everything I’ve done, all adds up to, well, me. I am just sometimes very uncertain about describing all those things because I don’t want to show every angle of me to anyone who can access the Interwebs. It is the threat of saying too much, of saying something wrong, of saying something inappropriate. The Internet is a different place than it was in 2000 when I started writing consistently on Livejournal, and yet, I have left all those entries up because they are my past.
It is the line in “Losing My Religion”: oh no I said too much, I haven’t said enough.
It is seeing the gap in entries for the past five years, the occasional superficial post, concentrated at a level so generic as to be innocuous, and comparing that against the rich tapestry of memories (some happy, some sad, some joyful, some shameful) that I have for the decade before.
Perhaps this habit of writing and chronicling should come back. Perhaps I just need more confidence that I will not be judged or consequenced for it.