I guess it’s finally time to try out this whole blog thing, isn’t it? I do hope you’ll forgive my apprehension. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with every kind of social media I tried.
Livejournal was the first. I came to it a little later than my other friends, urged toward it because I missed my college roommates after I moved back home. The entire idea felt ghastly to me. I had already kept a written journal for years, but that was just for me, and the idea of anybody else reading my inner thoughts (or wanting to read them) was absurd.
I kept my account set to “friends only” but whenever one of those friends upset me, I found myself posting instead on a secret, second account where I could air my ugly feelings, my tiptoes into depression, my perceived weaknesses. Inevitably, I’d get angry with myself for these thoughts, delete the second account, and then start a third. So on and so forth. The account for friends to see, and then the safer one, the real one, for an even smaller group of friends. The ones I felt wouldn’t judge me.
Just leave those ugly thoughts behind and it’ll be like they never happened! Be positive! Encouraging! Be a good person!
I grew tired of myself over the years in a way that private, handwritten journaling had never caused. As my entries became less genuine, they also became less frequent.
In the end, I made one last post to my main account. Weeks after my older brother’s death, I posted something I dramatically titled “Requiem.” I had barely begun to dissect my thoughts and emotions surrounding his death, but this was a necessary acknowledgement of it, a bit of prose that barely scratched the surface of pain. Almost everybody I had connected with on Livejournal had already moved to Facebook, so the words were left mostly unseen. One longtime Harry Potter fandom friend commented thoughtfully with sympathy, for which I was grateful. Otherwise, the post laid there with a sense of finality. The period at the end of a long and rambling sentence.
That was 2007. I never went back, at least not until 2012, when I finally made the move to delete my account, as though, once again, it meant I could leave all of that behind me. Keep looking ahead.
I regret it. And I find myself missing Livejournal all the time. I miss the posts that I was so eager to destroy. A 20-something’s confused navigation of the world. The insecurities and upsets. These are still a part of who I am. Was it really so wrong to indulge in a little navel-gazing?
I feel awkward now, writing this. You see, because it’s a blog, and it feels like a public Livejournal account. Too exposed. People judging my words. Words that aren’t good enough. Words that could be better if I wasn’t so afraid of sucking. Maybe I’m trying too hard to be profound. Maybe that’s just my insecurity talking again.
But if I want to be considered a *real* writer, I need a blog, right? Ugh. I’ve been writing since I was a child in elementary school. I don’t need the validation. Or maybe I do.
The truth is, I messed some things up in my 20s. I ended friendships that I should have kept while nurturing others that didn’t deserve it. I let my insecure inner voice, and the voices of people who didn’t have faith in me, to drown out the cries of my hopes and desires. I gave up on my lifetime longing to write. To *really* write. I started to think of this desire as something to be shameful of. After all, doesn’t everybody want to be a writer? What made me think I was special?
I’m not. And that’s okay. But I *am* a writer. Not “aspiring.” Not “hopeful.” Simply unpublished. And it might be a battle, but I won’t give up on myself this time.