I've been thinking a lot about blogging these last couple days - not just because I've been doing more of it in the last week than I had in the previous two weeks, but because I am coming to realize how much of an extension of me it is. It's one of the few places where I don't self-edit (much) and where pretty much what you see (or read) is what you get. Although it's not really the place where I go to vent about the specifics of my life, I do share a lot of hopes and fears and observations on the world that I would not normally bring up in conversation with people in my every day life. That is not to say that I there's anything that I write here that I wouldn't say in real life - that's kind of one of my unwritten rules of blogging.
The issue that's been bugging me these days is that I've always been vehemently private about my blog - which I know seems kind of odd because here I am publishing this stuff on the internet and I'm worried about it being read. Sharing this kind of stuff with strangers and the people that I know read this and tune in day after day is both liberating and scary, but mostly, the former wins out. It's when people that actually know me start reading this that I start to get nervous.
I'm trying really hard to be authentically me - the Dan that is at the core of me rather than the outer shell that so many know. And along with that goes being more real in my work and in other social situations that I find myself in. And it comes back to the blog - something of which I am intensely proud, but also very shy about revealing to people. I had this blog linked as my website on Facebook for a very brief time. I removed it as soon as people from my work started adding me to their friends list because having that link there for people that I work with to access felt like such an invasion of my privacy - something that seems very silly when it was me that put the stuff out there for consumption anyway. But a part of me really wants to leave it on there - and face the ramifications of my blog becoming public with a few people that I work with. I don't think that the heavens will open and the end of the world will be upon us if that were to happen, but it's almost like revealing too much to too many people.
When my blog was read only by random people and the people I told about it, I felt pretty good about it. When friends and family started reading it (even though I gave them the address), I felt very nervous about it - even to the point that I found I couldn't write. I got over that by telling myself it's my blog and I can damn well pick what I want to write about and if they don't like it, find it boring, or are made uncomfortable by it, well, then they don't fucking have to read it. Revealing this even more? I don't know - I sometimes feel like if people I know casually were to stumble across my blog, figure out it's me (which wouldn't be hard) and read, I'd feel like I was the victim of a voyeur. Even now, I get Ames hits on my counter, and I wonder who they are. That's mostly ridiculous, I know, but all the same, I can't shake that feeling.
I know - I think too much sometimes. I guess I just really want people to know who I REALLY AM and sometimes that scares even me and I'm in my head 24/7. I can only imagine what it would do for people who only see me 8 hours a day or once a week at church or whatever would feel if they came over here and saw it. Perhaps it would make me more intriguing. To be honest, I like this version of Dan more than the one that's put out for mass consumption on a daily basis. This one feels and tries new things and flirts with crazy ideas. And I just can't help but think that would scare a lot of people off. Or at least provide detractors with ammunition.
So is there an answer? I don't know. Perhaps this is a jump I'm just not quite ready to take yet. Fear is usually trying to tell you something when you feel it - but figuring out what it's saying is the tricky part. How does one reconcile the desire to be blazingly honest and real with the desire to be intensely private as well?