My first day back in Houston, I woke up around 6 AM next to my laptop. I often sleep next to it. In bed, I read emails and this Sunday's New York Times Magazine's cover story by Emily Gould about the dangers of blogging and "oversharing." As I read Emily's story, I considered deleting Billy, my Facebook account, my Flickr account—everything. Well, almost everything. I figured I should stay on LinkedIn, as I need a job.
Obviously, I haven't deleted anything. But Emily Gould got me thinking.
Back in 2006, when I was 24, my life was cozy and safe. I had just been promoted to associate editor at the publishing house where I’d been working since I graduated from college, and I was living with my boyfriend, Henry, and two cats in a grubby but spacious two-bedroom apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I spent most of my free time sitting with Henry in our cheery yellow living room on our stained Ikea couch, watching TV. And almost every day I updated my year-old blog, Emily Magazine, to let a few hundred people know what I was reading and watching and thinking about.
I identified with the 24-year-old Emily Gould, minus the job and the boyfriend and the cats and the Greenpoint apartment. But I do spend most of my free time watching TV, if America's Next Top Model, Gossip Girl, and The Tudors downloaded from iTunes count. And I update Billy almost every day, sometimes several times a day. (I wish I'd thought of Ann Magazine.) On average, I get about 14 people per day. Granted, someone in Kentucky Googles "where does fondant au chocolat come from?" and, bam, he or she is looking at Billy.
After reading Emily Gould's article, I went back to sleep and dreamed that my school had flooded, and we were all picked up in Hummers.
In the afternoon, my mother drove me to our dentist, in Chinatown. Our dentist, a family friend, talks to you, in Mandarin, as he cleans your teeth. Sometimes he asks questions, to which I somehow respond, most of the time with an "Uh." Generally, the questions are yes or no questions. But today, he asks, "So did you learn anything in Paris?" Actually the Mandarin literally translates to something like "Did you yield any harvest?"
I really don't like this question. Yesterday, a Customs Officer asked me this, too. I told him the Customs Officer that I didn't know. But I tried to answer my dentist. In Mandarin, of course.
"Not only did we have architecture class, we had a movie class…"
"And we had walking tours. Lots of walking tours. Led by a woman who knows a lot about walking tours. And I got to practice my French."