From a different time and place

There is something oddly entertaining about going back to something I wrote when I was younger. When I was convinced writing was my thing. And I did it with a shameless abandon, that I might have lost with age. I wrote with feeling, not with much thought. Because I was just so full of feeling and I had no time to rethink or ponder over what I was feeling, to say it coherently. Rebellious youth, hormone ridden teens and the angst that followed, I was a ball of cynicism and loathing for most things around me. Hate was a word I used easily and freely.

It’s funny how back in the day I had this distant perceived sense of self. It was romantic and rustic to think that one day I would be the quintessential struggling writer. The one with a decrepit, but cozy beach house. Alone, belligerent, always misjudging life. The kind that doles out brilliant writing, that only comes from brilliant suffering. If you knew me back then, you’d have believed that it could be a distinct possibility. But it’s funny how everything has moved so far from that distant, hazy image. A queer thing has happened over the years. And my blog is testimony to it. Even as many people feel they have gone on a journey from carefree and innocently happy young guns to jaded and cynical foggies as they’ve aged, I feel like I have travelled backwards. When I look back on my old writing, I see how the cynicism is brewing deep within. And it is enlightening for the largely happy and carefree person I am today. I am far more calm, positive and open today. As a result, I feel my writing too has turned calm, thought-out, and comes from much quiet contemplation. If the younger me was quick, brash and just needed to say it as it is, the now me is composed, collected and put together. At least as far as the writing goes.

Looking at something I wrote in the old days is a bit like looking into a trick mirror. Like you know you’re looking at a reflection of yourself. But it doesn’t all fall into place like it should. I have a new found starry optimism and I cannot understand what I was always so riled up about back in the day. While I accept it as all mine and can distinctly recollect each of those events and happenings, I find I can no longer relate to the bitterness. I cannot put a finger on the rebel-without-a-cause that I was. I cannot forgive the careless typographical errors, the casual uncaring writing, the forced harshness in some of my posts. Today I write with ease, but no longer with the intentional disregard for punctuation and spelling.

It makes me wonder: Where do the older avatars of ourselves go, when we, um, you know, move on? Do we discard them like old skins and grow into brand new supple selves? Or do we pack them away into a dark nook? Somewhere deep, that we can only get to with a little peeling and scrubbing? Or do we just grow newer selves embedding our older selves within? And do our older selves always stay the same, when we peel the layers back and have a peek within? How much changes? How much remains?

I’ve thought about shutting the older part of my blog down. Because I find myself increasingly feeling removed from it. Looking at it from a distance, and not completely relating to it. But most often I choose to let it be. Because there is something oddly amusing in looking at something you wrote in the past. And by something, of course I mean something embarrassing. Like I felt when I discovered the ton of 55fiction I had almost no memory of writing in the past. Many pieces forgotten, many still untraceable. So I’ve brought them off the high shelves they were stacked on. Dusted them off, neatly tagged and slotted them.

The next time I want to peek in the trick mirror that skews the past, the present and everything in-between, or I want to chafe at the sparkly self that I think I am, I know where to look.

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12 Replies to “From a different time and place”

  1. you’ve changed from the writer that you were and I’m becoming more and more of what I thought i would not be, but was. I think we lock our older selves inside ourselves They come out when we are most vulnerable. :-)

  2. Oh man! This blog post resonates with me on SO MANY levels. I have had days when I wondered if I had dumbed down or something. I have an untraceable blog, two actually, that I go back to often when I need a good laugh or just need to see how far I have come. Growing up is not about cynicism babe. It is about knowing that happiness is not too hard to find. Hugs! I am going to write something on these lines one of these days, something with the happy optimism that I have found with age. I lose it on some days, but fortunately, I find it back soon enough :)

    1. Oh yes of course growing up isnt about cynicism as a rule. But I find more and more people around me who look back at their younger years wistfully thinking “Those were the days, when I was bubbly and cheerful all the time. Now Im just jaded”..and since it is the exact opposite for me, I often wonder where the old me has gone off to :)

  3. Good lord, this was exactly what I had in my head a few days back. When my blog hit its 4th anniversary, I started reading up the old stuff from 2008.. the ‘lewl styl of typin lolz’ and the over the top emotional X factor along with criminal misuse of punctuations/ grammatical errors. Yes, embarrassing was quite the word for me,too. And quickly came the thought of deleting posts worth 2 years straight! But as soon as the thought came, it left too.
    Sure, we do peel away that skin we grow out of, but it sure is sweet as hell. It isn’t measured, careful, or diplomatic. It’s just honest, and simple. And powerful.
    So I decided to let ’em be and laugh along with the world at the ‘kewl kid’ I was :P
    Maybe I’m not old enough to use ‘was’ and ‘kid’ in the same sentence just yet, but you get the drift right ;)

    Cheers to this post, Revaa!

    1. Yes you kiddie you. But then again, you write like a lady, so maybe its fair to say your older writing makes you feel all grown up :) And yeah, i chose to let the blog stay because what fun is it if you cant laugh at yourself sometimes at least.

      1. heeh thanks, Rev. too much kindness and niceness you are ^.^
        and heh, all I need is a chota sa mirror to get rolling on pointing a finger at myself and laugh :P

        But, word. Couldn’t agree more! :)

  4. I might be less of a romantic and more cynical in life than I was when I was younger, but I think it’s a good thing that I don’t go about life thinking it’s like a DDLJ movie.

    I’m infinitely happier now than then and you’ll never catch me wishing I was a kid again.
    I’m still rebellious, but a happy rebel! :D

  5. I smiled at those two words you used about older writings, “shameless abandon”. How true of myself too! And I am really not sure whether the reality filter that I have come to apply of late is improving my output.

    1. Yeah, it doesnt do much good if youre writing about the facts :) I however write about things related to facts, thoughts in my head and experiences that lead to me thinking/feeling something, so in that sense the nature of my writing itself has changed.

      I think you should kick the reality filter!

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