A year and three days ago marks the last post I published. A post of venting, frustration, confusion, guilt, and embarrassment. Embarrassed because though I did indeed publish it to the interwebs, I did not draw attention to it. I was embarrassed and confused, drawn into my head by thoughts that perhaps I was indeed wrong.
Self-deprecating and confused, I withdrew from any situation that could bring down judgement. I saw around me, the fruits of social media, the beautiful pictures of successful lives, posts about great experiences at new jobs, new schools and I felt despair. And I became afraid.
Of admitting that I was a failure, of posting my undecided life, of sharing my thoughts or confusion in fear of judgement or recriminations. In my mind I was caught in inward condemnations that people do not wish to read about failures. That the sad little ramblings of one miserable human being is undesirable noise. Yet to add to the mix was the recognition that I was privileged. That my complaints though important to my life, were really not that bad.
Among a generation of college graduates, over 30% unemployed and back to living at their parents, I had a job in my discipline that I was interested in. I was underpayed and undervalued, however I had no debts and could live on my own. I was too embarrassed to ask my former classmates, to admit that I had been used or worse that I should expect or deserve such treatment. I was too embarrassed here, after the last ranting, to flush out the circumstances and continue to write, to share in some corner of the internet what I had experienced. I was scared of writing the full details in some paranoia that they or my future employers would somehow come across this blog and reprimand me for the impropriety of my thoughts and reactions.
A few days ago, I found out xanga is going out of business and shutting down most of the old blogs that had been hosted there. Though I no longer used it, the site contains somewhere around 8+ years of my life in writings, starting sometime during my middle school days. In a fervor I hunted down my old passwords and accounts so I could download the archives to my teenage writings and then I started rereading them and the comments.
One of many things that struck me was how alike my personal writing is back to my high school days, before the world of academia taught me that every discipline has a manner of writing, usually dry and pedantic, to signal one belongs and the paper worth reading. And how often those styles of writing was a mark of how convoluted one can make something straightforward “sound academic.”
Another was how unabashedly unafraid I had been. How fearless I was in questioning the world, questioning assumptions, questioning authority and not apologizing for my thoughts. How unafraid I had been to ask for judgement, for opinion, for rebuttals. How I had been unafraid, unapologetic to assume that I could be right.
Thus I am here, a year plus a little over, and I will write and publish this today, unlike the drafts in hiding started and forgotten from the last year.
I have quit working for others once again, this time to work for myself. I have decided that for the next eight months (until the end of 2014) I will try to create a product that serves a need, to learn how to use my education to make a change in the world, to explore the world as a participant and not an academic. I do not know what is the right path, the correct next steps, however revisiting my pre-college writings, it reminded me that the value in writing is not always in telling others how you succeeded, but also the human experience along the way.
In short, for the next eight months I will write (and publish!), not on how to become a successful entrepreneur, but on my experience in striving to become an entrepreneur.