when i was inspired to start this blog, it was because i wanted to chronicle my experience as a mother in graduate school. i thought i could separate those two things from everything else i am.
but i didn’t realize how hard that would be. in the two short weeks i’ve been blogging i’ve wrote about politics, yoga, iq tests, christianity, financial aid and food, in addition to my to-do list and my kids. i’ve wrote about the things on my mind, and i guess my postings show that even though i’m a grad student and a mother, i am also so many other things, and i think that’s cool. i’ve tried to be candid without being too real, mostly to protect the identities of those who probably wish to not be identified here, although if you really know me then you know them. but anyhow, i’ve mostly tried to be authentic and genuine without giving up too much of myself to people who don’t know me outside of this space.
being real and honest is extremely important to me; there have been too many times in my life that i’ve been someone who i wasn’t in order to be accepted and liked by others and i promised myself that, especially when i had kids, i wasn’t going to do that anymore. i want them to be comfortable with who they are, with all their privileges and disadvantages, quirks and idiosyncrasies and not feel like they have to be someone else in order to fit in. i’ve learned that who i am is okay – “and if they hate then let ’em hate and watch the money pile up” ala kanye and 50. i want you, the reader, to like me, but if you don’t that’s okay. as long as i can sleep at night knowing i was kind and compassionate and honest in my dealings with you, it’s all good.
but who is this me: who am i? should i use my real name to force me to be honest in what i put out there? should i give out more identifying details? how do i talk about my life and experiences while respecting the privacy of others? being a sociologist-in-training, i am so aware, esp. in this forum, of how much my life depends on the lives of others; i don’t live in a bubble and all that happens to and with me has a counterpart in someone else’s life, be it my husband’s or my children’s or my friends, classmates, professors, parents, etc. i try to be careful, but how careful is too careful, ie. compromising the integrity and honesty of the postings?
i’m interested in hearing from other bloggers and commentors on these issues of identity and authenticity in the virtual world.