Yesterday, I decided that I was going to fold my old homepage into this one. I've been trying to integrate my old identity into my new one, and that site is really one of the last artifacts up from my old name that remains online.
I started, as I thought was best, by going through and editing all of the HTML so the style of the pages would match the rest of my new site. I found that I wasn't such a good coder then, though, so I had a lot of code buried
in the pages themselves that I needed to change. Quite innocently, I started going through and fixing things.
Then I started reading what I had written.
This is where things got a bit strange. You see, on one of the writing forums of which I'm a member, there are a lot of shared settings in which many authors will all write stories, and it's very common in those settings to pattern many or all of the main characters on the authors themselves. Thus, a good number of the stories on my homepage all feature me.
The only catch is that they're not me. They're the person that I tried very hard to be, and for a while believed I could be for the rest of my life. I spent a lot of energy writing those stories almost as a subconscious reinforcement of the mask I wore. There I was, immortalized on paper, so to speak. I even wrote stories about my ex-boyfriend, before he asked me not to include him any more.
Reading back over what I had written, and who I had tried to be, I felt the distinct embarrassment that people get when their parents show off baby photos of them to others.
I couldn't very well say that the stories were never written. Too many people have seen them, and they would know even if I disavowed any memory of them. Yet, it didn't feel right to include them in my current homepage. They're a snapshot of the past, in the same way that my high school graduation photo and my driver's licence picture are. They were all things I believed were once true, and in that I stand by them, but they aren't true now. They aren't me now.
When I started this transition, I did so with the statement that I would never try to hide who I was, but that I wouldn't let that person dominate my life. I would learn from my past, but I wouldn't live there. As such, I'm not going to take down my old homepage, but I'm not going to update it any longer, and the stories that were there will remain there.
I am a work forever in progress, and those stories are, to a great extent, a snapshot of a history I outgrew.