If you asked me to tell you 10 facts about myself, the first would probably be that I have no filter, which would make a smooth segway into the next 9 facts which would probably be wholly inappropriate and quite possibly cringe worthy. Of course what I mean by this statement is that my personal lines between what I should and shouldn’t say and to whom are very blurred, or non-existent. I know that I shouldn’t say fuck in front of small children or the elderly, but that’s about as far as it goes. This is why, since the birth of affordable home internet in my early teens (if you are trying to calculate my age I am 33, or 29 and 28 months) I have always been more comfortable behind a computer screen than ensconced in a real in-person conversation. Emails can be read and re-read, written and re-written until the content and the potential reader match up. Same with blog posts and to a lesser or greater extent all social media. Frankly even I think that a lot more people should think twice before pressing send, post, tweet ad infinitum.
So why this topic and why today? With George Osborne’s budget, announced today, we have seen a lot more happen than the 2p rise on the duty of fags and 5p that of lager (‘the blaggards’, my dad in 1992). Under the tyrannous reign of the Conservatives, the poor, elderly and disabled have seen cuts that have completely upended lives, and in some cases actually ended them. I have so much to say on this subject and yet I have shied away from blogging about these topics at all because of the ‘don’t talk about religion or politics or you’ll alienate people’ figuratively unwritten rule of blogging.
Similarly, I have eschewed anything to personal for at least the last year due to finding out more people than I realised read my blog, some of whom I naively thought never would. The most innocent and inconsequential facts were used to belittle and undermine me. But writing about myself and my experiences, how on earth could I judge what would land me in hot water or cause some sort of trouble? I couldn’t, so I didn’t. I stuck to safe topics. I read and re-read. I wrote and re-wrote. I worried. The enjoyment I had gained from blogging tanked to practically nil. I still wanted to ‘do good things’, for me this is sharing my experiences in the hope that they would resonate with, entertain or even help others, especially those with disabilities. I started to feel that even when I did write, it wasn’t in my voice, it wasn’t me.
Because I don’t have a filter, and for the most part I don’t care what other people think. I still won’t say fuck in front of the small children or the elderly, but today I pledge to start being me again and stop trying to be all things to all people. Some people will like me and what I say, and some won’t, but this is true of life. As the we we communicate and socialise with others continues to evolve before our eyes, I want to be excited, and I want to be a part of that…dammit I am! I don’t ever want someone to meet me and think ‘she’s a totally different person than she is online’ because that is something I have always gone out of my way to avoid, it’s phony and it’s not what I’m about.
So today, the fucking budget and the fucking Tories have marked an end to my self censorship. One good thing, for me at least, to come from the fucking Tory government!