Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Private Conversation

Recently, I find myself in a bit of a sticky situation.
I’m an extremely controlled, private person.  I compartmentalize my life, personal, work, writing, family, etc… each has it’s own clearly defined place, extremely specific and isolated.  The parts don’t mix, there’s no overlap.  And I almost never discuss personal things in public, or even in private usually.  Private thoughts stay private.
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The reason that I started blogging was so that I could express, discuss and write about all those inner most thoughts and feelings safely and honestly.  I made this blog as anonymous as possible so that I could say absolutely anything without worrying that anyone in my real life might find out about it.   There are no links between my real life and this blog.
But things have changed over the last few months.
I met Ann through this blog.  She knows me, we’re in a relationship, and she reads my blog… so, all the sudden I have a connection between my real life and my private writing.  Part of our relationship is actually based on the fact that she has read my absolute deepest, most secret thoughts for the past four years and isn’t turned off.  She’s read all those things that I would never have told anyone in person and still likes me.  Yet I’m torn because any posts that I write online could impact my real life, it’s not anonymous anymore.
What’s also weird is being in a relationship with someone who writes about it.  I mean, I read her blog too and she’s very honest and forthright about what’s going on in her head.  Sometimes it almost feels like I’m invading her privacy, as though I’m reading my lover’s diary every night.  There’s also the comments and dialog she has with her readers every day, it’s like listening in on Ann’s private conversations with her friends.  She’s popular, way more popular online than me, so she is always having in depth discussions back and forth with her readers.
When she writes about our private conversations I don’t mind but then I’m conflicted over what I should write.  Were she not connecting my online and real lives I’d have been posting tons of personal, deep internal monologues… but now I’m fighting my natural urge to keep personal things personal because I don’t want them to affect my relationship.  She can write whatever she wants, but knowing that’s she reading my diary every night influences what I write in it.
And all of this puts me in kind of a weird spot, wanting to vent, to write, to get these things off my chest and yet Ann’s going to read it.
We just got through this really difficult patch and I really want to write my perspective on the how and why and back story… but I also don’t want to drag us back into the middle of the rough patch or restart old arguments.
Let sleeping dogs lie, right?
So, what do I do; write meaningless posts about how much I hate facebook for the foreseeable future or pretend that Ann isn’t reading and write what I want to?  In real life, I wouldn’t hesitate to tell Ann any of my deepest thoughts, worries, concerns… but things have changed and I feel like I can’t post those same things publicly because “Public” actually feels public in a way that it never did before.   There is someone in the world who can bridge those artificial divides that I created.
Before, the blog was completely anonymous, I mean no one in my personal life knew about it, I could write whatever I want with absolutely no worry that Johnny Id and me would ever be connected… now there is someone who can connect those two and everything feels completely different now.  It feels like I need to be more careful because anonymous isn’t anonymous anymore.
It’s a little frustrating and I’m still trying to adjust to the new reality in a way that let’s me move forward.  I’m sure I’ll figure it out, but for right now it feels really awkward and plastic compared to how it felt before. I don’t want to change what I’m writing and yet how can I not be influenced by the the one and only reader that matters to me?  And how do I write about the most important thing in my life right now, our relationship, without it actually affecting that relationship?
I’ve never been in this place before, it’s… new and interesting.  And confusing at times.

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