I believe I'm out here livejournaling because I'm in a position and space of feeling secure and safe to do so. Seems like an "obvious when said" sentence, but I'm still appreciating the newness and the (IMHO) rareness of it.

Most friends I knew blogging in the early days were pseudononymous, and open about their experiences and struggles online but without the context of knowing who they were that made it really meaningful to read those thoughts and feel that connection. Most public bloggers I see these days using their real identity also link it to a role of theirs - their journalism, their company, their hobby. I think that's common and normal and more partial than what I'm shooting for.

I feel safe enough to try to drop the persona-masks, in my full and real identity, loosely-enough attached to that jumble of identify-facets. I feel strong enough to share what I'm feeling and why I'm feeling it. The fool-ishness of "open your mouth and remove all doubt" doesn't seem high when the possibilities of connection and resonance and building communities and inspiring others and learning and leveling up myself and the world are all so tantalizing.

Doing so is not a risk to my financial security, my career, my sense of self-worth, my ability to live out my values. If some relationships change because I haven't been as much me in a different context, that's a little edgy but I welcome that exploration. The only thing that gives me pause is "what about any crazy people on the internet" connected with "what about your family". I can be careful to tell my own story and be respectful of the stories of others, but there is no real protection from that partly-random threat: I know that at certain popularity/audience sizes, griefers, stalkers, harassers become an issue, having seen it happen to many more-well-known people. I know that's a far-mode risk for sure, not a near-term concern. (It's possible I'll never hit this problem, but I think it's more prudence than ego to consider it.) I also probably generate 10X less risk as a straight white cis male, compared to anyone who doesn't have every one of those categorical privileges. Still, I want to avoid a situation where I put people I love in any danger without their consent.

Ah, and that points out a few obvious things I can do to proactively love the people around me at a few different points in this potential journey. Good. I think I'll be able to shake that "what about" thread.

I want to be "out here" enough to let people find me, as Michael Ashcroft happened to remind me today.