girlwonder is back

Let me start this entry simply. I miss girlwonder.

I’ve done less personal and public writing in the 3 1/2 years since I started graduate school. That feels like a long time. A year ago, I started Active Social Plastic to think about things related to my intellectual pursuits, but it’s not quite the same. I hold it up to the kind of expectation I have for my academic work, which makes it less fun. It feels like work.

Part of the reason I stopped writing on girlwonder is structural: I very quickly had to move the site off server where it had been posted and have never been able to reimport the posts. It also coincided with the period when I began teaching undergraduates. Do I really want them knowing about my bouts of depression or my ex-boyfriend woes from 5 years ago? Not really. Some of it has to do with the intensity of school, especially in my first year. Everything was so very intense, it felt almost impossible to communicate it outside of the five people in my class, the other students in the school and the handful of professors I worked with closely.

That’s not to say I didn’t try. I created a blog on Vox, which allowed me to post privately to friends when I wanted. In the meantime, Facebook exploded and I began using Twitter. My Twitter stream is private; I have 1500+ contacts on Facebook. Is there anywhere where I can say anything about how I feel and what I think? I’ve decided I’d like to try and yet, I can’t really explain why I want to do it. Perhaps it’s as simple as wanting my own room to decorate as I please. ¬†Things are different now than when I first started a personal site some 15 (!) years ago. At that point in time, the public online was small. When I wrote about how I hated my job in 1996, my coworkers weren’t reading it. Now, I must assume that my future academic employers, my fellow students, and the students I teach will all read this. (Twitter’s the place for my snarky comments since I control who reads what I post and trust me, there are plenty.) For several years, I’ve felt like I really can’t say anything of any mettle online, unless it’s in a private community: too much can be taken out of context too late. And that happens, anyway, over drinks and at dinner, not just online

What I’m curious about is being able to write again in a way that doesn’t feel like work. I’d like to try this other outlet for a while, too, and see what happens. So hello again, and welcome to Girlwonder, the personal blog, or website, or even homepage of one Molly Wright Steenson, age 37.