Personal, Self Care
Comments 11

Setting Your Own Boundaries

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When I closed shop on Findingravity a year and a half ago, it was an emotional move. For five years, Findingravity documented my early twenties, my time living in New York City, and one of my most prominent long term relationships. It eventually became one of my most prominent breakups. Watching someone you love dearly move their half of three years out of your shared home hurts in a way I’ll never forget. And while the relationship wasn’t a failure, it was still disappointing to reach a conclusion that it also wasn’t really a success. We were young, coming from two separate countries, living in an arduous city, and our hearts were yearning for different things.

That’s life.

One aspect of the breakup that I had a hard time dealing with was how public it felt. Friends, family, and complete strangers suddenly had these opinions. Big opinions. On one hand, when you’re emailing a complete stranger on the internet to tell them they’re making a giant mistake about their life choices, you’re assuming the person on the other end of cyberspace wants to know what you think. On the other hand, sharing your life online (on purpose) doesn’t allow you a lot of privacy. When I tell my readers to email me anytime, I mean it. And you do. And most of the time it’s wonderful!

For the first half of my writing career I was transparent about everything. I actually joke when I start dating someone that if they want to go digging for my skeletons they can read about them online. I wanted each person to feel like they were getting the real me, and each piece to feel personal, as if we were kicking it at a coffee shop sharing a warm bevvie in a, “Sup, Homie?” kind of way. But Findingravity began to feel like a bit of a fishbowl, and five years ago while I sat at my computer wide eyed and eagerly pressing publish 3-4 times a week, I didn’t stop to think about how it might feel later down the road.

Now I feel proud. And brave.
But at the time I was overwhelmed.
I needed to set some boundaries.

I wear my mind on my sleeve and my heart in writing. Both make up my entire being. While  I don’t have much to hide at this point in my life, setting some personal boundaries about what I will and won’t share on this blog has been pivotal in preserving some level of privacy, but even more so in choosing the new direction of this blog. I want to share my journey in a way that is focused and productive, because every subject line that started with “Why did you guys break up?”, every email that ended with “You seemed so perfect for each other!”, and every question that probed, “What HAPPENED?” inflicted self doubt on the choices I knew I had to make to be happy. If there’s one thing I preach day in and day out on this blog, is that you have to take care of yourself FIRST.

It’s really, really, really important.

The closing of Findingravity gave me a year and a half of distance, and the launch of The Renegade Rulebook finally feels like I’m writing in a way that reflects what I’ve spent the last five years building. So, guys, know that we’ll be pushing some serious boundaries on this blog together, but we’ll also be working together to set a few for ourselves.

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11 Comments

  1. Carley –

    I love this. I think I often have trouble wondering what I should and shouldn’t share in regards to personal relationships and things that may have happened secondarily to me but are still an important makeup of who I am.

    Setting boundaries is obviously important. And I think it’s something that I struggle with often.

    I am so excited to see what this new focus brings to the blog and to hear more about what is happening with your journey as you share the pieces that are most important to you.

    Keep looking out for you and doing what is best for you (it’s a lesson I’m still trying to learn and implement the right way).

    xoxo,

    Elise

  2. Mrs. P says

    Welcome back! Good idea to set boundaries ’cause fishbowls don’t have curtains…and once it’s out there, you can’t take it back no matter what emotions are connected to it.

    I like the honesty in your writing and I’m certain that will still shine through.

    • “Fishbowls don’t have curtains” is such an awesome line! I wish I’d written that.

      Thanks for reading, as always!

  3. Wraps says

    You strove for a level of personal understanding and self love and forgiveness that many people neglect to do out of fear. You continue to inspire me with your story and your accomplishments and may I will always be honored to share in that journey. You are brave

  4. I am so glad to read this post. I have been wondering about this every time you pop up for some time, but was not keen to ask as it’s none of my business.

    Life is hard, decisions are hard. Your openness was perfect for that time, new boundaries are perfect for this time. I’m glad to see you are doing so well 🙂

    • Thank you for your kind words — and it’s CRAZY to me that my readers to this day even think of it! (It’s been like 3 years…wild!) BUT, I appreciate the thoughtfulness so much. I think I just needed a clean slate that better represented who I’ve grown to be and what I want to write about! Nahmean?

      Thanks for sticking around. You guys are the coolest.

      • I think I mainly still think of it because I’m from (and am still living in) Newcastle and was in a new relationship at the time you were writing about yours 😉 It’s funny how we as people can feel a connection with someone over such things.

        I totally know what you mean about needing a clean slate. I’ve been reconsidering my own blog for that reason. I love your new direction! 🙂

    • Thank you! So glad you like the new direction! And I’m glad some of you are still around to enjoy this journey with me. Can’t wait to see where we go!

  5. I’ve thought a lot about this topic too. I sometimes feel too exposed and question whether I can trust the online community with personal life details. Sometimes I get paranoid that my children’s pictures will be used in a sick way on a bad site, or that someone will stalk me (haha, sort of…). But then I think that this is the life of a writer, whether online or in a paperback, we are exposing ourselves in the most vulnerable way, and opening ourselves to criticism or creepy people or well-meaning wanna-be friends. I guess it’s about striking balance and boundaries 🙂 xo

    • It’s tough! Because while I feel so comfortable sharing (and I think back to Findingravity which was what? 5 years ago?) It seems like we’ve all just known each other forever. But at the end of the day — this stuff is out there in the world for anyone to read / judge / critique. And that’s a super vulnerable place to be!

      But like you said — the life of the writer. And the beauty is, we get to decide what we do and don’t share!

      Always value your thoughtful responses. Thank you! xo

  6. Such a great and true post. Perhaps boundary-setting is particularly difficult for writers since writing is used as a personal outlet to work life out. Dancers dance it out, runners run it out, writers write it out. That line of what stays in your head and what comes out of it can be so blurry sometimes. In fact your post made me laugh because of this very problem; I’d come across tons of journals filled with angst from my teen years. After reading them and feeling extreme embarrassment, I thought “Ohman no one can ever see these I should burn them now”, followed by “Ohman I should blog about this.” I still haven’t made up my mind, but it’s nice to know there’s freedom in deciding this for myself.

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