When People Asked Me If I’m Going To Be Embarrassed About What I Wrote On The Internet

Romain Toornier
Romain Toornier

I don’t know. Probably.

But um, I’ve been writing things on the internet since the late 90s via LiveJournal and Tumblr and now Thought Catalog. The only thing I have published in an irl book is a kind of fiction story about a guy who emailed me a photo of his dick.

Of course it’s embarrassing to look back and read things you wrote five years ago, but that’s the whole point of doing it in the first place.

Writing helps you grow as a person because it’s like taking your brain outside of your head and in front of your face so you can examine your thoughts. It’s cathartic to write stuff out and especially by putting it online where people can comment and respond to it — you learn a lot faster than you would otherwise.

I sincerely hope that I am embarrassed by what I am writing. If I look back in 5-10 years and think “Wow! I was so smart! I made all correct decisions! My writing is very impressive!” It would be fucking bleak as hell. It would mean I haven’t grown or changed at all in those 5-10 years. And that I’m probably the kind of person who lies to themselves.

Being embarrassed about your past is the price you pay for living your life. I’m okay with that because I have a rule that I would rather learn something than be precious about it and avoid embarrassment. I don’t care about being embarrassed as much as I care about learning and growing.

And if it’s public humiliation — if I can’t get a job because the internet bubble has (again) burst and the kind of content that I’m good at writing isn’t in demand anymore. Well, I will find something else to do. But I can’t live my life in the present based on what I think the future is going to be like and how I can maybe, possibly protect myself.

That’s not me. I’d rather embrace everything I do.

I think if you are lucky enough to have an intuition that is loud enough that you can figure out what it is saying, you should just do that. And when it ends, you do the next thing it tells you to do. And it always works out.

Like Rilke said:

“You, my own deep soul. Trust me, I will not betray you.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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