Honesty in the age of catfishing.
Of all the skins I’ve ever slipped into-- daughter, dancer, intern, lover, leaver-- the skins of the “blogger” have been the hardest for me.
I fumble around on this page. I hide behind syllables. I make you think you’ve got me figured out and then I pull out some crazy post about a girl clawing around on the living room floor and make y’all think my heart got ripped out my chest last week.
Truthfully, I don’t accept the skins of a “blogger.” I deny the fact. I don’t read any books on the topic. I don’t think this little sucker will ever have a penny to her name. I break all the rules of Blogging 101. I don’t come to you every day of the week. I don’t visit other blogs. I am unreliable when I do come to you. I don’t know that I’m even around long enough for you to crave me. And I shrink down ten sizes in any conversation about metrics, and money, and stats. I shrink to a whisper, “I don’t care about any of the way this world operates. I just want to matter to someone while I’m here.”
That is all I think about. It’s all I really care about. I think about death & funerals & last words all too often not because I am morbid but because I realize that we are going so quickly. And I want it to have meant something. I want it to be difficult for and I to sum up.
I don’t do pretty messages. And much of what I write here cannot be tied with resolutions because life has never worked that way. My blog, to me, is exactly how I view this lifetime. It’s beautiful. It’s chaotic. But sometimes it leaves you saying, what just happened here?
I get emails from people all over the world saying, “sorry for your loss” and “hope your heart mends soon.”
They're meshed in with a tangle of old boyfriends who think I might be Taylor Swifting them on the Internet for all the world to see. And I can only think to say sorry. Sorry, sorry. Sorry that everything about me is unreliable except for my heart and the direction it is going in. The rest might just be fiction. The rest could be a post I assembled two years ago and never thought to let it see the light until just yesterday. The rest was probably, certainly never about you. Or me. Or the Us that was three summers ago. (See? See?! I already had you believing that some boy from three summers ago still thinks to read me from his cubicle on days when the sun just don't feel like shining.)
I have never been honest on this page. Has my heart been true? Yes. But have I given you a depiction of my day-to-day life, or a live stream of my heart at this very moment? No, no.
My blog has never been a roadmap to my life. Not since it started. And jeepers, if it were, you’d all think me Cray with a capital C. The closest to me, the ones who know both my eyes and elbows, take these words with a grain of salt because they understand that the boy in the coffee shop is rarely ever real and that girl waiting by the train is not me or anyone we’ve ever known in this lifetime. The corner of the internet has never been the thing I send over to family and friends to say, “Hey, hey, keep up with all the fun I’m having in this world.” If that were the case, they’d have thought I buried someone on a Monday, broke up with someone on a Wednesday, all while mastering time management on a Friday.
Two years ago, at the height of my depression in New York City (that’s about the one detail that every solid stranger knows about me), I sought the solace of a therapist. He was a nice dude. And I found out that I could not afford him one month into seeing him. I was a fulltime volunteer. I was working and living in the Bronx, New York. I would trot into his office wearing my UN badge and proceed to cry all over his pillows. And when I found out that I could not afford him, that alas, we had no insurance for that, he took me on pro bono.
“You’re doing good in this world,” he told me. “I want to do that too.” And we had this unspoken agreement that he would listen and I would cry and we’d keep our lips zipped when it came to payment.
But the poor, poor man found out that I was a blogger and even he would read my writing. So I led that man on a roller coaster as he imagined me as a single mother one day and a ramshackled vagabond on the next. On occasion, he’d bring up a post or two and I’d have to say, “YO DUDE, I’M A STEEL TRAP. Nothing you read on that blog page is going to give you the lens into how I am feeling now. Half of it is made up. These tears in my eyes are the only real thing you've got of me.”
He understood that in time. That not every blogger is outward about their life. That sometimes a blogger is not a blogger but rather just someone who always dreamed of people reading her with cups of tea within their hands and tangles in their hair. And printing her out on nicer paper and folding her up in pocketbooks. But not every writer or blogger or human is the one to tell the truth.
When you enter into this page, you tour the flickering, grainy slide show of a girl who has spent her whole existence stapling the hearts of others to her sleeves. You are touching your fingertips against her creativity, her musings, her pent-up desperation for a world in which we loved one another harder today than yesterday. You are standing in the middle of her muddy grounds and not every published thing you see here is a “blog post” so much as it is this: words strung together to try to get you closer to your own humanity.
I don’t call myself a writer. I don’t call myself a blogger. I’d rather be neither. I’m just a girl. Just a girl with a golden life who is on the cusp of 25 and she is making up new dreams because all her older ones came true in the mystery of a single year. Just a girl who doesn’t come to you in a Monday through Friday sort of way but might show up in your inbox at 1:32am with 700 words that struck her fingers at midnight. A girl who welcomes you to come to her inbox at that time, too, because she's learned that nothing is more sacred than the feet that bring good news and she will always meet you there. I will always meet you there.
I am just a girl learning how to dance in the middle of a whirlwind. A hurricane of sorts. Just a girl who would spend all her days on hands and knees placing dignity back where it was once lost if only she could. If only she could. That’s all this blog is. That’s all my life is.
And I am fake friends with all the people on General Hospital. And the Amish.