I just deleted my old Blogspot blog and I feel like crying.
It’s strange how one gets attached to objects that one interacted with on intimate levels. They never speak to us, never express emotion, never love us back. Yet their being gone leaves us with an emptiness that rivals the grief of losing a friend.
We’ve had some good times together, that blog and I.
It was started way back in 2012 when I was an ickle teenager trying to figure out my way through life. I remember creating it and talking to my friend Neeraja about it. She’d laughed after hearing my URL (justanotherteenagedgirl. Yes, you may laugh about it now). “It’s so you,” she’d explained.
Back then I was having an incredibly tough time in school.
I had been, for the first time in my life, bullied. I’d never experienced anything like that before and the thought that I might be hated or mocked for who I was had never entered my mind. My confidence was shattered at that point; I would shortly (about a year or so later) go into therapy for the first time for depression.
During that time I was not able to write at all. As I recall, after two posts, the blog lay barren for a year or more before sometime in early or mid 2013 I took up the virtual pen again. The blog then became my escape. I used it to exorcise my demons. I wreathed myself in it, getting lost in the craft of myth-making. I ceased to think; I just wrote: about my life, about virtual media, advertisements, fandoms, TV shows. It encompassed all aspects of my life and, in retrospect, became a sort of patchwork representation of who I was.
I’m not going to say it became an online journal, because it did not.
I consciously adopted a persona on it that helped to distance the writing from what I felt in my lived life. It was in its very stylization that I found comfort, and that, I believe, I increasingly began to find myself. On the blog, I was fearless, I was sarcastic; I was not the self-conscious hyper-anxious rotting-with-sadness Rushati; I was me again.
Looking back, I think it was largely for a search for my identity that I created the blog. I hoped to be able to articulate my inner utterances again; to find in myself the ability to utter anything at all. The blog was conceived of in a moment of personal crisis, and it helped resolve my fragmented self and bring me together, over a period of three years, like nothing else had.
The blog and I went through several URL changes together.
I remember mojowitchcrafthoney prominently, because it had been influenced by a favourite song from a TV show (The Vampire Diaries, if anyone’s interested). As my identity evolved, so did the blog, going from place to place, quite literally. When I moved to Kolkata, the blog came with me. My dramatic change of locale happened within the space of a week; I remember uploading a heartbroken post about loss and a week later, unable to believe my reality, I remember writing about how things can change quickly- for the better. (It’s a reminder I could do with now). My blog then became my anchor; it helped me hold on in a time when time felt like a swirling grave of quicksand and life trapped me in its gyre. Once again, it began to define my identity; I chanced upon people who knew me at school as ‘that girl who blogs’.
At some point, the blog stopped being an accessory.
Once it was a mere appendage to my identity. Now, more and more, it has come to define who I am. I shape my weeks around my blog, constantly thinking about what the next project could be. I wonder who I could ask to write for it next. I wonder if my blog can help them as they will help me. I wonder if my blog could become something more, something a little beyond just my blog, and at some point become something everybody can relate to. I’m not exaggerating when I say that my blog has given purpose to my life.
I have said this before and I’ll say it again: I hate abandoned social media accounts.
They give you the uncanny feeling of looking into the empty windows of an empty house long fallen into disuse, its inhabitants gone, its floors creaking, its walls seeping, its very being crumbled with dirt and slime. There’s an air of unbearable melancholy about it: that someone once was here who had lived, laughed, loved, and now only whispering ghosts remain.
I couldn’t bear to leave my blog like that. I left it in that state for several months, and then I couldn’t stand it anymore. I couldn’t leave my old companion in that state, as a forgotten relic of my past, alone, waiting.
Perhaps I’m attaching too much importance to something which, after all, is merely an abstract idea once-existing in a floating invisible void of faceless noise. Perhaps I’m reflecting too much of myself in it. But whatever it is, pressing delete was more than just a bitter-sweet moment. For a second, I felt a pang of loss that almost resembled panic: a piece of me was about to go away, disappear forever without a trace of having ever existed at all. And there is nothing more frightening for me than that.
But, having done the deed, having had time to process it, I still believe it was the right thing to do.
That part of my life is over. My new blog awaits me, with new content, new experiences and a new direction. It is the start of something, and it is exciting, and challenging, and refreshing, and all of those qualities are things I have longed for. It is time to let go of the past.
Goodbye, old friend.
You were a seed that has grown into something more beautiful than I ever thought you would. You are not lost; you have been safely packed away into that corner of my mind where I keep my most precious belongings. You are a milestone I will look back on and smile. You are a living, breathing creature in my heart.