Sunday, April 8, 2012

My girl (and possible #1 fan of I'm Such an Afroholic) EC asked me a question last night

that has been rolling around in my head ever since:
When did you start [the blog]? Why did you start it?
My larger conversation with her last night made me realize how much larger my "following" is than the 24 people following me via Google Friend Connect and the 15 additional people who've subscribed to my RSS feed. She made me aware of the idea that people gather in real life and read/discuss things I talk about here, which is a step above people approaching me in real life or via other spaces on the internet to talk about it. Sometimes I forget how transparent I've made my life (thanks for the adjective, MH). 

So, to those who haven't been around for a while, or anyone who is curious, I started this blog in January of my sophomore year at Princeton, as soon as I'd come back to campus from Christmas break. And looking back on it now, it was a time of pretty major transition in my life. Within that same month, I 1) decided that I wasn't ever straightening my hair ever again and began my journey to embrace my natural hair, 2) applied to my first real-person job (an internship which I wound up getting in Chicago that following summer), 3) turned 20, 4) bought my first vibrator (happy birthday to me!), and 5) decided to join the eating club that has become both my home and a reflection of who I am. 

Soon thereafter, I began creating what have become some of the deepest, most meaningful, and most wholly real friendships I have ever had the privilege of knowing, and I'm just beginning to realize that all of these things may not have been unrelated. 

I started this blog when I woke up and realized that I didn't quite recognize myself and/or my circumstances. I had become all these new things, made all these new friends, and taken on all these new roles, and I wasn't exactly sure that all of them were me. I didn't know exactly whom I was doing all of this stuff for, but I was pretty sure it wasn't myself, and I wanted to stop living for things that weren't necessarily making me happy. So, I created this blog as a space to explore myself, to get to know who I am again for what felt like the first time. I created this as a space in which I could be honest with myself and with anyone who happened to stumble across it, in ways that I didn't always feel like I could be honest with people in my everyday interactions. I created this space because I was beginning to understand that my thoughts, opinions, and voice deserved room to exist and be heard, and I was determined to carve that space out for myself.

I wasn't sure I was going to stick with it when I started the blog. I was kind of afraid of becoming like a dear friend of mine from my pre-Princeton life, who came out on his blog and had the support of lots of strangers on the internet but didn't feel like he could talk to the people who had known him every day for years. I was unconvinced that anything I did here would matter in real life.

But I committed to this blog because I feel like it did. Correlation doesn't imply causation (fuck I should be writing my thesis), but I feel like embarking on this journey towards self-discovery and honesty and openness in a space that *feels* private (even if it is actually way more public than I ever really let myself understand) inspired me to be more honest and open in my relationships and various other social locations. I feel like writing in this space has helped me discover who I really and truly am and what I'm about, and being secure in that has allowed me to give (more of) my real true self to other people. I feel like I re-learned what "personal" means. The relationships and emotions and spirit of connection that have arisen in my interpersonal relationships since I started putting myself out here like this are invaluable. 

So for now I can say that for as long as I still feel like I have shit that needs to be worked out (thus, ostensibly, forever), I will work it out here in this public forum, because it just works for me. And if you guys like living in my head, then welcome. :) 

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