Two truths: I miss being here. I’m afraid to be back here.
Two more truths: I don’t know if I’m ready to be back in this space. I feel compelled to be back in this space—though I could not tell you why, or if the ability, or in-, to articulate why matters in any measurable, and therefore meaningful, way. Perhaps it does. But perhaps, too, it does not.
When I left life online behind three years ago it felt necessary and right—and it was. My leaving wasn’t planned or intentional, but it was needed. I needed a break I needed space I needed time, to process to hurt to heal. And I would not have taken the break the space the time, I would not have heard it calling or honored its plea, if it had not forced itself upon me, if it had not forced me to collapse into myself and feel both the length and the width of everything scary and uncomfortable so that I could determine with clarity and confidence which pieces I needed, and which I did not, to put myself back together.
Three years. So much has changed in the space between, things both tangible and in-. There have been reckonings and reconciliations, there have been tears and tantrums and re-triggered traumas, there has been loneliness and letdown and loss and grief and guilt, but also unexpected unwavering unconditional kindness and compassion and grace.
Three years and I’m still in awe over how one choice, one moment, one event—an experience both widely universal and uniquely personal—can ricochet and reverberate within, throughout, in between the years—across the rest of a lifetime, it seems. The leftover bits of the happenings of both then and of those since, at one time unrelenting and suffocating and severe, are beginning to slow and steady and ease, and I am beginning to feel like myself. And so here I am, back in this space.
I feel uncomfortable here, unsettled even. It feels audacious—it feels arrogant—to think that anything I have to say is worth saying out loud, to think that anything I have to say is worth sharing, to think that I have anything to say at all. And if it ends up that I do in fact have something worth saying, how bold to think it’s not been said before, how bold to believe I can say it better.
But maybe none of that is the point.
I miss the internet where people shared and connected with each other before likes and swipes and clicks and clout influenced not just what and how and when we share, but what we choose to do in order to manufacture moments to share. I miss the “dear diary” of truly personal blogs, places where people posted about any- and everything without trying to sell us, or sign us up for, something. I miss regular stories from regular people living regular lives, and the community, the sense of belonging, that came from sharing something regular and raw and real. I miss the organic and authentic feel of those spaces, and I want them, or it, back.
It feels silly and stupid and audacious to want such a space, to want to carve out a corner of connection on the internet of 2020, to think that maybe I can do that. But that’s what I envision for this space: Regular stories from a regular person living a regular life. Real, raw authenticity. An opportunity to connect and to find—to create—community.
Being back in this space will be a learning curve, a challenge: I’m still working on giving myself permission to be a beginner at this again. I’m still figuring out what to share in this space, and how much. I’m still trying to reconcile craving both privacy and connection, and figuring out how to protect the former while cultivating the latter. I don’t have all, or any, of the answers yet, but the point, I guess, is that I’m still trying, and while it is possible that that is not enough, perhaps, too, it is.