Saturday, November 26, 2011

In real life

This will probably seem odd to you, but I'm kind of weird about people I know in real life finding my blog. I have a group of girlfriends (we'll call them the girls, for easy reference later on) who all know about it and have been around since the beginning, but that doesn't bother me. Maybe it's because we all started out as internet friends? Who knows. I do know that any IRL people outside this circle knowing about the blog kinda freaks me out.

I think what it really comes down to is I don't like people I know knowing stuff about me that I don't know they know (did you follow that?). I can't even get away from my control-freak nature while spilling my guts to the whole wide internet. I don't like thinking that someone I come across during my day knows all about my crazy, when I have no clue that they're look at me through that lens. Obviously, this is a hazard of blogging. I took that into account within a few months of starting the blog, and have since been careful to keep my full name, my city, my personal e-mail address and Facebook account, and certain other identifying factors out of my blog. I regularly make sure that no one Googling me before a job interview would find the blog in their search results. I hoped to make it as difficult as possible for people I know to find me.

And I think I've failed miserably (story of my life, right?). Based on what I've gleaned from StatCounter, I know someone who works somewhere in the organization I do reads the blog. I don't know who or which department; it could be a prosecutor or clerk I see regularly, it could be someone in an office I've never set foot in. But they know me. I'm also pretty sure my sister found my blog (hi, Laura!), and I think she did it through Twitter. I've also been followed on Twitter by a friend from law school. I only use my first name and blog e-mail for my Twitter account and we don't have any common followers/followees, which leads me to believe maybe she came across my blog before she found me on Twitter. There are also a couple of readers from local law firms, at least one of which employs someone I graduated with. This is all just educated guessing, but it's enough to make me slightly paranoid.

Knowledge of these real-life connections has made me start censoring myself a bit more. I honestly can't afford for all the posts in my head to end up on paper. I'm terrified of this blog becoming highly damaging to me (see, paranoia), even though I love writing here and having a space all my own. I'm constantly walking the fine line between my need to purge my brain and my need to publicly save face.

Oddly enough, I have no problem with the fact that the girls read my blog. I know that they look at me through the lens of crazy. I also have no problem with internet strangers who have become friends reading. With them, I think it's because I'm (most likely) never going to have to look them in the eye and have them judge me. Judging is a HUGE trigger for me. There's yet another reason I don't want my real-life people knowing about my blog self - it gives them judgment fodder.

Though this blog started as a record of my foray into motherhood, I never intended to share it with family or make it a means of sharing information about the boys with those far away. I had a private blog for that (and failed miserably at maintaining it, by the way). I'm not a big-time-mega-huge blogger. I don't expect my writing to be read by thousands (or even hundreds). And for some naive reason, I truly never expected my writing to be read by people in my physical circle. I've been working on accepting the fact that my blog has "grown" to that point and being comfortable with all that entails. It's kind of hard, though, and still makes me a little uncomfortable. Has anyone else gone through this, or is this just one more manifestation of my crazy?

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