Where Am I From? On Anonymity…

Oh, how I would love to answer that question. My hometown is intrinsic to my personality. It’s crafted me into who I am, and I love my neighbors and friends to hell and back. I also have a lot of jokes about my town that I’m sure readers would enjoy (one of my favorites is “___ is like a hippie’s armpit, earthy and unshaven”). But I live in such a small, specific little village that if someone from home read this, my identity would easily be guessed from any mention of its name.

Here's the sunset, anonymous islands in the distance.

Here’s the sunset, anonymous islands in the distance.

There are plenty of blogs on WordPress with the author’s real name easily accessible (often in narcissistically bold italics). It seems though, that at least an equal number of this blogging platform’s users are anonymous. I resolutely fall into that half. My reason for not including my name is that I want a greater freedom of expression, a sentiment that (correct me if I’m wrong) I think is reflected in the majority of anonymous blogs. Some people keep their names unknown because of the personal nature of their posts. Were I struggling with depression or other deeply personal problems, I think an anonymous blog would be a very helpful release. While that isn’t my predicament, my reasons are similar. I wanted a place to have a more honest public image than my real life one (and that’s saying something because I am very blunt in real life). I didn’t want to have to censor myself. If I were referring my Facebook friends to this blog, the content and stories I write would be entirely different. 

So in order to keep this honesty intact, I don’t want to tell you about my hometown. And that is a problem, because it is such an important factor in who I am. So much of what I say in real life is in reference to my town, some of it facetious and some emotional.  In my case, the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” really was the truth. And it still is raising me. I still go to the beach and look for shells and agates with friends like I did when I was in grade school. While my friends are different now, the underlying love for connection with others is still a constant ingrained since I was five. I grew up on speaking terms with hobos and hippies (again, great jokes). I love nature: the ocean is truly awesome, which I mean in the original definition, not the voice-cracking teen one. There is nothing more breathtaking than listening to the waves crash on the beach while the sun reflects off the cliffs. You would think they were made of glass its so brilliant. The town that I grew up in is a beautiful place, and a quirky community, even xenophobic at times. But most importantly, it is profoundly connected and has been a large extended family to me.  

In other words…what I’m saying is that words can’t really describe my town. It is so entirely different from anywhere else. I haven’t traveled much, but I know this to be true. Another thing that I know to be true is that you can’t really know me until you know where I am from. And that’s the one drawback of anonymity. In my effort to keep my identity unknown, there is dishonesty. Sure, I can write a completely honest post on my thoughts about something or another, but I can never really write that post as myself. I’ve traded one form of censorship for another. 

Prompt bloglifted from Across the Bored’s Big 5. http://acrossthebored.com/2014/02/19/the-big-5-where-are-you-from/

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One thought on “Where Am I From? On Anonymity…

  1. ideflex

    I also love anonymity for many of the same reasons that you do but that said, and despite some of its restrictions, it does let us become that person that we really were all along: perhaps even that bigger picture that no one saw or recognized because they were too close to see the details… Thank you for an insightful and well-crafted entry!

    Reply

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