You think you're strong. You think that you know who you are, that you are comfortable in your own skin. You are wrong. I didn't believe this myself until I started my blog and website. Here I am creating content on a near daily basis. Is it good content? I have no idea.
Have I advertised it on my personal Facebook page? I have not. Reaching out to the people who know me and shouting “HERE I AM” after years of keeping everything close to the vest is incredibly daunting and terrifying.
I realize it doesn’t make sense. I’ve had myself and my person broadcast online for years now. Dating all the way back to those old fashioned AOL Chat Rooms back in the late 90s (shout out to the PTHers, woot!). I’ve never really been shy online, but in the last few years I’ve become more reserved with my personal information. If I get tagged in something, I almost always remove the tag. If you post something to my wall, I’ll likely leave it up only long enough to discuss the thing and then, once you’ve moved on? It’s getting deleted. My Facebook wall is a carefully curated version of me that I want you to see.
There are multiple reasons for this. It’s not that I care what people think per se. You either like me or you don’t. There isn’t a whole helluva lot I can do about it. But there are people I work with who I am friends on Facebook with, family members who maybe don’t need to see me ranting about the President, or laughing at inappropriate memes. I have even started to be more careful about the things that I “like” since those show up in everyone’s newsfeeds.
At this point, these things are hardly even conscious decisions. Recently (four years ago, sheesh), I moved from my relatively small town with a good group of core friends to a bigger city where I basically knew no one except the people I work with. I learned something very important during that move. Your life is what you choose it to be. Your friends are the ones you choose to have. You are who you choose to be.
That all being said, who I choose to be…with ME? That’s all well and good until I think about potentially putting it out there to be seen by everyone who knows me. It would be their first glimpse of the real me. The real me got so used to rejection that I kept it all close to the vest. I think that may be it though, a fear of rejection rather than a need for people to like me and what I write.
I don’t know. Maybe it’s all a bunch of bullshit. Because in all likelihood, no one will ever read any of this anyway. I could post it on every wall of every person I know and they’d just move on with their lives.
What about you all? Have you been brave about putting yourself out there?