Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Public Face

I'm not famous. I'm no one, really. Just a girl living a life that she wishes were different in many ways, but couldn't be better in many other ways. Maybe you can relate.

I was bit by the blogging bug several years ago, and I've discovered that blogging is a darned addictive disease to have. But it's also a dangerous hobby. People have been fired for things they wrote on their blogs, families have had major falling outs. (Or fallings out. Pluralize as you will.) I don't have a job to lose, but I do have family I care about. So I've been thinking about blogging a lot lately.

If I have a blog, and I have my name on it, I should assume that anyone with internet access and the ability to type my name into a search engine between quotation marks can find my blog. That's a pretty daunting thought, especially when you have an unusual name like I do, and every single result from a google search of my name is actually referring to me. In fact, it's a pretty unnatural concept, when you think about it. How many people put on the same face for friends, family, workplace, watching the neighbor's kids, church, etc? Not me, I'm sure. I wear a lot of masks.

When I was about 13 years old, I had what can best be described as a personality crisis. I remember thinking about all the different masks I wore in so many different contexts, and I just broke down. I felt like there was no Jule Ann underneath it all - just a lot of masks. If emo had existed when I was a teenager, I would totally have been an emo kid. So melodramatic.

I have since reconciled my various masks with my identity. I know who I am, and I choose to show different sides of my personality in various contexts. I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

But who should I be on the internet? It's such a complicated question. "Just be yourself" is so misleading, because I have, we all have, so many selves to choose from. I might ask my husband to pull my finger when I fart when we're alone, but I will try to hold it, or at least be quiet about it if I'm in a job interview when the need arises. So who am I going to let you see here?

Well, for right now, I'm going to file that one under "undetermined". I've created this blog, but I'm not going to start telling anyone about it until I have a better feel for what I want it to be. I want it to be something that I am proud of.

I want it to be something a lot more fun than what this post would indicate. I definitely have my moments where I wax philosophical like this, but it is not my favorite mask. In fact, once I find my footing for this blog, I expect I will come back and delete this entry, because it's pretty boring. But, as far as I know, no one will be reading this today, so I have a theoretical and indeterminate amount of time to fumble around until I find my tone.

I expect that I will share anecdotes about my life. The lowest form of blog, I suppose, but it's what I do best. I love telling stories. I also expect that I will rant on occasion about things that are bothering me. In fact, I'm not even worried too much about propriety. If there is something I want to share, I will share it, perhaps tailoring my language a little more carefully than I might in certain company, but without a ton of content editing.

I guess my main decision will be how much of my heart to share. I have good days, and I have bad days, but I don't want to be a whiner. When you meet someone, and they ask you how you are, it might not be entirely honest to answer, "fine," but it might be inappropriate to answer, "I'm struggling with severe negative body image issues at the moment, how are you?" I expect I will settle on something in between, but I really don't know for sure.

Man, I hope I do come back and delete this entry eventually. Worst. first post. ever.


Anonymous said...

No, This is a brillant post, really.

Its so true, I have never really thought about those things..
And its so true, Most of the time i dont post my problems in my blog because i dont want people to think im a whiner, When im not.. But when your just typing into a blog that is how it will come out.. And then you talk to someone about your problems thats alot different..

Good post.

Jule Ann said...

Thanks for saying so.

I wonder sometimes if I think too much about these types of things! But I appreciate your encouragement.