This is an end-of-summer update. I’ve finally finished my internship and have regained the time and energy to once again think about writing. However, everything I’ve considered as a subject, besides biographical spewing, requires research and contemplation that I haven’t yet had time for. What you are reading now is another attempt at defining the purpose of my writing here, along with some biographical material. Subsequent posts will adhere to the following considerations.
Since I want this blog to be compelling, the standards for the writing that will appear here are high. I will not settle for the whimsical, feel-good nonsense that makes up the majority of the blogosphere (food related blogs in particular). I want this blog to reflect deeply on who I am, but to also be useful for others. Such reflection requires sustained focus; therefore short posts are of no interest to me. Writing here demands a level of rigor and clarity from my thoughts available only by attempting to articulate them. Consequently, so that I do not simply write about my nascent opinions, all future content will be researched, reflected on, and discussed with others, while also conforming to this rule: no post may contain fewer than 1,000 words. I hope that everything I write here will identify, develop, and provide insights into personally relevant issues. I hope, again, that it will be not only myself to whom this site is valuable.
For now I’ll take the easiest route, and simply provide a few facts about myself. In one month I will turn 21-years-old. In one year I will have completed my undergraduate career: a double major in Philosophy and the History of Math and Science, with minors in Classical Studies and in Comparative Literature. Such a title makes me sound more literate than I feel. The private-school’s tuition will leave me with significant debt but no definite career training. Finally, I have a highly introverted personality; that is, I derive energy from solitude rather than society.
I look in the mirror to reconfirm, everyday, the image that I hold of myself. It is an extremely vain habit, but it has become engrained because the rewards and judgements facilitated by doing so are powerful. Constant reflection on oneself is an important practice, and the mirror provides one means of doing so. Observing my reflection appeals to my desire for instant-feedback; allowing me, on my own terms, to check on the way I appear to others. If my hair is in disarray, or my face is dirty I can fix these immediately. These are, however, only superficial examples of its use.
The objectivity of the mirror’s reflections hardly extends beyond the above observations. The mirror does not really allow me to see myself as I am seen by others. The real changes that I make, when I look at myself, are much more subtle than the ones I have described. It has become habit to present to myself my ideal postures, expressions, and fashions. I forget, however, that these changes come to life only in front of the mirror. When I turn away from my reflection, I quickly return to my former, more comfortable demeanor. Effectively, the mirror allows me to briefly see myself as I wish I could be seen. The mirror only reflects what I present to it, and I only show myself my ideal. I imagine, nonetheless, that what I observe is my objective appearance; that others see me exactly as I have just seen myself. So I walk around with the illusion of being vibrant and charming when in fact I am slouched, mumbling, and furrowing my brow. There is a disconnect between how I carry myself among others and in front of myself. The goal is to overcome this disparity, so that others can see me as I see myself. For this I need another source of accountability, another way to assure myself of my presence in the world. This blog, as a communication of my thoughts, is one such way.
My objectives for writing here are diverse but complementary. There are several themes into which most of my interests fall: Communication, Vanity, Appetite, Discipline, and Education. These themes are aspects of life about which I am enthusiastic but struggling. This blog will be a means for me to explore, consider, and comment on new and relevant ideas from diverse sources related to these themes.
I want, among other developments, to become more articulate in speech and in writing. Being introverted, writing is a more accessible means for me to work on crafting and refining my thoughts. I often find that, in speech and in writing, ideas that I thought were strong and clear come out muddled. These ideas, I assumed, had been rehearsed enough in my own mind that their communication would be easy. This is, however, never the case. I need to write. I need to speak. More articulate and unrestricted communication will strengthen my character and relationships, and will also, hopefully, demonstrate and refine my intelligence. My education will have been worthwhile if it facilitates this ability to communicate and enables me to find my voice.
Until next time,