We all have secrets. Some secrets are healthy, because they are ways we protect ourselves, or cherish something very personal. Others are dark and distrurbing, parts of ourselves we would rather not expose to the light of day. And then there are those facts about ourselves that remain stitched up inside because we are apprehensive about how our loved ones, friends, and even just the general society in which we must circulate, might judge us.
Those below fall into that last category.
- I have occasionally logged on to work from home when I really ought to be surfing the internet for fun and shoes.
- I have surreptitiously coded on the weekends – I have been a coding fairy. When my husband comes in to the office I quickly switch to a window where I have loaded a porn site so he doesn’t see what I’m really doing. (OK, that last part isn’t true but I couldn’t resist).
- I frequently think about work after hours, and I enjoy talking about projects, particularly when there are technical issues requiring a resolution.
This evening as I was musing on unrelated topics, I wondered why I hide parts of myself and create inner turmoil over such minor things. I talk the good talk about accepting my Inner Geek, but in truth I have some insecurity about the social consequences.
When I engage in those activities that do no harm to others and amuse myself, I have happiness. And when I have admitted to a few friends some of the above, I see the censure in their eyes – if it is not verbalized. On occasion I have received lectures about how I ought to live, and lots of well-meaning advice. This creates a conflict within me, as I want the happiness of my pursuits in addition to the satisfaction of social relationships. And so, I remain quiet.
Resolving this is simple, and yet not simple: no more secrets. My secret life and my public life become one life. The censure in eyes or words is not my problem and must be respectfully dismissed as misguided. Cognitive dissonance melts away. And then I am able to shed a bit more of the baggage that has weighed me down for so many years.