Last night I was talking to a guy who is in my social circle, but who I don't really know. He knows a lot more about me than I know about him. He reads my blog.
It's funny, the in-between people. Like, my closest friends, they know all the things I write about. I know they love me, and even if they question some of my decisions, they fundamentally like who I am as a person and support me. And they know me well enough to tell me when they think something is a very bad idea.
And complete strangers, well, they're safe. I don't know them and they don't actually know me, even if they read some very, very personal things about me.
But the in-between people, the ones who are in my social world but not emotionally close, they're the dangerous ones. They're the ones whose opinions are scary. I didn't realize that till last night.
Last night this guy made a reference to something that made me realize he'd read a recent post. He said he checks in regularly. And he said he'd never make public some of the things that I do. I asked if he thinks less of me for the things he's read, and he said no. But what else could he say?
He said, "There are some, 'oh, wow!' things that surprise me. Which makes sense. You're not going to write about shopping at Whole Foods and what you put in your basket. You're going to choose the 'oh, wow!' things to write about. But they're things that I would want control over sharing. I wouldn't want to just have them out there."
I can understand this. I don't think he's trying to denigrate my actions, but of course I feel judged. Does he think this is tantamount to emotionally flashing my girl bits? Perhaps. I didn't ask.
He also noted that there are some things I write about that are universal, and part of the "oh, wow!" is that when you read a description of something that is exactly how you feel, there's a thrill in that. It makes you feel a connection. This is what I love about some of the blogs I read. Dooce, for example, has some posts that really resonated with me, and posts that just floored me with their brutal self-honesty.
The thing about me is, I'm pretty up front about who I am and about my insecurities. Some people think this is strength, and some think it's weakness. Some of the things that I am realizing I probably share too quickly, well, they're the things that are really raw and close to the surface. I use my blog for some, but not all, of those things. So the picture people are getting is honest but censored. The things this guy knows, some of them are really personal and hard, but they're not the most personal or the worst that I've dealt with. I'm working through things, and I'm working hard on me. And for whatever reason, writing about it in this particular way is helping. It just takes a while.
He assumed that I tell everyone about my blog, and although it's not a secret, I don't. He assumed the last guy I was dating (who I wrote about) knew, and no, I never told him. I started out by telling my close friends, and then when Wonkette linked to me, I gained a whole bunch of readers - but I think except for this guy, they are people I don't know.
But no, I don't meet people and say, "Hi, I'm Lisa, and before you get to know me as a person, I'd like to get emotionally naked in front of you. Check out my blog!"