Third Thoughts

Excuse me for a moment while I get a little meta and blog about my blog. I've inhabited this same small corner of the web since late 2006, and this is its third "reboot" after a prolonged absence. Each time, I've toyed with the idea of starting fresh with a shiny new blog, but each time I decide against it. For one thing, some extremely deep-seated aspect of my character rebels at any sort of redundancy. It's why I don't use Twitter (redundant to Facebook status updates), why I figured out how to transfer balances between Starbucks gift cards so I wouldn't have to carry more than one, and why, if I ever fulfill my dream of getting an iPhone, I will immediately ditch my iPod and camera. In general, I like my life to take up as little space as possible.

There's another reason, though. I like continuity. I'm the sort of person who periodically goes back and reads every journal she's ever written in. Yes, sometimes reading the thoughts of my former self produces a feeling similar to nails on a chalkboard, but that person was me, too. Except in the most egregious cases, I'm not interested in hiding it. So please, feel free to get acquainted with Hallie the college freshman, who wrote a lengthy and impassioned article on how to wear a bra. Even though I've since ditched bras entirely, it's still one of my most-trafficked posts. 

The same year, I wrote a preachy rant about the fashion industry, in which I complained about "fashion statements that ought to be censored" and labeled girls who dress in revealing clothes "tart" (not to mention the judgmental comment that "if you're going to wear a practically nonexistent shirt, at least go back and read my bra rant - there are some things we don't want to see"). I have since learned the word for what I was doing. It's called slut-shaming, and if you -- like I did -- think it's just fine to judge women for how they present their bodies, please go read this amazing speech right now. I cried. No, the judgmental impulse in the back of my mind that goes "wow, that skirt is too short" has not immediately shut up. But I'm working on it.

And that's why I keep this blog around. Just like my third-grade diary with the heart-shaped lock, it keeps track of who I've been and who I'm becoming. Even better than a paper journal, this blog lets me self-annotate -- when I figure out that an old version of me was wrong about something, I can turn right around and tell her so. That means, as this blog continues to age, the "meta" tag will probably get more and more use. Read on, and watch the evolution happen.