In my past blogging experience, I kept many aspects of my life undercover. For the most part, it was necessary to maintain the theme of my blog, which was autism advocacy. I focused solely on the role of parenting a special-needs child and advocating as such. It was at times political and controversial, and even posts that were more personal lacked many details about life outside of parenting my autistic child. I wanted to shield my kids from being displayed on a blog for the world to see, and at the time didn’t want myself out there either. However I felt compelled to write my message, and so I did, albeit slightly hidden away.
Flash forward a few years to a very new chapter of my life. While I still don’t feel comfortable posting pictures of my kids or even discussing them in detail, I have the confidence and desire to put myself out there. I was still quite hesitant when I set up this blog over a year ago, and I was still finding my voice. I thought perhaps I’d keep it focused on my adventures and travels, small and big. But over the past few months, I found myself wanting to write about issues relevant to me and my experiences. Some important, some funny, some just because. I had this hangup about a blog needing to be specific. What would I focus on?
My life is anything but specific, it is all over the map. I’m an artist and a photographer, I’m a woman, I’m a single mom, and that’s just the top layer. Dig deeper and there are so many things I am and so many directions my life travels in, how could I focus on one small bit? I then became comfortable with writing whatever I wanted to. I want this to be real. otherwise, why bother? At the start, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep this more anonymous, as that’s the only way I’ve actively blogged in the past. In the last couple months, I began to feel if I was to undertake this, I had to be open and have it reflect all the parts of my life, and with that comes exposing myself. Whether I’m recalling something from my past or reflecting on this morning’s news, it should be me, my voice, my life. Honesty is key. So then what parts of your life do you leave out? Should you? That’s still something I’m debating. I think ultimately I’ll be sharing more than holding back. There are stories I have to tell that I feel might help others or serve a bigger purpose being out in the open instead of stuck in my head.
Once I was comfortable with the idea of writing openly about my life and that which I’m passionate about, I had to consider those who are in my life and how I would, or would not, include those individuals. I had already decided that my children, at this point, will be mentioned only when necessary to get a point across or tell a story accurately. But for now, I don’t feel entirely comfortable disclosing much about them. They’ll have their own stories to tell, and that should be up to them. Mentioning other members of my family isn’t something I had to think too hard about; if warranted, I’ll do so but I would run it by them before sharing anything deeply personal. The next decision was regarding my boyfriend and how much more I would reveal about him and our relationship. My first concern was if this was akin to getting a tattoo with his name on it–am I tempting fate by mentioning him or us? Then I thought that’s fairly ridiculous. I’ve been in relationships where things were purposely kept under lock and key, and for no good reason. I’m done with that.
When done properly, and tastefully, I think being outwardly expressive about your relationship only strengthens it. It’s not about full-disclosure on all fronts, I don’t think that would ever go well. There is a balance to be found, for sure. When we first started dating, I still wasn’t sure if and how I was going to be utilizing my blog, as it continued to evolve. So I hadn’t mentioned it to him and since I had yet to connect it to any of my other social media accounts, he was not aware of its existence. When I finally was comfortable with the direction, and openness, I wanted to head in, I had to see how my boyfriend felt about disclosure. So, it came time to tell him that I had this little blog, oh and that I might have mentioned him a time or two, and that I was still sorting the whole thing out and whether I’d include him and us in it…and if I did do that, would he mind? (Yes, that’s pretty much how the run-on email I sent him went.) I wanted to make sure he was down for some inclusion, and because he’s awesome, he said sure. This will never be a lovesick-ode-to-a-lover sort of blog because that’s just not my style. But I’m blogging about my life here, and he’s in it. I’m happy to have his encouragement with this, and in so many aspects of my life.