Refusing to shut up means I’m going to need to grow a pairPosted: August 27, 2010
I’ve thought a lot about the pros and cons of being an anonymous blogger. I love the idea of having the freedom to say the things I want to say without worrying if it would affect my relationships or job status. However, after anxiety fueled nail-biting careful consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that I want to put my name and face out there. Why? I find it scary and at the same time exciting to have to be held accountable for every word I put on this blog. For everyone to know that these thoughts, ideas, jokes, stories, all came from me. Yes, it might get a tad uncomfortable if my dad reads about my sexing and I can’t exactly talk shit about Bob from accounting (don’t worry Apexicans, there is no Bob from accounting), but overall its important for me. For me, being anonymous would be cowardly, a way to hide behind my thoughts instead of owning them. It would be succumbing to my fear of rejection or getting my feelings hurt when someone disagrees or just straight up hates what I have to say.
A few years ago I registered for an online class at the community college I then attended. The class was Psychology of Religion and I was down right stoked. I love psychology! I love learning about religions! This is going to be great! Yeah, no. The first week we had to respond to an article discussing freedom of religion and freedom and speech. The article had a lot to do about hate and although I don’t remember the specifics, I remember my response (a measly paragraph) centering on my idea that if as long as violence and threats are left out, free speech is free speech and people should be allowed to say how they feel, despite whether or not it’s unpleasant to hear. Classmate Ben did not agree. He laid into me hard about how ignorant I was, how I knew nothing about the law and essentially I should be ashamed. Ben was in a word, cruel. I looked back at what I wrote and could honestly find nothing mean or negative about it. I wasn’t calling people out or preaching from my soapbox. I didn’t understand. I cried. I dropped the class. That’s right kids, I ran far, far away from that discussion board and never looked back. I acted like a pussy. Instead of standing up for myself, defending my words, choosing to fight fairly, I ran.
I am not a person who is comfortable with confrontation. I tend to avoid it at all costs. Because I am often far too emotional, I find it hard to sort my thoughts and explain how I am feeling in an articulate manner without letting my emotions get the best of me. I think that opening my blog not only just to the internet, but also to people I know in real life will be a challenge and source of growth for me.
Maybe no one will read my blog, maybe there will be mixed feelings of hatred and love, maybe people will agree with Ben and think I’m a stupid, ignorant bitch, maybe everyone who reads it won’t give a shit big enough either way to care about what I have to say. But whoever does read it, will know these words are mine. And I think that’s important, regardless how difficult it might get for me sometimes. So, in a way, thank you Ben.