I have never been a risk taker.
But this week I took a big risk. I ran naked in public twice. The first time I was scared to death; the second time, my attitude was more like, “Eh, why the hell not? Let’s go streaking.”
I’m referring to two blog posts this week in which I wrote about moments in my past where I experienced intense emotions that ran so deep I felt incredibly vulnerable and naked writing about them and sharing them with the world, especially because both these posts were about very private matters I wouldn’t even tell a casual friend. I felt somewhat embarrassed reading over the first post to myself, but also realized it was something I’d want to read if someone else wrote it. I also knew it was very well written.
After several days of stewing over posting the first article publicly and re-reading and editing it about a gazillion times, I finally took a deep breath, squeezed my eyes shut, and hit that “Publish” button. After I did so, I actually felt light in the head, like I might pass out. I couldn’t believe I was crazy enough to actually take off my psychological clothes (my natural guardedness) in public.
But I was crazy enough.
For a day or two, I feared reading my comments. I was almost afraid to look at this website at all. I didn’t want to see how many people might have read it…or WHO might have read it.
At the same time, I began to feel delightfully liberated, like I was running through the streets naked–and realizing my nakedness was a beautiful thing and nothing to be ashamed of.
The second time (the abortion story) wasn’t as scary to post, because nothing untoward happened after I published my first “scary” emotionally revealing article.
I gained the courage to post these deeply personal articles by remembering that all my most liked, commented, and viewed posts have always been those in which I revealed the most about myself and my emotional state.
Of course, the ability to use the anonymity of the Internet and a handle instead of your actual name helps too. 😉