Wednesday, November 07, 2007

"This life has been a test"

"So when Rayanne Graff told me my hair was holding me back, I had to listen. 'Cause she wasn't just talking about my hair. She was talking about my life." -Angela Chase

The identity is a mysterious thing, especially the online one, especially the fractured pieces here and there, the different audiences, the different "levels" of communication. Recently, I linked this blog to Facebook, thinking that way, I could share my silly Facebook-posted-items style things with my blog audience, largely consisting of my immediate family, and that I could share my longer stuff with my Facebook audience, if indeed I have one (so far it seems like I don't). But it does present some interesting dilemmas. The stupid shit I post on Facebook seems mundane and boring and unblogworthy here (probably it would seem better on Tumblr, but the real problem is that that is too short-form for the kinds of long posts I occasionally want to do). And then I feel like I can't write a lot about personal thoughts/feelings because in the event that some random news-feed reader comes across that post in Facebook, I don't really want them to know about my issues. (And Facebook is, and I'm being totally honest here, starting to feel a little creepy, just because of all the news of late about Facebook employees being able to read your private messages, change your profile info, log in as you, and, oh right, the big one: look at which profiles you view. I guess it makes me a little more aware of my own Facebook "stalking," which of course I do somewhat, but what about the people I'm just curious about, whose photos I realize I never looked at before, who had a favorite book listed that I wanted to remember, etc. Are people at Facebook going to misjudge or misunderstand my purposes for looking at a profile, and will it have real-life consequences? I don't want to get too far off the topic, and I have a problem with overusing parenthetical statements, so I will stop here, but: still. It's weird. If I do have any Facebook readers out there, and especially if you work at Facebook, which is only unlikely because I don't think any of the people I know working at Facebook would be interested enough to read this, give me your thoughts.)

So, the subject at hand is how to express yourself, or, let's be straightforward, myself, and really be honest, when you want an audience, and you want it to be somewhat general, but not worldwide? Maybe there isn't an in between anymore, or maybe there isn't for someone like me who has this urge to share in the first place. (Clearly I could just e-mail close friends, or something, or family, or write in a diary, or not connect my Facebook to my blog, or have another blog, but these things all seem less than ideal for a variety of reasons.) I'm not sure. A while ago I said I was just going to be honest here. You know, to own up about being hungover or sending a stupid text message or being unsatisfied with myself or being happy with myself. But that's really hard to do and see in print, even if it's just in HTML. And no one wants to be a whiner, and no one wants to read whining. Even if (my brain spins too fast -- I feel like I always have a rebuttal to my own statements, so pardon the circularity) that's what blogs are all about anyway... or at least personal blogs, the whiny ones, the stupid ones like this one. This isn't a real blog, it's not of interest to anyone who doesn't know me, and I am not sure if that should matter to me or not. (It sometimes matters. Sometimes it doesn't.) I'm also not sure if brutal honesty would be more interesting or less.

My point is, I'm thinking about things a lot lately, and feeling more than a little unhinged and disorganized and too high (figuratively) and too low and too all over the place. I know what my ideal life is and I know what my life is now and I don't know if the two shall meet or can meet, and I don't know if I can ever have that ideal; I assume I can't, but trying to rationalize and wrestle and ground your ideals is sort of like what happens to little girls watching fairy tales and playing with Barbies, this shit gets ingrained, and then you want a prince charming or what have you and you've lost sense of reality, and if you are aware enough of that then you end up second guessing everything and third-guessing everything until you're blue in the face and writing extremely babble-y blog posts for no one. (Insert John Mayer reference here.) I just don't know what version of the story to trust anymore, and I mean that in most senses - I don't know what people to go to for advice, I don't know whether my paranoia or my overthinking is my instinct, I don't know whether the way my life is now is just a phase or maybe just the way life is, maybe it never stops and it is always baffling and tiring and awesome at the same time. I wish I could explore that here, or somewhere. I wish there was a freelance magazine column titled "Girl tries to figure shit out" because I think I'd be qualified to write it, and that's about the only thing I feel qualified to do right now, so that's unfortunate it's a figment of my imagination.

You see what I mean? Lots of stuff going on here. And I can't pin it down. I would like to try, here, but I just don't think that's a good idea either... not when I am so exposed as me here. Except that's the fucking point. What's the point of partial exposure, and what's the point of expository self-writing if you don't go there, if you don't push the boundaries at all. I don't know. Maybe I'm not brave enough, or maybe I'm too self-conscious (um, this is likely, but I don't think it's everything), or maybe I'm not old enough to pull a Stephen Elliot or insert-famous-writer-here and just bare it all. Or, maybe I just need to stop, for a second, and take a breath, and stop trying to puzzle out the meaning of it all ("one of those 'what does it all mean' things") and just take my life without contemplation (the unexamined life may be easier to live) and just go to sleep now and wake up tomorrow and start all over again.

But I'd rather not. (I am going to sleep though. I will think more about this tomorrow.)

Just to round things off in style, I leave you with another of Angela Chase's brilliant moments:
"This life has been a test. If this had been an actual life, you would have received instructions on where to go and what to do."

The sad truth is, sometimes I do feel like Angela has it right.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

your life is what it is. one falls into things, sometimes its good and sometimes it's shit.
you just take the stuff you like and try to make it go somewhere. And just get over the crappy stuff, already.
Good post Em