I think it’s kind of funny that I got as much as I did out of keeping a very public journal of my very private experiences back between 2004-2006. Journaling is an age old hobby, so it’s not so funny that I found it rewarding to write about myself. What’s funny is that I wanted to do it in a form where anyone who wanted to could check out each little snapshot of realization as it developed inside of me. It’s a sort of exhibitionistic self-help practice, of which I wouldn’t have had the luxury just a few years prior. And back before they laid all those cables which offered instant electric connection between our personal storage machines I did keep private journals. I remember reading a very early review of a performance of mine at the Yoyo A Gogo Festival in Olympia, WA where some guy had written that seeing my show was like listening to a thirteen year old read aloud from her diary. It was clear that he didn’t attach to his comment any of the positive connotations that spring to my mind when I imagine an thirteen year old’s diary. Maybe the teenage effect was what I was unconsciously going for. I was no doubt just letting it all hang out.*
The thing is that I am an extrovert. I often become aware of what I am thinking while hearing myself speak. I feel pretty lucky that the deveolpment of the internet has unfolded by degrees, which happen to have perfectly complemented how much exposure I may have been ready for in a given epoch. I find it relieving that it wasn’t technically possible for me to expose the musings of my twenty year old self to an audience as broad as the internet now affords. Baring myself to whomever happened to stroll through Olympia was revealing enough.
The technical capabilities of the internet have matched up in perfect sync with my budding desires for connection and exposure up until about two weeks ago, or whenever it was that they invented Chatroulette. Here the technology has revved its engines and driven right past me into a future, in which I have no interest and probably will never come to understand. It’s like how I look at my parents and forever see them as being 1988 (which I think is maybe when they first started to be happy and have a little bit of extra cash.**). To be perfectly honest about myself, I guess I don’t really live in 2010. I will more accurately be forever stuck in 2007, since I’ve never gotten on board with facebook, and in recent years I have stumbled across some things on the internet, like this Major Lazer video, which have been more than I am really able to handle.
I have spent the past year just catching up to where the internet was back in 2007, and getting a grip on the concept of following links, which I guess is the whole underlying premise of this technology. I’ve been getting steady while I stand up on the virtual surfboard. Back in ’04 I carved out a very cozy spot for myself with my introverted extroversion. For a while I got everything that I needed from the simple feedback loop created by publishing my thoughts and then reading the comments in response. I really needed those comments; I was leaning outward, and reflective messages from the outer world absolutely helped hold to me up in my vulnerable posture. I’m in less need of buttressing these days, and I have advanced to a stage where I am even adventuresome enough follow the links on the commenters’ names, and investigate the roads that radiate outward from my little comment window. On good days these external connections give me the same sort of inspiration and belief in a supportive universe that the comments have. So, a great big thank you to my friend Carl Williamson for making this website work again, for helping me to open my window a little wider. He also showed me how to use Google reader, but I think I’m still more comfortable going directly to his website whenever I want to look at his cool curation of photos, or watch a video of him at age 15 morphing into a cat. If Carl is the face of the internet right now, that is good with me.
*The school motto of The Evergreen State College where I got my BA is literally, “Let it all hang out.” However, they have the decorum to use the latin translation: “Omnia Extares.”
**I wish that when I looked at my parents I would be able to see 1971, back when they had a sailboat, no kids, and some really outrageous parties, if the photographs and their stories can be believed. But I don’t. The continued happiness of 1988 is as good as it gets for them in my mind. Anyways I think my mom likes the future better than the past. I’d trade all of it in a hot second to be able to go back and party in the 70’s, but only if I were allowed to bring my girlfriend.