This isn't about internet security. Though lately I've seen several posts in the blogosphere about protecting the identities of our children and spouses and neighborhoods. That topic ebbs and flows. And I agree, mostly.
This is about our stories.
Wherever you find the internet identity conversation, you will also find multiple women who have made the decision not to write about something because the topic will embarrass someone else. Or, in the case of children, the mothers suggest that the children can decide when they're older whether or not they want to share part of their childhood.
But if everyone decided that, where would all the stories go?
When did we release the power of our stories over to someone else's feelings?
I'm not talking about airing dirty laundry for shock or revenge. I'm definitely not talking about writing hurtful things about a spouse or friend, or that would eventually cause a child pain. I'm just talking about our normal, everyday stories. How marriage is hard. How parenting is frustrating. How sometimes you want to flee from both and here's why.
I'm also talking about a child's reaction to this and that. Or how you said the most inappropriate thing at the most inappropriate time. Or even that time you were in an abusive relationship and it seemed so normal then.
I know you have to walk a fine line between telling your personal story and exploiting those immediately around you for blog fodder. I walk this line every day. When I moved from Peacoat to Hollywood Housewife, I made the decision to write a little more about our daily life. I went back and forth on whether or not it was appropriate to discuss the movie that my husband is shooting. I didn't want to be seen as capitalizing on that opportunity. But then I decided that this is our everyday life, and this is my story as a Hollywood Housewife. It's not something I want to leave out of the narrative.
Still, I am careful with my writing choices.
I don't want you to hurt anyone with your writing. I don't want to hurt anyone with my writing. With a little time and distance and gentle wording, I think it's important to tell these stories that burst us at the seams. Even if we know our in-laws will read it. Our best friend from middle school will read it. The girl three cubicles down may read it.
Maintain a respectable amount of reverence for those you write about. But tell your story.