Honesty is something we all battle, isn't it? If we're too honest we hurt people's feelings or seem irresponsible and maybe even a little self-obsessed. If we're not honest enough people think we're snobby or stand offish. Where is this delicate balance that keeps us truly ourselves without bringing down anyone's wrath?
I was discussing this with Candy the other day. And here's what I've pinpointed in my own life. I'm a blogger with an active facebook and twitter account. I share my flaws, every silly, ridiculous thing I do, even occasionally my make-up-less face but somehow people still don't really think I'm being honest...or maybe it's not that people think I'm lying so much as that I have this additional, secret life.
For the past four years I have lived my life as an open book. I've shared about my struggle with IBS, the hardship of enduring the public criticisms of my Dad's job, my financial downfalls and successes, my weight loss journey, and a slew of personal moments. All of that and at the end of the day people still want to read between the lines.
Who am I secretly dating? What's REALLY going on with my Dad's job? Where was I actually at on Friday night? Which friend was which blog post about? Is every tweet or facebook status I write really about someone else? When I post song lyrics are they really about my secret love life?
I hate to disappoint you all with my epic failure at being that kind of interesting...but this is it. What you see and read here IS me. I'm quirky and clumsy. I'm passionate. I'm more than a little whiney, totally OCD, and extremely goal oriented. When I say I want to be single right now I don't actually mean I'm on a husband hunt and naming my future children. When I say that I love living in Tampa but want to see the world - that's what I mean. When I write about my adventures or misadventures that is the way I see them.
I reserve the right to withhold info on two things: my dating life and details that aren't mine to give. Things are always crazy with my family and the football world and I can't always give you the intimate details of that. I go on dates - some good, some bad ...but it's rarely fair to expose the innocent or not-so-innocent young gentlemen who take me out. I wrote perhaps too openly about my last serious relationship and since then I've taken a big step back. Some things belong to me.
I keep very few secrets because in my experience, they're hard too keep. If you choose to keep secrets choose your secret keepers with care. For me, I find it's easier not to have them. Then when people talk about you (and we all know that's unavoidable) at least they aren't revealing anything you wouldn't have shared yourself. While I think it's fair to reserve the right to say 'that's not your business' on certain issues, I've saved myself a lot of headaches by not trying to block people from my life.
This is me. I've never pretended to be perfect. I don't want to be on anyone's pedestal. I don't want to be your hero or savior. I don't desire to be in the spotlight or to be the talk of the town. What I want is to be open and honest.
There's a catch to this though. When people ask me about blogging this is where I take the time to caution them. When you're real about your life it welcomes people's opinions, good or bad. People will take this opportunity to love you or judge you as often as they like. I've been fortunate enough that I've made far more friends than enemies and while people like to make the occasional anon post about the fact that I've read Harry Potter and I call myself a Christian - for the most part my experience with blogging has been positive.
I'd be lying if I said I don't care what people think, because I do. Naturally, I want people to be pleased with me and I enjoy the encouraging words more than the criticisms. But you take the good with the bad. When you share your life with other people you'll get a whole range of responses. At the end of the day you have to filter them and remember who's opinions matter most.
So for all my fellow bloggers who are putting themselves out there on a regular basis - you have my respect as well as my love. It's tough to be honest these days and it's not always rewarded. I'm thankful for the opportunity to be part of your worlds and to know you. I also commit to believe that you are who you say you are and not to make up whole alternate lives for you.