Sunday, September 10, 2006

Never Say Never

"What is it that you never ever thought you would write?"

That's the Sunday Scribblings theme o' the week, and no, it's not Sunday. It's Monday, September Eleventh. But for the sake of my newfound want and/or need to "take to the woods and live deliberately", I'm gonna write it now while eating a bowl of Cookie Crisp with a white plastic spoon. Yummy.

What I Thought I Would Never Write
by A. B. Chairiet

(See? Now it's official...Let‘s do this train of thought style, shall we? Yes, she says, as the soy-milk runs down her chin.)

I never thought I would be one of them. One of those internet geeks. People who spend so much time online, and for what? For the connection? The chat rooms? The pornography??

I never thought I'd be one of them, staying up all night, instant messaging total strangers at the age of fifteen, talking to men God-knows-what-age, and they're asking me to do what to my where with a hairbrush?? What now?! You've got to be kidding me!!

I was completely blown away at how perverse it all was. At how bazaar.

Yet how delightful it was to sit at a desk and type and say Yes, I'm doing that, though actually I wasn't. I was sitting with my girlfriends, and we're laughing at him, this pathetic stranger and why is he online??

Why are any of us online??

I'm glad I'm past the days of men asking me to stick certain things in certain places. The internet isn't a place for young girls. The older you get, though, the less and less men bug you. The more they actually want to talk to you. Connect with you. Write letters. Be involved.

Though eventually the sex comes back into play, and that's all well and good. I'm not anti-sex. The internet is here for millions of people for millions of reasons, and if you want to have a bit of fun while you're at it, then go right ahead. Just don't ask some fifteen year old to do dirty things to herself for your own personal entertainment. That's illegal, bad, and wrong.

I did the chat-rooms. I "faked" cyber-sex. Listened to free music via Napster. Talked to boys I actually knew via ICQ. I wrote emails. I shopped.

Years passed, and once I graduated from high school, I left the internet behind for a while. Until the age of twenty-two, I was almost completely offline.

In the beginning of 2005, I returned to the internet to find it in much better shape. Many changes took place: I used Google instead of AltaVista. I didn't do the chatrooms or ICQ at all. Nor did I go back to Napster. It wasn't free anymore. Where was I to get music? Make connections??

I never found a place for free music (not until recently, that is), though I did find the connection...in a little place called Stuckeyville. An online town, a fan-site if you will, for a television show I was obsessed with: Ed.

I needed that show and my obsession to distract me from my postpartum depression. And because of that need, because of my mind being so fixated in that place...that Ed-like place where it was all so nice and squeaky clean versus my reality that was full of the cries of a colicky baby...what happened next was inevitable:

I began writing again.

I wrote what I never thought I would write. What I didn't even know existed. A blog! My God, a blog. Yes!! What a wonderful idea...I'll write pieces, cover the show, tie in the events of my own life, and there you have it:

A blogger was born.

I never thought I would write a blog, be one of them, but I was and I did. Night after night, for five months, I wrote that blog 'til I finally felt the need to break away from the show and only write about myself. Tis the deadblog: the place where I truly learned how to write. And I had been writing since the age of four, though I quit when I got pregnant. I was too depressed. And it's funny how that's what lead me back.

I'm still writing.

I'm writing here now. The deadblog died, and then I killed it, though not for the lack of loving it, or all that came with it...

Inbetween the starting of the Stuckey-blog and the deadblog, and the ending of the deadblog and the starting of this one, I've met so many great people, and read so many great things, and wrote so many pieces and letters, that it makes my head spin just thinking of it all. I'm grateful. It's a once in an online-lifetime experience I'd never take back or trade for anything. It's taught me so much not only about writing, but about myself.

Who I really am.

I never thought I'd be one of them, those internet geeks who are here for what reason, we'll never know for sure, but it isn't all hairbrushes and sad lonely men. It's real people, really living and writing and connecting. I'm glad I wrote what I never thought I'd write:

This blog.

8 comments:

paris parfait said...

Very intriguing post - good for you for writing about the progression of your online life - and for writing a blog about your real life.

FiL said...

Oh Ash, I found bits of this rather uncomfortable reading. But I also found it wonderfully honest and direct.

FiL

Ash BC said...

Paris Parfait: What a delightful name! :)

And thank you so much. I'm glad you found this post intriguing.

...

Fil: Oh, I hate that I made you uncomfortable...

Was it the Fifteen-year-old Ash stuff??

I was honestly just trying to show that young girls on the internet have a much harder time making real connections with people, because there are so many predators online. Though it was highly irresponsible of me and my friends to toy with them. We thought it was funny...I swear I never did any of the graphic items mentioned. I just remember so many of 'em seem to have such an unhealthy obsession with girls and their hairbrushes.

Tis why that stuck out in my memory, and appeared in this story, which I've always wanted to write: my life online.

So anyway...Again, I'm extremely sorry I made you uncomfortable. I hate that. I'm really so sorry.

I've edited it a bit...tried to make it clearer on how I was saying the internet went from being a dangerous toy to an actual means of connection and communication.

And if that's not what bothered you...

Perhaps the part about me finding free music? ;)

I was only joking. I don't go to music blogs JUST to "steal" the music. I read 'em. And love 'em. And THEN I steal their music. ;)

(Sigh)

One more point, then I'll quit rambling...

For future reference on this post: I mentioned "sad and lonely men" and "internet geeks"...

I'm very much an internet geek.

And I love the sad and lonely men...I was only joking. And being hypocritical for the humor that's in it: I'm one of the saddest, loneliest people around here, I'm sure.

...

Thanks for reading and commenting, you two. It means a lot to me. :)

Happy Tuesday!
Love,
~ Ash

Heidi said...

Ash - thanks for the initial reference ("take to the woods and live deliberately") that reminds me of "home" - you know, the beloved show "Ed" and subsequent to that, the beloved Stuckey site that led to us meeting however figuratively you wish to call meeting. Not to mention one of the most brilliant epis EVER. Thanks.

This post really moved me. Actually in the irony of it all, I feel like I connected with you and learned somethings I never knew including this: "I needed that show and my obsession to distract me from my postpartum depression." I don't think in retrospect I knew you had PPD. Odd...so did I. I was semi-aware of it at the time (too sleep deprived to be fully aware I'd like to think), but I am acutely aware now. hmmm...interesting.

I also don't think I knew that your early days w/ BG were: "full of the cries of a colicky baby" -- odd, so were mine w/ J. hmmm...interesting. I'm sure we have some bizarre stories about things we tried to do to soothe our children, and maybe one day we could compare notes :)

as for: "It's a once in an online-lifetime experience I'd never take back or trade for anything. It's taught me so much not only about writing, but about myself." I'm just glad that I have been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of you on this writing ride. THANKS.

Heidi

Ash BC said...

Oh Heidi...I'm so glad you felt a connection with me through this piece. The colicky babies and the postpartum...it's all so hard. And yes, let's one day compare notes. :)

"Take to the woods and live deliberately" will always be one of the most inspiring images for me. Actually going to that hilltop, running up it ala Ed with Long May You Run in the background...I love that episode and all it represents.

I've missed you so much, and I still miss you.

Let's compare those notes, and soon. :)

~ Ash

Heidi said...

sounds good girl -- I just need to get me some Jackie O shoes and I'll be good to go ;)

Oh to be young again (sigh) (as if youth has to do w/ the Jackie shoes??)

Heidi

FiL said...

Oh Ash, please don't fret about my discomfort. And certainly no need to apologise! Indeed, I find some of the best writing (and this IS a great piece) makes me feel very uncomfortable. And that's OK.

I did understand perfectly what you were getting at (toy to connector) - again, a function of the fine writing. And it was the 15-year-old bit that discomfited me, but largely because it makes me uneasy that there are people out there with "unhealthy obsession with girls and their hairbrushes" and the potential to cause (not necessarily intentionally) damage...

Then again, as you point out, there are the sad and lonely as well. Indeed, that perhaps accounts for some of the hairbrush obsessives. Which brings us to the subject of compassion...

I'm starting to wffle, but you see, you've made me uncomfortable AND prompted me to explore why! So it IS a great piece of writing!

Yay, Ash!!

Oh, and steal all the music you like...

FiL

Brian said...

September 10

Ashley,
People seek the internet for so many different reasons, don't they?

Sometimes, it seems, that a connection is made when people are there for different reasons.

One may be looking for one thing and someone else for another, but they have something to give one another...and that can sometimes be the strongest, no?

It might be interesting to think about what each person is looking for that you've met, and why that connection between you and that other person happens. Or maybe that would take some of the mystery out of the whole thing, I don't know.

And then I think, the most interesting people are looking/ searching for many different things at once. If it's just one thing such as sex, companionship, writing just to write, proselytizing, pontificating, relief from boredom, etc, then it's just too one dimensional, you know?

You, for example, have so many different reasons for being here. That's one of the things that draws people to you, I think. That, and your wonderful creativity. Your many moods and directions you take and the color you add to your world.

I'm just glad we met. And glad I've found you again....

Brian