March 29, 2012

Here I Am

I've blogged for several years now, in several different venues.

When I first started blogging, I used a pen name and kept it fairly anonymous, not sure if I wanted to broadcast my musings to the public at large. I have an irrational fondness for that hidden venue where I shared everything from my morning mood to recipes to political opinions. I was able to tell naughty jokes without worrying that someone would be offended or angry. I never had to worry about the repercussions of my voice on the folks I love. But it was also a security blanket of sorts.

Contrast that to a public venue such as Facebook. I have seen controversy and battles. I've been asked how I can be friends with "someone who thinks like that" and I've found myself in the middle of two or more friends when they disagreed. I've learned more about my neighbors than I thought I needed to know, and witnessed more than I felt I wanted to witness. I didn't want to feel awkward, but found myself knowing that they had a fight with their spouse, or were angry with their children, or had a falling out with another friend.

I tried to keep my anonymous voice separate from my known voice, but eventually there was crossover. There were folks I wanted to know better and in a more personal way, and before long, a lot of my "secret underground friends" were part of my public world.

I've decided that the dual world is difficult to navigate. Additionally, anonymity sometimes can be a safety net, but for others it can be insidious. Agendas are easier to keep hidden when you're anonymous. I've decided that I'm going to try to live out loud. I'm not going to blog anonymously anymore. The first step was to tell an off color joke in a place it may not go over.

Last night, at a church dinner, a bunch of us ladies got into a girl talk session about our body parts in the kitchen. We talked about gravity working on them, and about being too small or too large, we just were making silly girl talk. I told a joke. I said that my spouse gave me a handful of toilet tissue when I complained about having a small chest. I remarked that I was an adult and would NOT stuff my bra. He said I didn't have to stuff it, just rub it on my chest, since it worked so well on my behind.

The laughter was deafening. When it died down, the wife of a church leader asked, "And when is the funeral?"

Perhaps it's time for us to learn less about compartmentalizing and more about integration.

What about you? Do you have a private outlet?


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