I’m not as honest as I used to be, especially on this blog.
First of all, I am reminded that people do read what I write, which makes me self-conscious.
While I am hardly a well-socialized human being, I do worry about offending people I care about, or causing them distress, through my choice of words. Because I know full well that I have a vicious streak — call it ‘wit’ if you like, if it makes you feel better about laughing — I try to keep it leashed.
Secondly, I am conscious of the fact that anything I write can be used against me: for example, I could be fired for saying or doing, but also for being.
Among those I know well, I am fairly open about (for example) my mental health issues; however, I am by no means ‘out,’ even if (as I suspect) I’m probably not fooling anyone with my sad attempts at normalcy. But disclosure is tough: every time I start to think, yeah, maybe society’s making some progress, there’s a mass shooting or media portrayal that convinces the general public that they must do whatever is necessary to protect themselves from the “crazies.”
Third, while I stand defiantly by my opinions, I am ashamed of my feelings — particularly the softer ones, because I equate them with weakness; I have also absorbed certain cultural norms about never showing vulnerability, as doing so accomplishes nothing except providing one’s enemies with ammunition.
Fourth, I do not want to want. I have deep-seated conviction that by expressing a desire, I am setting myself up for disappointment. I also believe that I do not deserve anything good.
Like, my heart’s desire has always been to write (fiction!) while raising a pack of kids. Not everyone knows this, because it’s not something I usually admit — even to myself.
After all: what makes me so special, how self-indulgent, my family worked so hard and sacrificed so much so that I could have a good life, I can’t afford dreams, why would I ‘throw away’ my education like that, I have a good job, don’t I know how lucky I am, I am the sensible one whose job it is to look out for/clean up after others, I have neither the talent nor the temperament, what if I regret it, do I have any idea what I’d be getting myself into, you can’t do TWO things, etc., etc.
And so, I wake up every morning, exhausted and frustrated, and with the agonizing sensation of knives stabbing the inside of my gut because, deep down, I know am lying to myself and everyone else. And will continue to do so.
Which is why, you see, I don’t always want to update this blog. Because nobody wants to know any of this.