For three years, I blogged anonymously, elsewhere, and I let it ALL hang out. There were virtually no subjects that I didn't tell the truth about, even when no one asked. I talked about my relationships, wrote at great length about what was in my head, griped about work, let loose my perspective about all kinds of issues. Anonymity was a privilege, and I respected and enjoyed it enormously.
Now that I'm using my real name, I feel a great deal more limited. This evening, I was putting together a post in my head about something that I was feeling and experiencing that was benign and harmless and mostly about me, and I realized that in order to say what I wanted to say, I'd have to give my opinion about an aspect of the yoga world (kirtan, specifically), and that I might offend a small portion of the population in doing so - or at least let them know, in definite terms, what that opinion was. If we've learned little else from the last five years in America, it's that opinions can be dangerous, can pigeonhole people in damaging ways. Even if this particular opinion isn't going to get me arrested, it's a block about me that people can check off in their heads: that yoga teacher feels that way about kirtan, so I'll never go to one of her classes. So I'm hesitant to let my opinions out for air, here, because I'm trying to make this blog as public as it can be, and I don't want to offend or turn anyone away. That is the very last thing I ever want to do as I go about my life.
The problem is, that leaves me with only the most generic personal things to say. My worry about pigeonholing and rejection extends to just about every subject imaginable, and that means that this blog doesn't have any teeth, any personal edge that might keep you reading even if you disagree with me.
I'm going to try to open up in the future, starting with this kirtan thing - I'm going to write the post as I wanted to write it (maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, but it's coming!), and when the world doesn't explode, I'll try to write some more. I'm just gun-shy, concerned that now, because I don't have the protective awning of anonymity over my head, I'm going to be subject to kangaroo courts and the judgment of strangers, all of whom know who I really am. I recognize that I am not exactly a prominent defendant in the court of public opinion, so perhaps I'm worrying over nothing. But as Aaron Sorkin reminded us so eloquently in The Social Network, the internet isn't written in pencil. It's written in ink. And who knows what the future will bring to me?