With regard to this website, one thing I’m constantly reminding myself of is to be authentic. After all, the original purpose of this site is to provide a means of sharing my personal story, so that others may benefit from it. That may sound like a noble intention, but the truth is I get extremely depressed sometimes, to a point where I just don’t want to be alive anymore, and if I ever act on that urge to kill myself, the least I can do is leave behind some sort of explanation. In other words, this website could very well end up becoming one big suicide note.
On a more positive…um…note, there’s a strong possibility that I won’t kill myself.
Instead, I’ll use this website as a means of overcoming my depression, finding inspiration, and creating a life of joy and meaningful success…in which case, my personal story might become a beacon of hope or a source of inspiration for those who may be suffering like me. And as an additional bonus, I’ll have a record of my past thoughts/experiences that I can look back on and say things like:
Jeepers! What a rascal!
In any case, the ultimate value of this site’s content is highly dependent on how authentic I am when writing it. But remembering to be authentic isn’t specific enough. Be authentic to which self? I have a wide variety of thoughts streaming through my mind at any given moment, and I can’t type them all, so which ones do I ignore and which ones do I immortalize? Out of all the shit that happens on a given day, which experiences should be forgotten and which should be remembered?
Despite my acknowledgment that authenticity is a good thing, the reality is I’m making this content public, using my real name, so I can’t help but to think about who might read this. Family? Friends? Ex-girlfriends? Potential employers? Government agents? My future wife? My future kids?
Depending on who I imagine my audience to be, my devotion to authenticity begins to waver as fear and self-doubt creep in. I can’t write what I really think about my friends and family…they would surely disown me. I can’t write what I really think about employment…no one would employ me. I can’t write what I really think about my future wife…she’ll never marry me.
My imaginary audience clearly has the ability to influence the authenticity of my content, so the question is: who should I imagine?
The best answer I can think of is:
Imagine you will one day have your memory erased and this website will be your guide to re-learning who you are.
I’ll give it some more thought, but for now, that seems like a reasonable solution, Darren.