This post concludes the week of StevieB's Five Degree themes.
As far as the people I love are concerned, I always try to make it known to them how I feel. It's keeping them from knowing about each other where things get complicated.
I kid, mostly.
While thinking about this assignment, I realized I don't have a lot of secrets anymore since I started blogging. My biggest secret is the blog. Only a few of my close friends know about it and only one actually reads it. (I love you Julie!) But I haven't told anyone else about it, not even my partner. Why is that?
I've always loved writing, but never took it seriously. A few times I've tried to start journals, but a couple of things kept me from following through. One was my perfectionism. It was hard for me to write something and let it go without the need to continuously fix and improve it. It still is. (But I'm working on that.) Even when I decided to start this blog, it took me several weeks just to come up with a title. I had to force myself just to come up with something so I could get past that block and actually start writing. Pac is my Scruff nickname and Pad comes from the fact I was on my iPad at the time. Even then I expected it to be temporary until I thought of something better. (Why does it seem it's my half-assed creations that are the most enduring?)
The other thing that stopped me was the thought of someone else reading my journals. That idea mortified me. But back then I had a lot of stuff bottled up inside that I didn't necessarily want anyone to know about, all the while growing up in an environment with no concept of privacy. But I still longed for an outlet. A journal seemed logical, but if it was for my eyes only, the risk seemed greater than the reward.
Today I find I'm enjoying this exercise. It's both relaxing and stimulating, like a gym workout for my brain. I can work on improving my writing skills in an arena that has nothing to do with technical specs or implementation plans. It's only been fairly recently that I started thinking about the point of it. At first, I had the journal mentality; I was writing for myself as an outlet without much consideration of the reader's experience. That's been changing as I've been meeting people and making friends through blogging.
The idea of keeping it secret was to allow me to express myself freely without having to self-censor based on how the people in my life might think or react. (Especially if they were the subject.) The idea was never to publicly poke fun of anyone behind their back. I'm sure if any of them were to read it, they might be offended here and shocked there, but find no surprises overall about how I feel about them. If anything, they'll get to know me better.
In a way this is a mini-parallel to my coming-out experience. The first step out of the closet was to build a small community of friends I could absolutely be myself with. That community provides all the comfort, support, and constructive criticism of a family. And as I gain experience and confidence, I incorporate what I've learned about myself to take back and share with the people I once thought I had to hide myself from. Over time the double-life becomes congruent.