Many of us have either read or heard Stephen Fry’s quote, “Who are you when no one’s watching?” Or listened to Blake Shelton’s song, “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking.” We create our blogs, our Facebook pages, our Twitter and Pinterest accounts, etc., to establish ourselves in the social media world, and yet we deliberately shield more of our true selves than we share and only allow the tiniest glimpse of who we are to glean through. I am not judging. I very deliberately live in a protected bubble, more so out of necessity than choice. I weigh my words before I share them on social media, I carefully select photographs that shroud my face, and I am careful about the topics I enter into exchanges on. However, there are moments when I drop my protective façade because the façade becomes too laborious to maintain, and I venture out from behind the veil of fear I wear and allow myself to share my thoughts, my ideas, and my beliefs without trepidation, but the moments are short-lived, and like the rabbit that burrows itself beneath the ground for protection, I retreat and burrow myself as quickly as the rabbit who becomes fearful and vulnerable.
We all have our reasons for protecting our true selves, for living within our bubbles, and for holding back pieces of ourselves. As authors, we are literary pundits when it comes to creating protective façades. Lately, I have been reading a lot of blogs, and since popping my head above ground and entering into a more social mode with some on social media, I have come to realize that for the first time in my life I am more the majority than the minority. I have also found myself asking my own version of Stephen Fry’s quote, “Who are you when you’re not on social media?”
Several years ago, my father told me that when I was a little girl he thought I was smarter than he was because I always asked him hard questions. While I saw this as quite the compliment at the time, I was also deeply disturbed that I was hearing this from my dad at the age of 38, or thereabouts, as I had struggled, unbeknownst at the time, with ADD in school and I had gone through life feeling less than everyone else and believing my brain was a defective brain. However, my defective brain was not enough to squash the curiosity I was born with. The curiosity that influenced my decisions to dismantle toasters as a preteen in an attempt to figure out exactly how toasters browned the bread; or from removing the cover plate from an electrical outlet to better comprehend the flow of electricity, etc.. I was a curious child, and I have remained curious throughout my life – curious about the things I have yet to learn, and curious about the questions that appear out of nowhere and begin traversing through my mind. Thank heavens for Google, or perhaps, more than the heavens, I should thank the Stanford University, Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, for founding Google.
As a child, I found I could go places and learn things I never imagined possible when I read; reading and a love for words kept me hyper-focused. Through reading, I discovered a hunger within me, and unbeknownst to me at the time, also discovered there was a writer hidden deep within me. Later in life, I had a better understanding of my life when I read what would become one of my most beloved books, the Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L’Amour. Until I understood ADD, and Google came along, it was Louis who helped me understand my love for learning. I believed Louis L’Amour’s autodidact style of learning was the best way for one with a defective brain to learn. Later on, as an adult, my ADD was diagnosed and treated, and off to college I went, majoring in English and graduating magna cum laude. So much for my defective brain.
So who is D.B. Moore aka Inkpen when no one’s watching, or when I’m on social media? I am pretty much who you see, but with less of my protective façade and more often without the veil of fear I wear. I’m pensive, curious, and believe it or not, I’m humorous too. Some would say I am a loner or a recluse, and they would be partly correct – it’s all about the timing. When I am reading and writing, I am very much the reclusive type, but this is necessary to who I am as a writer. Writing is a reclusive art form, and my artist friends understand this. However, it is, more often than not, those who do not have an artist’s spirit that do not understand my need for solitude, and I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself. Last year, death took three loved ones from me. 2014 morphed into 2015 and what is clearer to me today than ever before is just how short this wonderful life of ours is – there is not time for needless explications, but there is time enough for more love and less judging.