Posted on May 6th, 2012
I’ve been reconsidering what I want to do with this space for the last few months, periodically checking in on it, weighing my options, like one of those women whose last child has flown the coop and who stands in the empty room, thoughtfully contemplating what to do with it.
I’ve spent some time trawling through my college blog, reading my old posts and realizing just how much of my voice I’ve lost. When I first started this new blog, it was meant to be an assortment of things. I didn’t know where it would go and vaguely thought that it might move in the direction of a lifestyle blog. I had no niche and I was fine with that. I knew that one would grow eventually and I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself. What I didn’t realize then was that lifestyle blogging is a niche. And one that I’m not really cut out for.
For a whole year I have wondered why writing here has lacked that tang and savor that my old writing possessed and now I know. It was because I was being dishonest, forcing my voice into a form that I thought it should take, rather than accepting that it was what it was as a result of years of writing practice.
I had a voice. Until I decided I needed to get one.
When I was in college, writing came so easily. It was never a chore. I didn’t try to be chirpy and cheerful. I didn’t attempt to be clear and certainly never bothered to pretend that my writing had anything to do with anyone other than me. It was the reason why I had so few readers and yet why I felt so satisfied with blogging, why I could sit down three or four times a week and just pound out the words and then hit publish and feel somehow lighter, as if the words had weighed like ballast in my heart and getting them out made me more buoyant, better able to float again in the stormy seas that were my college years.
I’m not in college anymore, but life has not gotten any less stormy.
It’s time to face the fact that sometimes in life, you don’t discover new truths, you uncover old ones. Truths that you already knew instinctively but had forgotten that you knew. This is what my younger self always knew and consequently took for granted: that my writing only works and only satisfies me when I do it for myself. And while I don’t profess to possessing any particular talent and I certainly don’t mean to elevate those over emotional college blog posts to a level of quality they don’t possess, I am also certain that back when I wrote for an audience of zero and purely for personal satisfaction, I also wrote much better.
I had a voice, and while that voice was distinctly melancholy and overwrought, it was also inarguably mine in a way that no other voices I have tried on since then have ever been mine. All other attempts have been like trying to animate a puppet, jerking the strings of a dead, wooden thing in a poor imitation of life. A denial that this is who I am, that I never needed to find myself because the foundations of who I am were laid a long time ago and the only thing left to do was to inhabit the whole structure, to become more fully me and not transform into some person I thought I should be.
So I guess what it is, is simple, a return to blogging and writing in the only meaningful way to me, which is to please myself and hopefully, coax that voice back to me.
Because I miss that voice and the person who carried it.