I'm coming off a very lovely but very busy weekend. Saturday I spent mostly in the kitchen washing dishes and cleaning up as the Amazing Flatmate had decided to host a packing party - everyone came over with packs of everyday items like socks and combs, deodorant, Vaseline, toothbrushes and so forth, and we distributed them and packed them into little gift bags to donate to the women's shelter. There was plenty of food and drink and people came over and packed and laughed and it was really, really nice.
Everyone who came was awesome.
Sunday was my kung fu school's annual Christmas get together. I had a small freak-out in the morning as I realised that I had nothing nice to wear. Having a costumer for a flatmate really helps in situations like this. I borrowed a little black dress, acquired some pretty stockings with floral designs on them and then was ready to go.
Honestly, I should be paying that woman a wage.
It was lovely to see the crew, as it always is. There was plenty of good food and laughter and merriment to be had. I've said it before, I'll say it again. I love the Wutan crew. I don't know what I'll do with my time now that training is over for the year. I will need to make some space in the house, though, so I can practice my forms. I'm tired of continually forgetting everything!
But recounting the weekend isn't the point of today's blog. Today I want to discuss something a friend mentioned to me last week after Thursday's blog post.
He thought that I was, apparently, brave. His actual words were:
"It takes courage for someone to open up the way you do... and publicly.
Courage? What? I was just describing the shitty week I'd had, while fully recognising that I wasn't the image of graciousness about the whole affair.
To be honest, I'm still a little confused about the whole thing. I hardly consider myself courageous in any way, shape or form. After all, I'm hiding behind a computer screen most of the time, just typing words into the void that is the internet, one of thousands of voices to be ignored. Not only that, but I get very stressed any time interacting with people is called for. This is all lead up to the event, of course. I'm fine once I'm there. Even so, it's hardly courageous of me to freak out.
I also tend to avoid confrontation like the plague. I'd much rather hide under my blankets, thank you very much.
There is a whole list of faults and little cowardices of which I am wholly guilty, so when I look in the mirror, courage is not what I see. What I see is me; a woman, a gamer, a writer, a silly person, an intellectual. I see straw hair and crooked teeth, a bad temper and a big heart. I see a hard history and a the possibility of a promising future. I see frustration, tears, odd moods, depression. I see the scars of mistreatment, and all the wonderful things that have helped build me up in my wonderful friendships.
In short, I see a human being.
Is presenting oneself as a human being in the online world courageous? It surprises me to think that this might be so.
I don't feel particularly courageous, as I've already said. I present myself online in much the same manner as I present myself off line,,, as me. I try to be honest with my readers, because I believe that you deserve it. I also believe that the majority of you are awesome and so I feel I can be honest. Also, it's become a policy of mine.
I want to be me for my readers, so that if ever I manage to pull together a book tour (hah!), none of you would be disappointed after meeting me. It's only fair, right? I mean, how much would it suck to meet someone who was one way online only to find out that they're a whole different person in person. It's only fair that I let you all know what to expect if ever we happen to meet.
So, I still think it's really weird that at least one person finds me brave for simply being myself. I mean, I'm flattered... I guess. But I don't consider my particular brand of honesty particularly courageous.
It's odd, the differences in how you see yourself and how others see you. So, today I'm asking a question of you.
Has anyone ever said something about you that took you completely by surprise? Enquiring mind wants to know.