Way back in 1999, I started blogging (although I wasn’t familiar with the term back then) at a members-only forum, together with a handful of other mildly-disturbed adolescents. I’m not sure we had a very good impact on each other, but nevertheless; we had a gentle kind of kinship. And I was starving for connection with people who felt more like myself, people I could relate to.
We did not yet have an internet connection in my home, so in the very beginning I only got to write and read at this forum when I was visiting my grandparents. – I remember so clearly the room on their second floor, with the squeaky floors, and the smell of old wood. My grandfather’s neatly piled Rotary catalogues, the dark red floral wallpaper. The sound of the modem as it dialed me into the world. My grandmother would make me a cup of steaming hot rosehip tea, and I’d sit there for hours, hiding from my physical world, while discovering my very first online friends and their beautiful minds.
And so I discovered there were other people out there who didn’t fit into small-town boxes. There were people who created, boldly; with words and light and tones. And they grew to be my tribe.
I remember someone saying, at my local school, that a friend is not a friend unless she is with you physically. Because over the internet you can pretend to be whoever you want to be. – This, to me, – just did not make any sense. And so I argued, heatedly, that the opposite was the case: That exactly because the internet offers you the chance to be whoever you want to be, the people you meet there will be truer to their own potential. (This of course has a great many sad exceptions, especially the ones where some one says they are somebody else for exploiting purposes.)
I can’t remember if I lost the argument, but I do remember it birthed this thought in my mind: Maybe, to some people, relating to other people comes more naturally without all the distractions of the physical world.
I was amazed at how easy it was to convey my actual thoughts and opinions, without losing them in the labyrint of worries that is my mind. Writing was a short-cut that allowed me to express myself in ways that I could rarely do when talking.
Today I’ve come to realize just how much I’ve been missing that sensation; the burning pen, the feeling of being written. And so I’m carving out this tiny piece of the web to be my personal playground. And although I’m not entirely sure what I’ll be writing about just yet, all these possibilities are such a sweet breath of air in my lungs. And like Williams Wordsworth once said; “to begin, begin.”