Putting Myself 'Out There' is Really Hard
I have to constantly remind myself why I decided to make my blog public. There are a few reasons. One of them is to help change the dynamic for me. I feel like a visitor in someone else’s community. I’m a non-mormon in a largely mormon community. I’m a Democrat in a predominantly Republican area. I have a special needs child which makes it hard to relate with other parents. I’m a stay-at-home mom in a society that applauds working women. All of these things make me feel isolated. I’m hoping that by sharing more about my life I might find others that are feeling similar.
Over the last couple years, especially after the election of Donald Trump, I have made a real effort to conduct myself in a very neutral way because I ‘know’ I’m in the minority with most of my opinions. I listen, I make jokes and I ask questions. It’s pretty rare for me to say anything of substance in a social situation when I feel like a ‘visitor’. Neutrality has also made me feel like my friends don’t know that much about me. I have created a bit of a dynamic where there are people who feel close to me, but I don’t feel close to many. I do have many thoughts about what is happening, but there’s nowhere for me to voice them comfortably. The blog, I’m hoping, will be part of the solution for the feeling of loneliness that has grown over the last couple years.
The problem is I’ve never really been an active user of any social media platform. I have spent most of my time being an anonymous observer if I did any browsing at all. I have always been very mindful of what I ‘like’ or read for fear of exposing my genuine views about something. I say all the time that it’s so much easier to like everyone when you don’t know everything about them. I’m probably mostly talking about myself when I say that. Since launching the blog I have opened Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and created a Facebook business page plus the actual website for the blog. I have become active on my personal Facebook page. I have gone from essentially no social media presence whatsoever to sharing not only my personal thoughts about my family, but also my political views across multiple platforms. I didn’t realize how uncomfortable this would be for me. I didn’t anticipate how exposed and vulnerable I would feel. I didn’t know how much time and effort it would take to figure out each of the platforms. I didn’t realize how against my nature this whole project would be. The constant anxiety of being ‘out there’ is all consuming. I’m hoping it might feel better with time as long as I continue to feel like I’m doing the right thing.