First Impressions

They say the first impression is the only one that lasts. Hoping that I haven’t failed you with the aesthetics of the website, let me take a shot at mesmerizing you with my words.

Hello, reader. You probably don’t know me, or you probably do but don’t know that you do because you don’t know who I am. You don’t know my name so you wouldn’t associate me with the perception of that person you know. Why? Because if you did, you would risk falling into the trap of thinking that you know me.

Reality is not as simple as typing words on a laptop. The French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre (yes you will be seeing a lot of pretentious quotations from men and women much smarter than myself) is famous for saying, “Hell is other people.” It is a quotation that I first heard in my tenth grade French class, exuberantly being explained by my teacher. Of course, me being myself I connected with the sentiments of the writer right away, agreeing with the idea that there is something malicious and evil about other people. Upon further reading, however, I discovered (a little disappointingly) that the author was on a different page. What he was actually referring to, as far as interpretation goes, was the perpetual struggle that we as beings with consciousness face in reconciling our perception of ourselves with that of others. Because there always seems to be a disconnect between who we think we are and who other people think we are, and it’s not always up to us to shape the latter.

In some ways, reality is like typing words on a laptop, because there’s always a screen separating you from the others. The screen colored by your biases and judgments about the world and people. It’s convenient, really, because it lets you see only what you want to see. Which is why I’m staying anonymous. I want your impression of me to be constructed entirely of what you read on this blog (I can tell I’m doing a great job at that ). In every single interaction, we are careful of how we are perceived, and most of the time this system works just fine- but a lot of times it’s suffocating. The world would be a better place if everyone is allowed to be who they are, but I can tell from experience that this is not how it goes down. Everyone has a perception of the ideal human, which doesn’t differ much from one person to the next, and oftentimes you are simply a measure of how far you deviate from this ideal. To your friends, family, teachers, acquaintances, and strangers. We’re all prisoners of other people’s perceptions, and like inmates, our entire existence is reduced to a few words: intelligent or stupid, attractive or ugly, polite or rude, successful or failure. Writing on this blog allows me to be who I am too afraid to be in real life- like donning that bold red dress that everyone says wouldn’t suit you. This is me being who I am- and who I am not- without the fear of judgment. And a digital arena like a website is the perfect place to start.

By now, as we near the end of the blog, I’m sure an image of me is painted in your mind. Maybe you like it and you are ready to jump on the bandwagon. Maybe you don’t and you’re going to click the exit button right away. Either way, this is a place for me to speak, because I know that I cannot voice half of the shit I write on this blog in real life. And I hope that the mandatory digressions from the supposed topic weren’t inexcusable and that you have an idea what you are getting into.

So, what’s your call?