This post is going to be so wildly off topic from my usual sort of thing but I’ve been thinking about it for a while.
For a really, really long time I’ve wanted to keep a journal. I managed to keep one a couple of months in fifth grade and for a while in sixth, but that was literally the most boring crap you will ever read. I planned on showing it to my kids someday should I ever have any so they can know what their mom was like when she was their age, but I seriously can’t even get past the first page without falling asleep.
I’ve got a lot of thoughts inside my brain, thoughts that I can’t always fully form due to my lack of an outlet. A lot of my anxiety and daddy issues come out in my fiction–BAD things happen to my characters, and a lot of the time I don’t really have the skill to pull them off realistically and I have to scrap an entire chapter, sometimes an entire novel if I’m feeling moody that day. So I would occasionally comment anonymously on various blogs but it wasn’t quite giving me the satisfaction of a) getting all my thoughts down in an orderly fashion and b) the sense of validation that writing my own posts, having people read them, and gaining likes or followers gives me. Humans are really big on validation. It’s why girls sit around and braid their hair and talk about their periods. It’s not because we like them, trust me. It’s because we, like all human beings, want to know that the experiences we are going through are not ones we are going through alone.
I’ve always had this dream that my writing would reach people. If I could really affect just one person, just make one person think a little bit, then I would be happy (although I would prefer to deeply affect and inspire many people, of course). That’s why I was determined to finish NaNo and self-publish my book. I actually did manage to finish (technically, but the book itself is far from done). I’ve got to say, it’s a hot mess, but it’s also a masterpiece in the rough; I’m kind of proud of it, actually. But in my mind, all my hard work will have been for nothing if I can’t share it with other people.
It’s not that I’m trying to make money. It’s not that I’m trying to become famous. It’s that I’m trying to receive the validation that all humans crave.
Unfortunately, I don’t know if I realistically see self-publishing in my future, although it’s definitely a high school bucket list thing for me.
So in the meantime, I blog.
I originally started this blog (almost three whole weeks now, it’s been such a long journey!) because I had all these feminist ideas that I really wanted to get down on pixels because, being a teenager, I tend to think my opinions are the most important and everyone wants to hear all about them. It turned into a lot more for me. It’s turning into a place where I can talk about everything that plagues me–a journal, of sorts.
But it’s a journal with a plus. Now, people get to read all about my fascinating life and opinions (lucky them).
I stay anonymous (well, sort of anonymous.; the first name I gave is real) for a couple reasons.
The first is, simply, to protect my identity. I blog about sort of sensitive issues. I mean, they’re not sensitive to me, I grew up hearing about this stuff, but they’re certainly sensitive to lots of people.
Two: If anyone I knew ever found this and figured out it was me, I’d be mortified. The truth is, I don’t really share my social justice self with a lot of people. If someone’s acting predjudiced I’ll almost always call them out on it, of course, but…I rarely talk about social justice issues with most of my friends, because I feel like they literally would not know what I was talking about. One of our lunch conversations a few days ago was essentially “how can a person be a boy and a girl? I just don’t understand!” I basically had to force myself to speak up, because I was so afraid of a) seeming like a know-it-all and b) giving my friends incorrect information. I’ve just recently learned about genderqueer and gender nonconforming people (I’ve certainly never known any in real life) and I don’t want to get my facts wrong.
I’ve never, ever talked so deeply about my “class identity” with anyone I know in real life. I feel like, not only would they not get it, they’d be weirded out by me. They’d certainly be weirded out by my other “self.” I don’t really like to talk about the other Sophia very much—I certainly wouldn’t like to talk to her; we don’t see eye to eye on many things.
I don’t talk about my anxiety issues to very many people, and when I do it’s not usually quite this in depth. My anxiety isn’t even that severe, but I still feel like it’s something shameful, something that makes me seem like a freak. Today I just up and left in the middle of lunch to go to a meeting with the guidance counselor and didn’t tell any of my friends.
Even though I technically consider this blog to be my private journal, I know that it’s open for, hypothetically, the entire world to see. I crave an outlet to speak my thoughts, but more importantly, I crave validation of those thoughts. I, like so many others, just want to know that someone, somewhere, hears me.
And hopefully the people who hear me will listen, too.