Nine years ago, I started a blog. That blog was more than an online journal. It was my confidante who I shared all of my innermost thoughts to. It was my virtual psychotherapist that kept me sane when I was on the edge of madness. It was, in a way, an extension of myself. I kept that blog alive for a good seven years.
Until one day, I decided I would delete it.
My reason? I just felt that it no longer painted a picture of me as I am now. In fact, as I read through some of the posts I wrote, I cringed as my words that seemed so amusing/artistic/wise/philosophical at that time now seem so unbelievably preposterous to me. It felt like I was reading the works of another person other than myself, and I did not know that person at all. I shook my head as I muttered to myself, “I can’t believe I wrote that!”
I am not judging that person, however. She was young. Confused. Naïve. Lost. A lot of her journal entries were bursting with glee, warmth, hope, and a zest for life. But in contrast, it was evident in some of her writings that she had her fair share of pain. I gave that girl a big hug. I told her “It’s okay. One day, you will grow up and things will get better.”
“How?” she asked.
“Because YOU will BE better,” I assured her.
Fast forward to a few years later…
I found myself revisiting my her old blog. Once again, I blenched at the words in front of me and I said, “You really have to go.” Those written words were no longer my words. That person was no longer me.
“Okay, but at least keep the good parts of me,” she implored.
I had to admit, she did write a number of beautiful pieces. I say “beautiful” because they made people laugh, think, smile, and most importantly, felt understood. Her sense of humor entertained others and drew many to her. Visitors would say things like, “I needed to read this today. This is just what I needed. Thank you.” She used writing as her tool to enlighten, inspire, and brighten others’ day.
“Fine,” I conceded. I decided that I would only keep the good parts. Just the posts that would give rise to nothing but positive feelings.
Unfortunately, something dreadful happened. I don’t know how or why, but one day, as I was in the process of reconstructing my old online journal, my heart stopped as I looked at the screen in front of me and discovered that, to my dismay, the blog posts were gone! Deleted. Irretrievable. Every single one of them.
I wept silently as I forced myself to accept the fact that it was, no question, purged forever. Seven years of memories, extinguished. It was sad, because, though a chunk of that blog does not mirror who I am anymore, I did want to keep the connections I made through it and preserve the stories I would be happy and/or proud to retell.
Well, that blog is just a ghost now, and that girl just left without even saying goodbye. It all seems kind of symbolic to me. After I got over the initial shock and disbelief, I realized that maybe it happened for a reason. In a way, I guess it worked to my advantage. Instead of finecombing years and years’ worth of anecdotes, plucking out the ones that I wanted to keep and the ones that had to be discarded, the blog took care of itself and saved me some precious time. The situation has given me a shot to start with a clean slate.
But is it too late to start all over again? If I create an entirely new portal of thoughts now, will I still have anything to say and something to share? Will my tales be as exciting as the ones I used to write about? Do I really have the time to update it constantly? How can this new effort measure up to something that lived and breathed for seven long years?
The answer is, I don’t know. But what I do know is that life begins whenever you want it to begin. Maybe my life is really just about to start, or that it just started recently. Not that I hadn’t been living before, but maybe, as I age, gain more experience, or meet new people, some of my most exciting tales are just about to happen. Or, perhaps my tales will be threadbare but what I take from them will be monumental. In that case, there will always, always be something to write about.
So now, I am writing again, something that I never should have stopped doing anyway. Now is a good time to rebuild a new nook of adventures, memories, and lessons. Now is the best time to make a fresh start. When else?