I am not one to wear my heart on my sleeve. I tend to keep people at a distance; I hesitate to give out too much information; I keep my feelings to myself. Unfortunately this is somewhat justified online given the predators who are out there, looking for vulnerable prey. But they are the minority and I don’t want to live in fear, questioning the authenticity of the people I connect with. That’s not who I am, and that’s honestly not the reason I am so reserved; it is not why I protect myself with an invisible wall.
Or rather, this is how I’ve always been…but I’m changing. I still find myself holding back sometimes but I’m beginning to feel more comfortable sharing my completely innocuous secrets with others.
Through my writing I’m learning to be more open, to share details I might not normally share with complete strangers. My post the other day about my divorce was probably the most revealing I’ve written. I tend to speak in generalities; vaguely referring to things that have happened to me in the past but never revealing the details. I know it’s these small bits of specific information that will most help people relate to what I have to say, and so I’m trying to be more open.
The way this change is coming about might surprise you. I find it much easier to share intimate details with my readers than I am with people I know in real life. There are only a handful of people who know the story I shared yesterday, or there were until I posted it for all the world to see. I wasn’t going to tell my coworkers about the book I wrote; every one of my blog followers knew before they did.
I am usually selective when choosing who I share information with. Different people will know pieces of who I am, but very few know multiple sides of me; and I’m not sure anyone knows everything. With one friend I may discuss stories about my children, another will hear about my adventures in dating (she’s hearing crickets these days), yet another friend will commiserate with me about the struggles of losing weight. Each friend has a niche, only one or two pieces of the puzzle, but I’m trying to fix this.
One friend who I had relegated to mostly conversations about work has become one of my kids’ favorite people, as soon as I let them get together. My friend who was the sounding board for dating dilemmas has become one of the biggest supporters of my writing. Another who was restricted to whiny stories about my ex during our long beach walks has slowly been let into discussions about my personal goals.
Why do I compartmentalize my life this way? I’m not entirely sure to be honest; maybe it’s because I’m an introvert; but it does mean that no one person knows me well.
Little by little I’m revealing more of myself here. Day by day you will learn something new about me. Those of you who keep up with my posts will eventually put the pieces together to discover the real me.
Today’s revelation may not be as personal as yesterday’s, but tomorrow’s might be far more intimate. The beauty of the word of the day is that I let the word inspire what gets shared. There is no set plan, at least for now.
And speaking of yesterday’s post…I mentioned that we have been fostering. Last night we picked up a litter of 4 kittens and I am becoming intimately familiar with the phrase “it’s like herding cats.” Until now we’ve only had litters of 2, and I’m learning that 4 is really a much bigger number than it sounds. They will be with us for 2 weeks, and I’m already starting the countdown…13 days left… (does this make me a bad person?).
This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Sleeve