Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Deciding on Disclosure.

Life is weird.

Even though I see the amount of traffic this blog receives, I don't often think about who is reading what I write here. My mind doesn't tend to connect those numbers with actual people, and certainly not with people I'd encounter "in real life". Okay, so my mom reads this, and so do several of my friends - but strangers who I might meet one day? It's hard to wrap my brain around that.

See? They're awesome!
This past Saturday, I grabbed some lunch at one of my favorite places with a couple of my DOC friends, who were visiting from Kansas City. I've written about this restaraunt before and how cool it was that they had so many JDRF sneakers displayed last fall as they raised money for the Walk to Cure. As we stood in the foyer, I was telling them this was that place, and gesturing to where the sneaker displays had been. And as is customary for me when I get excited about something, I was using my "outside voice".

Then, I heard from behind the hostess' table:  "Wait - are you the infamous blogger?"

Bewildered and slightly uncomfortable with that wording, I turned around and incriminatingly answered, "....maybe?" The hostess told me that they had seen my blog post, printed it off, and it had been laying around for people to read.

Then, my friend chimed in: "And she's in a magazine!" She pulled the new issue of Diabetic Living out of her purse, flipped to page four, and pointed me out. The girl's eyes widened, and she responded, "Oh... wow!"

I wanted to hide under a booth.

When I started out this blog, I put as little personally-identifying information about myself as I thought was necessary out there. I didn't have my picture anywhere on here, I didn't specify what city I live in, and I didn't (and still don't) use my last name on my blog. I didn't use people's real names when I spoke about friends or family.

Some of that has changed over the past few months - if you really look, you can find a lot of those pieces of information in different places now. And, when you Google my name, a lot of diabetes-related stuff comes up. I guess the cat's sort of out of the bag, now.

I'm still not comfortable being "totally out there" with everything. My hesitation and reasoning for not using my last name on my blog, or anywhere in the DOC, had been that I didn't want to give any future employers a reason not to hire me when they searched for my name online. Due to some recent happenings (which are really, really cool, and I'm super appreciative of the opportunities I'm having - more to come on this), this won't be a "clear" search anymore - and I think I'm starting to be sort-of okay with that. The job I'm in right now is totally okay with my DOC involvement (and very supportive in the time off I've requested to participate in some of these things), which is super - but this isn't the sort of thing I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.

They say there are three criteria for the perfect job: Something you're good at, something you enjoy doing, and something you can get paid to do. When you can find something that fits all three, it's like magic - and I haven't found that magical trifecta yet.

I feel like I've smooshed two completely different topics into one very incohesive post here, but that's how I'm rolling today. I realize the irony of someone who writes about their personal health (and submits a photo to a magazine) being shy and protective of their identity, but that's where I am.

Life is weird, and to some extent, so am I.

7 comments:

  1. I hear ya, Kim. While I've always been open about *my* name, I'm pretty protective of other people's identities. And it took me about four years to start talking about diabetes on my blog.

    Your secret identity is safe with me. :^)

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  2. You're telling me. I was attacked by a mob of hysterical diabetic teenagers last weekend. I barely got out alive!

    Price of fame, I guess!

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  3. Thanks, Jeff! I knew I could count on you.

    Jacquie: You, Justin Bieber and Nick Jonas should talk.

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  4. It's a tough line to walk. I use my first and last name, and the unusual spelling of the last name makes me pretty darned easy to find. Since I'm writing not only about physical health but mental health, I'm a little nervous that this may all come back on me somehow (future employer or something). That's just the way it developed for me.

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  5. I completely relate to this post. When I started blogging 2.5 years ago, it was more as a tool to keep in touch with friends and family after we had to uproot our lives to maintain health insurance following our oldest daughter's dx.

    Then, one day, a fellow D Mama left me a comment. WHOA! Someone I had never met left *ME* a comment!!!! Then another...and another...more...more....***BOOM***!!!!!

    When I surpassed 250,000 hits I started reconsidering what I was doing. If you dug deep enough, you could find all sorts of info about my family -- not limited to my children's names, where they went to school, and when/where we were planning trips out of town. I started to freak out...not so much about me, but more about my children's safety.

    So, I change my URL. I made the old blog private. I gave my children "stage names" and I'm selective about what I'll write about when it pertains to them...and what pictures I'll post.

    It was hard to start over. I was afraid I'd lose all my readers, but it turned out to be so much better in the long run :)

    PLUS, it gave me the confidence to come out of my box and find bloggers like you :)

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  6. I too...am finding this part a bit "uncomfortable" at times. I have only been blogging for a year. I am not "famous" or anything, but quite a few people read my blog, especially local friends (non-D Peeps)...it is hard to know how to feel when people know SO much about me and my family as I don't keep much sacred.

    I do feel that in order to really "connect" with others that it is important that they get a "sense" of you, whether it be through photos, names...prophanity phrases (oh, wait, that is just me - :)

    Great post and a lot of food for thought here.

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  7. You know, its great to share about yourself, you never know who your story is going to inspire out there. Personally, I'm really inspired by this. Thank you for sharing with us......
    Great post!

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    ReplyDelete