A few weeks ago, munching on chips and salsa, my husband and I sat, quietly waiting for Thursday Night Trivia to start at our favorite local Mexican restaurant. I had just published this post about how I use a partial pseudonym and keep two entirely separate online presences, the latter of which almost no one in my personal real life knows about.
“Should I come out?” I asked him. “I mean, I want to. And there’s no legitimate reason I shouldn’t. But I just feel so … embarrassed.”
“Sweetie, you have nothing to feel embarrassed about! You run a popular blog that doesn’t contain anything remotely sensitive or controversial. This is all in your head. Your friends in real life will love it too!”
I knew his words were true, but I still felt so paralyzed. The feeling that kept coming back to me was what I would call preemptive embarrassment. I am by no means embarrassed by my blog, but I felt this overwhelming surge of embarrassment preemptively even considering my friends and family seeing it. In my head I saw this cinematic dream sequence wherein friends and family members are all hovering in a black void, wagging their fingers at me and laughing at me for being a weirdo who writes a blog under a semi-pseudonym.
The next day I went on a brisk walk around in the neighborhood to take in that jarring mixture of bright sunshine and biting cold. Rounding the corner, I saw two of our neighbors out walking their one-year-old goldendoodle.
Embarrassment crept up within me. These are the nicest neighbors, why am I feeling embarrassed about running into them on a walk?!
I can’t even begin to explain it. I mean, it’s not as though I was looking disheveled. And it’s not as though we were running into each other in an ~*adult*~ shop or anything like that. This was just a simple, utterly mundane case of neighbors happening to take walks at the same time. And yet all I could think about was the (totally irrational) embarrassment washing over me.
I like these neighbors. They are in fact my favorite neighbors. We all just happened to be out on a walk. Why the embarrassment???
Contemplating on all this a bit more, I’ve begun to realize that perhaps I have some case of chronic embarrassment. And I’m honestly not sure what to do about it other than facing it head on.
On January 1st I wrote a post on my personal Facebook page (under my real name), coming out to my friends and family about this blog. Shockingly, the world did not, in fact, end. In fact, a few people made some really supportive comments, and a few started following. Of course, I still don’t know if there are Facebook friends out there who read my post, clicked on the link to Mosaicca that I included, refrained from commenting on the post, but were instead laughing their butts off at me for being a weirdo. In my head I’m still irrationally scared of that kind of ridicule. But I figure facing the irrational embarrassment head-on is at least better than ignoring it.
Does anyone else have this? If so, what do you find helps?
Until next time,