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changing faces

so on friday, my livejournal turned five years old. happy belated birthday, lj.

looking back at it al feels a little strange. it's tempting to say that "the content of my journal has evolved", but that doesn't sound quite right - there's an implication around thr word "evolve" that doesn't fit. the content has certainly shifted focus a few times, reflective of various life landmarks, changes to my personality, the energies of various people whose lives i have touched and who have touched mine.

my life right now feels like it's in a simultaneous state of stability and fluxuation. as i eluded to about a week ago, i can feel how my life has shifted in a very subtle but profound way, as if i changed the trajectory of a walk ever so slightly - something that's not noticeable until you compare where i was headed and where i am now heading 2000 miles down the line.

it seems therefore appropriate that i take the opportunity to create a small shift in my blog as a symbolic acknowledgement of this shift, which has and will take form in two contexts: first, i changed the look of my journal for the first time since i created it. second, i want to reclaim some of the content of my journal and some of my more intimate identity with this journal, which for various reasons i've suppressed, particularly in the past several months.

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first, it took a lot of thought and searching for me to decide i wanted to change my default usericon. The "M lick" is still an important part of me, but i feel that it only represents a particular slice of my identity and one that isn't at the forefront of my life as it was when this journal was first created. I created the new icon not too long ago for a different context, and i feel that it better represents me as a whole, so it made sense for me to includet this as a part of my lj makeover.

second, i decided i wanted to start tagging my entries because of how powerful and flexible tags are, and as a result of this, i changed my LJ layout from my slightly-modified-from-the-official S1 style "generator" layout to an S2 layout because of S2s easy implementation of a "tag matrix" layer that you can see on the "recent entries" page. I spent a couple of hours doing basic customization, and it's now at a point that i find relatively satisfactory. There are a few things that i'm still not happy with, but unfortunately in order for me to change them i'll have to muck about advanced customization features and i didn't feel like spending another couple of hours trying to fudge with source code that i as of yet know nothing about (S2 is soooo different than S1 in structure). The three big annoyances are:

  • lack of "date headers". With my old layout, any entries that were on the same day were all "sub" under a single date "header". Now, the date appears in every entry regardless of whether it's same day or not which visually seems redundant and less organized. Somehow i don't think this will be a quick fix as it may require some customization to how the layer interacts with the style, or a sublayer will have to be created within the "entries" layer itself. maybe i just need to pick a different S2 style.
  • i only want the sidebar to appear on my own recent entries page, not my friends page.
  • while i can get the comments page to revert to the stock LJ comment page (as in not layout-specific), i also want to do that for the "month view" page, and i can't figure out how to toggle that setting.

If anyone has any suggestions for the above or has any other suggestions in general about my layout, feel free to say so.

Finally, from a purely logistical standpoint, i'm allowing friends to add preexisting tags to my entries if they are so inclined. i don't expect anyone to make use of it, but if you're bored and you want to for new entries in which i've forgotten or for past entries i haven't gotten around to yet, feel free.

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as far as content is concerned, recently i've been thinking again about something i wrote in my first ever entry on this blog:

I'm not writing in here with the illusion that it's about Truth. It's not about revealing my inner self and my deepest thoughts and secrets. It's about how i reveal these things in the knowledge that i'm vulnerable. It's about the perceived truth i give to myself and to the people i know when i know that these are open pages.

i've found that there are certain things that i don't let myself write in this journal anymore because of who and how large my audience has gotten. there are some subjects i don't feel at liberty to write about for fear of how they will be perceived or how it will make me perceived. i know that a lot of people think i'm a fantastic person, and in a lot of ways i acknowledge this, but there are things that are less than fantastic or things that are fine with me but i know would not be fine with other people, and because of my general fear of lack of acceptance, they go unsaid when sometimes i want or need to say them.

that has to stop. not that i want to go to the other extreme, to ignore my audeince or feel at liberty to write *anything*, but a balance needs to be struck and a degree of disconnection needs to occur on my side to either let people accept a particular aspect of me or to reject it and make their own deermination for how that could change their perception of me as a whole. it's conceivable that maybe for some of it i'll end up creating filters (e.g. "fuck filter" or "rambling filter" or "rant filter"), but i only loosely have that organized in my head at the moment, so that might be a future implementation.

hopefully this shift in my thinking will allow for a subtle positive change to my journal without it being a complete revamp of style. I want it to be like buying a new jacket that no one expects more than getting a facelift or cutting off a limb.

forward is the only place to go.

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