It has been a while since I didn’t post at least twice a week. I did want to post this piece last week, but writing it didn’t come easy and so I felt a week of quiet was perhaps what I needed. Because being honest and open online can leave you feeling quite raw and exposed.
Especially after something like my post about Elliot Page’s coming out.
As I was writing it, I didn’t realise that putting a little personal detail about myself online might garner some tracking. But it did.
I didn’t expect the subsequent reaction it had on me. I have been writing online for over a decade and I thought I was used to my writing, even deeply personal pieces, being read. I thought because my friends and close family knew, I wouldn’t be nervous about posting it.
Boy, was I wrong.
I don’t know if you have heard of the term vulnerability hangover? A vulnerability hangover is a rough feeling that happens the moment we decide to talk about who we are, or what we want, and how we express it. It’s the rush of vulnerability or embarrassment you feel after sharing your true feelings with others and the lingering rawness of the soul you feel after. (Definitions all mine, because Mr Google couldn’t quite express how it feels to me. I hope my definitions resonate?)
I relate rather deeply to the term and it feels intense.
Not that I will change my writing or the way that I write. I have not felt this sense of purpose like I do writing as I have here for the past several months in a long time. It reminds me of a couple years ago, when I wrote daily on my life as a woman with chronic illness. I know I need to listen to that sense of purpose again now.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t scary to put myself out there for anyone to see. But when you care deeply about certain things, it is a risk you are willing to take. A risk you feel you must take. The risk of running into judgment, gossip or nasty comments. So far they have eluded me, but every time I post I know it can happen.
Being online and exposing yourself when things matter to you is scary, but to me it is necessary. I cannot stay silent in this world of inequality, judgment and prejudice. I want to do my bit, even if that means writing to my own bubble.