The Makings of Me: On Being Brave On the Internet



“Almost impossible to do, reciting the makings of you.”

– Curtis Mayfield, “The Makings Of You”

Another little cousin of mine found my blog yesterday. And while I was delighted to receive her initial text message, the one about how much she loved my blog, I know it is only a matter of time before I receive the second text. She’ll find the dark stuff, the raw stuff, the real stuff.

I don’t make an effort to hide my blog anymore. In the beginning, I removed everyone from Twitter and I never shared my posts on Facebook or Instagram. I created a safe haven where I could be comfortable sharing myself freely with the people who didn’t know me from Adam. It was easier that way. If I didn’t like the way people received my words I could just log off, shut down, block them, unfollow them, remove them. I had control.

Then Murphy’s Law had its way with me and, the very day I shared a post containing the details about being sexually abused, my audience grew by a significant two: my parents. Subsequently, friends and family who knew me in “real life” began to flock to and comment on my blog and I became an open book.

The thing about being a fully open book online is that you have to learn to operate without control. It takes a great amount of constant bravery to operate without total control. As an open book, you have no say over who reads your work, how it gets shared, or how your words are received by others. Your job is to just be you, all by yourself, and not worry about reception. To be the truth. Simple, right?

Sugarcoating is for Willy Wonka and it does no  service to intelligent folk like you. So, I’ll just come out and say it: this ish is hard. Not only is it difficult to bare your soul to random online strangers, but it’s also tough to live 100% in your truth in front of those you associate with daily. The vulnerability is real, and it’s coming at you from all sides. This is why, to do the necessary work of sharing ourselves, we have to be brave. Present me couldn’t have said it better myself:

“Bravery isn’t always the gallant roar of the lion. Sometimes it’s as subtle as the period at the end of your truth. Bravery is looking someone in the face after they’ve seen your soul. It’s stirring grits, stapling papers, discussing the weather, and having coffee with people who’ve reviewed you in your most raw form.” –The Business of Bravery

I hand out my URL like candy now. I’m brave about it. I’m ready for questions and I’ve got links copied to my clipboard if they’ve already been answered.  It still scares me a little to think of the prospect of  a new set of eyes scanning my soul, knowing that all the aunties and acquaintances who come to Ever So Roco wish to find inspiration and pleasantries and DIY projects. I picture their mouths hanging agape, their shattered expectations falling to the floor, when they read “I Don’t Know What To Call This,” “This Will Upset You,” and  “A Monday Kind of Love”. When they find the dark stuff, the raw stuff, the real stuff.

While you can add a little sugar, honeysuckle and a great big expression of happiness to my recipe, know that the ugly things take part in my composition too. They may whittle away at me, but know that the cutting and carving yields a beautiful sculpture in the end.  The makings of me include depression, abuse, and anxiety. The makings of me include triumph and trial, failure and flourish. Ever So Roco recites these makings of me: the good, the bad, the tragic, the funny, the embarrassing. I am comprised of all of it. And I will recite these makings, in bravery and in truth, over and over again.

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