A blast from the past got me full force in the gut this evening. I accidentally stumbled across an old Blogger account from 12 years ago…
I knew this account was out there and it haunted me slightly. The blog was never public – I had set it to invite-only. I was holding tight to the belief that, due to years of neglect, Blogger had simply stored it on some dusty cyber-shelf, in the old storage lockers of the internet, where no one but me would ever think to look for it. It was quite a shock, therefore, when I went to comment on a Slicer’s post and next to my reflection on the piece was my 12 year old photo from my Blogger account.
I quickly logged on. I was both thrilled and appalled to find the account exactly as I had left it back in ’07. There were just 4 posts, the last one reading something like “I always have such great intentions to write daily, but I can never seem to keep it up…” Oh dear. That’s not even irony, it’s just a sad, honest reflection of poor performance.
I read back through the posts and I cringed predictably. I’m definitely not happy with my level of understanding of the world back then. I have always been a late bloomer, not one of those 20-somethings that could write eloquent, poignant musings about life. Actually, what I find most galling was that I know I was trying to be eloquent and poignant, but reading it back I now realise I came off as brash, judgemental and insensitive. This was especially bad because the blog was a travel journal of sorts, my way of recording my experiences as an intern living in Malawi.
Reading my old posts, I can see that I attempted to use a lot of humour to explain the confusion I was feeling adjusting to a new culture – the humour was meant to demonstrate my quirky understanding of different customs and my ability to analyse my culture shock. I know that’s what I was trying to do, but that’s not how it read. If anything, the blog was a great example of what a young woman with white saviour complex looks like freshly out of undergrad; very aware that she doesn’t know what she’s doing or talking about while simultaneously making shallow and careless statements about her experiences.
I wrote a lot more about this but the post became more work than I first thought and I was no where near finished. It’s past midnight now so I will end this here.