Two years and one day ago, I styled my hair a new way.
Today I twist my hair up like that several times a week.
Two years and one day ago, I wore a new black dress with purple flowers.
Today that dress is too big for me, but it hangs in my closet for curvier days ahead.
Two years ago, I had my shared apartment to myself because Lauren was out of town.
Today Lauren and I have our own apartments down the street from each other.
Two years ago, I drank 3-4 cans of Diet Coke with Lime a day.
Today I drink 3-4 cans of Diet Coke, sometimes with Lime, a week.
One year and one day ago, I said good-bye to my family in the South and moved to the Midwest.
Today I’ve lived in the same city, without interruption, for the longest amount of time since graduating high school.*
One year ago, I wrote the scariest post I’d ever written.
Today I take the first step to losing my anonymity.**
|Taking selfies without showing my face is HARD, y'all!|
My reasons for anonymity are legit. I think wanting to discuss sensitive topics like sex and sexuality with complete honesty is difficult without anonymity. I mostly read lifestyle blogs, and y’all don’t talk about sex. Like, ever. Which is totally fine and your prerogative and I respect that decision completely, because sex is personal. But I can’t talk about virginity without talking about sex, and I don’t know if I could have maintained this blog for the last two years if my parents, former professors, colleagues, etc. had been reading it.
But anonymity is tiring. I think twice before I tweet about what I’m doing. Does this refer to my location? I crop all my photos. How much of my face can I reveal before it identifies me too much? I have to keep track of pseudonyms for every single person in my life. I was hanging out with Hardy and Lauren, and damn it, where’s my list of best friends? What do I call… James, that’s it. I call him James.
And I write and write and write. I tweet and tweet and tweet. I comment everywhere. I buy ads on other blogs. I’m myself. I’m authentic. I paid for a blog design. I do all that stuff I’m supposed to do to build blog traffic, and it’s not enough.
Because the people who know me IRL aren’t allowed to post my blog to facebook, or link it to any mutual friends. Because I can’t ask my friends and family to like my facebook page.
Because the network I have who comment all over my personal facebook wall, who send me links to articles on sexual assault and modesty culture and France and women’s history, who email me to thank me for the work I do, who ask me if I blog, who share all over the place the tiny handful of public writing I do…
They have no idea Belle Vierge exists. Or if they’ve stumbled across her (this happened once), they don’t realize Belle is me.
But as much as I want to shed my cloak of anonymity and shout to the rooftops that I’m happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time, I’m not there yet.
I don’t really think my parents should find out I’m bisexual via a blog post, nor do I think it’s right or fair to attach H’s name to his assholery. And those of you who do know me IRL, and those of you who I met here who have discovered my real name, I think y’all will agree that my first name is unique. Unique enough that fear of discovery by future potential employers is a legitimate concern.
Seriously, if you google my first and last name, you find results for three people. That’s it. I share my name with a lawyer and with a photographer. Also my firstnamelastname.com domain name has already been taken, alas.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few weeks thinking about this post. Planning what I would write. And I should note, for the record, that I’m writing this the actual evening of July 30, 2013, still torn on what to reveal of myself while still allowing the freedom to be myself.
I realized I’m not so worried about people finding my blog and realizing it’s me as I am people knowing who I am, looking me up online, and discovering my blog. The first involves searching for certain qualities and associating them with me. The latter is only knowing me or my name and suddenly discovering some rather strong opinions and personal information.
So here are some things
I never directly mentioned before.
I turned 26 back in June, hence all the freaking out about working at JCP for health benefits. Beau turns 27 in September.
I finished undergrad in May 2009, with a double-major in History and French and a concentration in Women’s and Gender Studies. Beau graduated in 2009 as well, but we didn’t meet each other until two years ago.
I studied in Versailles Fall 2007, but I technically lived in Le Chesnay. I moved to Le Vésinet the beginning of September 2009 to work as an au pair for a half-French, half-Irish family. I moved to Niort the end of September 2010 to teach English. My cousins live in Saint Germain-en-laye.
I have a tattoo on my right foot that says Soixante dix huit, which refers to the zip code of Le Vésinet. My three best friends Jane, Ali, and Crystal have matching tattoos. Yes, I just had to look at my best friend tag to remember their pseudonyms.
|Matching tattoos! Acquired July 4, 2010.|
I know when and where I’m getting married, but that’s all I’m saying on the topic.
I work for a start-up company that's building an online business. We recently partnered with our web designers, so I'm currently doing a lot of work for them.
But these are some details I’m not
ready to reveal, and why.
My sorority: I interned with my sorority two summers ago. I am a single member of Delta Nu. I am an individual. I am not representative of an entire group of women across the world. My affiliation is very important to me, but as a former employee of my sorority, it would be irresponsible of me to discuss which Greek organization is mine.
My alma mater: I went to a small liberal arts school. I was not popular, but I was well-known. This also relates to the whole future potential employers thing.
My home state and my current state: If you know my home state, you can guess my alma mater. If you know my current state, you can guess my sorority.
My name and the names of others: My name is too unusual to blast all over my blog. I respect the privacy of my friends’ identities not to reveal their names.
The biggest thing I’m ready to reveal.
What Beau and I look like!
|My dear friend's wedding, May 2012.|
Two years of pictures that don't show my sorority (I wear my Delta Nu flip flops all the time) or Beau's alma mater (he wears his engineering school shirts all the time).
|Thanksgiving 2011, our first picture as an official couple!|
|In Manhattan, when Beau spontaneously visited me, February 2012.|
|Out and about in Toronto, June 2012.|
|Christmas in Denver, 2012.|
|My birthday party, June 2013.|
It's been a great two years, y'all. I look forward to many more years of blogging about sex and virginity, Christianity and feminism, books and boobs.
I just can't promise to stay a demi-vierge forever.
*I was at the same university all four years, but I came home every summer. So technically I was in one place for like, nine months at a time.
**I bet you thought I was going to say lose my VIRGINITY. Nuh-uh, GOT YOU!
***I tried to choose a variety of pictures of me at different weights and with/without make-up. I want y'all to see why my current body shape worries me. I want y'all to see that make-up isn't necessary to be happy. I feel beautiful in all these pictures, even bare-faced or too skinny.