I’ve said this before: back in the day, I had a lot to say. In the first five years I kept an online journal, I think I used a writing prompt one time. Everything else was just me, chatting away at the interwebs like it was my dear old dead Aunt Gini–just there to listen silently and wish me nothing but the best. (Back then, of course, the internet mostly did listen silently. Unless you were freaking brilliant and/or managed to put a “guestbook” on every single one of your entries, no one commented on what you had to say, unless it was by email.) Nowadays, things are quite a bit different, though I don’t know to what extent my feelings have actually changed.
These days, anybody who knows me can find this journal. Anybody who doesn’t know me but googles me can find me. Anybody who’s known me since I was five and occasionally stalks my Facebook profile can find out more about me than they ever wanted to know within a couple clicks. All of these things are a result of the fact that I no longer write anonymously. Most of the time, the fact that I use my real name isn’t much of a hindrance. When I’m blogging on a normal schedule (once or twice a week), I can usually come up with something I can say without embarrassing myself and/or everyone who knows me. But when I do something crazy like Nano Poblano, I start kicking my own ass big time. What the hell am I supposed to write about now? What am I going to do if so-and-so sees such-and-such? Can I be sued for frankness? How about out-and-out snark?
The issue, as I said, is that my feelings haven’t changed. I still want to use this space as a notebook that I can write in without my hands cramping. I want to recount my day and call the people in my life big stupidheads and not worry about the consequences. But then I remember that I sort of had a reason for attaching my name to this thing. I thought it would make me work harder to produce something I could be proud of, something I wouldn’t be ashamed to repost years down the road. I thought maybe I’d stop writing things that weren’t true. (You long time journallers know how it is; sometimes you write things in the heat of the moment just to get whatever it is off your chest. You write it in order to think it through, and sometimes what you write ends up being a couple miles from your actual, final Truth.) I thought maybe one of these days I would want to write professionally in some way, and this would give me a leg up.
It’s hard to remember all of that in the day-to-day though, particularly when it’s every day…or more specifically, day sixteen in a thirty day stretch. My brain hurts. And I would’ve long since started re-posting the fifteen years worth of stuff I have sitting on my hard drive except I am–perhaps stupidly–not at all anonymous anymore.
I guess there’s also this, though: almost all that old stuff has a level of drama so high that it makes me want to beat myself senseless every time I read it. You guys would probably find me a lot more interesting if you read it, but for sure you wouldn’t give me a job. And you’d probably be leaving me suggestions for potentially beneficial mood-altering drugs in the comment section.
I’m probably better off out here in the open where everybody can see me. A little accountability never hurt anyone. But oh…sometimes I really want to spend a couple entries writing without a name and bitching until I can’t bitch no more.