“I admire how you can post about your life on Facebook & Instagram, without being too personal.”
That’s a common sentiment that I’ve been receiving from friends in regards to what I post online. Below are a sampling of posts that have so far only been seen by friends.
A positive one, sharing my endorphin high from movement:-
An introspective & reflective one:-
And one that provides a glimpse into my mental & emotional struggles:-
As far as I can remember, I have been writing my thoughts in a journal. My earliest memory of that was when I was 8 or 9 years old.
Somehow, that little girl was convinced that people don’t take well to dramatics. Without someone to talk to, writing was her only way of working through her emotions, feelings, thoughts, fears, and dreams.
That was the start of my journalling, and in the process, I also developed my elastic-poker face—my face could change into appropriate reactions based on the situation or comment, or not show any emotion at all. In fact, someone once asked why I don’t scream or shout or throw things about when I am angry; I just didn’t see how all these could solve a problem!
I mastered the art of suppressing my true emotions. Because I felt that this was the safest way of getting people to like me—no dramas, no emotional outbursts, no embarrassing situations.
As a result, many people never felt like they knew me or could get close to me. I had a very tiny circle of close friends, and even they didn’t see the authentic Patricia (my name before I changed it in 2003).
Even through the years of my marriage, I kept a tight lid on what was happening. All the uncertainty, the questions, the feelings of inadequacy & not being understood. I pushed it all in, and suffered through it all. I had also stopped writing during the time of my marriage, so keeping a journal was no longer a habit.
It was only during the period of going through the marriage separation that I started writing things out again. This time, I did share some things on social media, because friends started wondering what was going on—why was I back in SG suddenly, with no announcements.
Through sharing my thoughts, emotions, fears & uncertainty of the situation, I discovered who were my true friends, and who couldn’t accept the authentic version of me.
This wasn’t something new or a surprise—I had been through a life changing experience in the year 2002, and the same thing happened. Still, it was an eye-opener to the various characters of the people who were in my life.
Yet, through authentically sharing my life, I realised that it brought me closer to more people, whether they be friends, acquaintances, business associates, or even strangers.
Somehow, my emotions were not new—they were experienced by others at some point of their life, or even currently in their own lives. They could relate to my questions, and my journey.
I wrote about small wins, huge wins, disappointments, betrayals, heartbreaks, heartwarming times, farewells, new connections, music that made me cry, music that made me dance, food that made me feel invincible…
Through it all, what I never did was pinpoint people, especially if I experienced anything challenging, disappointing or heartbreaking. You won’t see me writing, “S/he said this” or “S/he should have done that” or “S/he didn’t do that”.
Because it is never about what the other person did or didn’t do, should or shouldn’t have done, could or couldn’t have done.
Rather, it is about how I react or didn’t react to it, what I glean from the experience, and if I wasn’t comfortable with what happened, what can I do for the next time.
So yes, I will continue to share of my authentic self online. I hope that it continues to create a connection with all who read this, and especially to my coaching clients who see this, you realise that I have walked the journey you are walking now, so you are not alone.