This Sunday is going to be part of a weird travel day for me, so I wanted to go ahead and blog right on the button for today, fresh into the Sunday if you will.
One of the things that happens if you choose to write every day on a blog– and if anyone reading here is also a “make it every single day” blogger chime in if you think I’m wrong– is that you truly feel like you have your moments. Some of the posts here I’m proud of. Some of them I’m almost ashamed of. Others– I’d say the majority– are just pieces of me that I tossed out here for people to browse.
It’s funny because I spend a great deal of my time teaching others about how to carefully craft online identities, how to think about what they’re creating, how the idea of transparency is a lie, how to use subtle rhetoric. So while I often abandon my own logic and just write here– leaving myself wide open to anyone who might pop by– I wonder sometimes if people who read this blog think skeptically that I must have an agenda with every single post, that I must be doing some certain kind of work, or at the very least that I must THINK I’m doing some certain kind of work.
I thought hard on this during a drive a few weeks ago. I put the ideas from that drive in my back pocket for when I needed to write and didn’t have a topic spring to mind. This seems like the day.
I think I do have a rhetorical motivation with this blog, and I do think that it’s no weird coincidence that I started sharing more of my internal thoughts– more of what I consider to be the truth of the world– just days after Donald Trump became President of the United States. We live now in an era where people just say things without considering their consequences on a grand scale, where the supposed leader of the free world dedicates golf trophies to hurricane victims and tosses paper towels because the Trump T-Shirt Cannon was at Wet T-Shirt Fridays at Mar-a-Lag-o.
When I was in high school, my sort of quasi-goth rebellion move was to fall deep into philosophy like some people do, but then I felt like the answer was to not hide my thoughts and ideas. So I’d share when people asked.
And I got burned. Frequently.
When I was in grad school, I tried using my ability to blog as an outlet. I’ve told that story, but I got smacked pretty-fucking-hard over it.
So I just sort of gave up. I accepted the honest truth of the world. No one gives a shit what I think, other than in very unique circumstances. I will never wield power over the masses. My opinion will never sway a majority to behave in a different way.
But I realized, after the election of Trump, that the practices I preach, to impact whoever you can however you can, that helping one person makes it all worth while, were something I needed to put in practice again.
I don’t think anyone reading this blog can ever really imagine how hard it is for me to share my thoughts when I stop to realize “oh my god– my students, my bosses… they could read this.”
But I feel like if the greatest bravery I can muster is to put my thoughts out there, whatever I hit, I hit. If I can’t suffer the damage that someone knowing how I feel results in, I’m not really alive.
So that’s my big rhetorical move, the one that sits under 250-plus days of posts. I’m taking a little big risk so that if I get even the tiniest reward, I know I lived my life the right way.
Silence sometimes has power. But it doesn’t have power if you’re being silenced. Here’s my tiny, raspy voice.