You ask my best friend, she’d say I’m not much different than when she met me, 14 years ago.
But looking back, I’d say there’s definitely been a change. Not long after I started working as an EMT, seven years ago, I found it easier to talk to strangers. Easier to be in social situations, as I now had a host of medical stories to relate.
It became easier to be social.
That dovetailed nicely with my increased fondness for photography. When I started shooting strangers, being comfortable talking to people, being able to make them comfortable through conversation, was a great asset.
The more I shot, the more comfortable I became, the more I found myself inhabiting, especially when meeting folks from the internet, a more…idealized version of myself. The person I portrayed on Flickr was confident to be point of being conceited, saw the world as a place that was glad to have me in it. And the more I met people from the internet, the more I acted like that person. Like that avatar I’d constructed.
Which brings me to Zoetica.
Zoetica has created herself from whole cloth. She is very much an internet personality, moves through the world virtually identical to the person she projects online.
And quite the personality it is, a self-described cosmonomad, she has constructed of herself a brand. Folks follow her on the web for fashion advice, to see her photography, her illustration, her interviews with other artists. She is one of the creators of Coilhouse Magazine, has spent years a as photographer for Suicidegirls, organized and exhibited art shows.
All, seemingly, through a force of will. Every piece of her carefully constructed, exactingly presented.
It’s not a new idea to point out that we can create ourselves anew if we so choose. Or that the internet is an excellent venue for such an activity.
But I suppose what fascinates me is the fact that, if you’re of a mind, the transformation can be as thorough as you like.
Some folks create their internet personality as an alter ego, as a costume to be worn when they’re online, so that they can play act as a more functional, more interesting version of themselves. That’s easy.
But Zoetica has actually Become the person she wanted to be, the person she constructed. That is a much harder task, a much more laudable feat.
So many people complain of being trapped in their lives. Being confined by their circumstances.
Zoetica is tangible proof that if you really want to, you can become whatever you want. If you don’t like who you are, or more accurately, if you want to become better than you are, it’s entirely possible. And that there is a damned exciting thought.