Dear Molly, I am afraid

If I am being completely honest with you, writing these letters is a challenge for me. I want to write for ~me~ and not care what others think, but at the same time I want people to read my posts and think my writing is decent and my stories are relatable. I want to capture my reflections and thoughts as they organically come to me, but I want to seem relevant and profoundly insightful to whoever reads my letters.

Growing up, I didn’t really keep a diary or journal. Often I would attempt to start writing, but my efforts never lasted more than a week. I don’t think the reason I never gained writing momentum is as obvious as you may think. Writing wasn’t dreadful and boring, but writing was permanent. To write was to commit myself to an opinion or feeling or idea that would be tied to me for as long as the medium it was on existed. I can’t even commit to want I want to cook for dinner some days, how am I supposed to assume the responsibility of all of these ideas forever, some of which are only half thought-out or poorly communicated?

The perfectionist inside me always wants to be correct and true and flawless so that nobody can make me admit that I might be wrong or ignorant or unqualified. These fears are only intensified by the indelible and highly visible nature of content on the Internet, and there is no shortage of examples of people who are haunted by their previous words and thoughts, despite the fact the person and society they live in have moved on and changed. I am undergoing perhaps one of the most active phases of my personal growth, and each day presents me knew ideas and perspectives to absorb and process. My views and voice are changing, and already have, significantly even over this past year as I left the comfortable bubble of MIT and charged into the great unknown of the “Real World.” I know that it is okay to admit you no longer hold certain opinions or were misinformed, but I only want people to see the current best version of me and to leave the past in the past.

So, here I am, wanting to be authentic and open about the transitions I am undergoing and the world as I see it but afraid that these earlier and less developed versions of me will somehow haunt me in unpredictable ways in the future. For now, I will continue to keep pushing myself through these fears because I do truly see the value in writing these letters with you, Molly. I will try to accept that I am a changing person in a changing world, therefore I can never hope to write anything that will hold true forever or will represent me perfectly in the present. I need to accept that this evolution of character and perspective exists, and I can only hope the world around me accepts this, too.

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