why i need to blog

Blogging is one of those things that I know I’ll continue doing for as long as I live (or at least until my eyesight gets so bad I cannot for the life of me see what I’m writing). But until then, blogging will continue being an indispensable part of my life, and so will any form of writing I choose to do. 

In addition to this blog, I also keep a physical journal that functions as my silent therapist. I write any thoughts that come to mind, particularly when I’m in need of some perspective. I write from my own standpoint, but it’s as if I were looking at myself going through those emotions. Putting my thoughts on paper allows me to detach from those sticky emotions and evaluate each situation with a clearer mind. Sometimes it works, sometimes I get more confused, but I often find an inner satisfaction of having materialized those thoughts. I also kept a Chinese journal while I was studying abroad in China this past summer, and I’ve been meaning to go back to doing that as well. I’m just too lazy right now.

I also have an online journal, aka a private blog, for times of desperation. This one is for when I have no patience to write my thoughts by hand, or am simply too emotionally charged to pull out my journal and pen. This is where I record the most sensitive subjects, whether they be about me or someone else. They can be moments I want to treasure forever, moments that make me question the ultimate purpose of such petty things I suffer for, moments I’m ashamed of experiencing. It’s burdened with heavy emotions, but I’m glad I record them regardless, because looking back at them is a reminder that I was able to go through them, that I remained strong.

A few months ago, I finally created the infamous finsta. But fear not, as I have few shameful pictures of myself as I do not engage in the typical college party life and (hopefully) don’t embarrass myself in front of others as much. But I created one to keep some of my college friends in touch with my life. I was motivated to do so after I departed from some close friends I made in China this past summer; I wanted to somehow keep them in line with my life, should they wish to do so. So every once in a while, I post a long message, describing how I’ve been doing, thoughts I’ve been having, insecurites I’ve been experiencing. They’re heartfelt and truthful, and even though I cringe just thinking about others reading them, it helps me explain myself to others without having to do so explicitly. It represents little of my actual life, but it shows a lot of the vulnerability that I hide from most people. 

Then, I have this blog. This is the only one I’ve ever had where I write about my life and share it publicly. I had a different kind of blog for several years when I was younger, and that really propelled my passion for blogging. The reason I like to blog so much is because I can see how my writing changes with time. The things that I write about and the voice that I adopt are continuously changing – and quite drastically, if you ask me. It’s too cringey for me to go back and read my earlier posts 98% of the time, but in the rare occasions that I do, I’m astounded by the person that I was back then. I can still find traces of the current me in old posts, but for the most part, it’s no longer there.

I need to blog just as much as I need to journal and post on finsta (or whatever). They’re just different mediums stemming from the same essence: writing. I don’t blog, journal or write every single day, but I have recurring thoughts that formulate into somewhat coherent topics. They build up, slowly but surely, until I can’t hold them in my head and I must write them down. There is this unrelenting sense of need to write them down, and so I do. Blogging is my preferred medium of choice for now, for its convenience, flexibility, and independence. My material is too fickle for anything other than that, my thoughts too confusing. I don’t even know if they make sense here, but that doesn’t bother me as much. I still find pleasure in doing so, hoping someone else will read and identify with some of them. Even if no one does, I know at least I will.

This is very random, but whenever I think about why I blog, I keep going back to a scene in Ballet Shoes where the film director asks Pauline (Emma Watson) “What’s real to you, Pauline? What matters most to you in the world?” This question can be interpreted in many ways, but the director was asking about what was one thing that Pauline couldn’t live without doing. She responded, “Acting?” unconvincingly. The question lingered with me after that, and I found myself thinking about writing. I can’t live without writing. Maybe it’s blogging now, maybe it’ll be something else in the future. But I’ll be writing well into my elderly years, that I know.

I don’t ever want to make blogging my profession. Attaching monetary value to a hobby is the perfect way to kill its creativity. Of course, I’m only speaking for myself. Personally, I need that separation between what’s practical and what’s creative. I need a practical job to hold me grounded, and creative endeavors to keep me true to myself. I would hate making my hobbies my “job,” because the financial burden that comes with it will destroy the passion that sparked that flame in the first place. But, I don’t know. I might change my mind, maybe when I can handle stress better, or when I stop seeing them as two dichotomous halves of my identity.