I am not a journalist because I am not interested in that kind of truth. If you’re interested in a journalistic kind of truth, this isn’t a good place to look. I’m not good with that kind of detail. I don’t have patience for it. My writing is about emotional truth, or aesthetic truth, or any other kind that doesn’t require a fact-checker. That said, I’m not lying about anything, I don’t make things up on purpose to be more exciting or cool, and stuff I change is likely changed to keep people around me from feeling like they’re on a reality TV show, which would be gross.
It can be painful to be revealed, but it can also be painful to keep silent. People around me are constant, sometimes unwitting contributors to my work. I consider carefully what to share of other people’s lives. Sometimes I swap genders, or deliberately omit chronological and other connective details, to provide more privacy. I hope that the nourishment of connection outweighs the discomfort of everyone’s exposure, including my own.