A blog in progress, in any case.I have this problem where I can’t sleep at night so I ramble on twitter or text message or wherever just to try to get the thoughts out of my head so I can sleep. And yes, I journal, but there’s something about having at least the idea of someone else reading what you write that… I’ve always been a little preoccupied with, even in my earliest journals.
Almost every journal I own has the same first entry, in which I muse about what the point of a journal is, who I imagine will read this, whether my audience is just my future self and if so, what she’ll think of what I have to say now, and so on. Then I’ll apologize to the reader (again, what reader?) for my excessive and inexplicable self-consciousness given the established reality that I am my own audience and therefore have nothing to be self-conscious about. At least, if I were being rational about it. But most of human behavior, as far as I can tell, is pretty irrational, so I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised to find myself embarrassed by myself even in my most private endeavors.
Back then I also would’ve apologized for using words like “endeavors” because I would’ve thought it made me sound like I was trying to sound more grown up than I was, or smarter than I was, but now I’m old enough to have a little more confidence in my word choice than I did then.
Anyway. YouTube is weird. And scary. And my thought behind starting my channel was that if someone wanted to watch my videos, it was okay if they knew all the intimate details about me because they were opting IN to that level of intimacy, rather than me trying to force deep conversations with people I met on Tinder or whatever. I wanted to know that the people I was sharing my, you know. This new version of a journal, this weird project of getting to know myself on video, I wanted to know that the people watching had a choice. That no one would have to listen to my innermost thoughts if they didn’t want to. It was, in a way, just a convoluted attempt to prevent myself from being the kind of person who gets drunk and accosts strangers with an uncomfortable level of intimacy and directness in bars, or whatever, because I’ve never been great at connecting with people without going from zero to sixty. Maybe it’s part of my compulsion not to do anything halfway, which is how I wound up with about a thousand different video projects in my lap all at once.
What I’m saying, I guess, is that this is where I’m going to let myself do what I did on YouTube in a text format. It won’t all be gold, and probably no one will read it, but if they do, they’ll have chosen to be there. And that means a lot to me. More than you know. Because to have the imaginary reader I’ve been talking to in my journals ever since I first learned to write, to have that person be real – even if it’s just one person, even if they only read this, like, years after I first publish it… that’s something.
As David Foster Wallace mentions in one of his interviews, all writing is a form of communication. I think I knew that, writing all those journals for all those years. I was grappling with the fact that I was communicating without an audience. But I think, maybe… I’m starting to think maybe all those years were just practice for when I was ready to really communicate. To allow strangers to participate in my project of self, if you want to call it that.
I don’t know if any of that made sense but the point is, I’m ready, now, to have my thoughts seen by those who choose to see them. I’m ready to let go of a little bit of the compulsive self-consciousness that’s been haunting my every move since childhood. And I’m grateful to you for being here to see what happens when I let myself open up the pages in my brain for anyone, possibly no one – but in theory, anyone – to see.
I apologize in advance for how incredibly self-indulgent things are going to get.