Searched

I was Googled.

I was talking to a new colleague today and she told me that 1) I nailed my interview a month ago, just nailed it, and 2) immediately following the interview, the search team Googled me. One of the first entries: Mike’s obituary.

The colleague couldn’t have been nicer. She didn’t press for information, didn’t ask questions. She just expressed her condolences and offered that this new position should make things easier, scheduling-wise, with the kids. Still, I wasn’t expecting that the loss of my husband would be something discoverable.

I’ve said before that I prefer to establish myself before people get all weird about it. People just don’t know what to say – and there really isn’t anything to say. People can make snap judgements, right or wrong. People assume things, good and bad. I don’t want pity; I don’t want to be a “poor thing.” I just want to be…me.

Again, this colleague was very nice about it, but I wonder how many other colleagues and students will search my name and stumble across his obit (how can they NOT – it’s one of the first entries!). I know that I’m guilty of Googling new people (often), so I have to assume others will search for me. I know that a few students in the department in which I will be teaching have already checked my LinkedIn page – did they see that obituary, too?

And, as my life moves on and I contemplate dating again, I need to prepare myself to be searched. (Afterall, I will be searching, too.)

It’s just a weird feeling that an obit can be found so easily and rank so high. Mike’s death doesn’t define me, but it ranks higher than my Facebook page. It doesn’t tell the whole story – heck, it doesn’t tell much of a story other than he lived and died and left a wife and kids.

But if I want others to get to know the real me, I need to do the same for them. Google only tells part of the tale. The rest is written by each of us.

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