To look through tinted windows

For some 2-3 years, I stopped writing publicly. I have no clear idea what that means, if I was grappling with the futility of putting words into the machine, or something else.

I was waiting for someone in particular to read them on the other hand and it was just not happening. Who was I writing for? Whose opinion and permission was I seeking? I was not being seen the way I wanted to. There was also something else about the rules of the machine.

I continued to wait, a phase couched in some assumed dormancy, to see if the time would come when I finally found it in myself to speak, or write. Basically express myself. Because I was not just speaking to the audience. I felt like I was also speaking in the presence of my old self. How is it that the presence of that old self thwarted my ability for self-expression is something that I, to this day, have yet to fully grasp. I just could not. And as time went by, it became harder to speak in the same container of my page”. Maybe because I feel like I needed to announce my return, account for that absence. I feel obliged to explain and declare — alluding to some stark distinctions — to show, and speak into, how different of a person I have become. Like I said, rules of the machine. You’re probably reading this and hearing my fatigue. You hear my resignation. You probably also hear my words and all the punctuations sigh, defeated.

Why is this such serious business. Who sets these rules anyway? Why do I feel compelled to abide by them?

Does the attention paid to a piece of posted content warrant thought and contemplation of selfhood to that extent? I have my doubts. And so I never got around to do the work of resurfacing myself. If social media, in this case, Facebook and Instagram, serve as homes hosting our digital selves, then it was less that I left the home abandoned, but more that I come back periodically, secretly, in the middle of the night when no one is looking, quietly adding tinted screens to the window so when morning comes around, when the days roll around, I am able to look out of those windows, look at the lives of people so familiar to me, observe the ways they conduct their lives, watch them grow old, raise families, exhibit their thoughts and lives… I do that without saying a word.

July 15, 2022