I’m not internet famous.
I’m not even blogging famous.
I’m not even mommyblogging famous.
I’m OK with that. I’m not sure how many regular readers I have. I have no plans to monetize my blog, or nominate myself for online awards, or get glamourous headshots done at Blissdom this week.
I almost never get trolled, because I’m not important enough. I like it that way.
Two weeks ago I started taking George to swimming lessons. I get in the pool with him, of course. We sing “Wheels on the Bus” and he goes down the waterslide.
So there I was, bobbing up and down in the water, when another mom in the class suddenly said “Hannah, right?”
I had no idea who she was. Her kid didn’t look familiar. I was wearing a bathing suit and acutely aware of the fact that I hadn’t shaved my legs in a couple of days and it was like why do I not remember you, shit shit shitshitshitshit.
Turns out I didn’t know her at all, but she recognized me from my postings on the community Facebook page.
Oh. Huh. OK.
It was a strangely naked and exposed feeling, compounded no doubt by the fact that I was in a swimming pool at the time. She just wanted to introduce herself (and I promptly forgot her name because I do that, I’m terrible at names) and then last week she wasn’t there, so it was a blip, nothing more. (Although if any of you are Facebook friends and have wondered why I don’t link to the blog from there…. this is why and now you know.)
Then just a couple of nights ago, I was at our local convenience story because it’s Shark Week and my ovaries needed potato chips. (They really needed them. When I walked in the owner said “something wrong? YOUR FACE IS SO ANGRY”.) Waiting in line for my crinkly bag of medicinal sour cream & bacon Ruffles, an older lady approached me. “You’re Hannah, right? I recognize you from Facebook! You’re friends with my daughter-in-law!”
And, in fact, I am Facebook-friends with her daughter-in-law. I used to work with her, in fact, many long years ago. And my Facebook page is such that only people on my own friends list can see pictures of my kids and that kind of thing.
It’s all weird, and strange, and is worrying me a little. I love my blog. I don’t see a time where I’ll want to stop blogging. I use fake names for all the kids involved but I am still very aware that I am blogging about children – some of them not mine. I want to start developing some actual feature-length stories for submission to magazines, and if that actually happens my name will be out there even more. I want to keep writing and I want people to read but I’m also terrified that people in my real life will find out about this space, and then it won’t be safe for me anymore.
I realize that my Facebook and my blog are quite separate. There’s no linkage between the two and I definitely plan to keep it that way. I’d shut down my Facebook page before my blog anyway; in a contest, Zuckerberg would LOSE.
I’m probably being paranoid. But as I prepare to go to a conference where I’ll be passing out business cards with my name and my blog name on them… I feel at least as naked as I felt in that swimming pool.
I know I’ve posted about Blissdom twice this week, and for that I am sorry. When BlogHer was a bigger deal than it is now, at least within my online circle, conference season made me feel so left out, and I vowed I wouldn’t do that… but I can’t help it. This is a major step for me, for a whole bunch of reasons. Bear with me as I work through all my nerves and second-guessing.