When I was in middle school and high school, I kept an online journal. Several, really. I couldn’t decide on which site to use. First it was MyDearDiary, then DeadJournal, Xanga, GreatestJournal, LiveJournal. I had my website, which had several journals where I used wordpress and other open access blogging software. Despite not being able to settle on a location, I was fairly consistent about detailing my life. I was a teenager after all, and these were the days before social media existed and so sites like these weren’t widely read. People preferred anonymity in those days.
So I could write, in detail, the on-goings of my life. Mostly I bitched about homework, working, or whatever social drama that was happening. Nothing too deep. The occasional survey. Ok, I did lots of surveys. I liked talking about myself. But as I said, no one read it.
I forget sometimes that that sort of anonymity doesn’t really exist anymore. It does, to a certain extent, in certain corners of the internet. At any rate, this blog has some of my details on it, linked to some social media that gives a few more details about me. Yet I still sometimes write as if I am anonymous.
As such, I will undoubtedly say things that may appear performative. Or like bragging? You know, I just love to brag about my personal issues like my mental illness. WooOoOoOo. What I can tell you is that the purpose of my writing here is to write about my life. And my internet life since 1999 involves writing my diary online.
Now, I don’t get into super personal details, but I think I go a little bit further than I should. Maybe. I’m open about some things that most people think is better suited for friends or family. Well, I have few friends and I’m sorry but I’m not going to tell my husband everything. He gets most everything. He’ll probably read this and get this part of me too. I burden him with my thoughts sometimes, so I will put them here instead. You can choose to read it or not. Performing is not the purpose of this journal.
It just so happens that at this moment in my life, I’m at that awkward stage of trying to begin taking action towards anti-racism work. I think I made some good connections tonight, but time will tell on that. But part of the anti-racism work that my goal aims toward is dissemination of information. And nearly all the information I will distribute comes from Black women. It will undoubtedly be a regurgitation of information that can be googled until I can find my voice and put my own framing on these issues. This is how I learn, and this is how my writing process goes.
I don’t know why I’m taking a defensive stance on this. Probably white fragility. I’ve been accused of performing before. I was in the wrong, the way I’ve said some things, but it wasn’t in the spirit of performing. The intention was solidarity. As a white woman, I’m still trying to navigate when my solidarity needs to be in the form of silence, boosting, or new framing. I recognize that I don’t get to talk about some things because it’ll be construed as if my pale ass knows the realities of racism. I know I don’t know what that experience is like nor will I ever know. But I am still trying to figure out what is or isn’t acceptable for me to comment on. Mistakes will happen, and I will try my best to be graceful when they do.