comments 27

confessions on reputations and being scared

so the funny thing is, very few people know that i blog. when i started blogging my family eventually found out, but i never told my friends. and as of today, as far as i know, none of my friends know about my blogs.

i’ll probably tell them sometime, or they’ll probably figure it out somehow through twitter or somewhere. the funny thing is that i tweet out a link every time i write a new post, but yet my best friend – the only close friend who follows me on twitter – still hasn’t figured it out. or maybe she has and there’s a reason why she hasn’t said anything haha? anyway, i’m pretty sure no one knows.

so why the secrecy among the people i know? i guess it’s not so much secrecy, just a choice not to broadcast my blogging. but why shouldn’t i be proud of what i write, and be happy to share it with people?

the thing is, i am proud of my writing (if i’m allowed to say that). if nothing else, i’m proud of it because it’s something i love to do and i hold dear this little creative outlet i’ve grown for myself.

but in all honesty, i’m terrified to share. 

and the deep down issue with all of this is that i’m honest-to-goodness scared about what people might think of me, despite how badly i want to pretend that other people’s opinions don’t matter to me, despite all the motivational messages that are shoved in our faces telling us that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about you. i know, i know, i know, but try telling that to a brain that has emotions all wrapped in it, plus a life full of conforming to the reputation the world has placed on it. it sounds so petty, but i’m scared, and it’s the truth.

with my healthy living blog, (www.thehealthynotes.blogspot.com) i’m scared that people might think that it’s silly of me to be blogging about living a healthy life when i’m not an “athlete,” or a registered dietitian, or a personal trainer, or a health coach, or anything similar. i’m just one random person out there who sees the value of healthy living and wants to share it with others.

and then there’s this blog. i can’t decide which one i’m more afraid to tell my little world about.

and to level with you, i’m scared that people that know me might read my words on this blog and find me ridiculous.

there, i said it. that, right there, sums it up. i’m afraid of the snickers, of the behind-my-back-comments, of not being taken seriously. “you wrote some stupid flowery thing on lipstick???” 

okay, i basically pour out about seven-eighths of my heart into these words. the other eighth i keep to myself, since some special heart-secrets are good for a person, but i’ve put the rest out there, for anyone that cares to take the time to read it. (which, by the way, if you’re reading this, thank you thank you thank you for sparing a moment out of your day to hear me.)

so i give a lot of myself with my writing. and with all the giving, giving, giving, i feel like the defenses i’ve had in place my whole life are going down, one-by-one, post-by-post. it’s left me feeling exhilarated, and alive, and liberated…but also very exposed, in a way i’ve tried to avoid my whole life.

and i just can’t shake this feeling of vulnerability. 

to those acquaintances that know me from a distance, even a semi-close distance, i have a reputation, and a facade, and the internal pressure to keep it up. i’m seen as reserved. i’m known for being “smart,” however you want to take that. i’m known for niceness, and i’d venture to say that i’m perceived as being passive.

and i suppose there’s some truth to those statements, but that’s not me in a nutshell – in reality, the perception is very far from the truth that i see inside myself. that reputation – that outward perception – is only lightly touching the surface of me.

and for some reason it scares me to think of taking a step outside of that reputation, which is currently operating as my safety net. “tessa kohler” is liked, and accepted, and i don’t mind that in the slightest. “tessa kohler” has friends. “tessa kohler” isn’t criticized. “tessa kohler” is safe.

but “tessa kohler” also doesn’t write fiery blog posts about chivalry or happiness or other such deep matters in life.

so to take that step, and share what i write, is – to me – the equivalent of stepping out of a plane with a sketchy parachute, where you’re not quite sure if the whole falling-through-the-air-until-you-hit-the-ground thing was a smart idea. to share what i write with those people that already know me as a certain person, who acts a certain, predictable way – that would rock the ground just a little bit and suddenly i wouldn’t be that safe “tessa kohler” anymore.

and sometimes i can’t decide how badly i really want to share this with everyone. sometimes i really love coming here to write, and knowing that i can write whatever i please, because no one who reads this has those preconceived notions that terrify me so much. in those cases, my outward reputation is something i can hide behind, so while i stay safe and predictable in the real world, i’m also safe and free in the writing world that i adore.

but then again, sometimes i want to stand up in front of everyone i know and do some legit heart-and-guts-spilling, like i do here, in hopes that maybe i’ll actually be understood. and on those days, my stable reputation in my own little world doesn’t seem to loom over me as something that’s keeping me from expressing myself.

and yeah, i’ll probably end up sharing this completely unknown side of me someday. it probably won’t stay a secret forever. a friend will finally look at my tweets, or maybe i’ll drop a hint in a conversation, and people will figure it out eventually.

but for now, this is my place to be the real, legit, unrefined tessa, as cheesy and idealistic as that sounds. conquering those fears of altering the perception and the reputation is my mental and emotional work in progress at the moment. i’ve come to the realization that the more i write, the closer i draw to accomplishing that goal, so you can bet that’s what i’m going to keep doing.

here, i’m writing my heart, and my life. here i’m writing my true story.

here, i’m writing my reputation. 

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this post was inspired by the wordpress daily prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/daily-prompt-you/ 

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27 Comments

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  7. I hear you, we all have a fear of ourselves based on what other people may think. When we write a blog we are exposing a little bit more of our self but as long as we are being true to our-self than that’s all that matters :)

    • yes! that is very true! i need to remember that more and just go ahead and put myself out there. thank you for reading and commenting! :)

  8. HI,
    I know what you feel! I am afraid too sometimes… What would other think of me if I am being too honest in my blog. However, I decided that those who judge me and questioned my honest and my thought are evidently don’t know me that well the first place right? I have come to a realization that true friends will stick around no matter what :-)
    flo

    • that’s a really good point! i like looking at it that way! it’s the true friends who matter the most in the end, anyway. thank you for the thoughts, and thanks for reading! :)

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    • oh i love it! well-said! thank you for sharing! i pretty much second everything you wrote. also, thank you for reading my post and commenting! :)

      • Your blog is filled with such wonderful, refreshing posts of thoughtfulness and light and positivity! :) Your optimism when it comes to life and literature are just so uplifting. It’s really lovely.

        • aw thank you! i’m so glad you enjoy it! i really appreciate all of your thoughtful comments on my posts – i’ve had a lovely time reading through them today. you seem to have a very interesting and refreshing take on life, and i’ve had the pleasant experience of having my mind opened to different ideas i haven’t considered before, thanks to you. and thank you again for reading and taking the time to give your sincere feedback. i appreciate it so much! :)

  10. I can understand hesitating to let those close to you know about your blogs. I debated for a while about it. When i finally let people know I was writing it was mostly met with wide indifference. I think some checked it out once, just to make sure I wasn’t writing about them.

    • oh that’s good to hear! that makes me feel better about letting people know about my blogging, whenever it happens. although i suppose indifference isn’t the absolutely most positive response, it’s better than negativity, and i’m certainly fine with indifference. thank you for taking the time to read and share your experience!

  11. Loved your insights and thoughts. I also have not told any friends or family of my blog but mostly I just don’t think I am ready to hear their opinions on something else I do, since blogging is for me. I look forward to reading more about your true story.

    • i feel that same way, that blogging is for me. it’s my thing, and i’m kind of enjoying not hearing the opinions of those that know me, since i feel like their opinions are somewhat clouded by how they think i should be acting, based on how they perceive me in real life. thank you for taking the time to read and comment – i really appreciate your thoughts!

  12. I’ve done this too! Nobody knows that I blog (and I don’t put it on any social media at this point). Part of it is in just started writing it and I don’t know what it will become. But there is also something easier about sharing your thoughts with strangers than with people who see you in the ‘real’ world. On my blog I feel like I can have whatever opinion I want and I can express myself freely.

    • i know what you mean! yes, somehow it is so much easier to share your thoughts with strangers. it somehow feels so much safer, especially when those thoughts are maybe out-of-the-ordinary. it’s largely that love of freedom of expression that has kept me from sharing my blogging. thank you for taking the time to read and comment – i really appreciate hearing your thoughts!

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  15. Shawna

    This particular post has me wanting to comment. I have not been blessed with a high opinion of myself. I struggle with it still and I know how it feels to live your life to be liked or at least not disliked. I am learning that as I truly accept myself for who a
    I am, one of two things happen. Either people like me because I am authentic or they don’t like me and I don’t care. A huge burden is lifted when you stop living life to please others (or at least what you think will please others). Someone once told me that there is someone out there that probably really doesn’t like you. I was shocked and appalled at first. But when I started accepting that reality, I was able to live a more free and proactive life. This life is a journey where we learn a little at a time and build on each experience. Glad you put yourself out there.

    • Thank you so much for your thoughts! Just living freely, without regrets, and without thinking so much about what everyone else in the world thinks is something I definitely struggle with. What you said about accepting the reality that there’s someone out there that doesn’t like you really struck me, and made me think, so thank you! And thank you for taking the time to read and comment – I really appreciate it!

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    LinkedIn is a wonderful tool for reaching people in the business world.

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