I‘ve always been a big reader but the sign of a good book is when I can easily devour it in less than 24 hours. That’s exactly what I did with Ctrl, Alt, Delete: How I Grew Up Online – the book written by Emma Gannon, also known for her blog, Girl Lost in the City.
From start to finish it sang to me so beautifully, as if the words were written for every dimension of me – the career-minded woman, the socially awkward teenager (I suppose some things never change) and the writer who has always been too scared to publish her thoughts for the Internet to see.
Isn’t that the most beautiful moment of being a writer, when someone can connect with the words you wrote? For me, Emma Gannon did all of that in 258 pages. Littered with anecdotes and quotes, there are so many snippets that I want to remember. They are the words that encourage me to be the best version of myself, and to help me find myself again. My true morals and values, the core of who I am.
I’ve been feeling out of sorts recently, as if I’m losing inches of my personality to both the rat race and other people’s thoughts. Their self-absorbed mindset and actions are eating me up, and I’m worried I’m becoming the byproduct of these people. It’s difficult to surround yourself with the best people in your life when they are all miles away. When your best friend lives in Germany, and your university friends are scattered around the country. This isn’t a pity party, it’s just the way the 21st Century is. But I suppose that is what WhatsApp is for, isn’t it? This isn’t to say I’m unhappy with my job because I’m not, but I feel as if I’m losing myself a bit – the parts of my personality that people say they like about me, and the hobbies that make me who I am.
That’s what I need to do, to find myself again and to remember the things that define me. It isn’t the embarrassing thing I say in the office that causes some colleagues to laugh mockingly at my naivety, and it isn’t whether that guy bothers to text me, or even how many likes my latest Instagram photo has gotten. It’s believing in equal rights, having morals that I stick by, owning my mistakes, the witty remarks that colour my personality, being diplomatic when I don’t want to be diplomatic, and telling people the nice things I think about them because even though it’s the truth, selfishly, it makes me feel good.
I guess these words have pushed me to find myself again. To do the things I love, and to find the things in myself that I love. Whether that’s the intended purpose or not. On one final note, can I be Emma Gannon when I grow up please?