One of the things I admire most about personal bloggers is their willingness to share all parts of their lives with an audience. There are those who think writing about yourself, your life, is an easy thing – and for some, it may be, but how often do you sit down with people you don’t know and talk about events or feelings that are deeply personal to you? It’s terrifying and cathartic.
I can’t do it. I’m afraid.
I have all of these things inside me, this massive coil of emotion that just tumbles and writhes in my brain and my guts and when I sit down to get them out, I’m paralyzed by my fears. What if someone reads and gets the wrong impression? What if they judge me harshly? What if I get too personal, and the people I love are hurt by what I have to say? What if I talk openly about my children, and they find it later in life and are upset by it? These are the things that scare me, and keep me from an outlet that I think would be really therapeutic if I could just spit them out, jump that hurdle, break through that wall.
So this post is the anatomy of my fear, and the core of it is the fear of loosening the grip I have, the control I have over my image on the internet. It’s a security blanket, a heavy one I’ve had wrapped around me for 14 years. Here I can be anything, anyone. No one has to know my flaws, my shortcomings, unless I want them to. No one has to know how gauche and awkward I feel around people, or how unsteady my footing is when I’m in a new situation, or how little confidence I have in anything that’s important to me, or how I have to analyze every tiny little thing in order to get it to sit comfortably in my head.
On a rational level I understand what a false and childish comfort that is – people always see more than you think, and usually more than you want them to, even in this vast anonymous sea. I don’t flatter myself that I’m the only person who feels like this, either – I think people as a whole function like a cell; here we all are, small but not insignificant, our true selves surrounded by varying levels of cytoplasmic distance depending on your comfort level, with ribosomes of friends and family the only ones allowed inside that shell of who you want to be perceived as being. We are complicated creatures and for all I feel apart, I recognize that I am but one of many who feel the same way.
I want to change, though. I want to be more open. I want to discuss with you, whoever you may be, the things that make me tick. I want to be able to tell you how guilty I feel for being short-tempered with my children over stupid things, or not spending enough quality time with my husband. I want to tell you how I am afraid of failure and success in equal measure, and dissect why that is. I’d love to share with you why I am always surprised to have friends, and such good ones. So I hope that if I keep working, keep banging my head against this wall, I can break through it and do so.
Wish me luck.