When writing a blog, it’s easy to forget that these words are forever. When you set them loose on the Internet, that’s it: they are out there, in cyberspace, interminably.
I sent this blog address to someone, comfortable at first with the things that I’ve written here. Then, as I was reading over some of the older entries, I had doubts about what I had said. Was I really ready to own the things that I have said in the past, knowing that I’m not necessarily the same person that wrote those words before?
The reality is that people change. That some words that have been said in the past aren’t necessarily true anymore. That having put these words out for the whole world to see means that I have to own them for what they are. Some of the words that I have said do not apply to me anymore. And some of those words I wish that I had never said, and some of those words I wish I could take back.
I had taken down all of the posts that I transfered from the old blog to this one. And then, I got called out on it by the person who I’d sent the link to, and the words were, “I am going to read all the articles on your page, but please tell me where I have to look for the [odious] things you [wrote]. Do you believe it will change my mind about you?”
That statement stuck me more than anything else: I worry that some of the things I have written might be deal-breakers regarding some of my friendships.
I have always advertised myself as an open book. I’ve said that there are few things that I regret in this world. But the reality of the situation is that because I am not that person anymore, and I am not necessarily proud of the person that wrote previous words, I still have to admit that I once was that person.
And so, I put the posts back up.
My hope is that the people who know me, and want to know me, will understand that I have grown profoundly in the last two years. And the people who know me now like me, warts and all. I hope that they can still love me, perhaps more so because they know more of the truth about me.
So I must own those posts as part of my past. Though some of the words I’ve said aren’t quite true anymore, some of the other ones are. And if I’m ever asked to verify which ones are still true, I will answer honestly.
I am me: I have been through some traumas in my life, but I have also overcome a lot of them. I’m still a process, as I believe I always will be. But who isn’t in the process of becoming who they are?
But I have learned a lesson: words, once written, have to be owned. I must be careful of the things I say. This does not mean that I will not be honest about what I write, but it does mean that the things I say will be tempered with reason. Only then can I look back on some of the things I have written and not cringe. Sure, some words will be like the mutton-sleeved 80’s prom dress, but at least they won’t be words that I am ashamed to have written.