Friday, August 12, 2005

Help! I've Been Outed!

Blogroll Me!

Okay, so I have a blog. I have a signing name of TorontoPearl. I write about my family life, my social life, my community life. I might give some revealing details, but I do not name names. I try not to represent Lashon Harah, although, if need be, I could excel at it! I am not the only Pearl in this city, nor the only Pearl who matches up with several of those revealing details.

But I've been outed.

A couple nights ago, I was talking to a fellow school mother and she mentioned the upcoming Yidstock music festival being held at Monticello Racetrack in the Catskill Mountains. I told her I knew about it, having read about the festival on a blog, and then I asked if she knows what a blog is (many people are like I was a year ago; I'd never heard or used the term) and then mentioned I have one.

"I know...I've been on it."

WHAT!!?? I silently screamed. HOW COULD YOU KNOW ABOUT IT?

She went on, as if she'd read my thoughts: "I can't remember how I know about it, but I know about it..."

I felt as if my fig leaf had been ripped away, my protective cover stripped away.

How could that be? you wonder. A blog might be a personal online journal, but it is ONLINE, and thus public.

I do have friends I've mentioned to that I keep a blog, but aside from one who found it on her own many months ago through a link, nobody has asked for the URL and that's been more than fine for me.

How do I explain it to them, or to myself even, that it seems okay to let a bunch of strangers worldwide read my words and think, "Hey, she's just some gal overseas/in the Great White North, who has some interesting things to say." They are exactly that: a bunch of strangers. I've met some of the strangers already or have corresponded offline with several of them, and all is fine with that and even that they associate the offline Pearl with the online Pearl. But somehow I can't get around the fact that some people who might know me are reading these words, and now know me even more. It's as if I still want to keep this part of my life a secret, a private part...away from my regular circle of friends and acquaintances, away from school and shul people. If I wanted them to know so much about me, well I wouldn't keep it a secret, would I?

It's difficult to explain that near-fear and dismay that clutched at me when this person told me she'd read my blog. It wasn't her per se I didn't want reading it, it's "them."

You are you, and they are "them." Subtle difference, but a difference nonetheless.

The question now is: Should I toss my head and say, "To hell with THEM!" and keep on writing, or should I take my writing underground and say, "To hell with blogging!"