Recently my husband and I had an experience that resulted in our privacy being invaded pretty significantly. I was incensed but my husband, who is much better at taking things like this in stride, was able to shake it off. He reminded me that a) we have nothing to hide, and b) we still have the incredible fortune of being us. Both are absolutely true. And I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the fact that we have nothing to hide ever since.
In January, when I started The Year of What If, I was so excited to start writing regularly. So excited to motivate myself to do something little each day to improve my life. I was not, however, excited to reveal who I am. After a couple of days I told close friends. After a couple of weeks I invited old friends to check it out. All the while explaining that for the time being I was keeping my identity a secret. You see…it’s one thing to invite friends and family and people who have known me for years to be a part of my experience. It’s quite another to let the world know who I am.
There are people in our life with whom we struggle. People that I can’t simply ask to take a flying leap. Telling the world who I am would have meant taking the chance that those people would find this blog. It would allow them to read about my daily adventures, the ins and outs of my relationships, and have a front row seat to my life. And that my friends scared me to pieces. In fact, it scared me enough to hide this blog in plain sight for six months!
There is a price to pay for hiding, however, and lately I’ve started to feel the weight of that on my soul. When I head down to my office to write, and the little girls wonder what I’m doing, I say I’m working on a project or that I have work to do. I haven’t said the words “blog” or “writing” in front of them once. Because of my fears, I’ve been unable to share something that has brought me so much joy, with my little girls. To be clear, I don’t plan to read them my posts as bedtime stories. But I’d love for them to know that I’m…well…I’m kind of following my dreams. That is invaluable information to share with little beings who might someday want to chase dreams of their own.
Without a name attached to this piece of work I’ve had the luxury of being completely honest without the fear of anyone being able to pin it on me. Not that I’ve written anything here I wouldn’t say out loud…I’m a “no secrets” kind of girl…but it has allowed me to have a buffer.
But…without a name attached to this piece of work…it doesn’t feel quite real. Sure, my friends and family know it’s me. But that means I’m constantly working in a state of comfort. Am I actually following my dreams if I’m “in hiding?” Can dreams come true if you’re only shouting it from the rooftops of your own small neighborhood? And if by shouting I actually mean speaking with my very quiet inside voice?
The funny thing is…I’m not the kind of girl to hide. Or to be worried about what others think of me. But hiding the fact that this here blog is MINE has made me feel incredibly self-conscious in recent months. And…to be honest…I’m just not willing to feel this way anymore. Because at the end of the day, my husband is right, we have nothing to hide. That said…
Hi there…my name is Carrie Monroe O’Keefe…and I’m the author of The Year of What If. It’s so nice to finally meet you!
TODAY: What if I stop hiding behind vague stories and nicknames and take ownership of this work that I’ve created? Even though it’s REALLY scary? But also…possibly…REALLY liberating.
PS – To those of you who have continued to read this “blog without a face” I can’t thank you enough! I’m so grateful for your willingness to come back every day and say “what if” with me!
PPS – If you were able to read the title of this post, or the last line, without breaking into Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face” you are a better man than I.