number of people at work i’ve told about this site: 3
number of people i did not tell who now know anyway: 2
at least there are two that i know of; there could be more. when i started this job i figured that if i made some friends i’d tell them about my site, and i couldn’t prevent anyone from googling me and finding it, but as a rule i wouldn’t tell people. eight months later my site is familiar to more coworkers than i’m entirely comfortable with, and i’m not sure how i feel about it.
there is, of course, the initial panic regarding the work-related things i’ve chronicled here. someone at my old job kept a weblog under an assumed name, and when she told me about it, i immediately went through her archives to see what she’d written about our office. i imagine my new coworker readers will do the same on my site, but everything i’ve written about work has been fairly general and doesn’t mention anyone by (real) name. i’ve been so general because i was afraid that this would happen. in that sense, i’m prepared.
what i’m not prepared for is how uncomfortable i am with my coworkers knowing so much about me. i’ve kept this site for nearly seven years; my jobs, my classes, my breakups, my embarrassments are all chronicled here for everyone to see. and while i love the idea of friends and family and complete strangers reading what i have to say, acquaintances are a different matter. for acquaintances, this site is a bizarre sort of shortcut to all the wonderful, terrible things that have happened to me, things i would never have shared with them otherwise. when i pass them in the office hallways and we nod our hellos, my nod will be one of hello, but their nod will be one of “so, i heard your neighbor offered you drugs,” or “so, you did aerobics last night!” it will be weird.
i’m no stranger to holding things back here to avoid hurting my friends or family members. for the most part, i’ve made my peace with that. but i really hate the idea of holding things back to keep my coworkers from knowing too much about me. if i did that, i’d never write about anything at all.
in my head i’ve envisioned the worst-case scenario: having to choose between keeping this site and keeping my job. bluishorange has been in my life longer than any job or apartment or boyfriend or dog ever has, and as such i think i’d be unwilling to give it up. after all, to be a writer is my ultimate goal in life, and if i can’t share my ridiculous thoughts about all the stupid things i’ve done, i’ll never be the kind of writer i want to be.
when i found out about my new coworker readers, one of my first thoughts was: if i’d started this site under an assumed name and kept it that way, i wouldn’t have this problem. but i’m not really an anonymous kind of girl; if i were, i’d wear polo shirts and athletic shoes and my hair would be one color instead of three. no, when i have something to say, i want to claim it as my own. i want it to say ALISON HEADLEY at the bottom of the page. for me, to do it any other way would feel like a cop-out.
dear new coworker readers,
welcome to bluishorange! i’m not going to change this site because of you. please don’t ever reference it in any conversation you have with me; it would destroy the illusion. and for god’s sake, don’t tell any more people.