There was a slight kerfuffle over a post I wrote on Facebook weeks ago. It was a minor tiff, but it threw me off guard. I never thought a friend would call me out and other friends who probably did not want to stir the pot, but agree with Friend 1 nonetheless, Facebook-liked Friend 1's public outcry.
As I was writing that status update up until I hit the post button, I never imagined people getting offended with what I wrote. All along I thought everyone understood that what I've written was just a friendly jab and not an insult to their hopes and dreams. But I was wrong and feelings were hurt.
While my friend Z and I were discussing the incident, Z pointed out a valid reason: How I've written that post is not reflective of my narrative. It's out of character. Out of my character.
She gave me a for instance. I always tell Z stories about my other friend S -- how S reacts to certain situations, how S dresses, how S talks. Z said I painted a consistent picture of S and the way I describe S is invariable. People pick up exactly how S wants to present herself.
My narrative, my identifier, on the other hand, is a bit scattered. It's like people have a completely idealized version of me in their heads. Maybe I just slipped that time I wrote that post and didn't bother to screen my thoughts -- hand/keyboard-on-mouth disease.
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It's no question we wear different hats in our lives. We don't exactly tell our parents about our fetishes the way we can openly tell them to our friends. However, I've hit a point in my life where I do not want to filter my words and actions for everyone's consumption anymore, within reason of course. I'm tired of wearing different hats. I just want people around me to see the same Mara across all social circles - but with context. I still don't want my officemates to see me crying or my parents see me losing it on a supplier who does not follow instructions.
But that's where the problem lies. People who've seen me in my nicest, my best foot forward, they are probably not used to seeing me unfiltered -- irreverent, unapologetic, likes bad TV.
I am not exactly sure if I should let it all hang loose at this point. I understand certain spaces on the internet are mine, but whatever I put out is fair game. So I respect obligations and who I represent. It's a bitter pill to swallow that no matter how much distancing I do to the labels people associate me with, I am still an employee, someone's daughter, someone's friend.
But I just want to say that at this age, I'm done worrying about what everyone thinks. People around me should understand that I can lose my self, too. I need to stop apologizing for who I am not.