Recently, I have made a conscious effort to depersonalize the Instagram. I’ve become more of a moderator and less of a follower, meaning I tend to remain fairly neutral on the ‘gram. I rarely share my opinions. I almost never choose topics. I don’t post pictures of myself anymore.
I made the decision, because I began to wonder how being the face of Skirts and Kicks was and is impacting my personal life. I began to worry:
Do people conflate my followers’ opinions with my own?
Do people read into why I choose certain topics?
Do people who don’t know me judge me based on what they see in my stories?
Can people sense when I’m being sarcastic? Can they sense when I’m being vulnerable? Can they tell if something is serious or if it’s a joke? How do I know what people are actually reading on the other end of their screens? How do I know if they’re interpreting my posts correctly?
And the thing is-I’m not sure if I would care so much about what everyone was thinking, if I wasn’t running an Instagram account that shares anonymous opinions. Everyone else is anonymous. And, well, I’m not. So I can’t help but wonder when the topics get risque or controversial….
How does this impact my dating life?
How does this impact my friendships?
But the problem with worrying about all of this, is that now I have become so neutral, that I worry that I have lost my voice. The blog used to be the place where I would share my opinion. And so now: as I think, and overthink, and rethink every post and every choice I make, I worry: did I create a system where I have silenced myself? I pride myself on being someone with opinions. So what does this say about me that I’m now reluctant to share mine?
The funny thing is, I’ve actually gone on dates with guys because they read my blog and liked it. They thought I was funny, or honest or vulnerable. They liked that I was opinionated. But I’ve also been on dates with guys who would ask-so will I be on the blog? And then they would look at me and nervously take a drink of beer, and I would have to reassure them that no, nothing personal goes on the blog without permission. And that is the weird space I live in. That nervous look. The one they give me, that is the question mark I wade through as I try to figure out how much this blog is supposed to be about me and how much it is supposed to be everyone else. It’s the murky quicksand that pulls me into anonymity, while I reach for knowing when it is the right time to share my opinions.
Which is all a metaphorical way of saying, I have no idea what I’m doing. I have no idea how much to share. I have no idea if I have lost my voice.
I have a really strong gut. And honestly my gut is flip flopping on me here, because I feel like I am split in two. I’m a risk taker. I hate rules. I tend to be uncomfortable with the status quo. I like to push boundaries. And that part of me is opinionated and fearless and confident and funny and vulnerable. But I also need validation. I’m impulsive. I overthink. And that part of me gets anxious and overwhelmed and self conscious and worries about really small things.
The strange thing is, that second part of me has a way of making me question the whole of the first half of me in a way that the first half of me doesn’t even touch the second half of me. And I’m pretty sure that’s normal, but right now I’m trying to figure out how much I should let that second half of me weigh on me. How much I should let it dictate the trajectory of this blog, and how I insert myself into it.
It’s not that I started making decisions based on fear. Because that is NOT how I live my life and it’s definitely not how I ever want to live my life. It’s more that now I think more about the different ways that certain decisions and choices can be perceived by hundreds of different brains (exhausting, I know). And it has made me more cautious. More thoughtful. Less impulsive. Less outwardly opinionated.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion. Trust me. I ALWAYS I have an opinion. This whole blog started because I was willing to share my opinions and vulnerabilities, so the last thing I want is to lose that. So I guess this is me checking myself. Taking pause and digging deep, and looking inward and asking myself: Are you losing your voice?
And honestly, I don’t know what the answer is. I actually texted a friend this morning asking this very question. And the only conclusion I came to is a 3 minute voice-note of stammering gibberish, which is why I’ve turned to writing :). But I think the fact that I have to ask the question probably means something.
In Skirts and Kicks fashion, I would put the question out there for everyone to answer, but I actually think this is a decision I have to make for myself. :). Your insights are welcome though. But ultimately the question is for me and only me to answer.
So this is a prompt that goes out to me:
Am I losing my voice?