I started this blog three or four years ago when I first went to France: I was hoping that life would be interesting enough to get a few laughs out of my friends, because by then I had already learnt that no bad experience/ astonishingly poor life choice is wasted- as long as you can write something mean and/ or funny about it afterwards.
I deliberately stayed away from sex, male bashing disguised as relationship analysis/advice and the kind of 10 000 word long posts about mundane/mostly irrelevant personal problems that leave people with the impression that bloggers are a whiny, self centred bunch.
I don’t have a huge following, which is fine, because I always felt like I was talking to my friends over a beer or two. It also means that I’ve never gotten trolled and I’ve never received anything but reassuring noises about how wonderful and clever I am.
A while ago, I found myself confessing to a new friend that, yes, I do have a blog that I use as an outlet for all the things I would never dare to say out loud: sometimes sarcastic, sometimes funny, and occasionally bordering on mean and spiteful.
I was duly informed that I am racist, ignorant and very cynical.
After the feeling returned to my limbs, I was oddly chuffed that I would receive such strong criticism.
I will let Mr King say it for me:
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. …And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it.
That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.”
Which, of course, is why its easy to hide behind sarcasm and not publish bleeding heart posts dripping in self pity.
Having a blog is a lot like having an album full of your old pictures. I realize that I may be describing hipsters, but for the rest of us, stonewashed denims, oversized tucked in tees, dresses with socks and sports shoes were not the most glamorous of our days.
But yes, you did wear them. And you felt damn good wearing them and all your friends thought you looked awesome. You went along because it made sense at the time (and because you let your mother dress you because you did not know any better.)
And that’s how you got to where you are today, with your trendy, yet awkward looking harem pants and fluorescent sneakers.
And you can look back and laugh at what you looked like because you made progress. You moved a few steps ahead and you think you look better, until you age a little bit more and you come to the conclusion that you dressed like an idiot for most of your life. But by then it doesn’t really matter because you are old and hopefully very rich.
Dear bloggers, if you ever look back at your baby steps and you hover over the delete button, remember: we do not delete because we are not ashamed.