Many of us have family members we wish we could disown. We are convinced that their DNA could have nothing in common with ours and suspect they were switched at birth. We also have ex’s, well I better not go there…
Kids we went to camp with who knew we still wet the bed at 8. The first boy who we ever kissed and locked braces with accidentally. The job we were fired from at 24, or the employee we just terminated. Our pastors, priests and rabbis, for whom we try and look pious. Our bosses for whom we try and look dedicated and sober. Our children for whom we want to look responsible and steadfast.
We know people who knew us when we had a full head of hair, were a cheerleader (or couldn’t make the squad), were thin, were prom queen or class geek. They knew our old noses, when we struck out and if we cheated on tests.
We have close friends who know lots of things about us, but everything. Our new romantic interests don’t know all about our past. And our past romantic interests haven't figured out how to reach out to the new one(s).
We spend our lives building walls between our work life, play life, community life, being-on-good- behavior life, school life, early life, the life we want others to think we have, the life we really have, our partying-hard life and our past we- want- no- one- to- ever- find- out- about life. And then, with a few random friend requests and friends of friends we are outted to the world!
Our boss knows that your calling in sick last Monday was a direct result of your partying too late Sunday night when he sees a pic of you wearing a lampshade and nothing else. And our kids will find out we actually inhaled – lots! The best impression we hoped to make with our new boyfriend’s parents is ruined by our old boyfriend’s private store of provocative pics we were stupid enough to share with him.
People we are interviewing with for a new job can post on your wall with all your work team watching. And that purple mohawk you sported at 16 might end up becoming the golf buddy’s pic of the month. Playing paintball on weekends, when everyone thought you were on the Hamptons playing tennis might alter your swanky image. And that unguarded moment when you left your house in your sloppiest sweats, bunny slippers and without brushing your hair to get a quart of milk, hoping you wouldn’t run into anyone you knew, becomes your claim to fame as your pic is tagged and spreading like wildfire.
Welcome to the collision of your past, present and future - the good, the bad and the ugly. We no longer have any secrets or places to hide them. We can never get a fresh start. We are what we are…and everyone will know what that is.
Think about it.