Today, I want to talk about something awkward.
And I'm kind of hoping that this is one of those things that once mentioned, it becomes less awkward. I hope? Well....
I think I outted myself.
You see, I'm a very private person. I'm mostly shy, most definitely an introvert, and terrified of expressing public emotion. The number of people that get to experience my full range of emotions can be counted on one hand, and here's a hint: I live with all of them.
I don't know what's in my wiring or upbringing that made me that way, but it is what it is.
And, related - I've been blogging for a long time. Like, a really long time. I want to say it's been about 13 years. I've blogged on many different platforms with many different names and themes, and all with varying amounts of success and exposure. But the one thing they've all had in common, is their privacy.
Once in a while, someone I know "in real life" would stumble on one of my blogs, and I would immediately put it under lock and key. I would make it private, or require a password to see it, delete its related social media, and let it slowly disappear and act like "oops, I just stopped caring about it". Not true. I just abandoned ship and moved on so I could try to hide from you. Yep, probably from you.
(< Jake is demonstrating how I'd like to safely shield myself from everyone.)
The thing is.
It's not that I don't like you. It's that, on my blogs, I am extremely open, honest, and emotional. I share WAY more than I do in person. I'm comfortable with the written word, but for the same reason that I've always wanted to be a writer but have never felt the confidence to pursue it, I've never really plugged my blog all the way because I'm terrified of people I know finding it. It makes me feel very self conscious, nervous, and twitchy to let you read the words in my head. I know that they are never things I'd be able to say to you in person, and that everything I share here is deeper than I "allow" myself to go in public, and that feels extremely raw and exposing to me.
I did know a few people read this blog. My sister, my cousin, my best friend, a couple high school friends. And that was okay with me. They know me well enough for me to be okay with them seeing what I have to say, and I know they'll love me for it anyway. But it was a comfort to know that they were here, because I'd usually write with them in mind. I was fearful of the people that might be here, without me knowing.
The other day, I had the opportunity to share a post with the Boba company. I have wanted to work with them for so long, and it took a long time and a lot of hard work to make my blog big enough to partner with them. I don't think I've ever been as excited about a partnership before! So when the post went live, I decided to work at promoting it more than my usual posts. I wanted to make sure it got a lot of eyes on it, and I wanted to share the chance to win a Boba with others. A couple of my friends shared it on their Facebook's (thank you, lovah and Fabes!), and I liked it on my own page. Facebook's sharing algorithms are really annoying, and I remember reading that if your post gets more likes, then more people will see it. So I liked it as both my page name and my personal name. It worked - my FB posts usually have a single-digit number of people reached: 4, 5, 6 - sometimes 8. Look at what my Boba post had:
That is way more than 8 people.
All I thought would happen is that people that already liked my blog page would see it in their feeds. I didn't at all, for a second, realize that it would show up in my personal feed. Until the likes started coming in from people I'm FB friends with but that don't already like my blog's FB page.
And I was mortified.
I panicked at first, I'm not gonna lie. I thought about deleting the FB post, putting my blog on reader passwords only, and running away again. But I've worked so hard on this blog - building up a history, working on genuine exposure, and being true to myself. I do not want to start over again!
But it makes me extremely nervous thinking that a lot of you are here, now. You've probably sifted around old posts and other pages, and I feel this sense of....hurry and re-write anything that sounds too unlike public me! But that would be lame, because public me is extremely vanilla, and no one would ever want to read a blog about that.
So, I think......I accidentally liberated myself.
Maybe that's kind of cool.
Maybe it's sort of fate?
Maybe it's about time.
So all that I ask of you, if you decide to stick around, is to be gentle with me. This is new, scary territory for me. I try very, very hard to keep my nose out of drama and issues, to avoid making people angry or uncomfortable, and to not be annoying or overbearing. And I'm afraid that something you find here, or something I post someday could do any number of those things - purely on accident. I don't want to censor or restrict myself, and I also don't want to shut you out. So take it easy on me? :)
Bonus: An outtake from our Boba pictures. I didn't post it because I thought I looked stupid, but Jake's face is too adorable/hilarious not to share. Ohhh I'm just letting it all hang out, now!
Also - - please go read, like, share, and enter my Boba Giveaway post! Might as well make my anxiety worth their while! ;)