There are many things I wish I could take back from the internet: those angsty, MySpace-esque photos of my new haircut…the 30 seconds I thought I was a model (also producing angsty headshots, in case anyone’s keeping count)…that time I strategically Photo-shopped a naked picture of me and my high school boyfriend and typed “Crazy About You” in the corner of it.
So many things. The list is endless. But let’s be honest—I can delete that stuff any time I want. Sure, I know there’s probably a record of it out there somewhere—like any good 90s parent, my mother warned me around seventeen-hundred times that everything I put on the internet is out there forever—but for my day-to-day needs (erasing my embarrassing, teen self from friends’ memories), deleting photos and posts from Facebook is pretty much the only necessary task. If I really wanted to be thorough, I guess I could dig up the ol’ MySpace.
But that’s not necessary. The reason I named my blog “Skinny Dipping” is because I wanted to write real life stories that make me and hopefully you, the readers, feel like you’re skinny dipping—stories that I’m not really supposed to be telling, that make everyone a little uncomfortable, but ultimately make you laugh and feel freer and more alive than you did ten minutes ago. Stories that wake you up. Raw stories. Truth.
At some point along the way, I buttoned up. The lake froze over. I stopped laughing at my own shenanigans. Thankfully, in a previous incarnation of this blog, I wrote something that rings true today, and hopefully will every day going forward…
“So, I started this blog a few months ago, but didn’t write anything on it because everything I started to write was too inappropriate for the internet. Today, I had an epiphany: my whole life is too inappropriate to broadcast on the internet. And then I realized that I don’t care.”
Today, I re-realized that exact sentiment: I don’t care what people think of me. I care what I think of me, and I know I’m a good person with good intentions who helps as many other people as she possibly can. I’m meeting my own expectations (“surpassing” may be a little strong).
The point is that I am a work in progress, just like pretty much every single one of my fellow twenty-three year olds. We don’t have it figured out (in case that’s unclear to anyone). And we don’t have to just yet. Let me speak for all of us when I say we’re working on it.
So, I’m going to use this blog to write about my shenanigans in Detroit, and Ann Arbor, and Nashville, and Chicago, and home-sweet-home, Northville. I’m going to brag about how bright and insightful the children I tutor are, and how weird it was last week when I told that cashier at Trader Joe’s that I’d just gotten out of a really serious relationship and wasn’t ready to date yet when he’d just asked me how my weekend was…where was I? Oh, right. Taking a stand. I’m going to write the truth. My truth. Even if it’s dorky sometimes.
And I’m not going to delete those pictures and posts…partially because it somehow feels like insulting my former self, but mostly because I always get a good laugh out of them.