I have a confession to make.
I’m leading a double life.
This is, of course, not at all a surprise to all of you because you’re all in on the secret life, which is, after all, quite public if you know this name. Given that writing is the heart and soul of who I am, I feel very much like this is my real life and the stuff I do under my real name is just a sham–something I do to pay the bills.
The two don’t overlap a lot.
Online I am a member of a marvelously vibrant community of other writers and readers who totally get me and my weird jokes and mood swings.
In real life, I have been recently reminded that I am the odd duck out and am, generally, often forgotten about. At least twice in the last week, I’ve been around my immediate team coworkers and overheard bits of conversation that made it obvious that they all hang out together outside work. Like, the entire team except for me. It made me feel…weird. 99% of the time, I just assume that people don’t hang out with the people they work with because I don’t, and it’s totally natural to use one’s own experience as a frame of reference. But it’s looking more and more like I’m the strange one for not.
It’s not that I have some burning desire to hang out with these folks (although I do like them quite a lot–they are great to work with), as it would cut into my already limited writing time. But I find myself feeling kind of morose that they never even asked. I do not at all think that this was a deliberate exclusion, but now I feel all weird and awkward and very very conscious that my social life outside work and our two pairs of couple friends is…nonexistent.
This is a state of affairs I’m totally accustomed to and mostly okay with because on the rare occasions I do seek out social interaction other than my weekly lunch buddies, I usually wind up wishing I were home, online, talking to my friends who really know me. Because I don’t feel like I can talk about the writing with these real life folks. They aren’t writers, and even if they don’t directly shut me down (which has happened in the past), they definitely don’t get it and largely aren’t that interested. I don’t want to talk about work, so if you take away writing, the only thing I have left to talk about is food. While almost everyone loves to eat the fruits of my labor and appreciates my enthusiasm, even that tends to get a leery eye.
So…yeah. I’m feeling funky right now. And very very appreciative of all of you.