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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

This is where I start to get uncomfortable

I'm at the park with the kids yesterday afternoon and while the girls are taking turns pushing the baby in the swing, I decide to check in on Twitter. Yes, I am that person. The woman with her Crackberry permanently attached to her hand. Anyway, I'm reading tweets and something someone had said cracked me up and I laughed out loud.

Twitter or Facebook, this woman near me asks. I turn and notice this woman, who I hadn't even realized had sat down. Twitter I said, without thinking. But I use Facebook too.

Oh what's your Twitter name? I can follow you.

Uh, it's protected I said. We're from California and I use it to keep in touch with friends out there. Oh, okay was her answer. Then Harrison called out to me and I got up and walked away.

I lied. To a random stranger. She looked nice. She had kids. She was at the park in my neighborhood. I still lied to her.


Well that is a hard one. I am going to be dead honest here. I don't ever intend on telling my family or friends about this blog. (Yes my husband knows, but he wishes he didn't. He probably wishes what I said to her were true, that you all were old friends from California.) I don't use Facebook for realz. I mean, yes I have one. But not one that my family could find. Twitter? well the same thing there, although a few people know that I use it, but none of them seem interested in it at all. People like my mother for example could care less what Twitter is, although I have explained it to her.

I can't make friends with people in my area through blogging or Twitter and think I can keep it quiet. Or separate. My children have the biggest mouths in the world. I don't fault her at all, but Morgan is the one who mentioned my previous blog to my aunt, which caused HUGE family drama, because I was too open, too honest and she still won't speak to me.

My blog life, my online life, is separate from my life in many, many ways. I tried it the other way and it blew up in my face. People, my own step-mother won't speak to me because of it. Unless I am standing in front of her, I don't exist. My own father won't talk to me more than once a month because of it. (Well that and they are both asses.) Iit's been a few years. I don't have much family on that side and almost none of them really speak to me anymore because of the secrets they believe I shared with the world. They aren't wrong, I did. I said things I shouldn't have, because I believed I was safe. But hi, when you use your children's real names and they are not very common names, you are easy to find.

This is me. This space is my place to be me. I don't lie here. I've told you all straight out that my family and blog life are separate. This is where I can be brutally honest. More honest and open than I am in real life, I'll tell you that right now. This is where I say, I am struggling right now to maintain. I am struggling with my depression right now. I am unhappy right now. I am sad. My heart hurts.

I can say this all here and much more, because this is my space. My space to be me, without repercussions from my friends and family. Logan does not read this blog. He has asked that I not discuss his personal life too much, but I could and he wouldn't even know it. He has left this as my deal.

But now I'm going to a conference. A conference with what like 1000 other bloggers? I am starting to wonder why I am doing this. Why I want to meet you all as much as I do, when I will come home and pretend I was elsewhere. Until the Keynote thing, I thought it would be okay. I can remain anonymous if I am 1 of a 1000. It's harder to remain anonymous when you are on a keynote with 15 other bloggers. I don't have the answers. I am going to go to the conference, read my post and have a blast. But I don't know what happens when I get back and it scares me.

Is that okay? Does it bother you guys? Are you okay with me, the me you know here, if you know I will most likely never introduce you to my husband, children or friends? Is it okay that this is my thing? My one place in my life, where it's just about me? Will you still be my friends despite the fact that I'd lie to a random stranger about being on Twitter, because it keeps the peace in my life?

The lines are blurry. I've let them get blurry, because I consider you guys my friends. True, real, friends. No question about that. But the blurriness scares me.


Heather said...

Honey, its totally fine with me. It is hard-especially if it has caused discord in your family. I wish I was going to actually be attending blogher so I could hear you read you keynote. My family reads my blog, but I do not let them know I have a twitter account. I am probably going to protect it soon, because you never know and that is my free space there. Not that my blog isn't but sometimes I feel like I have to censor myself more than I should.

And if people ask where you were, just tell them you were at a women's conference. Most of the time people won't ask more than that. xoxo

Allyson/HBMomof2 said...

I don't think you did one thing wrong in your interaction with that woman. Everyone needs something for themselves. Sharing yourself with the world in a raw and open blog is one of the bravest things anyone can do, IMHO. (That's why I can't bring myself to do it.) Keeping those things hidden from someone you may run into at the grocery store is just self preservation.

I only know you through twitter and now your blog and you are one cool chick. I don't think any less of you and I am not going to Bogher, so your decision to protect yourself and your feelings at the park make no difference to me, (except that I am so borrowing your line).

I feel the same way about the honesty of twitter. I can say things to online friends that I would never say IRL, only because I know that I will be judged on the merit of my words and not what kind of jeans I am wearing or if I am wearing any at all. I can only expect myself to extend the same courtesy to all of my online friends too. You rock, bottom line.

Anonymous said...

it's totally ok with me :-)

melissa said...

This is your space, your place to vent and you are being honest, as you have every right to be. Stay annoymous if that's how you feel most comfortable.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with that. Nothing.

My husband is the only one who knows about my blog, now. I had similar drama. And so while I may introduce you to my husband, and my kids, I wouldn't tell anyone where I knew you from! I'd probably lie, say we crossed paths in the grocery store, at a hotel, whatever - because I want to keep these two things separate, too. I have to, for the sake of my sanity and certain family relationships.

Kay said...

I think lines are blurred in some way, shape, or form for all of us. I have a very select few family members/real life friends that read my blog - and there are days that I regret even that. While they're all people that I'm honest with, that I don't mind sharing with, there are certain things I'd like to say that I'd prefer one (or more) of them not know.
You're going to BlogHer because this blog is you - it may not be something that your family reads, but it's a huge part of who you are, and connecting to your online friends is important to you.

I doubt anyone could look down on you for that blurry line, or that fear of being "outed". I wouldn't be upset that you wouldn't introduce me to your husband, because quite honestly? I wouldn't introduce you to mine, either. So I guess in a way it makes me feel better, knowing that I'm not alone in the compartmentalizing of my life :)

Becky said...

i'm not going to blogher BUT i'm excited that you are and excited that you'll get to meet people that are your REAL friends. i sometimes wish i would have done what you did...used alias names and made my blog totally seperate from anyone in my real life.

Amazing Greis said...

You know where I stand, it's totally ok with me, now and always!
I'm must glad that you have a place where you can let it all out! No boundries, you can be yourself without the worry of that other stuff.

Can't wait til Chicago! I haven't told many that I'm going to a bloggers conference, just a conference. LOL

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I'm so sorry about your family. And I think that there will be more people like you than you would expect at the conference.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I even need to say how I feel. Especially after the line of BS I gave my mom when she played 20 questions about my lunch with you.

Bridget said...

I know we've talked about this before, too. But I'm glad you have a space. I kind of wish my space was "family-free". :-)

We all need "me space" just like we need "me time". I'm just glad you share your "me space" with us! And I hope that you know that we love you and want to be here for you even when things aren't going so great. That's what friends are for. And I'm glad that I've met you online and I can't wait to meet you at BlogHer.
(End cheesy greeting card comment.)

EatPlayLove said...

I understand wanting to be anonymous b/c of family. my blog is out to my family and it definitely affects what/how I write.

But when you are being your persona on your blog and FB, what does that mean for your IRL relationships. How do you decipher the two? If your online friends are your friends, I don't understand why they can't be your IRL friends. Hard one to grasp.

My worlds have definitely collided big time, I just try to embrace each and every new step that comes along with those worlds colliding.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I feel you 100% on this. I started out totally anonymous because I wanted to be comfortable sharing anything I wanted. Somehow, my ex-husband's wife found me immediately. Since then, my lines have become blurry too. I've considered deleting some posts and going all-out open and putting my blog on my personal Facebook, sharing with more people, etc....but I am scared at the same time.

Maura said...

I think EatPlayLove captured my thoughts about this terrifically well.

However, that said, your space is your space and whatever you make of it is solely your decision because everyone needs to do what is best for them when it comes to blogging.

anymommy said...

Of course it's okay. I'm just going to hug you and get you chattering and learn what I don't know and get to know you better. At least, I hope. Being separate from your every day friends and family for your sanity doesn't change anything for me. That's how this world works sometimes and I think we all understand that.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I think everyone deals with this "space" differently and we all have to be ok with how each one of us treats it. I started out telling EVERYONE about my blog and now regret it, esp. when I post something critical about, let's say, church and someone FROM church leaves a cool reply.

And, then there is my husband's family who also reads my blog and, ho boy, the things I'd like to say there, but I can't. Sometimes it drives me crazy and I think I may have to set up an "underground" area.

Finally, my husband is now following me on Twitter which I plain forgot when I tweated this last night about something sexual and then having my husband say, "um, nice tweet" after he read it.

OK, long ass reply. Let me just say that we all draw our own lines and I am totally ok with what you do. I'm sorry you've had to endure the hard part of being public in such a personal way.

debra said...

This is your space and your decision. Whatever you want to do here or in life, I respect and support. If I only ever know the online Issa, I'm fine with that because she is pretty awesome!

becky @ misspriss said...

This will be my fourth BlogHer. I have made all kinds of friends from it. I am okay with them knowing me, who I am, and reading my posts. People in my real life? Not so much. I mean, it's ok, but I don't vent as much as I used to. I do wish I had my private space again where I can have other bloggers read it, people who get it. Not people who might judge me.

So yes, I think I do get it.

Lesley said...

So glad to see this. I struggled for months (years) that I couldn't be completely honest on my family blog. When I would slip into honesty (and sarcasm), everyone would try to come to my rescue & offer "solutions" that I didn't really want. I just wanted to write. I accidentally slipped that I was on twitter to my mom & she found me the next day. Yikes!

So, I went underground. I have to say that I'd love to meet people that I've found online In the real world.

I do have a good cover for my family. They know I still have the family blog and a home remodel blog and I have my old twitter account. So, I can mention the blogging and they have no idea that I'm really "living" in my new space. I felt pretty guilty for a bit, but so many others have expressed the same concerns. I just laugh at myself that I'm an almost 40 something gal & I'm "hiding"...but I feel so much lighter lately that I have my little big internet to go to now. :>

In the end, whatever works for you is the best, I think!

Susan said...

I GET IT!! Nobody but my husband knows about my blog, either, and I would feel the exact same way if I was heading to BlogHer. Have a blast, by the way.

Kari said...

The lines are blurry, aren't they?

I really wish I hadn't told any of my friends or family (besides my sister of course) about my blog. Now, there are so many things I feel like I can't post on it - I think I need to start another one. Just the other day I was thinking of posting something about my job - pretty sensitive actually. Then today in the elevator at work, our CEO's Admin said "Hey, I heard you have a blog, could you give me the address?" WHA??? Great. Now I can't even breathe a word about work on my blog anymore! I couldn't believe it...