I have to be honest: I still don't fully love this whole blog thing. If it's one thing I am sure of about myself it's that I am most definitely analog. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the luxury of digital, but when it comes to writing I have always, and most likely will always, prefer a pen and paper.
There's some romance to holding a writing utensil and feeling the words almost just pour out of me, whether it's in a journal, on a piece of paper, or on the nearest napkin I could get my hands on (cliche, I know, but true). I've kept a consistent journal since I was 14 years old, so the majority of what I've composed over the course of almost a decade resides in those. However, I have amassed a fair amount of compositions on scraps of random stuff over the years:
A poem on the back of a Jamaica Independence Day Lunch invitation. Random musings about life and death underneath my Spanish notes. Nonsensical hippie ramblings scribbled on the blank side of a consent form for a counseling center. The list goes on and on.
I don't get that same feeling typing the words out. I think about it too much. Edit too much. Filter and change my tone too much. As silly and pretentious as it may sound, I'm really not thinking about the next word when I've got a pen in my hand. A lot of the time I have no idea what I'm even talking about or how I'm feeling at that particular moment. I just write. And sometimes it doesn't make any sense.
But then I come back to it--a day, a month, four months later. And most of the time it makes sense to me. What's more, I come back to certain pieces over and over again and it makes sense to me in a different way every time. There is rarely ever just one "meaning," one level or layer to what I was feeling on a particular day. That's the thing about words and reading and writing, the cliche about reading between the lines. Not symbolism per say, just realizing that there are multiple ways in which to convey emotion. To convey not just how you may have felt on a mere day, but the way you felt at a certain time in your life.
I'm 22 and I can't believe the bullshit I wrote about at 14. In eight years I'll be 30 (holy shit). I can say with a certain amount of confidence that I won't be writing in the same fashion or about the same things as my twenty-something years. At least I hope to God I'm not...
I like imperfections in my life. I like quirks and spunk. I like that when I write on scraps or in a journal it's unfiltered. It is exactly what I want to say, when I want to say it. There's a sense of urgency behind it. Sometimes I accidentally leave words out. I go off on tangents and then my thoughts and ideas become somewhat haphazard. I have a few too many and my handwriting often turns illegible. There are more coffee and food stains on my work than I'd like to admit.
But I wouldn't change any of those "imperfections." It makes for a story behind when exactly I wrote whatever it is. It triggers a memory and I can remember where I was and who I was with and what I was doing that day. Maybe not every time, but enough so that it feels real to me. It gives it personality. I don't believe that writing (or reading) digitally gives you that same nostalgia. That same romance. That same "it" feeling. You sit behind a screen and type. It seems cold and impersonal and lackluster.
But to each his or her own.
This blog will never be full disclosure. It'll never be 100% who I am and authentically what I'm really thinking and saying when it's off the record.
And I'm not necessarily sorry about that. Even as a media and communication major in the information age, I will forever be a loyal analog fan.
Digital or analog: which one are you?