Cacoethes (Or, How I Spent My Summer Vacation)

In nearly every iteration of my online writing existence I’ve pointed to the fact that I’ve been blogging since before blogging was called blogging. My teenage Livejournal, spanning from 2002 to 2006, is proof. 

A couple of days ago I finally regained access to that journal. At some point I had gone in, privatized every entry, and changed the password to something that immediately escaped my brain. The recovery email was my old university address, and the cell number was my Waterloo phone that ceased to exist over a decade ago. I sent in a support request to every contact I could find, begging them to let me prove that I’m me so I could get at those teenage thoughts, and had resigned myself to never reading my melodrama again when the support desk response finally came in.

So that’s how I sent a photo of my driver’s license, with an LJ support email in the background, via an Imgur link to a now-Russian company. It was probably a horrible idea but, like I said — precious teenage memories. I guess it’s worth the potential identity theft.

In the 18 years since I started that journal I’d read through the archives countless times but it’s probably been about a decade since my last read-through. I actually haven’t been able to bring myself to scan through it all because the nostalgia and embarrassment and sentimentality and cacoethes grabs me somewhere behind my ribs and won’t let go if I get too close. That sounds really dramatic, but lord, we are in the middle of a pandemic if now is not the time to be dramatic than what is?

I don’t quite know how to explain these feelings, other than that this morning I was washing dishes and started feeling like high school me — lonely, left-out, ‘all the cool kids are hanging out without me.’

Which is ridiculous because I am too old for that. My concerns revolve around if it is going to rain or do I have to water the tomatoes myself. Like, I threw out an entire waste bin today that I found in my kid’s room, because when I opened it there was some kind of horrific mold monster growing in it. This is my glamorous life.

Let’s be clear: I don’t want to be a high schooler; I am glad to be an adult; I am even more glad that social media was not a thing until I was in university and even then I had to do a lot of internet-sanitation when they let the parents in. I’m not yearning to be a self-centred 17 year old again. But lately I’ve been feeling extremely in-my-30s. The whole pandemic thing is not helping. There’s entirely too much time to stare at my own face.

All this to say — I used to put a whole lot of vulnerability out there, enough that I have to adjust my eyes to it decades later. Then I wrote, again, as a 20-something, but I found myself writing for all of the wrong reasons (internet fame lol). Then I stopped writing because nobody reads blogs the way they used to. I don’t read blogs. (For the record, I archived everything I had once written here in a PDF so it’s not gone forever.)

I just want an audience of me and probably my dad and whoever stumbles across this and pretends they aren’t reading it when they encounter me IRL. I don’t want to make graphics or worry about SEO or come up with ridiculous questions at the end of every post that nobody will answer because commenting on a blog is not a thing that anyone does anymore. Internet relevance is a new beast that I understand and employ for my clients but I don’t necessarily want for myself.

I don’t even want to call this a blog because I am tired of that word, itself. It’s a blargh.