For some reason, I've been thinking about identity lately. If you explore your internal reality a public forum, you have to think about how, and how much, you reveal. Often that's a question of how deeply you're willing (and able) to dredge up the potentially volatile combination of feelings, thoughts and memories that make you unique.
None of us is as shallow as we come across online. We have unplumbed depths that we might not be capable of either reaching or expressing, even if that's the reason we write. If you can't fully know the person you sit across the breakfast table from every morning, how much insight can you expect to glean solely from another person's carefully chosen words?
Even when we're writing about our weaknesses and insecurities, pleading for understanding, what we leave out could be the key. We exaggerate. We forget, or remember wrong. We gloss over something, to spare our own feelings or someone else's.
Still, we persist. The more we keep trying, the more the gap closes. Maybe we let our guard down and reveal more than we intend, or something we didn't even know was there. Completing the portrait is impossible, but the details, large and small, turn a line drawing into a realistic, recognizable rendering.
It all depends on honesty. Anything false I've written in my journal can only be the result of lying to myself. If there are parts of my life I don't write about, it's a matter of choice, not deception. I'm both less and more than who you probably think I am, but I'm also exactly the person portrayed on these pages. If you met me in person and expected anything different, you'd be disappointed.