I’ve been feeling nostalgic about 2009-2011ish lately. Everything felt new & fresh. It was the dawn of the social media age, and I had Twitter before pretty much anyone else did (#humblebrag). Through social media, I was building a personal brand, getting to talk to editors of big magazines who otherwise would’ve never given me the time of day. The possibilities felt endless. Would I become I famous blogger? Or go to LA and get work as a comedy writer? Or I’d finally get that big journalism break? Or maybe my trial period with that famous satire publication would pan out.
These days, I’m a copywriter (the most boring but well-paid of the writing fields. And so it goes.) and keep my life a lot more private. Social media drives me nuts, and I’ve turned off all my notifications to help curb addiction. I rarely read the news to save my mental health. I still think about these possibilities, but with less heart. Even if they come true, I will still be grasping at the things I need to do to make myself not feeling broken all of the time (exercise, meditation, healthy food, friends, music, books). Instead, I’ve narrowed down 3 big life goals I have. I feel less unhinged, more settled. Less inspired. And I miss that bright, fresh-faced view of the world, where in spite — and in fact, because of — a recession, anything is possible.
Le sigh. Like Joan Didion in her essay “Goodbye to All That”, I keep wondering where is the schoolgirl who used to be me. When my hair was redder. Curlier. And I was more naive. Innocent, really. And then reminding myself that Didion had to figure out that we all wonder that, at some point in our lives.