There's only so much of myself that I can reveal here. Even if I'm not trying to hide anything (and I'm not saying I'm not), and even if these words come more or less straight out of my head and my heart (and they more or less do), only a wee corner of who I am can possibly come through.
That doesn't mean this is a futile exercise in connectivity, though. Despite the limitations of the form, I've opened myself up more since I've been writing here than I did in the many years before I started doing it. Imperfect as the connections might be, I've made more here than I'm able to make away from here.
Some say there is no online community. It's true that there's no monolithic entity that encompasses the millions of individuals who are plugged in, but there is a sense of community among groups of people, if you're willing to pursue it. Communication is available with an immediacy and intimacy that allows anyone willing to make the effort to find a circle of friends.
Is "friends" too strong a word for online acquaintances? Perhaps. Maybe the depth of a relationship that is created out of words (mostly, plus a few pictures) can't be as fulfilling as a friendship that allows people to read each other's facial expressions, touch each other's hands, whisper into each other's ears.
But if we're willing to accept different levels of friendship in our offline lives, surely there's room for the type of friendship that we've invented for ourselves here, in this world. We have incomplete pictures of each other, but the more we try, the closer we come to filling in the blanks.
If you've read my journal, you know pretty much what's on my mind from day to day. That's not to say I don't have any unexpressed thoughts or feelings, because my life is ever so slightly more complex than what you read here. That's only because I don't have the time, and you wouldn't have the endurance, to read any more of it.
Nevertheless, sitting here, in my home, at my desk, typing these words, I'm the same person you find when you click over here and read them. Whether that's a comforting thought or a frightening one, I'm not sure. And that's the truth.