When Love and Hate Collide

This is the part wherein I attempt to put into perspective my offline and online life.

You see, most days, I contemplate on the things I say online. I'm pretty sure a lot can relate when I say that the process of determining how much, or until what level of our personal lives we can divulge into the huge world of the Internet. Case in point: I carefully ponder on which groups on Facebook I divulge my link-curating penchant because as much as would like to think everyone's interested in what I have to share, I know for a fact that they don't, not all the time at least. Every link and every status I put on Facebook is something I painstakingly ponder on first, who to share with because I respect wall space. I do hide people from my list, too, anyway.

I've had two instances of major pondering. The first one was when I've looked long and hard through my blog as I was about to go public and promote my links on Facebook. For as long as I remember, I have been diligent and vigilant in keeping this blog un-seen by friends and colleagues from work. I have kept SEO rankings pretty hidden, when SEO is one of my above-average skills {or so I'd like to think}. I've stuck with the name Teeyah if only to dispel searches of my real name to legit directions {eg. my LinkedIn, Inquirer articles and what have you}and not to this blog, which then contained personal musings, crudely-written reviews of beauty products and events I wished I could attend.

As my blogging life evolved, as I began to embrace my stance as a semi-beauty, semi-personal blogger, I have learned to embrace a seemingly new facet of my online life. Whereas before, I only was limited to being a personal finance blogger for work, a multimedia content producer for both my company's internal and external sites, I am now a Google populator for superficial things {all in reference to my blog's content} which sometimes are source of hilarity amongst readers, sometimes, information and sometimes, entertainment. But most of all, I find fulfillment in writing out things I love, things that make me happy plus I get to live out my lifelong dream of having my own column out there, somewhere. So why the hell should I be embarrassed about who I am?

What I did was that I painstakingly started reviewing each and every blog post, with this question in mind:

Would I have the guts to admit everything in this in person?

With that as a guiding principle, it became easy for me to decipher which ones to keep public and which ones get to be just 'drafts.' Through this little exercise, I also had the chance to edit out grammar blips and dips I have overlooked before. It was a little funny, too, reading through old blogposts, getting reminded of my teenybopper mindset then, and realizing how much a person can grow so much in the span of two years.

And so I went public. I started posting my posts on Facebook on the belief that what I write now, as opposed to then has become more relevant, more introspective, more definitive of who I am. I believed that I had something new to bring to the table other than my personal quandaries, which by the way I don't post in this blog anymore. Since then, I have gotten notes and messages from random people who are not as privy to Google Reader or reading blogs, telling me of how they are (insert positive verb here) from reading my blog, or the ones who were just happy to hear about me, to know that I, after all, stayed in Manila. It was kind of overwhelming, to a point that sometimes I find myself diligently posting my links every time I have a new one up.

Until of course that a.) one time my mother Googled me and saw some of my outfits and went like "Ano ba yan, anak? Why are you wearing that ugly ensemble? b.) I told this story to someone I went to a date with which resulted to him c.) Googling me right on the frakkin' spot and therefore putting me on the spot, with a condescending / confused / disdainful comment of "Chronicles of Vanity?? Really?" When I answered, "Yes," he asked what I write about and told him about shampoo, conditioner, nails and what have you, he asked me if people really needed to and I launched into a speech on why I was once a reader who was in search of things to read about these kinds of things. I ended up earning his respect, in my quirky way of beauty blogging and being able to mix a lot of fun things with work {involving a corkscrew}. After all, I had nothing to fear.

While both instances proved to be something that speaks of my self-confidence, it taught me to boost my (surprise!) self-confidence. Being all over the internet is like walking around naked and exposed. You give so much room for criticism and heck, most of the time people feel the need to provide you unsolicited feedback that one asks constantly: "Why do I even blog / post things on Facebook / tweet etc.?" We provide an avenue for people to notice and go Grammar Nazi on us, to judge us because in the real world, people expect us to write about human rights, fighting poverty or politics, something that would make a difference. I am done saying excuses why I blog and why I blog about my 'superficialities'. These are the things that make me happy, I love writing and I will write whatever the hell I want to write as long as it's something I'll come to admitting offline. When I replied to the question, "Why this blog, why the title and why these topics," I said it was because this is a part of me, this is another facet of my life and I celebrate being a girl so much I just had to put it out there, I meant it. If this is not how you thought I was in person, then it's not worth it. I know that the issue of being one and the same as your offline and online personalities are still subject to discussion and probably heated debates but I am slowly transcending to merging who I am offline and online, and I'm damn proud of it. Not that I'll go crazy and start documenting each and every one of my thoughts but you get my drift.

Well, if in the future you notice that all I'm writing about are sanitized topics, it's probably because my mother have started reading about this blog already.

Speaking of un-solicited advice, what's your (solicited) take on putting yourself out there?

*Photo Source.