My December to Remember II: Day one
News: Senate averts rail strike by voting for House legislation
Harry & Meghan drop trailer for long-awaited Netflix series
Florida pulls $2B in assets out of blackrock, citing esg investment
I’ve had a long and storied history when it comes to getting attention on the internet. It first started back in eighth grade, when I wrote the most popular Zelda fanfic on FanFiction.net. I wrote dozens of chapters and had comments telling me it was the funniest thing they ever read. It made me happy to disperse a new entry, knowing it’d be well-received and I’d be giving the people what they want. And then one day it was gone, deleted from the site, no recovery nor backup files. What I once shared was now gone, and there’s absolutely no going back.
Similar story only a few years later in high school and through college, where I literally became the face of a web forum I’d frequent. I was ‘popular’ because of ‘girl on the internet syndrome,’ but I made good posts. I made it funny. I shared a lot about my personal life and antics in college, including signs I made in the Girls bathroom and the night I partook in ‘pudding wrestling.’ I won’t elaborate. One day, I got it in my head that people could pay me in “style points” (site currency) for writing whatever message they wanted on my forehead. One of those photos was me with the message was “Join LWS!” on my head, and it became the ‘splash’ page for non-members for years, telling them to subscribe because “ClockworkGina commands you!” Yep, I was an internet meme for about five years. Then that site got bought out, and all that I posted, shared, and said over the years: gone.
Flashforward to a few years after college to my YouTube channel, which garnered a respectable twenty-eight thousand subscribers at its peak. I had my own little army hanging on my every word and rant, and I had no problem attaching myself to a ‘disgruntled e-girl’ brand, posting whatever came to mind, sharing thoughts, feelings, video games, whatever. It was my space and I had a blast. And then I just stopped. I reached the end point to where I didn’t see any pathway to a formal relaunch of my channel, despite several attempts. I lost monetization and partner status, and now I’m just some old broad still traipsing around the internet.
And right now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’ve often fantasized about being a politician. I made a few coworkers laugh at the idea of the Senate pro tempore saying, “Would the Gentlewoman from New York please stop rolling her eyes?” I’d be the one public figure who didn’t get caught up in special interest groups and just worked for the people who put her there. I don’t know what my future holds, but right now, there’s no possible way I’d ever put myself in that situation. You have to go to lots of meetings, lord over a team of God knows who, be in public, and face all sorts of horrible harassment if someone doesn’t like you. You share yourself with the country, and I find it far too difficult to do that when there’s an air of inauthenticity surrounding it. Just ask any one of the Royals about all that attention they get. It’s all a big phony game when you really look at it.
It just couldn’t be me to be that person who has to fake it all the time. I don’t want to play along with someone who doesn’t want to play along with me. I can’t refer to people as “My friend from South Carolina” or however Congress does it. I won’t sit there and pretend to care about things I just don’t. I feel that by doing so, I’m killing who I am. I’m inauthenticating myself because I’m dishing out things through both sides of my mouth, like a politician has to. Lying is a talent I don’t want to excel in.
Now, if I didn’t share my writing here, you wouldn’t be reading this. I’m no miser, there’s certain things I love allowing people in on. However, there remains something sacred about keeping a level of anonymity, especially when it comes to matters of family, friends, and the heart. Over the years, it’s made less and less sense for me to tell everyone exactly what I think. I keep a lot more close to the vest these days, and prefer to play in the vague to let you know what’s really going on beneath the surface. Being someone who has put themselves in a position where their values, strengths, and weaknesses can be assessed by anyone at anytime seems far too exhausting a lifestyle right now. And I know citing a politician is an extreme example, but we can distill it down to what else we share in our own little social circles.
I don’t have a lot of major social media anymore. I deleted Facebook years ago. I deactivated my Instagram account. I don’t do TikTok because all your data is fed back to the CCP. I refuse to update my iPhone because the ‘latest’ update said it can Face ID you with a mask on. I do have a Twitter but I deactivated my main 2009-era account for two weeks. I’m glad I did, because I don’t think it’s going to see much use outside of sharing my writing. There’s something freeing about not doomscrolling or sharing each facepalm I save for a news story. I’m tapped out on doling things out. I’ve given and contributed a million times over and did not once stop to think about what I could possibly be left with.
Sharing things online in the manner modern society does just feels too personal to me. I feel like I’d be intruding every day. Harry and Meghan dump a treasure trove of photos of themselves, looking happy and ‘in love’ and I’m over here thinking why the fuck would you take a picture of yourself kissing someone on the cheek. Who is that for? Who’s going to need to see that? Is it just for the ‘gram or are you planning on looking fondly at that memory? And this coming from someone who’d spend hours snapping photo after photo of herself with an expensive Leica.
All of it serves me no purpose anymore. I have nothing worth letting the entirety of the world know about right now. Just my words. Just my thoughts. You don’t need to see anything else unless it’s something shared just for us. It’s becoming more clear to me that we’re trying to harvest everyone’s outside energy and validation instead of going internal and finding that peace for ourselves first. I don’t need likes, I don’t need clicks. I just need the inner light to dispense the glow, letting me know I made the right choice for everyone involved.
The more I observe the news and the more input I have regarding the direction of my show, the more I can see the pieces all fit together. I ain’t got trust for nothin’ these days. Buncha phony jerks taking all my money and giving it away without even asking me if it’s okay. Draining my 401(k) to invest in some kind of diversity quota that I never saw passed across my desk. And it’s the most daunting task of them all to pretend like it’s going to get better. It’s my own phony positivity about what’s on deck and where things can go.
It doesn’t look bleak, I can tell you that. It just looks like more of the same. No change, no growth, just the people at the top getting everything they want while the peons fight for scraps, forgetting that if we play our cards right, everyone can get their fair share. And not the “fair share” these politicians keep talking about. Actual fairness. Not squeezing the life out of us until we have nothing left to give.
Until the day when “all of this is over,” this is just how it’s going to be. I’ll still be watching my coworkers scroll through Instagram stories and just never understand why. The world will keep sharing and the bad guys will keep taking and using. And so? Does that mean I have to get bogged down by it? No. I’m thankful to share with you that I’m in a good place myself, in a beautiful routine that will certainly help get me to where I’m meant to go. It’s all so perfect-sounding in my head. Maybe bringing it to the page is the final bit of charity I’ll ever do.