I walked down the hall of my high school passing out copies of a comic-book zine I drew, featuring a mock superhero called SuperEmily, who battled thinly veiled versions of my grade’s reigning mean girls. In college, I sent out an all-student e-mail message revealing that an ex-boyfriend shaved his chest hair. The big difference between these youthful indiscretions and my more recent ones is that you can Google my more recent ones.
After recently throwing away 3 years worth of passed notes, pictures of ex boyfriends, and "memorabilia" I realized I should try to forget rather than keep, I realized it was easy to pile them up in a garbage bag and lug it to the dumpster.
It felt good to see the big, black, plastic coffin of memories tumble down into the depths of the garbage, knowing that the things worth keeping were right where they should be. In my life.
Today. Not tucked away in shoe boxes from the 1980s.
But once I disposed of my past in this way, I realized that the relief was only fleeting, because the real memories I should try to forget are the ones I've immortalized on the web.
Like the quoted writer, you can also Google my mistakes.
There was a time that a simple search of my name would bring up videos my friends and I had shot in my own apartment, giving the whole world a glimpse into my personal life. They knew how I looked at 2 a.m., they knew what sort of pictures I hung on my walls and they knew how infrequently I vacuumed. Strangers were invited into my home without my real approval, but instead with my lack of concern for privacy.
But if it took nearly ten years to rid my closet of those old shoe boxes, how long will it take to rid the web of me?
I sometimes want to delete Web-Me and start over. Save my pictures in photo albums rather than Photobucket. Call my friends on their birthdays rather than leave them a Myspace comment... and write in a real, leather bound journal rather than this blog.
But something always brings me back...
Maybe it's the technology that is so accessible. Maybe it's exhibitionism. Or maybe it's carelessness.
For each and every post or upload or tagged photo, I am creating a one dimensional, living log of my life.
One that will never fit neatly in the dumpster, no matter how many mistakes I make.