Truths spoken here not quite for my daughter’s young ears.
My cousin, who’s in his early teens, have asked to “friend me” on Facebook (is this even the accurate term? No one warned me that turning 35 actually switches off the hip and trendy part of your brain). Since I usually post my blog entries on my personal Facebook page, I was reluctant to accept his invite. I wasn’t sure if he was ready for my candor, and therefore politely declined and promised to continue being in touch via good “old-fashioned” email.
However, I received an email over the weekend from him where he said (and I’m very loosely paraphrasing here): “I was surfing the web and guess what I found? Your blog! [That makes me wonder: what exactly were you looking for when you stumbled upon this?] I just want to let you know how cool it is that you’re sharing your life story here and don’t worry, I won’t tell our family at home about this blog. Your secret is safe with me.”
Hmm...that sounds almost ominous. I am guessing that he’s probably reading this and if so, this is what I have to say: Hi S! I just want you know that you don’t have to keep this a secret. It’s quite all right. This is the Internet. There are no secrets here. Thanks for being so thoughtful though. Oh and please send my love to your mom, dad and brother.
Two weeks ago, I probably wouldn’t be so flippant with my reply. In fact, I would've flipped out. I was not ready to be completely honest yet. I was still afraid of what my family might think of me, but last week, I did what I never thought I would. I outed myself and became completely honest about my life. Again, I blame 35. I surprised myself by admitting to the things I was forbidden to talk about at home: my unmarried status, the reason for my divorce, and the boy I fell in love with. Well, he’s no secret as they’ve met him, but I don’t think they’re aware of the eight years between us. Yeah, I was a cougar long before the term became Hollywood cool.
After a week of unburdening, I have deactivated most of the landmines in this space and have thus created a more peaceful landscape where I am free to explore, commemorate and contemplate my present, past and future. I love my family back home, and I can only hope they will understand the choices I made and forgive those which they do not. But I do have to thank you, my dear reader, for being open to the real me. For being understanding and most importantly, for being supportive. Some of you I may know personally, some of you I have never met (although I fervently hope to) but I am grateful to all of you.
Even you, dear cousin, for graciously leaving me this nugget of wisdom at the end of your email to me, “...just don't forget 2 mention us in your blog. It could make your blog a little more interesting.”
Thanks pal. I will remember that.
How do you feel about sharing your life story with everyone you know? Would you be more selective? Are there people who will not understand the decisions you make? Do you feel the need to explain yourself to them?