I was so excited to start this silly blog. I feel like I rarely experience anything completely brand spanking new anymore. I often hear about how cool it is to have a personal online journal. Besides, bona fide spiral-bound paper journals never receive a proper showing of privacy (which at nine years old was a hard lesson for me).
There is absolutely nothing personal about this thing. I knew this going in, of course. I just didn’t expect to be so wary. If I write anything remotely personal, it’s a public window into the private recesses of my thoughts. I can’t write about anything unreservedly or with substance.
I see this as an indication that I lead a secretive life. It’s split and dissected and lopped every which way depending on the setting and characters. Family, friends, work, school, religion, getting fucked up. Expectations and omissions are a part of every circle. They almost become a game, which is interesting. At work, many people walk into the office and formulate an instant and complete notion of the person they see in front of them. Through words or behavior, they reveal their perception within seconds. She’s skinny…stereotypical secretary with the starched shirt and tight bun…aww, she’s shy, she must be nice…quietly devoted employee who eats, sleeps, and breathes to write letters and file papers all day long…etc. The refreshing client is the one who sits down and, rather than making small chit chat, begins a meaningful conversation. There must be people who remain consistent in every setting, but I don’t know. Of the people I know, my sister would seem the closest. Once in a blue moon though, she reveals a vulnerable or irrational side that blindsides anyone in her proximity.
There must be a strong evolutionary advantage in being able to think so quickly on one’s toes. Scan a situation, process, analyze, spit out a course of action. All within a fraction of a second! Quick recognition, classification, and judgment are advantageous traits. Humans are extraordinarily adaptive, but the irony is that this allows us to be extraordinarily narrow-minded. I get tired living in this world that rewards conformity and ostracizes genuine authenticity, which is often less than glittering. The concept of questioning one’s surroundings or challenging a norm is praised. The actual application of said concept is not. Masks and mirrors allow us to get by in a world that routinely shuns any showing of realism. To me, the sloppy, unraveled, plain facets of life are perfection. We all get reduced to the same common denominator eventually. The ones who’ve spent a lifetime (me?) building up a bullet-proof facade are going to have a hard time of things.
I guess that’s why the sixties seem so appealing. It seems like a brief flash where people were allowed to dissent, protest, call down institutions, dress oddly, or smell bad without threat of social hanging & quartering. Then again, my parents say prejudice and inequality were rampant. People were fighting it though, you know? They weren’t fighting it neatly and according to proper social conventions, like now. They were fighting it with grit and tenacity. They were determined to make a difference. It seems for every two steps forward, we take at least one back. Rrg.