I had always intended to blog anonymously. Heck, when I started this venture, I didn’t even use my name. But I also didn’t have any expectations that anyone would be reading.
My, how times change.
A few people in my real life have known about my blog almost from its inception. For different reasons. My husband. My mom. One of my sisters-in-law. Sometimes it impacted what I wrote – made me feel censored. Mostly I forgot that they were reading and wrote for myself and for you. Mostly.
But just over a year ago, shock waves struck. I almost fell out of my chair when I got a Facebook message (to my personal account) from a “real” friend and neighbor, who wrote: “… so I was crusin’ the web… and what did I find? I found Waisting Time! … What a surprise to find it!”
What a surprise indeed! I was flabbergasted. I was scared. If she found me, anyone could. And who might she tell? Eek! I might be walking down the street (okay, not really, but maybe walking down the aisles of the local grocery store) and the person who waved as they passed might have just read my blog. Or even worse, might be examining (and judging) the contents of my shopping cart. Aaack.
Eventually I calmed down; came back from my freaked out place; asked myself, “What’s the worse thing that could happen?” And continued blogging. In my sort of anonymous fashion. Maybe for a moment the fear of discovery impacted what I wrote. Mostly I forgot about it.
And a year passed.
With more posts and more readers and more exposure in cyberspace. With me ignoring all the warnings I had given my sons to be careful what you put online because you never know who is reading and because it’s there forever and because you are giving up control. To think twice and not post things you wouldn’t want your mother to read. Parenting caution in a dangerous new world that, for the most part, I had not myself heeded.
Those warnings came back to haunt me.
There I was, in my son’s new apartment, halfway across the country, no thoughts of blogging in my head, heading out the door to a late dinner, when my son asked, “Mom, what’s the name of your blog?” What!? Why is he asking? Why does he want to know!? “Just humor me,” he said. So I told him. And then he told me… something I never in a million years expected to hear. Facebook, once again, was the vehicle for my outing. As a “friend” posted on my son’s wall that, “I found your mom’s blog accidentally while searching for a quote from the commencement speech…” And for just a fleeting moment, he posted a link.
And just like that, my worlds collided. And I freaked out. Just a bit. Okay, maybe a lot. According to my son (from what he told me AND from what he posted on the Facebook thread), my reaction was “hilarious.” Funny to him, maybe!
Let me just tell you that it was the longest restaurant meal ever! All I could think about was getting to a computer and performing damage control.
(And in case you were wondering, other “friends” did comment and “like” the post on my son’s wall. I don’t know if they ever saw my blog though because the person who originally exposed me to the world realized that maybe my son wouldn’t be “cool with everyone having the link” to his mom’s blog. Long
Facebook conversation story short, the link is gone but the thread remains. Hmm… maybe I should ask my son to remove THAT from his wall.)
I’ll be totally honest and tell you that my initial
over-reactions thoughts were to shut down this blog immediately! Permanently. And I did. Sort of. Removed the “offending” post so that it wouldn’t be there for anyone to search and put my blog into “maintenance mode” while I thought things through.
I’m still thinking.
About the potential loss of all anonymity. About my sons and the people in their lives and the people in my life reading what I’ve written. About what I still might or might not have left to write. About whether or not I care who reads my words and who connects the real me to the blog me. About calling it quits. About what I might regret if I keep going or if I stop. About maybe even starting over, fresh, with or without anonymity.
Because, coincidentally enough given the timing, maybe Waisting Time is wasting time. Maybe my blog has run its course; served it’s purpose. Maybe I’ve run out of things to say and creative juice and the need to say anything at all. (I actually had a blog post drafted about that already!)
Maybe I’m done in cyberspace. For now. Maybe I’m not. Maybe I don’t even know the questions to ask myself to decide what to do next.
Maybe for once, over-thinking is a good thing!
So for now, I’ve shared this part of my tale with you, and had a chance to at least let that resonate in my brain while putting words to keyboard. And I realize, with the initial shock worn off, that I should go against my action-oriented nature and give myself some time to think this through. To see where it takes me. To be flexible. To be patient. (Stop laughing, family.)
And I’ll admit to you, that there is much that I haven’t shared in this long-winded but much shortened story, because of exactly the issue at hand – I don’t know who is reading it and there are just some things that I can’t or won’t put out here because, well, for reasons that are exactly the problem – too private, too revealing, too embarrassing to share.
And that, dear readers (and cyber-snoopers) is exactly what led me to freak out in the first place!
Photo credit: [Cody James]