Life Advice Needed

I mentioned a while back on Twitter that I was studying photography and up until now I’ve kept my “atheist” life and my ordinary life separate for safety reasons and to avoid hurting the feelings of friends and family that may be offended by some of my opinions.

I’d like to be able to combine my accounts and just be myself, I want to be able to share my photography and talk about religion, politics, and vent about life all in one place without having to scramble around between multiple accounts and keep my life segmented the way I have.

Sadly though, it seems like many aren’t interested in people or blogs that don’t have stick to a specific theme and I just can’t stay in one little box. So I’ve been debating on whether I should share my real name, tone down the harshness of my opinion pieces, and hope for the best or continue juggling the many sides of myself until I have a mental breakdown. I’m just not sure what I want to do or even how I would combine it all and make it work. If anyone has advice or suggestions on what I should do I’d like to hear them.

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6 thoughts on “Life Advice Needed

  1. It’s easy to say “be fearlessly you” and much harder to do, but it sounds like, from what you said, that all that compartmentalizations is making you unhappy. And that’s no way to live. The “you” that I’ve seen here is a remarkable, thoughtful woman. I can’t imagine not wanting to read what comes out of her explorations, regardless of the topic.

    As far as your blog goes, what’s your goal? If it’s to present yourself and your experience as a fully realized person with diverse ideas and interests then that’s your answer. I imagine as a photographer everything informs your art, so compartmentalism might actually stifle your development as an artist.

    As for the friends and family, I guess it’s up to you to ask yourself who it is you want these folks to know, the compartmentalized you or the whole you. Again, easy to say that they need to know the genuine you to love you. It’s hard to do that when you don’t give them the opportunity to do just that. But it sounds like you also don’t want to see them hurt, by things that might challenge their own status quo. Maybe ask yourself what’s the toll on you, if you have to hide a part of yourself to spare their feelings and are they asking themselves the same questions in relations to you?

    All that’s a fancy and verbose way of saying it’s complicated, but in the end you’re responsible for your happiness and I’d like to hope that if the folks who say they love you knew you were hurting yourself by trying to “protect” their sensibilities they’d tell you not to do that because then they get cheated out of knowing the great person that is you.

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  2. Pleasing your audience is important, but for me, the most important thing in blogging is writing what I love and what brings me joy. I do keep my atheist accounts and personal accounts separate, being in the closet, but if you’re ready to combine them and come out in that sense, that’s awesome. If writing about your beliefs as well as your life and your hobbies, then I say do it! And I would still be interested in reading posts even if they didn’t center around a specific niche topic.

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  3. For me, I’ve stayed very compartmentalized. That’s why I’m not on Facebook at all. If I were there, there are people from my past that are still very religious, and they would expect to connect with me. I’d prefer not to be having conversations about religion with those people, and I’d rather just leave them in my past. But I’m old enough that I can get away with avoiding Facebook. I blog anonymously, so those old friends, my religious extended family members, my work colleagues and my music colleagues are not part of the audience I’m blogging for. That way I don’t have to tone down my opinions for anybody.

    But that’s me. I’m OK with compartmentalization, and I’m not naturally very social anyway.

    If you are going to have a photography business presence online, I’d definitely consider keeping your sharper opinion pieces separated from it.

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  4. Safety really ought to be your only concern for keeping your accounts separate. It’s the only reason why I blog anonymously about religion; everyone that I’ve felt moderately able to talk about religion candidly knows I’m an atheist. Only strangers and some extreme people have a problem with it. As soon as it’s safe for me to do so, I will lose that last fuck I give.

    An important thing to remember is that it’s not your problem if other people get upset about your opinions. As long as you’re not cornering them and forcing them to listen to you, it’s entirely their fault for reacting to things they don’t like. In a perfect world, you shouldn’t have to be constrained simply because other people can’t grow up.

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  5. You look to be a wee bit over 20-years old or maybe younger, so to avoid religious drama that you probably do yet have life experiences to handle, it is more prudent, in fact very more prudent, to keep the two separate.

    That way you will not have moderate your views so not to offend anyone, and you will maintain your passion about secularism.

    Perhaps in about 10 years or more when you have developed more tools to handle drama that will come from hate-filled, intolerant religious tyrants, you could consider merging the two.

    However, in the interim, there is a middle option: You could eventually and carefully reveal both identities to people who have earned your unequivocal, complete trust that they will not expose you, ever.

    Stay Secular, My Friend.

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