20 January 2011

Hand delivered

Sometimes I forget that the vast majority of you know me not at all. You see what I give you, what I let slip intentionally or by accident. You see the tenor of my days through my eyes; we have no omniscient observer to help you along.

Autobiography is slippery. Don't ever forget that. I always tell the truth here, no embellishment, though I change names to protect the guilty. But don't lose sight of the fact that it's my truth. And while I try to be objective, try to report accurately, search my soul for what is honest, every word is colored by what goes through my head.

Sometimes I forget that the vast majority of those I know in real life have no idea of this alter ego. They see who they believe they know; every fleeting frown, smile, conversation contains another's interpretation of me. I think there are a handful of people who have a pretty good handle on the same person that I think I am. I've seen in their eyes and body language that we are on the same page. I am grateful for this because I can relax the barriers.

Still, the disconnect is vast. And actually really very funny.

Long ago, I did an internship at IBM. It was the first of the jobs I had that was shrouded in secrecy and I signed what became the first of many, many confidentiality agreements. I take these things seriously. I take silence and need to know as a responsibility. My commitment, my word, my integrity is important to me, and I try not to ever tarnish those parts of my rather wobbly halo.

I was very young when I signed that agreement, only 19. And I fretted alot. I didn't want to say anything by accident. I'm not much for self-aggrandisement; I don't think I'm important because I know things others don't. I like knowing things for the sake of knowledge--the universe is a huge, grand puzzle and I like slotting another piece into its rightful spot. I will joyously rootle around in others' brains given the permission and access and time, and I'm happy to share what I know that I'm free to share with anyone around me.

But I worried over the potential slip of the tongue. Suddenly, "so, what did you do today?" felt like a very loaded question. At which point, I learned to carefully lock the door in my head marked "work" when I left the office each day. And this habit persists.

So, you might be amused to know that while you all know most of the gorey details of my current injury, IRL no one beyond my immediate family and a few others have any clue about it. It's been kept out of phone calls and emails, and I managed to mask my debility when we saw the spouse's parents over the weekend.

Silence. Need to know.

Today, I received an email from an old friend, a colleague from some time ago. She is a lovely person, a tiger like me, and we took funny classes together (weaving, for example, with the most amazing-really! Amazing. Flamboyant. Interestingly dressed. Quite talented--man), went to movies, shared books. It was fun to hear from her, and we exchanged a couple of quick messages, talked about lunch and a visit. For one second, I thought to tell her about the blogs, an easy shorthand way to help her catch up. And that thought was immediately quelled, door slammed shut.

There is nothing exceptional here, nothing earth shatteringly important, nothing that I am really hiding. A few people with whom I'm very comfortable have the URL. Truthfully, I consider myself pretty boring (and after rereading the last couple of months...dear god...full of complaint! That has to stop.), but there is a lot of process here. It is the process that I'm frequently unwilling to share.

Except here.

Go listen to some good music: "remembrances" from the album ...undone by The Lucy Show. I started this this morning, and then got a call from the vet that wasn't good, and the day devolved into chaos. And suddenly I'm just exhausted. I think I ended up where I was intending to go. I may rethink that tomorrow, of course.

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