Last week, I spent a decent part of the week in introspection. I do that now and again. Its the only way I can gut check myself and figure out what I am doing right and wrong.
I found that in my zeal to “be me,” I forgot to “be me.” I was trying so hard to become my vision of “perfect Micah,” and lost sight of real Micah.
Why does that matter?
Well, I live in public. Not quite as much as Josh Harris did, but enough to allow anyone to call me, IM me, figure out where I am, email me, send a monkey call, basically connect to me in anyway at anytime they want. I do keep my personal relationships private. Well, as private as someone who lives so publicly can.
Every other Wednesday, I head down to Denver and spend time with my therapist. Ive done it now for four years (it was weekly for the better part of three and a half of those years), and its always a mix of gut check and emotions rubbed raw. Last Wednesday, I finished my day with dinner with my friends Danny and Christy, who, over the course of several hours, and a meal at Ajuua!! convinced me to explore the concept of going on 25 dates with 25 women over the course of some time. The concept was that I spend so much time working and by myself, that forcing myself to date would be a good thing. I wrote the requisite blog post, and spent time talking and thinking about it.
After all, in my Year of People, it sort of fit.
The first person to tell me I was being an idiot was my friend Micki. “Micah, you idiot!” Micki said. “You cant be totally truthful. And what happens if you like one of the women you go out with? Or hate them? Can you blog that?
I started getting emails and tweets that landed on both sides of the argument. “You are a startup CEO, where will you find the time?” or “Do it! It would be a great book project!”
Then this morning, my friend Jessica wrote a post about public breakups and social media oversharing. Which got me thinking. Ive done a good job (I think) of keeping the demise of my relationships as (relatively) quiet as their existence was. Even in the world of publicity, some level of privacy matters. Some small thing, that is yours and no one elses is important.
So after reading Jessica’s post, I left a comment. In it I said:
I live in public because i view myself as a member of the world community. I live in public because I am proud of what I have become. I also know that at times, my life is sad, and I get just as emo as the next guy. Having people within my community telling me it’s going to be ok outweighs the negative effect of the few who attempt to take advantage of the situation.
And the more and more I thought about it, the more I realized, that was the exact reason I give you me. The exact reason I live publicly. And, the exact reason I am not going to do the 25 dates thing. I live in public. Its not my place to bring someone else into my life and blog about the experience unless they too are willing to live in public. Its not fair. Its just not right.
So, as I live this year with the intent of creating real connections with real people in a real way, I am going to do it in the right way. Will I go out on 25 dates? Probably. Will I blog about them. Maybe. But, its not going to be some social experiment.
When we decide to participate in social media, it brings light to everything about us, no matter how much we try and hide it. I know that I continue to live openly and honestly, because those are two values that I hold above all others. I give you me, because it forces me to be the best person I can be daily. I dont need social media for that, but I do need to live publicly.