So, I got found out.
I had already openly volunteered the fact I had been doing some writing to the people closest to me. A number of them had said they would like to read what I had been writing, asking me where they could find my blog etc, etc. I have however, been very protective of it to date, explaining that right now I am writing anonymously, because that is the only way it is going to work. Putting myself out there in this way was hard enough. I knew fine well that my creative spirit would be well and truly squished by an awareness of family, friends (worse still minor acquaintances), looking on, discussing, judging. That was not what this blog was about. This blog offered a new and much needed sense of freedom. I often struggle to explain things in person. I have always done better in writing. And, as I come out of the other side of counselling, and am starting to really get to know myself, hear myself and finally beginning to appreciate that my voice may have something valid to say, perhaps even worth sharing, this blog offered a private place to explore what I was discovering, without other people who knew me (either well or slightly) saying …
“That’s not her!”
“Who does she think she is!?”
“That can’t be true, I’ve never heard her speak like that before!”
The fact is, this is me, but a slightly different, partly new me. Me 2.0. An improved, and improving version but (despite significant recalibration) still with some bugs to be ironed out. This blog (started whilst I was still receiving counselling) was the first time I had ever really explored in depth these things I was learning about myself, and I wanted to examine that in my own way, in my own time, without influence or comment from others who knew me (again, either well or slightly).
Last week though I got found out. And it was all my own doing. I was looking for a friend’s blog. I remembered a story she had written that had amused me and I wanted to revisit it. But, instead of typing the link to her blog in the generic search field, I typed it into the search box for sites to follow. And just like that, the genie was out of the bottle.
As I would do myself with a new follower, she may have thought ….
“Hello there new following person! What do you do?”
Very soon she had visited my site, she had commented on a post, and then she probably scrolled a bit. And, as her eyes perhaps descended further, she must have thought …
“Hold on a just a blinking minute! I know you!!”
The inevitable text arrived …
“It’s you isn’t it?”
She offered not to read any further if I didn’t want her to (which I knew she would honour if asked). But by then I thought …
“Well she knows where I live now, it would seem churlish to say no. Plus, this is my best friend of more than 30 years – perhaps it is time to be a little brave. And who else would I want to be the first person I know to read what I have been up to but her?”
It was nevertheless pretty icky knowing she was looking at me (Eeeeek! Hiding behind my hands!). She knows some of the stories of course, having been present for many of them. But some of the ins and outs of these experiences, the impacts they have had on me (both good and bad), I am only now starting to discover and fully understand myself. And my descriptions of certain life events are far more candid here then I could ever achieve in person. I am just not that good at talking about my feelings to anyone but complete strangers it would seem.
In the same week (it was a strange week!) I went with my parents to visit a lady who has been a close friend of our family since I was a teenager. It was so beautiful and moving to see her. She is an extraordinary person, full of humour and warmth and infectious loopiness – overflowing with love for us all. Of course, one of her first questions was “So what are you doing now?” I could see my dad stiffen as he walked ahead of us (he isn’t allowed to ask me that question anymore – orders from my mother – as she knows I find it excruciating to talk about my current situation). I went pale inside and out. And then I tried my best, with lightness and humour, to describe the unknown quantity and touchy, anxiety-filled subject which is ‘My Current Working Life’.
Because this conversation cannot last long (although, for politeness sake I have to make my response last longer than “Nothing”), I told her that I had been doing some writing. That I loved doing it, and hoped at some point to put some stories together to see if I could get anything published. She, of course, wanted to know more about the blog and where she could find it. I explained that wouldn’t be possible just now. This explanation did not seem to satisfy her at all. She said …
“You know that is weird right?”
… when I told her that nobody I knew had read it.
In days gone by I might have said, somewhat apologetically …
“Yes, I guess so”.
Not this day . This day I said …
“It isn’t weird to me. It is just how it has to be right now. And if other people think that it is weird, so be it. I’m fine with that”
Perhaps it is weird to other people. And that is perfectly fine. I have been learning to love my inner weird, and thankfully am also learning to care less and less what others think about that. Another friend recently suggested to me (jokingly I think) that she could probably hunt me down if she wanted. I told her to go for it if she felt so inclined. I always assumed one day I would get found out. And, as long as I didn’t know she was there (and she kept it to herself) it wouldn’t stifle my flow. She would be most welcome (if she really cared enough to commit time and energy to finding me under my writing rock).
I know my best friend got it when I originally told her what I was doing with the blog, and that I didn’t want to share it with people I knew at present. She was fine with that and didn’t push me any further (until my very own faithless fingers sought her out of their own accord and gave the game away – We shall be having words).
And, if one day I do wish to share the fact I am writing with others I know, who better to have read it first than my best friend (oh, and of course the lovely followers and occasional visitors I already have, for whom I am eternally grateful :)
The only thing is, I now am really aware my friend is here. One of the reasons I needed to start the blog under cover of darkness in the first place was I didn’t want my writing, or the truth I wanted to tell (or discover as I wrote it) to be tempered by self-consciousness about people I knew watching, maybe judging, having an opinion, telling me I was wrong, mistaken or foolish. This had to be a place of honesty. Honesty with myself first of all – as I went through a process of rediscovering who I am really am, underneath the layers of stuff that had gone before.
So now I have to get over myself and keep writing my truth regardless. And this I know I can do. And I must. Otherwise there is no point continuing, as I will have betrayed the point of starting this work in the first place.
So hello friend!! *waving*. You are most welcome (as long as, you know,…… what we agreed, about not telling other people and stuff….)
And I will keep doing my thing, and let’s see where it takes us.
Copyright 2017 · Forty and Everything After