Sunflower

I have been back at the office (I should call it The Office because oh, the hilarity I would share if I could) “full-time” for a month now. “Full-time” is in quotes because during the first four weeks I was back I went to Portland and then to California and have only worked one five-day week. That week was awesome. Or, exhausting. Same difference.

My work life is chugging along pretty smoothly. I’m back in an environment that I’ve floated in and out of for the past nine years and am working with people who have known me for that amount of time. That in itself is fantastic. These people have been in my life since I was a newlywed without children and have been there as our family of two has morphed into a family of five.

Switching from the education side of accounting back to the public practice side means that I am dusting off areas of my brain that have been in hibernation for a long time. While there are many moments where I surprise myself with intelligent things spouting forth from my mouth, there are an almost equal amount of time where I feel like the pistons in my brain are misfiring and my cranial matter may need a tune-up. Possibly, a complete engine re-build.

These colleagues of mine are not very web-savvy. The students may very well be but there are ten or so of them and a month later I only know ONE of their names (Because I am awesome) and, so. I have no idea if they are Farmville Facebookers or kids with a lot more knowledge of the Internet. As for the folks I’ve known for almost a decade, they seem to be pretty stereotypical accountants for the most part. They all have email, a few have iPhones, but one of them keeps referring to “The ‘Net” and it takes all of my strength not to laugh out loud. Another colleague (and his wife) are Facebook friends of mine and as such, know about D to the B. Last year, when I returned to work part-time for tax season, he asked if I would be writing about work. No. NEVER.

I mean, I guess I am posting about work but in a generic, “It’s all about me” tone, as opposed to sharing office gossip. I’m not stupid.

The one thing that has been on the forefront of my brain this week is trying to reconcile the Angella I am here and the Angella that I am in the office. I have nothing to hide, here, but the thought of everyone in the office reading my site kind of skeeves me out a little. Those young students (whose names will forever (it seems) elude me) could very well have Googled me on Day One and be reading each and every post. If so, um, HI. (SO AWKWARD.)

This past week I had a number of co-workers ask me how I have so many friends in California. I’ve tried a number of responses that are not lying, per se, but are not as forthcoming as, “I have a BLOG” because I CANNOT EVEN IMAGINE THAT CONVERSATION. Here are a few exchanges that occurred this week:

We went to college together.

“You went to college in the States? Where?”

(I actually do have friends from California who I met at college here in Canada. So, not a total lie.)

***

I met them at a writing conference.

*Blink, blink* “What kind of writing?”

*Blink, blink*

***

I haven’t figured out the correct response to the question and know that “I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you” won’t fly.

I threw it out on Twitter and had some good responses but I hate to lie and I know it will all come out eventually and, shoot. I hate to be in the place where I’m wondering who knows what about me and what they are thinking about me when I am interacting with them. I am in no way ashamed of anything that I write here – it is the exact opposite. This is my space where I get to be me and tell my own stories and keep a record and be part of a community and, well. I don’t now if I’d be who I am today or if I’d have done all that I have creatively if it were not for my little corner of the Internet.

Despite all of that I wondered if maybe I needed to shut down this space. Maybe it doesn’t fit the “professional” life. Maybe, instead of melding the two sides of me together, I needed to say goodbye to Dutch Blitz and be a business-type woman who doesn’t share anything personal. Maybe that would be the best course of action as one who is a “professional”.

Truth be told, I cannot give it up. I need this space like I need air. It is where I turn when I want to write about the good, the bad, the awesome, the ugly. To cut this off would be both ridiculous and detrimental to my mental health. I just need to figure out how to reconcile my two worlds. Do I make every effort to keep it a “secret”? (Quotes necessary, because if you Google my name, BAM! There I am.)(I’m a poet and didn’t know it.) Or do I just be straightforward and tell people that I have a website and give them my URL (*Cringes*)?

Until I figure it out, maybe I’ll just tell them that I’m a secret agent. Or a Ninja.

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  1. Sarah February 8, 2010 12:30 am edit

    I remember (I think) the second time I met Vahid’s Mom and she asked him where we met. (She doesn’t know about his blog.) He got that blank look and I pipped in, “From friends.” Which is true because I found his blog from a friend’s blog.

    She didn’t ask too many questions as to why I was currently living in California or what kind of friends these were.

    But it IS super hard to answer questions like that. I remember when I was flying all over for stuff back when I was in California and people would ask me why I was going and how I knew them, etc etc. I always avoided answered because I didn’t want them to know I had a blog.

    It’s a hard question to answer.

    (Longest comment ever!)
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Things I Love: Seventeen =-.

    1. angella February 8, 2010 8:19 pm edit

      (Cutest comment ever.)

  2. Hannah February 8, 2010 3:02 am edit

    I think just tell them the truth. They are probably mildly interested, but I doubt many of them would bother to google you and secretly “stalk” you on your blog. I’ve never kept it a secret from my work colleagues that I have a blog, and I’m friends with a LOT of them on Facebook, so I guess there’s a chance that some of them read my blog and I don’t know about it. But hey, I don’t have anything to hide, and neither do you. It’s not like you have another strange persona on the internet. No, you are true to yourself and you write eloquently and humorously about your REAL, ACTUAL life. So what’s to hide? xx
    .-= Hannah´s last blog ..The Relief of Imperfection =-.

  3. LauraRad February 8, 2010 8:21 am edit

    I’m all for you keeping your corner of the internet; I’d miss your words, photos, and overall self if you shut this down!

    I feel like these days, blogging is becoming commonplace – those who find it weird that you’d have time for it [that's a comment I get a lot] secretly wish they were bold enough or brave enough to make one themselves.

    Congrats on passing the 1 month mark at the office! Many more great months to come.
    .-= LauraRad´s last blog ..Continuing Education – Ideas Needed =-.

  4. Kandi February 8, 2010 8:24 am edit

    I’d go with ninja… or a transformer… you are a robot in disguise, right?

    1. angella February 8, 2010 12:31 pm edit

      Busted. I can’t believe that someone actually figured out my secret. ;)

  5. kakaty February 8, 2010 8:31 am edit

    I usually just say something about “Oh, we are both in the same social media circles” and if they are at all web savvy they get it and ask futher questions and I don’t feel like a blogging geek because they are, too. If they don’t they ususally just nod their head and change the subject because they have no idea what social media is.

    A few of my closest co-workers and friends know that I’m on Twitter and have read my blog, but I don’t activelly advertise that I blog to people I know IRL – it can just be too awkward if they don’t understand how it all works.

  6. Danica Grunert February 8, 2010 8:37 am edit

    I know, I know! You should make up cutsie little business cards with a great graphic and your website and hand them out to everybody. Right before the weekend!
    Kidding. I totally feel the same way at church. I know most of the people since I work there and everything, but some of them only casually, and some of them read the blog, and some of them have blogs too, but oh the awkwardness whenever it comes up.

    So, now that your kids are older, do you think you’re back full time permanently?
    .-= Danica Grunert´s last blog ..FYI =-.

    1. angella February 8, 2010 12:32 pm edit

      I’m her to cover a year-long maternity leave that starts at the end of February. After that? Not sure…

      1. kakaty February 9, 2010 1:54 pm edit

        year-long maternity leave? Oh god, to be Canadian!!! Will someone up their please adopt me?

  7. vahid February 8, 2010 9:28 am edit

    Ha ha, I remember last year when I told everyone I was taking a vacation in Santa Fe, I had no good reason I could share with my office as to why I was going there, and who I was travelling with. “So, what’s the story with these friends?”

    “Well, two are from Washington, and one is from Chicago. We just sort of…keep in touch.”

    “How did you all meet?”

    “IT’S COMPLICATED. WE JUST DID, OKAY?”

    “And why did you pick Santa Fe?”

    “MIND YOUR BUSINESS.”

    Also: what Sarah said.
    .-= vahid´s last blog ..zombie portland! =-.

    1. angella February 8, 2010 8:20 pm edit

      At least the Vancouver trip is an easy one for me to cover. My Dad lives there…

  8. Sharon February 8, 2010 9:38 am edit

    I definitely understand the awkwardness that situations like that can cause. :) I haven’t met anyone thru blogging yet, but I have met a ton of people through a fan site that I’m a member of.

    I’ve gone to several cities just to meet up with some of my friends from there, and I’ve had quite a few awkward conversations about why I’m going to that city, and who on earth do I know there. LOL. I like your idea of saying you’re a ninja. That could work! ;)
    .-= Sharon´s last blog ..Tourist for a day! =-.

  9. Ashley February 8, 2010 10:18 am edit

    I say, just tell them it’s due to the magic of the Social Networking World. Most people drool a little by the end of that sentence and that’s where it ends. I totally understand wanting to keep this here space, collegue free. And even if you didn’t, most people can’t understand the friendships that come from the vastness that is the internet :)
    .-= Ashley´s last blog ..SAHM vs. WAHM =-.

  10. Kami's Khlopchyk February 8, 2010 10:25 am edit

    What Hannah said. And also? That’s a tough one. However, my philosophy of honesty has always worked though I get your not wanting to, you know, post your URL on the coffee room bulletin board.

    Can you even imagine?
    .-= Kami’s Khlopchyk´s last blog ..TGIF =-.

  11. tia February 8, 2010 3:30 pm edit

    I have a blog (that exactly 36 people read) and I struggle with the very same issue– and get this– I work in a church. That seems to complicate things even more. There is an expectation (realistic or not) that I am this generic, perfect person who loves everyone. Then when I write about going to the bookstore and hunting down rednecks with hickeys… people are seriously upset. My goal is too write with integrity. To be true to who I am and what I belief without apologies for it.
    .-= tia´s last blog ..Funny Fest ‘10 =-.

  12. Lisa February 8, 2010 3:45 pm edit

    I am the type to think that people wouldn’t be interested in me at all… but then again, I love reading people’s blogs that I know as much as people that I don’t know, so there ya go.

    I am still struggling with making my blog more public. :/

    Also… I vote NINJA!
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..birds of a feather =-.

  13. Elizabeth February 8, 2010 4:34 pm edit

    I’d go with “I met them at a Ladies Conference”
    Totally not a lie.
    Good luck with that :)
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Outta This World =-.

  14. Anne Marie February 8, 2010 5:44 pm edit

    The twenty somethings google everything including names of teachers, profs etc to see what they can come up with. They “creep” facebook etc. and facebook is easy to hack so I am told. So if they are the least curious they probably already know and aren’t telling!

  15. Amanda February 8, 2010 6:37 pm edit

    Your post actually made me laugh, not because it was funny (okay, I really liked the “writing conference” *blink, blink* part but because I can relate in a few ways. Most of my coworkers have no idea that I have a blog and when I have mentioned it, they have no idea what a blog even is (small community with limited internet experience still exists). My students know more about it than my coworkers (I have actually used it to teach).

    I have a problem trying to explain you (and the others I read). I know you from what I have read and I often share (the collective) your stories with friends and coworkers and have no idea how to start the conversation…friend seems too familiar a description. I read on a blog…just sounds pathetic (remember…small community). I’m still muddling and struggling with this one.

    I don’t have an answer but man can I relate to the two worlds colliding comment! Good luck with this. :)
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Worthy of a Rant =-.

  16. The Alimartell February 8, 2010 7:38 pm edit

    Most of the time I say “we work together” because it’s usually vague enough that people don’t ask more questions. But I definitely hear you…people who don’t “get” it, just don’t. and won’t.
    .-= The Alimartell´s last blog ..I Guess I’m…A Bad Nut? =-.

  17. M. Bailey February 8, 2010 8:05 pm edit

    I have been wanting to write a blog for well, a while now. When I first started reading amalah’s blog – when she wasn’t even pregnant with her second boy (which is how I found yours btw), I thought to myself – I need to start a blog. But, now, two years later, I still haven’t. (wow – that was a very long runonsentence!) Part of the reason is that I wonder who would actually READ my blog – as in, nobody, or as in, everybody (how do you manage to get so many readers anyway?). Interesting to read your perspective on the blogging and how to deal with the ‘real life’ versus ‘this life’. I think it’s a great way to archive your life and share it with new friends. I can see how akward it would be to have your co-workers know more about you than you may want them to know — which is why I think I hesitate (I work with far more tech savy people). Hmmm…well, that wasn’t very helpful for you now, was it? For what it’s worth, I enjoy reading your life story and feel like we could sit down for coffee anytime.
    p.s. I would recommend Costco for a bathrobe for Little Miss Exhibitionist — I have gotten my boys very cute dinosaur ones in the past.
    .-= M. Bailey´s last blog ..smartiebailey: It would be really great if I could actually FIND the Valentine’s I bought last week for the kids’ Valentine’s parties at school#loosingmind =-.

  18. Jill VT February 8, 2010 8:08 pm edit

    I am a CPA in hiding, too, and know some clients probably wouldn’t trust me with their taxes if they read my blog! I shall be interested to know what you end up doing..
    .-= Jill VT´s last blog ..I Don’t Think I’m Invited to the Housewarming =-.

  19. Elaine February 8, 2010 9:22 pm edit

    Sometimes when someone IRL tells me they read my blog or leaves a comment it’s weird for me, so I hear ya. I don’t think I would volunteer the info but that’s just me. Hope the “collision” isn’t to bad for you…
    .-= Elaine´s last blog ..4 Months, 6 and Half Days & Some Hours and Minutes =-.

  20. Sizzle February 9, 2010 8:22 am edit

    I don’t think you write about anything on here that would make you look bad or get in trouble with work people. Part of the reason I keep my real name off my blog is to keep work and personal life separate. It’s hard though- coworkers know about my blog and if they were curious could easily find it. That’s why I try to remain fairly neutral on it.

    I don’t think you should shut down your blog but then again, I’m selfish. :-)
    .-= Sizzle´s last blog ..Laundry List =-.

  21. Laurie February 9, 2010 10:35 am edit

    I totally get your concern – I work in the legal industry and stick-in-the-mud would be a nice way to describe a few of them. I never hid that I had a blog, but I just talked about things in vague ways – “online friends’, met them at a parenting forum or whatever. Then I ended up on local tv and had to field questions from family and co-workers about Twitter and my blog – ugh! They still don’t read it I think though!
    .-= Laurie´s last blog ..Memory Lane Monday: Love Letters =-.

  22. Sadie at heyMamas February 9, 2010 11:40 am edit

    You took the words right out of my mouth and probably even said it better than I could have. I work in the middle of New York City (literally, looking at the tents for Fashion Week right now) and I would NEVER tell anyone at work about my blog.

    I do actually have a few friends that know and read it but I have sworn them to secrecy and sometimes do think of them when I write and I actually don’t like it because I temper what I say.

    My mother doesn’t even know about my blog and I am so ok with that!

    I loved this post, it was so on point.

    Sadie at heyMamas
    .-= Sadie at heyMamas´s last blog ..Fourteen years =-.

  23. hillary February 9, 2010 12:16 pm edit

    I tried to be ninja about blogging (hence my blog email address) but it didn’t work out.
    It’s difficult to find the right balance but I think that it will come with time. I hope that you don’t shut down your blog because I am selfish and I would miss it (and you!)
    .-= hillary´s last blog ..And If I Could Remember If I Could Find A Place A Time The Space To See Another Way Home =-.

  24. Janssen February 9, 2010 3:01 pm edit

    The same here. . . I don’t really want my coworkers reading it, although I know at least one does. Ack! My privacy! I needs it!
    .-= Janssen´s last blog ..My Life in France by Julia Child =-.

  25. Leah February 10, 2010 12:15 am edit

    I have kind of a don’t-ask-don’t-tell sort of thing going on with my real-life friends and coworkers. There are a handful of people out there who I’m pretty sure read my blog, but we just pretend that it’s not happening. Even more, I try to make a special effort to stay connected in REAL ways with friends I KNOW read my blog because it’s too easy to just say, “Oh, I’ll just read her blog instead of sending her an email,” and that’s just sad. It’s a really hard, really WEIRD balance to try to maintain (hence why I’m still semi-anonymous online seven years later!), and I wish you luck trying to figure it out.

  26. Madge February 10, 2010 1:31 am edit

    That is why I am Madge. :P
    .-= Madge´s last blog ..No Patience =-.

  27. statia February 10, 2010 7:41 am edit

    I never felt the need to explain why I have friends all over the continent. Thankfully, no one was ever really curious enough to ask. I think I might have once told the IT at my old job, about my blog, because well, he was the IT guy and he probably would have found out anyway. I never blogged about work in any matter other than, hi, I am at work, or crap, I have to work today, or HOORAY, I’M ON VACATION FROM WORK. So I never really worried about logging in from work and blogging about the mundane brain poo.

    Telling everyone how I met my husband (through blogging), however, was pretty awkward at first.
    .-= statia´s last blog ..And now, for something more serious. =-.

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