Back when Thought Catalog was still in vogue, I read this article. Re-reading it yesterday, I find myself still identifying with it as wholly as I did six years ago. In this instance, this extract is particularly relevant:
I have fallen in love with countless people only through reading their personal blogs, feeling as if we might understand each other more intimately than many people I see every day. And there seems, to me, nothing wrong with this. Yet there is that irony, that constant need for detachment, that makes me the strange one for feeling this way.
I follow quite a few random blogs. I don’t know some of these people. I don’t even agree with a few of them.
Yesterday, I read a post on one of these blogs. The writer, who despises his mother, tried to convince his brother not to speak to her. When his brother failed to assent, the writer questioned why he hesitated when—and this is what the writer regrets saying the most in his entire life—their mother hates him. And in that moment, the writer was racked with guilt, and for the first time in twenty-four years, hugged his brother out of his own pure volition. The writer concluded that he was the worst thing of all: he was like his mother.
I reacted. The words came swiftly and naturally in a comment I left on his post under a pseudonym.
It has been a while since I’ve done such Coffee Chat things.
Initially, I had just wanted to like this and leave it at that, because I was afraid that you would interpret whatever I had to say as sympathy and scorn it. But I re-read in your About Me that leaving a comment would mean much to you; hence, I write this.
Reading this post moved me. Not just because I identified with how human you were; but mostly because the one thing worse killing genuine goodness in someone else is killing genuine goodness in yourself.
I don’t know you personally. I don’t even remember how I found this blog. I followed it because you wrote well, you made me laugh, and you held contrarian views that challenged my bubble and I knew that social media should be a tool to break out of echo chambers rather than fossilising them. But I’ve always believed that blogs are bigger windows to the souls than our Twitter generation realises.
The soul I’ve seen through your words is incandescent. Sure, the light is shuttered by cynicism and vulgarity and ego; but really, whose isn’t? But strip away the theatrics, and there remains such a terrible authenticity, a good person. And while hearts may harden, they don’t transmute.
And if all the above is overdramatic drivel, I just wanted to say that I heard you. And you’re worth more than you think you are.