I am glad that I have had the moxie to make and maintain DAMA & DIG thus far.
I feel a good self-love when occasionally reflecting on the photographs and musings I pieced together for Marfa, White Sands, Bolinas, much like the way it feels to come across an old journal. Frankly, this blog is the reason I made sure to document so much of a wonderful time. I would be defeated after the fact if I decided one day to delete everything in haste, and how futile the act of delete is! But I think about it.
Quitting a job, abandoning love, flying the coop, breaking down in southern swamps, feeling an empty bank account - all of these things have been catalysts for natural growth. I've made the room for aha!-moments since April, I have evolved. And today the side of myself uncomfortable with having a blog is crooning. What part of curating a controlled and idealized version of myself isn't weird? This is not my sum. Instead each post is a piece of a constructed self-image. I pursue sincerity but this journal is public, too aware of itself, and so my relationship with it different than the handwritten ones from my adolescence. I worry that my intentions are a complete waste of time, more sustenance for the narcissistic behemoth that lives inside of social media, and ultimately the people that sign up.
I consider who this is for. Is it enough to say this chronological collection is just for me to look back on, or for my beloved who live far away to feel close at heart? I sometimes rationalize it this way and keep going. But eventually I come back to my bottom line which is that social media outlets of this nature (general lifestyle envy blogs, Instagram) are one colossal popularity contest. I consider my participation and the boost I allow myself to feel when I receive heavy blog traffic or "likes" as if I'm actually doing something with civic purpose or importance. In using this artificial interface I become a subject in a most superficial pavlovian cycle. Yes, keep going! You are successful in establishing an exquisite looking existence with photoshopped pictures of yourself in the desert!
Additionally, my observations of other people's relationships with digital life (women in particular) are perplexing and discouraging. For instance, a person might feel negatively about the lawless egomania associated with Instagram but still continue to survey the images secretly or even throw their convictions to the wind and use the application entirely. In keeping up with this blog, I currently I fall into the latter category. Some people scoff at blogs of this nature and deny looking at them, but they're looking at them - I know because Blogger tells me so. The fact is, people like the photoshopped pictures of me in the desert whether or not they admit it, but is that reason for me to continue? What's going on within this self-worshipping technology if we sometimes feel the need to be dishonest about our involvement, or if we subscribe and sign up anyway despite our inner voice telling us beware? Candidly, my own aversion to the technology is unshakably justified when my inner voice meditates with a collective consciousness after using marijuana and/or psilocybin.
When I confront the fabricated digital zone, I wish nothing more than to commune with my 8th grade self. In 8th grade I had pink hair, I wore all black, I didn't have a cell phone, and I had one friend named Erin. We were happy outcasts. In hindsight I suspect we were ridiculed often by our classmates, but I was too busy playing guitar, lip-syncing to Blondie in front of my bedroom mirror, and drawing in the art room after school to notice. I tell myself that it was better to be an outcast than to be one of the popular mean girls because they peaked in high school (and are already overweight single mothers living back at home). But knowing that my 8th grade self would thumb her nose at my efforts to engineer a synthetic online identity instead of a creative life, I have to rethink my smug attitude towards the Heathers in suburbia: Did I peak in 8th grade?? I sure hope not.
I want to reconnect with the attitudes of a former self. Until I feel better about why and what I share on a blog (if ever), I want to eject the tape and unplug... and dance in front of my mirror and make lots of drawings and disconnect my cell phone and wear all black.