I woke up in a cold sweat last night.
I dreamt that I had sent an e-mail to the entire congregation of our church - and had included a link to my blog in my signature.
It took a few minutes for the panic to subside.
It's okay ... It was just a dream ... It didn't really happen ....
But I still couldn't fall asleep.
Why the panic?
* * * * *
I've been blogging since before blogging was a "thing". Back then we called it a "weblog" and you typed your entries in your index.html file and uploaded it manually every single time you wanted to update.
I blogged to have a voice. I was a quiet kid growing up in a small town. Everybody knew who I was and there were certain expectations that came with my last name. I don't know that I had anything to say, really, apart from the usual teenage angst and stories about boys I was too afraid to talk to - but writing was therapeutic. It helped me figure out who I was and who I wanted to be.
Then, when I was in university, my sisters stumbled upon my blog.
Again, it was before blogging was really a "thing" - before everybody and their dog had a blog - and of course my sisters thought I was crazy to share so much of my life on the internet. My oldest sister was paranoid and my middle sister was downright mean. She actually called me "Holly.Com" for awhile (and by awhile, I mean more than two years!)
I didn't have my own computer when I moved out west and I didn't have much money so I let the domain and hosting lapse.
I was tired of being Holly.Com ...
But I missed blogging more.
So I bought back my domain and started writing in this space again.
* * * * *
Writing has always been an intensely personal thing for me, which is odd given the fact that I'm a blogger. I have no issue sharing my deepest thoughts with strangers but I shudder at the thought of someone I know stumbling across my little corner of the internet.
And I have no idea why.
I have a handful of offline friends who read my blog. Granted, it's an Ellie-sized handful, but still. They've been nothing but kind, nothing but supportive - but I'm still afraid.
I think it's because I'm more open in this space than I am in real life.
I share what I'm thinking, what I'm feeling, what I'm learning.
And there's no time for that in real life.
* * * * *
I want to be brave with my writing.
I want to be open, I want to be honest, and I want to be vulnerable. I want to encourage and inspire others ...
But most of all I just want to be brave.