In my season of planning time for what is important (my writing, reading, managing my social media connects and the gym), I caught up on the February Copyblogger post, “Is Your Low Social IQ Dooming Your Blog?” Under the highlighted topic of authenticity, was a link to Corbett Barr’s fantastic post “33 Things I Have Never Told You” where he shares about being your true, full-rounded self online.
“How do you convey your full personality through words? It’s not an easy thing. How do you show that you’re passionate, gutsy, funny, provocative, dynamic and vibrant like your friends know you to be? How do you let people know your full values, traits and even quirks through writing? … I’ve fallen prey to the old media line of thinking that you should be ‘professional’ and serious in public settings.”
I’ve been blogging since July 2010 and while I feel I’ve been authentic in presentation and voice, I do think I’ve been a bit of what Corbett calls “mono.” Have touches of my quirky sense of humor peeked out? Yes. Have I shared some of my random takes on celebrity nuttiness? Sure. Yet I sense—no I know—that I’ve censored out some of the edges. Maybe out of fear of alienating readers, maybe out of fear of being “exposed” for all of cyberspace to see or maybe fearing that no one wants to hear my mundane rambles. Regardless, I’ve scurried around the corners of some topics—such as politics and the psycho stories that dart about in my family—and totally ignored others like the touchy topics of religion and any of the ‘isms (race, class, sex, etc.).
Maybe I’m afraid that button-down folks will run away and not like me? But the truth is, eventually the close-minded, judgmental or unforgiving of any type reader will bail when they inevitably see something that I write or like that doesn’t square with their universe. Someone might deem me a donkey head and not be able to get past the fact that I’m an Idol addict. They might peep me out to be a deviant for liking a perv like Prince. And if anyone starts analyzing and spinning my Goodreads reading interests, they might give me a side-eye glare.
I carry in my purse the quote from William Penn that starts “I expect to pass through life but once.” So in this virtual world, if one of my blog posts passes through a reader’s eyes “but once,” I hope they’ll get a peek and connect with the fuller me. Hi, my name is Barbara and I’m a writer, trainer/developer, former modern dancer, crocheter, sister, daughter, friend, etc. To follow Barr’s sharing spirit and get a bit naked on the screen, here’s a list 25 more tasty tidbits:
- I turned 39 in January. (Gasp. The inner critic protector is screaming, “why’d you start with that one?!”) I hate telling people my age not because I’m having meltdown moments about approaching the media labeled land of the “cougar.” It is because people judge others on all kinds of crap and age is a big one. “Oh, you’re (insert age)?” is how it starts followed by questions aimed at what the person thinks I should have done by now or be doing based on my age. I also don’t feel anywhere near my age (most days I feel 25 in spirit) nor do I limit myself to experiences, venues or interests that are based on what marketers think appeal to generational groups. Which takes me to #2.
- I’m not married, have no children and have no immediate plans to be married and/or have any children. Am I anti either of these? Nope. I’ve just dated guys who weren’t “the one,” then ended up buried in my career (and then changing careers) for a period of time. When I came to back in ’06, I realized that coming upon “the one” in very married Cleveland might now be a challenge.
- I heart the genres of horror, crime-drama and thrillers. I’ll take it in my reading, writing, TV shows and movies. I danced around with joy on Sunday with I saw the Scream 4 movie trailer. April 15 – woo! One of my minors is Sociology and I’m fascinated by the twisted actions of individuals and groups as well as how those behaviors are then handled in societies. Due to that minor, I know tons of random tidbits about serial killers. For entertainment, I find the cheesy stuff of the horror genre to be more comedy then scary, but the original Halloween, The Exorcist and a few Criminal Minds and Law & Order: SVU episodes do manage to creep me out.
- Spiders also creep me out. As do the squirrels with good aim that throw nuts down at me in my backyard.
- I was a reluctant Twilight reader, but then became hooked during a vacation in March 2009 and read all four books in a week.
- My favorite movies include Silence of the Lambs, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and The Wiz (for Michael of course).
- I learned to crochet in sixth grade. I find it relaxing, but have a few abandoned projects (like the Martha Stewart Coming Home poncho design). I’m adding planning crochet time into my weekly life.
- I love to dance and do so every morning to “hit of the moment” songs on the radio. Usually during the in between time of brushing my teeth, showering and getting dressed. And I’ve got some wicked moves.
- Growing up, I wanted to be a triple threat like Debbie Allen and move to NYC to be a Broadway star. I danced, even belonging to a dance troupe, through high school. I also racked up multiple summers of musical theater camp and was a member of acappella choir and theater ensembles while in high school. The comfort on stage comes in quite handy for the work world.
- In sixth grade, my best friend at the time and I declared we wanted to be go-go dancers. We meant like Goldie Hawn on Laugh-In, but soon learned folks thought we wanted to be strippers.
- I was raised in a strict, Baptist household, but I don’t consider myself Baptist. I see myself as non-denominational. I think that some of the doctrines and practices of organized religious groups are downright hypocritical, vicious and divisive. I also don’t get how people essentially believing in the same higher being can be so violent to each other. Focus on the spiritual practice versus the external trappings and ego-driven rhetoric. Oh, and go crack open, read and interpret whatever your literature is for yourself. Don’t take someone else’s word for it.
- The inner critic is antsy about #11. She’s heading off to have honey ginseng green tea to soothe her nerves.
- That’s me circa the mid-’90s in Puerta Vallarta. I’ve got this thing about people taking my picture. No, I’m not a vampire. I like pictures, but just don’t feel the need to see myself in them. I’ve gotten better about that in my older age.
- In college, I was a crazy, guns blazing, dangling off the left branch, liberal feminist. I wore all black, piles of eclectic jewelry and “revolutionary” boots. Boyfriends were both intrigued and scared. I even helped organize a protest rally during my junior year. That’s toned down a bit. But she’s in there if so provoked.
- My fave Hendrix song is Hey Joe and yes I know that doesn’t gel with #14.
- I don’t have much of a relationship with my father. He’s tossed out the “I love you” words a handful of times, but his ignoring actions all my life don’t bear it out. (And with that, my inner critic is heading to the roof to jump.)
- Regarding #16, when people hear me say that, they jump in and say “yes he does care about you he just doesn’t know how to show it.” Poor excuse. It is what it is folks.
- I have three “best friends” met in second grade, eight grade and my freshman year of college. They get me and know most of the deep stuff. And I know theirs. Bwahahahaha.
- When I was in ninth grade, some days during lunch I’d light up wads of paper stuck in Coke cans in front of the high school. Purely for the amusement and shock value of my friends. Thankfully, I was never busted for it. I’d probably still be grounded. See #11.
- The only thing I light up now is incense sticks and cones.
- I love coffee. I love coffee shops. I love the smell of coffee beans.
- Instead of getting a teddy bear as a child, I received a stuffed musical bunny. I took Bunny to college and by then his music box played a warped, eerie lullaby leading some to say he was possessed. Bunny was subjected to several pranks like the one pictured above.
- I like watching conspiracy theory specials and reading some of the theories online. Sometimes the research and facts make me wonder. I also like to learn new things. See #25.
- I love beaches and cruises. I have thoughts set on Hawaii as my next excursion.
- I consider myself to be a lifelong learner. Things I want to do in the future include getting an MFA (via a low-residency program) and learning to play the guitar. I fancy myself hunkered down at some café’s open-mic night, strumming away singing Bonnie Raitt songs and rambling some funky poetry.
Thanks for reading. I trust these bits will give you a better perspective of the me you are meeting in this virtual world. If you have a moment, tell me a little bit more about you.