I live in fear of people I know in real life finding my blog. It's something that causes a
tidal wave stab twinge of anxiety to course through me every time I see a page view that comes from a city where I know someone. I'm certain that the person who's reading in, say, Chicago - where there are literally MILLIONS of people - is actually B's cousin's wife.* Paranoid much? Why yes, yes I am.
To be fair, there is a certain subset of my real life that knows about my blog and has known about it from the beginning. I think the reason this doesn't bother me is twofold. First, I knew these women online before I knew them in person. They were my friends from Ye Olde Wedding and Marriage Site's local chat boards, which tricked my brain into thinking that they weren't "real" people, they were just internet people. Or something like that. Second, I know that they know about my blog and they know that I know that they know about my blog. I'm highly uncomfortable with the thought that I'm unknowingly talking to someone who know all of my crazies. For whatever reason, I'm far more ok with it if I already know they know about all my crazies. If that makes any sense. (Hint: it probably doesn't.)
My last post brought this uncomfortable issue to the forefront of my brain. Even with the semi-anonymity I half-assedly try to keep around here, someone from real life finding my corner of the internet was bound to happen. Little things that put me on edge kept happening. I got page views from my home town. Someone I knew in high school posted the link to Michelle's awesome post that went viral a month or so ago. Someone who works for my employer reads. Twitter sent me an email (to my blog account) asking if I knew my sister and the pen pal I had in my senior comp class in high school (That one totally freaked me out. I have no idea how Twitter made those connections. And I don't like it.)
The thing is, I didn't think about that when I first started blogging. I also didn't expect to be blogging about my mental health then, either, but what are you going to do? My life feels too personal to share with those I see in person on a regular basis, but sharing it with the whole freaking world on the internet is no big deal. I'm sure this says something unflattering about me as a person. Maybe it's because I prefer to keep people at arm's length until I get to know them (then you can't get rid of me! Ha!), and someone reading my words through a computer screen and from across town, across the country or across the world seems arm's length-y enough for my comfort. But when I see you and you know about my blog (and I don't know you know, etc.), you've unwittingly come within touching distance, if you will, and that's too close for me. Especially when I don't know that - continuing an exceedingly stretched analogy - you're standing so close to me. If makes me feel extra squirmy when you think that I've figured out at least three of my approximately 12 readers are real lifers.
So if you know we'll be interacting in person, could do me a favor and 'fess up to me that you read my blog. I would appreciate it. I don't know that you know more about me than I think you do, and telling me you read my blog would put us back on equal footing. Plus, lurking's just creepy, dude. *coughcoughSISTERcough*
That is my challenge to you, dear readers. Come leave me a comment if you never have before. I want to know my readers! Mostly so I
know exactly who knows I'm an absolute nutjob! can find out how awesome you all are.
*I don't think I actually know anyone who lives in Chicago in real life, and I know for sure B doesn't have any cousins there.