Cringing

Posted June 04, 2022 | ⏲ 2 minute read

It’s been a hell of a year so far.

I find it difficult to return to this format because looking at former posts feels like an exercise in self harm. No matter how much work I put into expressing myself authenically, I can’t read the result later without cringing. I’m out of touch. I’ve whittled down my presence on the mainstream, public internet so much over the years that I’m starting to feel… old. Culturally illiterate. In an era of never-ending algorithmically-enhanced social conflict being blasted through a handful of social media websites delivered directly to your pocket, its bizarre to be flitting just on the outside of the bubble. I can’t handle the anxiety of being in the fray, nor am I enthusiastic about putting myself out there in other ways. I need to interact, but I can’t escape the cringe.

And so, I come back. Cringe and all.

I’m having a personal renaissance of sorts. Maybe the inverse of a midlife crisis, in that I’m neither mid-life (by standard life expectancy, anyway), and am stable in a mind where crisis has always been the norm. There aren’t many details that I can or am willing to divulge about this right now, but this year has marked the beginning of the hard (but exciting) journey of shrugging off a shadow that has rested on my shoulders for the last 15 years. I’m very afraid that the progress that I’ve made so far is temporary. I’m afraid that I’m going to get to the top of the mountain and then tumble right back down with just the scars of hope to show for it. But… I’m feeling my brain working in ways that it hasn’t since I was very young. I’m making mental connections again, I’m capable of not just following conversation, but being able to build on it and engage in a personal way again. I’ve spent years on autopilot and I’m finally taking back the wheel. It’ll take a while to get back on track because of the neglected personal maintenance, but I’m making great progress.

So I’m here, posting an update on a rarely-updated blog read by an audience of one. An audience who always cringes.

I think I’m going to keep going, despite that. I’m just glad to be able to do it.