Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thickening skin

I've been thinking lately about social media and the many ways we put ourselves out in the world.

Some people have online personas which have nothing to do with who they are in real life. I've found that out more than once and was shocked watching those two worlds collide. Who I am in social media is me, just me, me being honest, open, sharing from the bottom of my heart and moments when my soul is broken. That's not so easy for me to do in day to day life—I'm more reserved, my walls are pretty solid. Social media me is also braver, hypes better, is more self-assured.

My life online is anonymous in a way, it's easier to share, to open up, to examine. I connect, I flow more when it's just me and my thoughts, my emotions, my experience. I am truly present when I'm here, not caught up in the distractions and juggling of every day life. 

Sometimes I wish my life was more compartmentalized. That I was a doctor or teacher or marine biologist (not really, those are just examples), that I worked in an office and could leave that part of me at the end of the day, behind a closed door. That I wouldn't wake up at 3 in the morning with an idea that I had to get down at that very moment before I lost it. That I was an expert in something and came to projects from that place instead of just as me.

But the edges of my life are blurred. Writer, designer, mother. Creator. Worker. Wife. Business owner. Blogger. Sister. Daughter. PTA president. Yogi. Me in my living room. Me in a coffee shop. Talking to a friend. Having a meeting. Or typing away on my laptop. When I write here, for Huffington Post, for Bust, when I'm writing a book, I bring me to the table. Not professional me or personal me. Just me.

Lately I've been slammed here. For being me. That used to hurt. But the last insult laden blog comment actually made me laugh out loud. It was hard, ridiculous, to imagine someone taking the time and energy to spew such venom at me. Being me.

While this road is never easy and while yes, I can be very complain-y times, I am grateful for the messiness of how my life works. I have opportunities in front of me I never would have imagined. I know inspirational and interesting people. I walk down the street and always find someone to talk to, to listen to, to share with. At 46, which when I was younger I'd thought was ancient, life is full of thrilling things. Challenging things. Pure love. Excitement. Satisfaction. And, yes, frustration. Pain. Drama. Angst.

All valid parts of my life. And all of it is helping me grow into me. 

Where would I be, if the growing, stretching, learning stopped?

If I let other people shut me down?

I'm not willing to find out.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this -- it is difficult, having a blog, tweeting, having a laptop separate you from the world... sometimes.
This is perfectly put.

mrs mediocrity said...

I am glad that you don't compartmentalize. And I feel exactly the same way about my life. I am me, first. What I do, at my various jobs, is all just part of the one who is me.
And don't let anyone shut you down. Ever.