Special Edition — My Problem with Being Personal


Why is it so hard for me to talk about my personal life?

This week's blog post was supposed to have a section about my current frustrations at my workplace. I wrote one long paragraph explaining the situation... then I took a good look at it and decided it had too many specific details. So I rewrote it, summarizing the events in fewer sentences. Yet, I still wasn't happy with it, and decided to take it out. The entire time, there was always this paranoia that someone who knew me in real life would find it, connect the dots, and realize it was me. Then I'd get into trouble and lose my job.

Now that the blog post is out, however, I only felt disappointed in myself. Wasn't this blog supposed to be more authentic to myself? Then why was I holding back? What was I so afraid of?

I flashed back to my high school years, when my aunt cautioned me against swearing on my posts on Facebook because my future employers could see them. I flashed back to my college years, when, after I withdrew my application to an college organization, one of its members managed to track me down in my favorite library for a talk, presumably based on my updating my current location on Twitter.

I returned to myself and concluded that yes, I'm afraid of something. I'm afraid of my online life affecting my real life.

To be fair, I've always considered myself to be a private person. Throughout my academic years, I barely mentioned my home life to my friends. In turn, I didn't talk about my friends to my family. With my current job, where my coworkers would talk about their personal troubles freely at work, I began to share some bits about myself, but it was still few and far between. I can hold conversations for a long time... just as long as it doesn't get too personal.

I suppose my online life was no different. I didn't talk about my family online, even with friends. I didn't talk about anything online with family except important matters. With complete strangers, the general public... they may know some facts about me, but they don't know what I'm going through.

(The exception, of course, is my boyfriend. I've told him almost everything... unless I forgot.)

I have some ideas on why I'm so hesitant to talk about myself: parental neglect, family drama, being rejected by peers without understanding why, low self-esteem, and dislike of confrontation. I guess I just learned not to bother if either nobody cares or everybody will make a big deal out of it.

Additionally, in relation to my original problem, there is a real threat that I could get into trouble. You see, while I'm currently just a training facilitator, I'm also in a high-profile organization where I talk to plenty of people, both internally and externally. Hence, there's a chance that I could be recognized, even online. I like my job, and I don't want to risk it.

So I'm in a conundrum. I don't want to reveal any identifying information, but I also want to be authentic on this blog. After all, I can't just blabber on and on about my interests and hobbies forever... or can I?

Something for me to ponder.

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