Not in the 'I can't decide what to have for dinner' sort of way, more in the, 'am I EMG or Ellen' sort of way. It is starting to gnaw at me a little.
I know that everytime I post something publicly, I am representing both of us. I link to EMG, not to my personal site, because... well, I'm not sure how come. It's the bigger of us two, I suppose, the more encompassing. It's more impressive than I am. (Also, my site is in serious need of an upgrade, and I need to do that asap, along with the seventeen other things with this Feb 1 deadline galloping headlong at me)
I write posts at forums as Ellen, and as EMG, and I wonder if I can be both, or if I am one at a time, and whether or not I *sound* as if I am one when I mean to be the other, and I worry that no one will see past the EMG to Ellen. And that people will take the Ellen from my posts and apply that incorrectly to EMG. I do worry a lot, I admit. Take your pick, I have a basket full of worries. I have a much larger basket of happiness, but it is the worries that make me sit here and write.
I hesitate to write sometimes, in forums in particular, where I have something I want to say, as Ellen, but I stop and think, if I say this as EMG (or they think I am), will that reflect poorly on the others who have trusted me to represent them. Sometimes the hesitation is enough that the momentum of the reply is lost, and I say nothing instead. Sometimes I fear that is a loss. Sometimes I am grateful for my hesitation.
I have written many things I regret. Foolish things that I would take back if I knew how. Judgemental things. Harsh and reactionary things. These things are documented on lists and comments and across the web, and they poke at me with pins and needles of guilt and shame. But I think of the things I might have said, and I regret not saying them as much. I could have cheered someone up. Or given someone advice that I wish someone had given me. Or calmed down a flamewar.
Every comment is hard. Every forum post is an effort. It's this endless game between Ellen and EMG. Post that compliment, Ellen says. You sound like you're sucking up, EMG says. Give that advice, EMG says, it's good exposure. You sound like a know-it-all, Ellen says back, and you're a shamless capitalist! Post your art for advice, Ellen says, and do a little promotion of your *own* work. You're not promoting the artists you owe! EMG wails back. And your own art is the least of what you carry!
It goes on until the two of us are muttering 'no, you shut up' to each other and I post nothing and go back to doing something productive.