Honest is the only way and sometimes it means being open

Today I had planned to whip out a post about how I am a reluctant yogi but it seems that is a post for another day. Some days we choose our topics and some days our topics choose us and today it is the latter.

Last night I was at a work related meeting and the matter of this little ole blog came up, I generally don’t scream it from the roof tops that I blog, on the other hand I don’t hide it. Anyway someone who was not in the know asked the title of the blog and someone who was in the know replied “Its Black Girl in Maine”. The person not in the know gave that nervous chuckle and asked “Really” and the person in the know said “Yep” I do know that the person in the know aka one of my seven bosses does read my work and that at least one of my other bosses is aware of my work as she came to hear me speak several months ago.

Well after the meeting I made a random throw away tweet about the exchange and a well-meaning tweep suggested I put my blog on private which I know many people would do. After all for many of us these digital spaces can be deeply personal and do we really need or want people we know professionally being able to access our thoughts? In many cases the answer is no.

Funny thing is just a little while ago; I was catching up on some blog reading and read this amazing post. I have been a follower of Eren’s work for a while, always loving the visuals on her former blog The Vintage Chica. Eren had stopped blogging for a while and I was sad to see her go, figuring she had gone the way of a few of my other favorite bloggers, lost forever. No, it seems Eren regrouped and came back with a new blog, one that is raw and honest and this post just puts it all out there. It doesn’t get much more honest than admitting your spouse is dealing with mental illness, your marriage is in trouble and that you have a kid with issues. Funny thing is I could have written that post, all except for 1-2 details, hell I consider myself honest but even I have limits. Oh, I have danced around the issues but I suppose I am not ready to just lay them bare in this space.

In reading her post though, it made me think about my own writing and how I strive for honesty, yet even within my openness I have my barriers and limits. Yet in choosing the things that I have shared publically, I am often asked why? Well the simple why is at almost 39 years of age, why not? I am not a kid anymore and frankly life is simply easier when I am honest. I admit there are times I will share something in this space and have second thoughts but really being an open book is simply easier for me. My choice to be so open has resulted in professional opportunities and while I am sure there could be a backlash none of what I share anywhere impacts my work for either my employers or my clients. As someone who struggles with anxiety issues, I need my plate to be light and being myself whether in a digital capacity or face to face keeps the anxiety down. I spent a lot of years carrying a lot of secrets and when I decided that load was too heavy and decided to lighten it by being consistent across the board, it made a difference.

For some people they will never need nor feel the need to be open and that’s cool but I think for some of us the façade of being what we are not becomes such a burden that in being honest it means being open. If there is pushback at a certain point in life as an adult you are willing to accept that. I think part of getting older is simply not giving a shit as much; it’s the part of being almost middle aged that is really starting to resonate deeply with me. That frankly if being me is bothersome to someone that they simply don’t need to be in my world.

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