One of things I hated about my old apartment was that one of my bedroom windows was approximately 5 feet from the window of my nearest neighbor. That meant that I pretty much always had to have the curtains closed. Except for when I didn’t. And then my neighbor saw me (and anyone else who happened to be in my bedroom) naked.
City living, what ya gonna do?
I was thrilled when I moved into my new apartment, because there’s a bit of distance between my bedroom and the buildings across the way. But then I realized that my kitchen window was just across a tiny alleyway from my neighbors. After a week of them getting peeks of me making coffee in my undies, they went out and bought new kitchen curtains. It bothered them more than it did me.
It may surprise you all to learn that I’m not really all that bothered if my neighbors see me in states of undress. It’s not that I’m an exhibitionist. Rather, I just don’t see it as a big deal. We live close together and I refuse to have my windows covered 24/7 because I like natural light. So it’s bound to happen sooner or later. And really, it’s only my physical body. So what?
This is a situation I’m basically in control of. I could put make it impossible for anyone to see into my apartment. To ensure my privacy. It’s just not that important to me.
I WISH it were that easy to protect my privacy online. But it isn’t. Yeah, Simone Grant is just a pen name. And I (somewhat randomly) pick and choose what I share as SG. But even so, I know there’s a whole lotta data stored on SG. Much of which I didn’t choose to share. In addition to tons of info on my IRL identity, none of which I chose to share.
Speaking of which (bad tangent) I think many people fundamentally misunderstand what drives me to keep writing under a pen name, even after all this time. And I’m not talking about the ridiculous people who assume anyone who isn’t using their real name and blasting their picture everywhere is a liar.
Initially, my instinct was to hide this blog from the men I dated and from my family. Absolutely. Not because I write things I’m ashamed about, or write mean things about men. But because I just didn’t want to have to explain this to people who I feared wouldn’t understand.
And then I realized, rather quickly, that there was another, possibly bigger, issue. That one day it might interfere with my career. I have no idea what the future might bring. And who knows, maybe one day I might want to resume my old career. Or maybe it will become a financial necessity.
That would be a lot harder without the pen name.
Even so, I thought about it for while. Dropping the pen name. And even had a couple people try to talk me into it. But when it came down to it, I just couldn’t. My privacy is too precious to me.
Yes, my privacy is too precious to me but I’m OK with my neighbors seeing me naked. So what does that mean, to me? My privacy is too precious to me? Let me try to explain by telling another story. Sorry if it doesn’t help.
This morning I had to get a medical test done. Lucky for me, my doctor called me right away with the news that the results of this test and the tests she did last week were all good. I’d had a new medical scare, one that I’d only told a couple/few friends about in detail, even though it could have been life-threatening. I’d been showing symptoms for months. And hadn’t told anyone. Because that’s the way I am. I don’t tell people stuff. I’m a crazy-private person. Someone else probably would have told a friend (or 2 or 3) and those friends would have insisted she see a doctor. But I have been overwhelmed with other health stuff. And I don’t share intimate stuff with friends. So I waited until things got really bad and then I went to the doctor. Who freaked out because I’d waited so long.
Anyway, I’m fine and relieved and don’t need a lot of comments from awesome people telling me you’re glad to hear that I’m fine. The point is that that’s the kind of person I am. I keep things to myself. I don’t feel the need to SHARE (though I am trying to learn how to do more of this in a social media-y kind of way because other people seem to like that and I’m trying to play along). The thought of giving people even more access to my real life makes me queasy.
In conclusion, I apologize about the rambling and the unsettling mental image of me in my undies making coffee. And I’m sorry if I sound like a cranky old woman. A commenter recently said that I sounded OLD and like the Jessica Fletcher of dating blogs. And he’s right. I am too old to think it’s normal to want to share every detail of my life with the world. And hey, Angela Lansbury looks damn good for her age.
This blog post is part of a blog-off series with a group of bloggers from different professions and world views, each exploring a theme from his/her world view. This was about exploring the theme, Privacy To explore how others handled the theme, check them out below.
Tags: apartment, privacy