As I write these words, I'm perfectly aware of the cliché of the twenty-something blogger. And because I like to one-up clichés, I start my (new) blog New Year's Day. How delightful.
But if there's one thing I learned in the year I've graduated college (with an English degree, of course), it's that I really do miss the writing. I miss the discussion. I miss the unraveling, the decompacting of ideology. Sometimes, I even miss the almost ironic levels of pretension that echo through analysis and argument. Language as the cornerstone of performance. Performance as identity.
This past year, with a permanent break from school and no long-term obligations (and the echoing refrains of "What Do You Do with a B.A. in English?" in my head), was supposed to be a year for me to reflect and find my center. In actuality, it's felt more like a lost year. A year of knowing what I want to do, where I want to live, but not having the means to do that yet. A string of open-ended objectives with no set schedule, sitting stagnant as close friends pass GO and collect their $200 (and their associated benefits!), wondering when my time to cross, to begin, will finally come.
I've never been particularly good at starting things, or, rather, I've never been particularly good with dealing with the pomp and circumstance that surrounds something brand-new. Not when it's directed at myself. Not when it's something only for me. I like being behind-the-scenes, moving the pieces, involved but not in the spotlight. My second degree is in public relations, but while I have no problems developing and talking about the objectives and tactics of others, when it comes to my own, I stumble. I lose myself.
Myself. My identity.
I am an amalgamation of my family, my friends, the people I meet, the stories I consume. I am an amalgamation of ideology. I am problematic. I am working at becoming better.
My inner reality is in a constant state of flux.
I think about this a lot. The conflict between inner and outer realities. How we view ourselves versus how others perceive us. Variable versus static. The lenses never really match up. Intentions are missed and misconstrued. And so we cling to the traits that we feel define us in the eyes of others, perfectly aware that "In a minute there is time/For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse" (pretentious English major that I am, the words of Prufrock reverberate through me).
This has always been the crux of my hesitancy in starting and regularly updating a blog (it's the crux of my hesitancy to ever speak up about myself). With every word I type, every word I say, I begin to collapse the void between my inner and outer selves just a little bit more. My words spiral out, creating and compounding new meanings over which I have no control. Sharing my inner realities publicly (even through the faux safety of an impersonal digital screen) and having them conflict with the outer reality others have already constructed for me, terrifies me. I'm not as great as you think. I'm not as good. I'm not as smart, as clever, as whatever. I am entirely too pretentious.
I've probably gotten far too extisentially self-analytical for an introductory post on a blog that was mainly going to be about books, but, as I mentioned, the stories I consume are innately tied to my construction of myself, both internally and externally. I can't promise I'll wax philosophical in all of my posts (you'd probably prefer if I didn't), but, hey, thanks for reading the ramblings of yet another twenty-something. Welcome to my blog.