I have thoughts and feelings. This is not groundbreaking. Yet, this is what I usually perceive as the nut of most online content. We as living breathing humans on this terrestrial ball all have some way or another in which we process. At some point and in some fashion, we have seen things that reflect the output of our mental and emotional toiling with a subject or an idea. Thanks to the considerate souls who run our favorite social media sites, we can reblog, repost, share those ideas as soon as we have the realization "yeah, I get that." But, something is still missing.
Replication doesn't seem to be enough for the weary web-surfer of the new millennium. We want to share our own thoughts, as unremarkable or non-novel as they may be. Of course, this isn't new. All those in-favor have always shouted their own "aye" and the opposed exclaimed individually "nay." This is a fine measure of the sentiment of a room. What fascinates me, however, is the central meditation of this post, which is the fact that everyone who had the same thought and/or feeling said so. No one in an aye/nay situation elected a thought principal to simply state “five people are for none of this you talking about" or “eight of us are with it so laissez bon temps roller!"
I suppose the fascination stems from my conception of the world. I'm an INFP so I think of most things in terms of myself. My research studies have all been inspired by some singular moment I experienced or observed and desired to see if anyone else has had it as well. Even as I grow and evolve to being a woman who considers things from multiple vantage points (I've gotten quite good at it, if I do say so myself), it is still something I do on the regular and have to catch myself like "nah don't be tethered by a child's mind, girl, but rather transformed by the wisdom of age." I could not justify for myself why I should say something that has already been said so why would others feel the need to do such a thing? Replicating or re-representing those thoughts is easy. Just do that. No need to clog the drain further. This is somewhat of a trash way of thinking because it echoes decades, nay centuries, of silencing politics, but it's one I've held for sometime now and is the hardest for me to shake.
My inability to grasp why people want to do and say what’s been done and said is best exemplified by my uncertainty on if I even wanted a blog.
For about two years now, I have considered blogging as something fun to do. I have always enjoyed writing and didn't really get to do it anymore for pleasure because of school so it seemed like a great outlet. I could make a name for myself doing what I love. I had a few false starts and let myself get bogged down with other obligations. Last November I finally went for it while applying for jobs. I felt I needed a website because it was 2016 CE. When I was making the website, I noticed it had a blog space. “What a pleasant surprise,” I thought. I announced the launch of my site and that I would start blogging without truly considering it. I had no idea if I wanted to seriously write for enjoyment and practice or if I just said I would start one because Wix gave me the option when I built my site. To be as honest as possible, I still don't know the true answer to this question. But here I am. Adding yet another voice in the ever-expanding blackhole of the virtual world.
My primary hesitation was one with which I have struggled for years: am I enough? Is what I have to say accurate enough, well thought-out and insightful enough? Is it astonishing or new in any way? Am I just spewing remnants of what has been poured into me? Do I really like eating mushrooms or do I just think they're cute when they make that squealing sound in the pan? What is even real? Is my life a Horton-Hears-A-Who situation?!
If I decide to post again, you, my dear readers, will come to learn that I have a tendency to spiral and a strong flair for the dramatic. So much so to the point I suggest you digest my works with soft ambient music, a slow-sipping cordial or herbal tea, in a fire-lit space, draped in the fur of some sort of beast, maybe (read: definitely) stroking your chin. However, I digress.
The echoes of enough-ness became screams in my first year of grad school when we read Barthes’ Death of the Author cross-referenced with selections from Foucault. They stated essentially, in my understanding, there is no original thought left to be thunk in this life. We are just basically repeating “quotations” and remixing the same things time and time again. Internally, I was reeling. I had landmark academic sources telling me I was right about not being novel in any way. However, my external self was fighting hard against the assertion. I began a passionate speech about how ones animus is their own gifted to them at birth and yes they are influenced by external factors but ultimately they are new and enough and remarkable. Part of this was simply a show to boost my participation points but a much larger, deeper, and realer part of me was trying to convince myself.
My classmates had long tuned out, we had class on Buzzfeed’s Tasty Tuesdays so they were planning dinner for the following nights. A dinner that would feature far too much cheese for any reasonable person, but again, digression (and another blog topic because let me tell you I have FEEL👏🏾INGS👏🏾 about those videos).
So no one was really paying me any attention for real. My professor wrestled some with me about it; maybe just to be a comprehensive educator, but I feel they might have seen through my self-ruse. Either way, that lesson is something I will carry with me. I will remember those moments of self-doubt and the moments of empowerment I felt defending my stance.
We each have our voice and that voice is enough. Our thoughts and feelings become our experiences which shape the voice to which we must cling. Even if we are only saying yes, no, samesies, or any combination of vernacular, its important that it be in the world. The void of the internet is daunting. Content is king, everything has been covered in some shape or form, and everyone is a critic. We just are going to have to keep on and make our individual presences known.
So here it is. My first, possibly only offering to the great unknown saturated vastness of the internet. May it be received for what is it: kind of been there, kind of said already, but never by me. That's what makes it remarkable.