I spent some time today scanning old issues of SemiBold, in hopes of making an online archive of them. I initially thought of just posting the text, but it’s really not the same without seeing it in the context of the zine format. I only have a few copies left of some issues and somehow I have NO copies of the first issue, so I had to rely on the always reliable Dan Kelly for scans of that one.
During my scanning I’ve been reading bits of them here and there and I find myself groaning at some of my clunkier sentences, or wondering why I said something the way I did, or realizing I have changed my mind about one thing or another. The cringing and mild regrets made me think twice about posting them online. “Do I want people reading this NOW?” It’s like re-baring my soul all over again.
But I think I will post them. The fact that I cringe at some of my bad writing probably means I’m a better writer now, and I also still love some of the things I wrote. I’m almost 20 years older than I was when I first started writing SemiBold, and if I hadn’t made any evolutions of character or personality in all that time I would be doing a poor job of living. And it took a lot of nerve for the 20-something version of me to write some of those things down and send them out into the world. I owe her some respect for the effort. It was not in my nature to let people see my fear and my insecurity. I assumed sharing it was just giving people an opportunity to take advantage of me. Imagine my surprise when not only did people NOT take advantage of me but I ended up getting a lot of positive responses, and I made some new friends, many of whom I still have today.
I’ve shed a few skins in the last 18 years — I’ve set some things aside and picked up others. When I was getting my first tattoo, I remember wondering if I would regret it someday (I was 30 at the time so it wasn’t exactly a youthful impulse). But then I thought, “How much more could I possibly change? This is probably the way I will be, and think, for the rest of my life.” Maybe I haven’t changed much since I was 30, but I’m not exactly the same, either.
Who will I be in another 20 years?