I often see very personal stories online. People write detailed accounts of their lives and their feelings without inhibition, all the while using their real names. I admire people who can do that.
I have never been able to share anything too personal, not even on this blog where I don’t use my name.
By nature, I’m a private person. I’ve always felt that my challenges and my struggles are for none other than myself. They need to be dealt with internally without giving too much away. Internalizing is the only way I know how to deal with things. It may not be the healthiest approach, but on the few occasions that I’ve let my guard down and been vulnerable, it hasn’t ended well.
So when I read personal stories online, I’m a little envious. On more than one occasion, I’ve wished I could be that person. Not caring about what people think.
But, the truth is the first thing people do nowadays is google you. So the last thing I’d want is for a prospective employer or client to find my blog. I shudder to think that someone I work with would read about the abuse I’ve suffered, my deepest fears, my painful struggles. I wouldn’t be able to stand someone taking pity on me or worse still using it against me.
I’ve seen a lot of people post their struggles freely on LinkedIn which is supposed to be a professional site. I can imagine that the only reason that people would do that is because they want to guilt people into giving them a job.
My perspective is a little different. I’ve always downplayed the fact that I’m a single parent for fear that an employer would think I wasn’t committed enough. And in fact, I’ve spent my entire work life trying to go above and beyond to make sure that no one holds that against me.
I wouldn’t want someone to say “oh she’ll probably want to leave early everyday because she’s a single parent”. In the end, I realize that I was probably only cheating myself out of time spent with my family but, that’s a story for a different post. The bottom line is that I couldn’t let people turn my personal circumstances into my weakness.
Despite my struggles, I hold up pretty well on the outside. I don’t hide what I’ve experienced but I wouldn’t be running around telling everyone about what I’ve been through or what I’m dealing with. I may be a slightly broken person on the inside but, my shell is hard and polished.