Well, sometime in January something terrifying-life-changing-mainly-yikes happened to me.
A publisher, non-giveaway ARC arrived on my doorstep.
And then, cue the parents.
Alright, I guess I didn’t really think this one through and it was honestly my fault, but they’re like “Who’s Vicky?” (because, internet safety, y’all. if you thought this was my real name…oof.)
This was at 11 pm and I was about to sleep (ya girl needs her beauty sleep) and so I ended up with this really awkward short 10 second-ish conversation that went something like this:
“Yeah, um, that’s me. I blog.”
*blank stares from the parental units*
*thinking that they can’t be serious, can they? do they know me this little?*
“Okay. Well, it’s late and you can go to sleep and see what’s inside tomorrow.”
And do you know what happened after?
I lived in perpetual fear of interrogation for two whole days until I got over this semi-traumatic experience. And even now, more than two months later, they don’t really say anything about it except “You got another package” or “What book is that? (and then promptly forgetting they asked anything).”
And all my paranoia–the fear of the Asian parents, the heart pounding at the thought of “This is why you have a 92 in AP Chemistry?!,” the “OK time to hand over all your passwords and shut everything down INTERNET SAFETY 101” just never happened.
I admit, my parents are actually really chill. They don’t check my grades and just take my word for it at the end of a quarter, they don’t pry, and they let me borrow exorbitant amounts of books from the library.
But still, the paranoia is kind of all-encompassing and I got only 6 hrs of sleep that night instead of my usually 24 (jk, it’s more like 7). A WHOLE HOUR OF SLEEP WAS LOST (!!!)
And so, the moral of this traumatizing learning experience is that maybe sometimes parents aren’t as bad as you may think.
I get packages almost every week now, and they handle it really well. Granted, they don’t know just how many people have our address, but semantics.
And so, for those who might be in the shoes I formerly occupied (the aww-shit-I-haven’t-said-anything-and-this-is-just-snowballing), here’s some tips I have.
Don’t be like me and get into a situation that forces you to reveal something.
Seriously, I’d probably be in a much better place right now if I had revealed it to them more on my own terms rather than theirs. Instead of semi-curious silence, I’d probably have a certain level of support (Etsy shop? Hello there old dream.). Try not to end up like me and have your parents pick up an ARC with a pseudonym on the label. Or any other situation that forces you to reveal things in a pressured situation. (OK, but to my defense they were going to mail it back and the urge to get my hands on that book was just too strong.)
Being in pressured situations like this can provide a lot of unwanted stress and make things worse for you and your mental state, and doing things on your own terms can be a lot better for you.
But also, don’t be super passive and put it off forever.
I admit, if I could have gotten throughout high school without telling them, I totally would have. I have a friend in my shoes right now. I get it; you don’t know how they’re going to react. But I’m so much better off now than I was before because
1) books are just piling on my doorstep and
pores conscience feels clearer.
So, try. For me, I would have made a Powerpoint detailing the benefits of blogging to college admissions officers. But for you, maybe it’s a poster. Or a Prezi. Who knows how you want to tackle this? Just try and tackle it one day that’s not 10 years from now at a family reunion.
Try to think on the bright side with your parents.
Parents can be way more accepting than you think. I mean, you might be paranoid that they’ll berate you for not focusing as much on your grades, but really, is a 92 that different from a 97? NO. Colleges just look at the letter grade (in the US, at least), so that’s that.
Despite my parents being super chill, I was still super scared about their reaction. And it’s okay to be scared about this because blogging is probably a huge part of your life and sharing this with someone can be scary. But it can also end up really, really great.
And although this post has ended up being mostly parent-related, parents are just the first step. A couple weeks ago, I told my guidance counselor (still don’t know what she’s thinking). It’s best to start with the parentals though because you don’t want them hearing it from an outside source.
From the parents, you can expand to people in your life until this really awesome geeky part of you shines through and people can see a slice of you. This doesn’t have to be just blogging–it could be book tubing or writing on Wattpad or anything that’s important to you that someone doesn’t know.
So although I had to force my own hand to make the “reveal” happen, I think it worked out better than it could have and ended up with a positive ending for me. For now… (dun dun dun!!!)
What’s your story? How many people know you blog/etc.? How did you end up telling them?
(also that secondhand embarrassment radiating off of this post is wayyy too much, gah!)