Almost everyone who's read my blog has never met me, and I think I've always rather liked it that way. Just as the only people an exhibitionist wants to see him naked tend to be his lover and those who'll never know who he is, so I'm a little shy about people who aren't very close to me reading my blog and knowing me outside the blog.
However, I casually mentioned to my wife's friend's husband the other night that I have a blog, and he promptly asked for the URL so he could check it out. With some hesitation, I gave it to him, and I believe that he will get around to reading some of my entries, including some of my more intimate posts about my learning disabilities and struggles at work and home. I feel a little anxious about this.
I see this guy only two or three times a year, but I respect and like him and would like to think of him as a friend. Yet, do I want this particular friend to know as much about me as I reveal in this blog?
Yes and no. Or, rather, part of me does, and part of me doesn't. Part of me doesn't want him to know anything about me that would make him think less of me, to the extent that he thinks of me at all, than he does now. And another part of me wants to stop worrying about what others think of me and to stop hiding my flaws from them and just bare it all and let the proverbial chips fall where they may. If they know all about me and like me, fine. If they know all about me and don't like or respect me, I can live with that. In fact, I can live with it better, in the long run, than I can live with trying to maintain a false front and have people like or respect a persona I know is not really me. I've spent too much of my life trying to cover up, and what has it gotten me? A life of being uneasy and guarded around others. A life of not trying new things in public because I was afraid I'd fail and look stupid and make people think less of me.
So, letting my friend read my blog may be one of the best things I can do. Maybe it can help to set me free to be myself not just in a blog or with my closest friends but with everyone. And if I still find it difficult to do this, I can contemplate the fact--at least I believe it's a fact--that our bodies, minds, and personalities are only the tiniest, most insignificant portions of who and what we really are.
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