Bravery vs. Stupidity

Oddly enough, I had this post written before Dawg added me to his List of Most Honest Bloggers of the year. The things I’ve discussed here lately have been called a lot of things – but “honest” is by far the most… um, honest.

Among the many emails I’ve received with encouragement and advice, some have been littered with words like “courage” and “strength”. Some people have gone so far as to say that my insistence on blogging about all of this shit is brave.

Of course, other people would say that splitting your veins in front of the Internet is stupid. Some are in the camp of “crying to the Internet is a desperate plea for someone to feel sorry for you and tell you that you are wonderful” and some are in the “for god sake’s think of your PRIVACY!” caucus.

And some still are just in the realm of “cannot understand” – no judgment, adoration or bizarre twisty hatred. Just *shrug* I don’t get it.

Honest blogging. It is what it is. But it’s neither bravery nor stupidity. (It’s obviously not a plea for sympathy either – but you already know that. Duh.)

The bravery thing kind of creeps me out – in that it makes me feel like a big fat fraud because seriously? Not. brave. Scared to death, to be quite honest with you.

Spilling my guts is not an act of courage. This is just how I’m wired.

Bravery and courage, I believe, come from doing things that are scary – and yet some people do them anyway. And while I get that personal openness is scary for some people – it’s just not for me. It’s just as natural for me to talk about the things that haunt me and shame me and scare the shit out of me as it is for me to share the things that make me laugh. I’m exactly the same online as I am in real life – what you see is what you get.

That’s not always a good thing – for me or the people around me. How do you look in those jeans? Well, I might try and tell you it’s “fine” – but “oh my god do not leave the house with muffin top” will be all over my face. What are my deepest fears and how can you use them against me? Hang around for five minutes, and I’ll tell you.

Honesty often means you don’t have the protection of things like privacy and boundaries. Not that I’m some vulnerable flower that needs to be protected (puh-LEASE), but it does tend to make for an apparently easy target.

And still, I don’t think “honest blogging” (or rather “spill your guts – ALL your guts – blogging”) is stupid either.

Does it make some people uncomfortable? Sure it does. Does it give people you don’t know well enough to trust ammunition to hurt you? Possibly. Does it open you up for criticism on some very personal areas? Absolutely.

But if this is Just How You Are, there is no alternative. If I showed up here and tried to be “smart” in an effort to protect myself, there’d be absolutely no point in me being here. If I showed up here and tried to be anything that wasn’t genuinely me – well… who would do that??

A lot of people blog without splitting their veins. And they’re interesting and entertaining – often more so than I am. And they are neither “NOT brave” nor necessarily smarter than me. They are being who they are.

And that’s not better or worse. It just is.

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