I’m just a small town girl, which has shown me one thing: I never, ever want to be famous. Ever. I never want to walk down the street, swarmed by fans and have cameras thrust in my face at every turn. I never want to have to struggle to keep my private life private. I want to be able to come and go as I please. Live my life on my terms.
So then why does it feel like I’m smack dab in the middle of a red carpet, being grilled about why I wore my hair the way I did today (it’s down, a simple bobby pin keeping my long bangs from my face, if you must know)?
Because small town living.
My county has a population of 37,000 people spread out over about 17 different towns. Breaking it down, that’s really not a lot of people. Topping it off: Both sides of my family, the DiNapolis and the Vanorses are well known in this county. Everyone knows one side or the other. Add to that, my job. It’s puts me out there in the public frequently, be it covering games, attending something for theSCENE, etc. And the final piece of this pie? Being a personal trainer, or a small business owner, leaves me still out there, in the open.
The first 20 some odd years of my life were lived in relative obscurity. Once in awhile, I’d cross paths with someone who knew my family, and that was that. Somewhere, about eight or nine years ago, these people I’d cross paths with became more and more, and what was worse was: They felt that they had a right to my life.
The more I became known in my job (it happens when you’re the sole woman in a male dominated department), I could add complete strangers to the mix. People I didn’t know approaching me, and because I worked for their local news source, they felt they owned me.
Life changing events, like marriage, babies, etc, draw out the worst in people. And my pregnancy has certainly been no exception to this rule. It had pulled people out in droves, the masses able to access me with harassing, menacing words in regards to my size, my continued lifestyle of staying healthy and working out, and more. When I didn’t know right at 20-weeks what we were having due to scheduling issues (another small town pitfall, when doctors are out, you have to wait), I was criticized. Despite it being out of my hands, and only two weeks later, at 22-weeks, we had our scan and found out we were having a healthy baby boy. Now it’s the name thing. Because we have decided to wait until we meet our miracle before naming him, criticism.
A lot of it, I have zero control over. I cannot quit my job. I cannot voice to these people how I really feel about their intrusion to my life, as I risk losing my job and it can damage my business. I can only continue to sigh, let it roll off of my back and move on.
I do not want these people to feel that they have a right to my child. Because they do not. He is entitled to a quiet and private life, just like my husband is. Just as I, when I’m on my own time, should be entitled to the freedom of living my life. Yet, no one gives me that opportunity.
The one area that I do have control of it? Social media. Twitter and Instagram are great platforms. They’re basic, they’re simple, and to my benefit, not entirely “in” in my area. They’re obscure forms to socialize. And I love them dearly. The profile you see of me is genuine on those platforms. The life of fitness, my crazy dog, and more. I’m honest and I’m open there. Why? Because it’s free of scrutiny of the public eye here.
Facebook? No. Despite my locked down settings, my vague profile on there, it left me too accessible to the public. So what did I do? I deactivated my account. I clicked that button and felt an incredible sense of freedom. I know it’s only one small aspect in the grand scheme of what is really going on here, in my small corner of the world. But it has taken a great weight off of my shoulders. I feel I can breathe a little easier. I can focus on my pregnancy, my family, my work, my business…
It’s amazing how something so small can be so big at the same time.
But now the issue being faced is: As the designated poster for sports previews, championship stories, etc, I no longer have access to the one driving source in our social media world here at the company I work for. So, who will pick up the social media input? Which brings the question of, can an employer maintain a social profile? Or is it up for them to decide?
I’ve certainly opened quite a rank can of worms with the click of a button.