An Escape To Limitless Expression This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

July 6, 2011
Imagine what it’s like to be in a place where no one knows you. No one knows where you came from, who you are, what you’re like. You have no label, no past, and no issues with anyone. No one can make any prejudgments about you. You have the chance to be anyone you want; this is the excitement of being fresh in a town where no one knows you. The excitement of being mysterious, anonymous, and possessing the ability to be simply, unknown.

The Internet can be seen by many as a connection to a clean, worry-free world. Many people who want an escape from normal, everyday life turn to their computers to vent about their daily suffering of unpleasant events.

I used to tell my friends as a joke, “If I ever die, read my blog. You’ll learn everything you need to know about me.” Although in a way, this is no joke. A person’s blog tells a lot about them. It shows everything from images of places they want to go, photos of the people they want to become, and even the simplest things like their favorite colors and music that makes them happy. Text posts reveal who they love, who they would rather live without, what irritates them the most, and what kinds of things make them the most insecure. Here is the one place on the internet, their own little piece of sanity, where they feel comfortable spilling their deepest secrets, hopes, and dreams. But what is it about typing out your thoughts via computer that makes you feel safe to reveal so much precious information? Let’s be honest- behind a computer screen, you have more courage. You can write anything. Anything that you’ve never had the courage to say to anyone; and the words you could have, and should have said, to anyone you know.

Out of boredom one hot, lazy summer day, I went to the computer to do my daily Facebook check. Everything that appeared before me was quite uninteresting. I scrolled through the newsfeed, scanning the news of my peers and people I really didn’t care about. Everything I read was pretty much, “Popular Girl Everyone Knows was tagged in Some Party Album,” “Indecisive Girl changed her profile picture for the 5th time today,” and “Your Ex is in a relationship with Some Girl Who Takes Too Many Mirror Pictures In Bikinis.” With Facebook, it was pretty much the same old, same old.

To be honest, I was sick of people I knew. Sick of everyone. To quote my favorite band, A Day To Remember, my thoughts exactly were, “I hate this town, It’s so washed up.” Yes, I live in the Bay Area. No, I do not live in San Francisco. I live in the Silicon Valley, home of overachieving students, where the hardest decision of your life is usually the decision between going to Stanford, UCLA, or Berkley. So of course, as appropriate, I go to a private, high-achieving school where the majority of students are incredibly wealthy in a mediocre town, where getting a B on a report card is just simply not an option for your future. Now don’t get me wrong, it is important to have high standards and work hard to get into a good college, but there comes a time where you can take it a little too far. And in a place like this where average is just not acceptable, the normal kids who work hard for their B’s, or who need extra help to pass, are long forgotten and faded into the background. No one recognizes their efforts. At my school, it’s all about what you have accomplished, against other people. Life is a competition, and you can’t settle for anything less than absolute perfection. Here’s a nerving example of something I can’t stand about the people at my school. One guy got a 760 on his subject test, and insisted that the 40 points he missed were eraser mark mistakes. He paid the SAT company $50 to have it hand graded. These kinds of cocky, arrogant attitudes at my school make me sick. Deep down inside, I secretly hoped that they weren’t eraser mark mistakes and that that was the score he deserved. If that were true, then he would have made himself look like a fool.

There are three types of kids at my school- stuck up AP kids, “better-than-you” varsity athletes/dumb party kids, and people I can tolerate (this is a very, very small number.) My school, like many others, has it’s share of cliques. And no one dares to cross over friend groups, with a few rare exceptions. Yes, I have friends from all three of these groups. I’m not going to lie and say I don’t have many friends- I’m thankful that I even have any. However, after you have your friends, that’s about all you have. No one else will bother to get to know you. All I ask of those people is to leave me be and let me live.

Sometimes, though, you have this spontaneous burst of thoughts and energy. You want people to know the real you. Not the girl that hides in the back of the classroom and talks to her few key people she trusts. Sometimes I want to let the real me shine. I want people to know my name. I want people to associate me with something great. Something memorable. I guess I just want to be remembered at the high school reunions, have someone maybe recognize me and remember something nice about me.

Out of some weird spontaneous action, I made myself an account on a blogging site. I had always known about the website because a few friends of mine had one but it looked really lame so I always just ignored it. But for some reason, I was like why the hell not. So I created it, and the second my account was official, I began to play around. At first I had no idea how to do anything; it was confusing and I didn’t feel like putting in the effort. So I abandoned the account for a few days. I went back, out of boredom, and began messing around again. I edited about ten thousand different things, and customized my html just perfectly for me. Everything seemed pretty cool. I didn’t even care about how many followers I had. I just blogged for me. And only me.

When I first made it, I went crazy. I wrote non stop. No one saw it, so I was limitless with my words. In a way it was my own little diary kept on the internet, one that I could never lose and didn’t have to worry about hiding. One that no one could invade. Most of all, no one could judge what I wrote. For the first time, I got to be me, the real me without editing. I let who I was be known, on the internet that is. The shy, quiet girl with few words at school soon became the girl with unrestrained thoughts and endless ideas. I fell in love with writing. I didn’t fall in love with my words, but I fell in love with an art that had been unknown to me for so long. That was the art of expression. The art of letting go what you feel. The art of letting out.

It’s almost a euphoric experience. And you get this feeling of nostalgia. When you write, you remember things you could have never thought of by just looking for them in your head. You get intimate with your head. You look deeper into yourself. You discover things, good and bad. Reflection is a much needed part of our lives. Our experiences show who we’ve become, and it is here, in writing, in our own mind, where we question who we would like to become.

My blog was a tool, one that I could use to take me away. Hate if you want, but I started making internet friends. Friends that had the same problems, with similar blogs, as I had. Everyone in every town across the country, across the world, has similar problems as I do. It’s almost comforting.

Every time I log on, I always wonder, what would it be like for people at school to see me like this? The AP kids, the jocks, would they think I’m crying for attention and trying to be something I’m not? Or would they see that this is the unguarded me, my raw feelings true, pure, and out there for all to see? To see the real me? To see the confident, invincible me. I feel confident because no one knows me, and there’s nothing there to put me at a disadvantage in this vast internet world. What would people think of me? Would they be surprised? Shocked? Would they laugh? Sometimes I daydream, about what certain people in particular would think and how they would respond. Whatever they would do, there would be judgment involved. And frankly, I don’t care what they think anymore. I have a place that is all mine, guarded thoughts and dreams in a place so secure no one can touch upon them.

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