On Anonymity

I was reading a post by one of my favorite people — Sugar on The Rumpus —  where she talks about how she’s going to reveal her identity on Valentine’s Day.  She’s been writing her advice column (which is nothing short of soul-wrenching, insightful and, like, totally f’in awesome) under the pseudonym Sugar for a long time and come this February, she’s having her own coming out party and revealing her identity to all.

And this got me to thinking:  I’ve been trying to remain at least a little bit anonymous here.  Sure, there are enough details here that someone close to me would probably recognize my life, but I have barely let on to any of my friends or family that I’ve writing a blog, much less tell them where to find it.

In some respects, this sucks because it’s much easier to build a readership/community when you have a solid group of people that you know you can guilt into reading the blog on a regular basis.  But, this is a choice I made because I want to be able to write from my heart and not have to worry about how someone else might interpret it.

There are things that I write about here that I really haven’t divulged to anyone in my life — if I were in their shoes, I’m sure my thoughts would be something like, “Hmmm… I thought we were good enough friends that she could have talked to me about this…”.  And some of this is my fault:  despite being able to write about topics that leave me feeling very vulnerable, talking about them in real life isn’t something in my skill set.  I’ve never been all that good at the face-to-face sharing. Freaks me a out a little, to be honest.

The other facet to this — this space gives me the opportunity to vent without repercussion.  For example, I talk about my roommate quite a bit, and mostly just the situations where I’m frustrated with her.  In real life, 99% of the time we get along really well.  And when we don’t?  This forum gives me a way to release the frustration, think things out and say things that might not be an effective problem resolution technique in person.  You know, like screaming, “You are such a BITCH!!!” into my pillow and then turning around to calmly discuss the situation.

And so this site remains unvisited by the people who are closest to me.  I’ve given thought to changing my stance on this, but I’m not sure I’m ready.  There’s still a part of me that would edit and censor, knowing that the audience held people who get the joy of dealing with me in real life.  Hiding this space seems the easiest way to be 100% Laura, warts and all.

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5 responses to “On Anonymity

  1. Some of my family and friends know that I blog, but I haven’t told any of them where to find me. It’s strange I guess that I enjoy when strangers drop by to visit, but I try to keep the people closest to me out.

  2. I’m completely out about who I am on my blog, but I can def understand why some people wouldn’t want to do it. If your blog is where you go to vent, it might be better if your closest friends and family don’t read it!

  3. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I let it slip, and say, my college roommate found out that I had been TOTALLY crushing on her. Or if my ex-SIL found out that I truly thought she was my soulmate. Heh. Maybe I should consider causing a little trouble…

    (or maybe not! Yikes!)

  4. Pingback: Beware of the monster | Getting Out In The World

  5. Pingback: More on anonymity | Getting Out In The World

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