It is funny, really, when you think about it, all these years on the internet and still the distinct lack of ability to say anything you want to say properly. Clearly. The way it ends up getting muddled, transparent towards the edges, lost in something else. It is like I’ll never learn how to say anything the way I really want to say it. I’ll keep trying, pulling it down, stretching it out, fitting it back together with busted-up edges. It’s a process. It never stops.
When the conversation turns back to questions about how long you’ve plugged away at the internet, I have a tendency to smirk. I’ve managed to lose track of the years. I begged my Mom for the internet only because I wanted to start a website. I always had a strange need to give it my everything. Other people? They fall into blogs, journaling services, microupdating sites. I came to the internet with a mission: I would learn design, I would share myself, I would make a website about me. I only ever wanted to talk about me.
And for years, sometime after 1998, I think, I did. I did it the right way: I started on a free site and spent all my time putting together webpages that had just enough of my poetry, just enough information about me (teenager, growing up in a town that treated itself like the inner city), and just enough outgoing links that I soon got myself picked up on a friend’s hosted site. I had my own subdomain (and eventually a second one when I decided to move). It was the crowning glory of my achievement. It felt like I had finally gotten somewhere. I kept trying to figure out how to spin the information about myself in the perfect way. Every single month, every single site redesign, every single comment in the guestbook proved to me how right it was at the time.
It took me years to settle on my own domain name and stick to it (I started BrokenNerves in 2006 with tax return money from my first job, a year I finished University and moved back home to live with my family). in 2012, I still haven’t gotten it right. It’s a hilarious mishmash of myself, hovering on the edge of outdated, full of inconsequential nonsense. Obviously the internet has become something that is far bigger than the glimmer hope of a fifteen year old girl who just wanted to stamp herself in permanent ink everywhere, but at the same time, I miss that.
We worry, and we all worry, too much about what we put down. Now there are employers down our backs, trying to hustle us for our fake names and passworded accounts. The sharing process becomes about things. Things I own. Things I need. Things I want to have. Things I don’t have and things you have that would be better on my shelf if I only had the money, so you should give me the money so I can put it there too. Great. Fabulous. Reviews of books I’ll never read, makeup I can’t be assed to try and shoes that won’t fit in the incredibly tiny closet space this apartment I live in has. Do I hate it? Of course not. I love it. I love it because I can wander around and look at nothing but photographs of Avengers cast members making stupid faces at the camera all day long, if it is what I wanted to do (and don’t think I haven’t done it). But, I do miss me. I miss me on the fake paper screen, in the tiny inline frame box, next to the stock photography blood stains and I apologize to no one but myself about it.No one told me to stop. I just let it fade out.
Every website I love becomes every website I like less and less because it has no personality, no charm, no human behind it. I am no better than the things I dislike now, it seems. So, I’m trying. I fail big time, I make mistakes everyday and people seem to come around when I am writing posts about the way I love things, the way I see things and the way I experience things because sometimes I actually get it right when I am putting it into words.
It’s the ultimate selling of yourself and I am not above that. I’m a kid of the personal site era and I don’t think I’ll ever get over that. I don’t think I’ll want to. So everyday I tell myself that it is okay for my blog to be a badly formed memoir, a field journal like it says it is. And it gets hard, always, of course. There is no niche. Just the human existence. My own human existence: late twenties, living in a retirement home, writing stories and watching sporting events on television.
Some day I’ll tell myself that it’s okay and it’s enough and I can talk like that every single day, not just when the random inspiration strikes. Even if it is comes out completely wrong, fucked-up and still raw in the middle. Maybe that day that it’ll be alright will be today. Or maybe it was already yesterday and I didn’t even notice. Maybe it was one paragraph up from here, somewhere lost in the shuffle of what I intended on saying.
I’m not certain yet, you know? But, it’s cool. I’m okay with that too.