Sunday, June 15, 2008

Compartmentalization Woes

I wouldn't describe myself as an integrated person. I like to compartmentalize my life. I go to Church on Sunday and I can be the Seminary Teacher/mom with 8 kids/faithful Mormon and I know how to talk the talk. Then I go on my blog and emote about feminist issues and polygamy and the washing of feet. But now that DH is a blogger he actually TELLS REAL PEOPLE where to find me online. And someone who knows me through blogging has MOVED IN TO MY WARD!! (Hi, Tim!) Recently I joined Facebook and GoodReads, and I made the awful mistake of adding Church friends, my children, Seminary students, and blog friends. It's caused the most awful angst.

For example, there are books I want to review intellectually on Goodreads but because of my audience I'm feeling a strange compulsion to say things like, "you don't want to read this book, there was way too much sex in it--wait, this is a book everyone should read because it deals with issues we should never forget!"

And then my kids were checking out my friends on facebook and wanted to know who "Nick" was. (A gay guy I met blogging. Great example of online behavior, Mom.)

So all this makes me think. When I get to my new ward, who will I be? Will I sit back quietly and let everyone see me as Molly Mormon? Will I compartmentalize the difficult and unorthodox parts of myself?


Maraiya said...

I say, "Let 'em have it." Hmph. Like I'm one to talk. Seriously, though, I have slowly started to speak up more and I'm amazed how much I have in common with those around. (I just found out my RS president has a weakness for a romance author I myself enjoy.) And even if we differ, there are those who can see the validity of my view point regardless of how they themselves think of the matter. Good luck though.

Jo said...

Whoo hoo! You are coming back to the states.
Thanks for your sweet comment on Sue's blog, I am beyond flattered.

Kalola said...

I doubt you will "sit back quietly and let everyone see me as Molly Mormon." You will be yourself and the members of your ward will love you.

bwebster said...

Just post away. The only guidelines I try to follow are those my mother (not LDS, by the way) drummed into me while I was growing up: "Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?" I've mentioned my blog to quite a few members of my ward; I'm not sure what they really think of it, but I haven't had any feedback one way or the other.

My kids grew up surrounded by as many of my books as I could get out onto bookshelves, and once they began reading, we swapped books back and forth. If there was content I was unhappy with (say, the sexual content in George R. R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series), I simply said, "I'm not happy with the sexual content of these books -- but they're still great novels."

Since they've reached adulthood, I've occasionally bought books at Christmas for all the kids. A few years back, I bought everyone a copy of Modern Sex by Myron Magnet, a choice that startled the kids until they read the subtitle ("Liberation and Its Discontents") and the inside flap (the book is about the cultural aftermath of the "sexual revolution").

Beyond that, I just can't afford "compartmentalization." Much of the work I do is as an expert witness, and opposing attorneys have already dug up everything they can find by me and about me that's available online. I have to assume everything that I write or post will be seen by people intent on discrediting me.

Not a bad approach to life. ..bruce..

Stephen said...

I'd worry more about getting used to being back stateside ...

My parents spent a long time in Saudia, first near Abba and then on the eastern coastal area.

Wish you well in sorting yourself out on your return.

Tim said...

Be yourself. I couldn't wait to meet you when I moved to Saudi. AND you're one of the reasons that my family felt it would be ok to take a job here.
I like that you make people "think." But at the same time you're not telling people to ignore the Prophet.
I admire all the research that you do and the discussions on your blog. I'm waiting for a book.

Bored in Vernal said...

Thanks Tim--I'm glad I got to meet you. There aren't too many people who know the "real me."

Maraiya said...

I have been thinking of you quite a bit lately and this post. When I first stumbled upon your blog I was immediately drawn to your posts partly because they were a bit controversial but mostly because they were sincere and well thought out and researched. I know others who criticize the church or struggle with testimonies but are content to either leave altogether or just keep with the status quo. I find you examined faith to be refreshing and inspiring. I also appreciate that you are better read on your faith than many of those who would practice "reverse missionary work."

As JGW posted on his blog, "One learned [wo]man is harder on the Devil than a thousand ignorant worshipers"

Hope your travel is going well.

Love, M

PS - thanks for your compliment on Sue's blog. It brought me up short to see my name in print and I didn't type it. Thank you. I think the world of you.