still on (msnvwls) wrote,
still on

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The Ghosts of Christmas Past

Merry Christmas, everybody. I hope you’re only reading this because you have some free time away from your families and your presents, and that everything where you are is warm and happy, the way this day ought to be. I’ve always thought it was strange that this holiday, the biggest of the entire year, takes place on the first day of the last week of the year. We’re constantly reminded, every Christmas season, to remember Jesus and his divine birth on this day, and with the New Year only a week away, it always seems like a perfect day to look back at your past year – I mean, since you’re already looking into the past to Jesus and everything. I always have trouble around this time of year just focusing on the events of the past year, though (I haven’t really thought about Jesus in years, I guess). To me, Christmas has become an annual time of remembrance of my parents’ December 23 divorce a few years ago, and what has changed in my family life since then. That always brings me down, though, so this year I’ve decided to break tradition.

Talking to bad_juice about my oldest LiveJournal entries really takes me back. It's weird to think about all of that now, a time when everything was so different for me, both in my real life and the one I've come to love, here on the internet. I remember talking to llll111lll1l1ll a while back about the existence of dual lives and personas within a single person - the persona and life in tangible reality and those of the internet reality. I remember even further back, talking to agreatnotion about the difference between one's real-life personality and the identity they portray over the internet, and her saying that she thought I probably was pretty much the same in both places (we can only hope). Neither one of those conversations is as far back as I've been thinking, though. Jesus, they aren't even close.

I lost my mom's Christmas present somewhere in my room and tore the place apart trying to find it today. In the middle of all of that, I came across this old photo album, pictures of shit I did as a little kid, taken with my first camera, an old Kodak that probably wouldn't cost anything more than a dollar today. Probably didn't even cost $10 then.

My grandfather, who loved photography, and the only picture in my possession of him

Tiny, just a puppy then, playing around

Getting wet

Biting my face

My dad and Pinky, back when we were still like best friends

Christmas, back when it actually meant something to me

And me, all those years ahead of MySpace

Ah, the days before the internet, back when there was only one me, there was only the Andrew who lived in the real world to worry about. I wonder when the internet really started to impact who I was, who I am. Middle school? No, too early, that was before I really needed it. High school, then? I can't think of any significant relationships I made with anyone in middle school via the internet, but high school was full of them. For a while, it seemed like it was the only way I knew to meet people, as my general discomfort with talking to people in real life situations kept me from making any friends off of cyberspace. Back then it didn't matter much, though - these were still the days when the only thing I used the computer was for AIM, and maybe Napster. What was the first song all of you downloaded? I still remember downloading my first song, Bon Jovi's "It's My Life." It took 35 minutes on dial-up.

One of the things me and bad_juice talked about briefly was the development of a LiveJournal, how so few start off as anything worthwhile, but eventually become good reads. Now, I don't exactly fancy myself as a good read - most of this stuff is self-congratulatory bullshit that only I care about, I know, but it'd be impossible to say that my journal hasn't developed over time. In fact, my entire internet persona has been slowly developing, since those first AIM conversations so many years ago.

I read the internet diaries I kept before LiveJournal and goddamn I was a fucking goth kid. Not really, but reading these fucking journal entries would lead you to believe otherwise. I talked about music a lot more then than I do now - bands like Sonic Youth and Pixies and My Bloody Valentine pop up in every entry, somehow or another. Nowadays it's rare to see me even mention music casually in a post, except for the occasional reference to German Oak or the Deep Listening Band. Still, I think my journal has improved drastically since those days - the majority of those old posts had very little to do with anything besides my desire to kill myself and other people, a problem I've overcome, for the most part.

What bothers me about all of this digging up old entries business is thinking about it in terms of the real life Andrew and the internet msnvwls. I became overwhelmed with sadness this afternoon, cried for the first time in a long while. The holiday season does it to me - a lot of bad feelings associated with Christmas - and I was thinking about the fight I got in with Ivy last night. I was thinking about how much she's changed since I've known her, and how much I miss the chipper young girl who fell in love with me such a long time ago. I was thinking about how much it disgusts me that she still controls me in ways that I don't like to think about. I was thinking about how I couldn't find my mom's Christmas present anywhere. I was thinking about how everyone's characterizations of me as irresponsible and unreliable were 100% accurate. Eventually it got a hold of me and I had to let go of it all. My mother saw me and tried to come help me, and of course I had to suck it up and keep it from her, because I didn't want her worried about me. I felt indignant towards her afterwards, because I felt like she'd robbed me of the catharsis I deserved, and this feeling of animosity towards her made me feel even worse about myself. Got me questioning who I am, who I was, and who I play, on the internet.

It seems to me that the more my e-personality has developed into something real, into a three-dimensional character (or the closer it has come to that, anyway - in a lot of ways I still feel very flat), the more boring I've become in real life. Back in the day, I was one hell of a character in real life. My appearance was striking, I did odd things like wear suits on Wednesdays, and I was so fucking passionate about so fucking much. Now I'm passionate about so fucking little - music, movies to a certain extent, literature, and maybe video games. I often tell people that my dream is to have a job that will allow me to do nothing in my free time other than sit on my ass, play video games and listen to doom metal. On the internet, though, I'm so active, so alive, commenting everywhere and talking to as many people about as much as I can.

I think I need new hobbies. I think I need a job. I think I need to do something with my free time other than sit around the house and jerk off to an imaginary girl who looks suspiciously like my first girlfriend. I think I need to take New Years' resolutions more seriously this year. For those of you who don't know, I plan my posts for a while before I ever update my journal, because I feel like I'm horribly boring if I just try to wing it. I'm currently planning a big year end blowout post that will compile all of my thoughts about the events of the past year as well as what I've learned and also my hopes for the new year, and I'm gonna make some sort of uber-poll for all of you to fill out to end the entry. It'll be great, as long as I can remember what I thought about 2005, and as long as I can figure out what I've learned. Maybe that's what this entry has been, me in search of some sort of lesson I might've picked up sometime in the course of my internet life. If I have learned something from all of this, though, it, like so many other things in my life, is totally unclear to me right now.
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