Having any kind of presence online leaves us open and vulnerable. We are constantly aware of the risks we take in sharing an aspect of our world. You’ve probably noticed that I never mention where I live, or where my family lives, or anything that could root my existence in the real world. But at the same time, while I don’t want you to know where I live, I want to share how I live. After all, isn’t that reason we blog? To show a little of ourselves to the rest of the world.
The truth is I don’t know where the balance is anymore. I want to be open and honest with you, not just to be authentic, but because I want you to see me. At the same time there is just so much that I don’t know if I can, or even should, share. I know everyone goes through bad times, everyone has bad days. I’m completely guilty of thinking that they only ever happen to me. Yet I still don’t know whether to show you my open wounds, especially as they are still so open and raw for me.
I want you to understand what my life is like. But at the same time I want to protect you from it. No, I want to protect myself from it. I want to protect myself from being judged due to my feelings and reactions to them. And I want to protect myself by imagining that it isn’t true. If I don’t say it out loud (or online in this case) then perhaps I can believe that it didn’t really happen, that I am the happy, positive person I want to be, the one I want to show to the world.
This is not a new dilemma for writers. Where do we draw the line between allowing our audience to empathise through common emotions and giving them the blow-by-blow account of reality?
This is what I’m thinking about today. I don’t want you to worry, the wounds aren’t anything new I’m having to deal with, but I wanted you to know that there is more to me than I am prepared to show, at least right now. Saying that, however, I always aim to write my complete truth in this space. I may not be able to give you all of me, but what I do give is unedited, truthful glimpses of my life.