I read this post by my friend at Quliting in My Pyjamas the other day and have been quietly pondering it since. Today, I'm posting about it and challenge you to ask yourself the question above and post honestly about the answer.
Are you really you in blogland? Do you let only a part of you out or all of you or do you sanitize it to make it more politically correct or "likeable"?
Here's my answer:
I am 90% me. I do sanitize my posts a bit b/c I can be a sailor some days. For instance, I wrote about being a black cloud the other day. If I wrote what I was really thinking, I might have had some police at my door! I can't write all my cuss words when they are flowing through my brain on days like that... I can't write about how fucking pissed I am that people can't just leave me alone to wallow in my own self-pity and moroseness until it goes away.
If I did that, it would just be rude. Mama taught me that. Mama also might happen upon my blog, read that and then show up at my door. I love my mama and I don't want any visit from her to start with a slap across the face (or hands) as it may be. -wink-
Then again, it could also be because I know that while I can/do have a tendency some days to swear like a sailor, I know I don't enjoy hearing it or reading it much so I try to sanitize and refrain myself.
How else? I sanitize what I say about family. Mostly, this is for security reasons (with the hubs being in a leadership position and now a public leadership position, I know to be careful) but also, in part, because I think if I'm going to write regularly about family and friends, good or bad, it might best be in a blog dedicated to that subject instead of my quilting adventures. However, because 90% of this is me, I do mention them and introduce them to those of you willing to meet them.
Sometimes, I catch myself after a post wondering, "What do people think?" For example, after I pray to the quilting goddesses. I really wonder, "am I the only one?" I was born and raised Roman Catholic. I'm raising my kids this way. I do believe in one God but really, I don't talk about that. I post my tongue-in-cheek posts to the quilting goddesses and wonder, does anyone think I really believe I think they are messing with or helping me? Then, those 2 seconds of thought are replaced with something more important, like, what can I get for a snack, and I forget about it until the next prayer. But those posts never have too many comments so I never know...
I've learned alot about myself in my quilting adventures through blogging and that is, I like talking about quilting and I really, really enjoy meeting others and seeing their creative streaks. I can't get to guild meetings and such so this is an awesome alternative for me. There are those I follow because they always have good ideas or a great eye. Good projects. There are those I follow b/c they are great teachers. Then there are others I follow b/c their personality speaks to mine. So I feel it's necessary for me to present an accurate picture of myself (regardless of who comes back) so expectations of who/what I'm about don't disappoint me or anyone who reads.
For instance, that friend I mentioned at the beginning of this post. If I were to go to Australia one day, I'd be asking her where she was so I could try to get around to visit with her. To meet her live. She's one of those few I feel I'd love to know in real life and through some email exchanges, for my part, I feel we've gone from acquaintance to blog friends to friends. (It could have been my awesome personality but really, I think it was when she discovered the fabulous Bakerella from me and realized we had an affinity for all things sweet and shared a common "that bitch" mentality. lol -that was just for you Ms. P!)
Still, I feel pretty good that aside from the beginning hiccups about what to write about and getting comfortable doing it, I think I'm as much "me" to the blogland public as I am to the public in front of me. I've never cared too much if someone didn't like me and I've never felt the need to build my popularity through political correctness or false pretenses.
There is one life possibility I keep a hold of, though, which does dictate my need to at least be somewhat polite and courteous. If I ever want to open my own business after the kids are grown, I won't have anything behind me or attached to my moniker which could cause me embarrassment. If I can't be me, though, in all my sarcastic glory, then I can't be happy and I want my communications now, to pave the way for that possible future if that's what I want then.
Oh, and to answer a couple of questions my gal-pal asked in her post? No, not everyone homeschools. I'd kill my kids if I did this (see? no sanitization there today but normally I might have said that a bit less abruptly since tone cannot come across as well written instead of spoken). No, not everyone goes to church every week. My kids were never breastfed, slept in my bed, and were left to cry-it-out (horror of horrors!). I slapped my teenage daughter once for looking me in the face and lying to me while knowing I knew she was lying and doing it anyway (sanitization note: this was not a hard soap-opera slap. It was a get her attention don't think about doing that crap again, slap). Never thought I'd do that, but I did. I've told my husband to shut up. I've had petulant tantrums myself and frankly, still think I'm right, I don't care what we are talking about! So, we aren't all perfect, we just don't advertise the faults. If I were to let the hubs on here one week to post about me... well, the world of our home would look very different. Rose colored glasses and all...
Bottom line, omission in my view doesn't limit me from being me on this blog and thanks for those of you who enjoy my writings enough to come around repeatedly. I use it to tell my hubby how important I am! -wink-
Now, answer that question yourself. It may be an affirmation or an eye opener. It may be something you want to leave as is or maybe change. I don't know but I do want to say, thanks to Ms. P for being courageous enough to bring this up the other day and to make me ponder.
For me, I've got to go. I'm off to get some leftover chocolate to the third (chocolate, chocolate chip with chocolate frosting) birthday cake and milk. It's just something I have to do.
(Edited to add, per a question posed in the comments: What is my pet peeve when browsing blogs? I think the phrase pet peeve is too strong but in general, blogs with lots of blinking notes or sidebar items, with snow or leaves falling and mouse trailers, or with difficult to find or read text I do find annoying. I stick to annoying instead of peeve b/c I susbcribe to the theory that if I find it difficult to read or unenjoyable, I leave. The blogger likes it and that's all that matters. Of course, I was never one to draw on my notebooks in school, either so there you have it.)