Well, it happened, and I knew it would one day. My worlds collided with one statement from a coworker, ‘Peta, I saw your Instagram account, nice detailed drawings’. I froze and stared at him and all I could say was, ‘thanks!’, but a million thoughts went through my head. Had he read my blog? My mind quickly went back to what I had said in my last blog and I think I talked about fucking random strangers, and that no matter how hard I tried it was a daily battle for me not to self-sabotage. Oh my god, I felt like crawling under my desk. What was I thinking putting all my deepest thoughts out on the internet for anyone to read? I looked around the office and I felt like everyone was reading my blog and judging me. Who had he told, who knew? I felt like they were whispering and sharing with each other that I came from an abusive background and maybe that is why I acted certain ways. I felt exposed, and I regretted revealing myself in such a public way. It actually crossed my mind to go in and delete certain Instagram posts that talked about shame and abuse, but I didn’t. When I first started my blog in January one of my main concerns was how I was going to integrate my finance career with my Instagram/blog world. You see I had always kept my work world separate from my personal world. When I first started working at 15 years old, work was an escape from my chaotic household. At work I could forget where I came from and just be seen for my accomplishments and valued for what I contributed. I liked that feeling, and I liked making money. Once I started making my own money I could start living the life I wanted, I didn’t have to live by my parent’s rules anymore. Plus there are boundaries at work, and clear cause and affect relationships that made sense to me. I could ask questions and get clarification on things, I could stand up for myself and actually be admired for doing so. I like work, and I like the financial industry, and there was a reason I didn’t chose an artistic career. My writing is mine and it is how I connect with myself. I didn’t want to make a career of writing and have someone criticize my words or put words in my mouth that weren’t mine. Writing is my passion and I have written short stories, poetry and in my journal my whole life. But as with any artistic endeavor there comes a time when in order for the art to fully blossom you have to share it. In sharing it so publicly, I knew the day would most likely come when my coworkers would find my writing, but I tried to put it out of my mind because I was scared of the repercussions. But guess what? There weren’t any. That was it. I went on working and so did he, and we didn’t talk about it again. I was expecting ridicule, questions, and judgmental glances but none of that happened. He actually just liked my drawings and wanted to tell me. Huh? Was all the drama of my worlds colliding and it being catastrophic for me something I fabricated in my own mind? I started to relax when I realized that the moment was over, that nothing had changed when my finance world and my personal passion to write about my life came together. Instead of the meteor explosion I expected, it was a quiet pleasant exchange that lasted all of 20 seconds. The day this happened, I was exchanging emails with a friend and I told her what happened and said I was upset. She answered, why? She said that she was confused about why I was so concerned and why did it make a difference. She told me to keep being my amazing self and keep inspiring others with my words and art. Wow. Not the answer I expected, but definitely the answer that I needed to hear. And she was right. I felt myself letting it all go. It was a barrier I created a long time ago that doesn’t need to be there anymore. I can have both a finance career and also follow my personal passion of sharing my truth and encouraging others to do the same. Those two things can exist together, and they already do exist together, it was only in my mind that they were separate. This gave me courage to start revealing more of myself at work by discussing women empowerment and personal boundaries with a new employee that I was training. We had some really interesting deep conversations and when the training was over she brought me flowers and wrote a card telling me how much she appreciated me coaching her. I almost cried. I was taking in the new information of connection and appreciation, but my mind was still trying to keep the wall up and separate my worlds. I was scared that if certain people at work knew they would put me down and make fun of me, but why was I putting so much energy into hiding myself from people that would most likely never appreciate what I had to offer anyway. Slowly my self imposed barrier was coming down and I decided to start bringing my passion for writing to work by contributing to the company blog. By the end of the week I was feeling happy and relaxed as my husband and I went into our local grocery store to shop for dinner, I hugged him as we were looking at salad options. Then as we turned the corner I ran into my friend that is in my Meetup group that has been instrumental in giving me the confidence to put my true self out into the world. We were both with our husbands and it took us a while to register that we were seeing each other outside of our protective world of sharing our most vulnerable selves. Our husbands seemed like they kind of clicked. And it made me feel happy and relaxed to see her. For the second time this week my worlds collided, and once again it was a pleasant exchange rather than a meteor explosion. This week has taught me to trust my journey. It was time for my separate worlds to all come together, because the energy I was using to keep them apart needs to be used for a much greater purpose. I get it.