Damn it, Bones, you’re a doctor. You know that pain and guilt can’t be taken away with a wave of a magic wand. They’re the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don’t want my pain taken away! I need my pain!
– Captain James Tiberius Kirk
I’ve been documenting the mundane details of my life online for a quite a while now. I originally started a hand-coded blog on my personal web site back in May of 2000. A few years later I moved over to LiveJournal, and for a while there I blogged just about every damn day. Honestly, though? Most of those blog posts had little more content than a standard Twitter post these days. Which is why, when Twitter came out, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that I’d make the jump to that particular service. For a while there I had a service that aggregated my twitter posts over to my LiveJournal blog every day, but back then people were getting all bitchy about that so I turned that feature off. In time, I signed up for Facebook and Google Plus, and as things started to get weird in LiveJournal land I decided to move my blog to WordPress and transfer all of the content over.
In the midst of all of this I also did some blogging for ShrinkGeek and WowInsider. I’m sure there’s other places out there that I’ve added content to as well, but damned if I know what all of them are.
The bottom line here is that I’ve written a lot over the last 13 years. Some of it is incredibly personal. Some of it is embarrassing. Some of it could potentially get me into some kind of “trouble,” I suppose, but mostly of the “I wrote some shit about someone who wasn’t online 10 years ago” kind.
And yet…I’ve never had a desire to go back and delete it all. Now, to be fair, there are a great number of posts here that came over from LiveJournal that are currently hidden from anyone other than me. For the most part, this is because when I brought everything over I hid them all en masse. This is largely due to the fact that there was a great deal of content on that blog that was, shall we say, “not-safe-for-work”. I made this decision right about the time that employers really started taking a look at your online presence before hiring you, and I figured it was a pretty good idea to make sure anything written on my blog wasn’t going to cost me my current (or any future) job. I have, on occasion, spent a few hours here and there going back through those posts and unlocking the ones that are safe for public consumption (and at least somewhat interesting), but that has been a timely project that really doesn’t rank high on the list of Important Things To Do with my current schedule.
I will, however, eventually get through them all and the majority of those posts will be available here again.
Now I know there’s a great deal of older content on my blog that talks about things that are, shall we say, “uncomfortable” now. Previous relationships, strife with my family, financial struggles, angry posts about my divorce, frustrations I’ve felt in the raising of my son…You name it. I’m sure that, if they were so inclined, people who are in my life today could go back and read all of that content and find things that would upset, surprise, hurt or confuse them.
But I leave it here for the world to see.
Because this is who I AM. Warts and all. The events of my life, good and bad, have made me into the person I am today. One of the things I absolutely cannot stand about the way people conduct themselves online is the tendency to try and “craft” your image in order to seem cooler, edgier, sexier…whatever. While I don’t discuss EVERYTHING about my life online, what I do discuss I try and keep as real as possible. If I post something as mundane as the fact that I’m enjoying a delicious cup of coffee, you can be sure I’m actually drinking that cup of coffee. My blog, and my twitter feed, and all those other places that I post to somewhat incessantly are a true and accurate accounting of my life.
So, yeah. There’s probably some crap on my blog I’d rather my readers not go back and find, but I can’t run away from my past and I think it’s disingenuous to try and do so. I don’t have, or want, the ability to walk away from my life and start over with a clean slate. Even if I DO tend to go months on end without posting, this blog is just…Me. And you know what? I like me.
I kinda hope you do, too.