A New Beginning?

I watched Amélie again last night. It is threatening to become my favorite movie. Its carefully crafted layers of cuteness and quirkiness and loneliness and courage, sweetened by Yann Tiersen's music, were as uplifting as always. Ah, if only life could be that interesting...

Anyway, these last few weeks I've been thinking that I want to start writing a blog again. I used to have one in high school, but I pretty much abandoned it since I came to Tufts. I could always blame it on the lack of time, but it wasn't just that. Another superficial reason was that I got on facebook. For a while, school papers were enough to drain my writing impulses, and max-420-letter wall posts were enough to satisfy my erratic bouts of self-expression. The deeper reason, though, was that I was embarrassed by the cheesy stuff I'd written when I was "younger", and I wanted to disassociate myself from it all. Even though there are things I wrote earlier that I still like. (Let's see now: Am I more embarrassed by the immature person I was then, or by how much of that person is still in me? Hmm...)

Fun fact: From starting that blog until leaving home: 240 posts in 602 days, approx 0.40 posts per day. From coming to the US until today: 26 posts in 1073 days, approx 0.024 posts per day. A 16-fold rarefaction in inspiration? Damn, they must have some pretty bad food here :) I think the reason I stopped writing publicly went way beyond embarrassment. It was closer to an expectation of perpetual embarrassment, a defeating feeling that whatever I wrote would be obsolete and laughable in a few years, no matter what. I felt that, because there were so many people around me who were smarter and more adjusted and better writers than me, nothing I could ever say or write or do had anything to offer to the world. So I protected myself, instinctively avoiding anything that was even remotely threatening, including writing. I tried to never let anyone see my flaws, because if they did, they wouldn't want to be around me anymore.

All of the above hasn't made me into a particularly happy guy. (Any reasonable person is probably rolling their eyes "duh" at this point.) It has been slowly dawning on me that there are people who will not run away when you reveal some of your aches and insecurities, but who will listen and give you a hug instead. If I believed in a god, I would thank him (her?) for such people. So what does that mean for writing? It means that there is value in what I have to say, even if I think it's so imperfect. And there is no harm in laughing at it five or ten years from now. Hipolito from Amélie said it this way:

Life is but a draft, an endless rehearsal of a show that will never play.

So why not share the draft with others, while there is still time?