Thursday, March 27, 2008

What to Reveal

I’m going through some changes right now. We’re downsizing in preparation for becoming empty nesters. My youngest will fly the coop this coming summer and head off for college. I’ve got a new novel coming out this summer that is more revelatory than even Katrina’s Wings.
In preparation for media interviews, I’ve recently outlined the story of my past deciding which parts to put in and which to leave out, hoping that what I leave in is beneficial and that what I leave out stays left out.

Deciding what parts of the self to show to others is something we women decide all of the time. We evaluate ourselves all of the time too: Should I have confessed that? Will I be judged now that they know?

When I was growing up, there were testimonies floating around that were “tell-all” stories. It seemed that rising stars were trying to one-up each other to prove who had the worst past. The truth is we all have a past. Being authentic is about taking off the mask so that we all see that we’re not perfect. It helps me to judge whether or not I’m growing and maturing to read my own timeline. But sharing authentically should not drag me back into the past so that my mistakes can be picked over. Sharing your story should not exploit you, but simply show that you are a pilgrim like everyone else.
Still, I do it with fear and trepidation.