After almost 3 months break from my blog (don’t blame me, blame it on the boogie!! Only joking, my life in the last few months has been more like ‘blame it on the biology’), I’m back.
I have a lot of drafts and was planning my comeback post to be about my trip to Iceland. It’s been a while since I did a photo-heavy one and this seemed the perfect solution. However, just yesterday marked a momentous occasion: I discovered that the first friend had found my blog. This friend also has a blog (It is so effortlessly many of the things I really strive for my blog to be like, so check it out here!) and she texted me to ask me if she could tag me in a post.
In my first ever post, I addressed some of the reasons why I wanted this page to be anonymous. There were a number of them, some more superficial than others, and there remain still some which I fail to be able to put into words succinctly or successfully. One of the main reasons was that through an anonymous blog I felt as though I could learn more about myself and write more honestly. I really can talk to some of my friends about anything in the world, but writing is different to talking. Writing can be read again, and meanings can be taken from in between the lines ad out of context (why I think that an argument over text might possibly be one of the most surefire ways to end a friendship fast). It isn’t that I don’t feel I can trust my friends, but I sometimes think about myself and worry that I’m not ‘myself’ 100% of the time (I feel like I am but how would I know?). It’s something which sounds stupid and doesn’t really make sense when written but feels real.
In short I was worried that if a lot of my friends were reading it, maybe what I was writing would change without me realising. This whole ‘being yourself’ thing is something which has been planted into my brain by parents, teachers and even film and television (anyone remember how the ‘moral’ of The Incredibles’ and ‘Ratatouille’ to name a few is ‘always be true to yourself’) from a really early age, but it doesn’t feel so simple. I feel that any time I’m not being myself it’s a subtle enough change that I don’t notice it, and it’s a subconscious decision I make. So by keeping my blog anonymous I felt I had full control over it.
So in short for real (that previous paragraph didn’t put any of my feelings in a nutshell), I wanted my blog to be unfiltered, honest and as true and real as it possibly could be. And I felt that maybe having people I knew reading it might influence me to write/not write certain things. I might exaggerate or omiss, or even shy away completely from a particular topic. One of the reasons to my starting of the blog was so I could write abut things I genuinely wanted to write about (a choice I don’t often get in school), and I was afraid people I knew reading it might compromise this.
The feedback I get from strangers is always more honest as well, and since I started the blog also with the intention of developing a writing style, honest and unbiased feedback was what I so desperately wanted. My friends would give me fake views, and I was genuinely curious to see how far I could push it off the ground just by myself.
Writing with anonymity also gave me confidence that is difficult to explain. If my friends all read my blog, I have no doubt in my mind that they would be lovely about it, and really encouraging. I know that they wouldn’t ever make fun of me. But this girl finding my blog made me feel an inevitable way: exposed and uncomfortable. I began to question my blog and feel awkward and vulnerable. Like why did I do a makeup haul– who did I think I was: Zoella? I don’t even wear makeup a lot and suddenly someone with a personal connection to me knows that I spent over £50 on it all at once one day, just because I could, and felt the ‘delirious abandonment’ (little Golding quote from my GCSE text) of suddenly having some money (there it is again C!).
But I have to remind myself that these were questions I was asking myself, not questions she was asking me. The makeup haul was actually my most liked post and sure, I’m no guru, but at the time it felt daunting and refreshing to try writing about something a bit different, that I didn’t know much about. I hadn’t ever done anything like that before. It felt weird even writing it but people enjoyed it, so why should I feel embarrassed looking back at a post I was even doubtful to publish but went out of my comfort zone and ended up successful?
I’m still not ready to ‘come out of the blogging closet’, so I told her she couldn’t tag me in her post, because some of our friends follow her. But I feel like I’m getting there. The fact that someone I know is reading what I am writing isn’t the scariest prospect anymore, and sometimes you need to be pushed to take a jump.