What my 16-year-old self tweeted about

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Written by Jacob Van Blarcom


From lurking the depths of the Twitter account to which I have been feeding thoughts since I was 14 years old, I unearthed a stash of stale poetic remarks strongly reminiscent of my high school years. Although I invite you to laugh at the nauseating bite-sized sentences that spilled from my fingertips in 2013 and 2014 when I was awake past my bedtime, my initial reaction is to cringe and delete my entire online presence. But I want to dig deeper than the words of my own teenage angst ever could and discover about myself from the words I published on the internet four years ago.


Fueled by the everyday frustrations of growing up and navigating high school in a life spent increasingly online, I took refuge in the microcosm of Twitter. Ironically, I projected my anxieties about the information I spewed out across the web.


Even more dramatically, I scorned my generation’s inclination to share details of our lives online.


I also shared my ideas, as fleeting and irrelevant as they were, to document my emotions and experiences because I was so certain that someday I would know what they referred to.


Sometimes I expressed myself cryptically, or tweeted without thinking twice, as I was confident anything I said would instantly be deemed central to the body of contemporary philosophy.


But what these tweets highlight, beyond my painfully obvious and naive desire to lead a profoundly poetic life, are the very real uncertainties I held about myself and the place that I was. I referenced many years, even decades to which I never saw the light of day, searching for a time in my imagination where I thought I could be happy.


Luckily for me, I grew up. That is not to say I abandoned the kid I used to be and the dreams I once tweeted about. Rather, I let them settle, run their course, and evolve to become a part of the man I am today here in 2018. I now stand at a time and place where I am confident I am on my way to be everything that I want, and closer to it than I’ve ever been before, too.

So I have no reason to be apologetic, albeit I am embarrassed for the awkward and starry-eyed quips I penned on screen when I was 16 and 17 years old because they exist in a corner of the internet (although not private) that is buried beneath everything I am today, acting as a foundation for my identity and everything that is still yet to come.