While I admire my friend for his life partner choice, I also admire him for other reasons. He is not afraid to be who he is and write about what he believes in. For as long has I've known him, he has tackled the tough subjects and controversial topics which have affected his life. He has covered abortion, the death of a child, depression, politics, the harassment of his parents and other heavy topics. He has written his unfiltered thoughts down with unapologetic honesty and shared it with the masses. He's received hate mail and threats. He's made his wife angry - once enough that she threw something at his head - and has annoyed his friends on numerous occasions. But never, in the past 4 years that I've known him, he has never been ashamed of who he is and what he stands for. That is to be admired and respected.
I write under a pen name. I don't see it as an act of cowardliness, but more of a safety measure. I write about sex. I get some interesting mail. Some of it can be a little sketchy. Sometimes I think the writer could be a good candidate for "stalkers anonymous." I like sex alot. But I do like to chose my partner and I would like to be the only one who posts nude photos of myself on line. (No, I'm not going to do that. Don't even ask. Not for all the bacon in the world). I'm really a very private person who likes to entertain the masses with little snippets of my life. So sue me. It makes me happy.
Today, I found out there are a bunch of people in my professional life that know about my little blog and Facebook page. In fact, they've known for years. How they found out is unimportant and the source is next to ridiculous. But, they know and they think it's awful. They've been sipping coffee with me all while knowing the scorching details of my sex life, my drinking exploits with friends and every other personal, heartbreaking and utterly sinful thing I have written about. Everything. When someone told me this fact, I was shocked and slightly horrified. But then I felt something that scared me the most; I felt ashamed.
Now, we all know the saying "If you don't want anyone to know about it, don't put it on the internet". More people have been fired, divorced, dumped, humiliated and scorned by a simple status post on Facebook. We all have been there. You can't take it back. Even if you delete it, someone has already seen it. It's etched in stone. Everything I've written is up for the world to see. I cannot hide it. Even if I delete it, more than likely, there is a copy somewhere.
I am proud of what I've written. The momentary feeling of shame was quickly replaced by anger then pride. I like what I've written. It makes me happy. Many of my ramblings may be silly and mindless. You may find them disgusting, stupid, insulting, ridiculous and poorly written. But, for every person who has a negative thing to say, I can find 5 people who think I'm brilliant, talented, funny, thoughtful, honest and sexy. I have been overwhelmed at the passionate, positive responses to my posts. While I write for myself, it is fun to think I write for others as well. Someday I hope I'm admired by someone the way I admire my friend. Coincidentally, I met him because of my blog. If I had never started to write, I would have never met his wife. Then I would have never met her friends. There would have been no jello shots and the wonderful night in Rhode Island would have never happened.
It's funny how life works out.