I’m sure most of you will now have read Lyle’s post at Troubled Diva. My only direct comment about it is quite simply that, unless the person writing is quite open about their lifestyle (Peter and Pinky as two examples) I generally don’t tend to think about their sexual preference. Yes I have the same initial reaction to personal information that everyone else in the world does (it’s how we handle that initial reaction that designates us as homophobic, rascist etc etc), but… hmm I had a point here I’m sure…
What HAS struck me is something else Lyle mentions the “sense of remove” that guest blogging has given him, and I would agree. It is identical to finding yourself, all of a sudden, in a different social environment where you very quickly realise that you can act differently if you want to, and can create a persona of yourself that may not match who you really are.
Having had a personal website for over 4 years, I’m presuming that a lot of my ‘readers’ (yup all 10 of you) have a fixed image of who I am, what makes me tick, and my views on some of the major topics. Whilst those self same readers will quickly admit that they don’t ‘know’ me fully (they are intelligent enough not to make that assumption… yes you are!), they will have an ‘image’ of me which they will apply to everything I write or comment on.
Example: “Ohh a new comment on my site… ohh it’s from Gordon… ohh he’ll attempt to be funny about this again…”
I distinctly remember considering abandoning this blog to start up another under a false name, just to give myself that self same “sense of remove”. I’m experiencing it slightly whilst posting on Jez’s site, finding myself willing to open up over there about personal topics that I wouldn’t dream of mentioning on here.
So am I being true to myself? Partly yes, partly no. There is a part of my life that very few know about (and who will make no hinting suggestion to in the comments box thank you), and that, if I am honest, I’m not fully comfortable or sure of myself.
And now I’m regretting typing that previous sentence.
Who am I? Am I the person I want to be? The person I portray day in day out in real life, or the person I portray here on my website, and does it really matter? Why can’t I have a few persona hanging around, ready to be slipped into when the need arises. I’m sure most people do the same. It’s that old, different person at work, thing, isn’t it. But does that mean that, ultimately, I’m not happy with who I am?
I thought I’d gotten past this, obviously I haven’t, and I know why.
To be truthful to myself, I’ll need to change how certain other people see me (or expect me to be), it will mean hurting some people close to me, and no doubt alienating others.
And that is why I don’t do it. The cost. I have a small family, a small group of people I can rely on as friends, and I just can’t lose that, for without them I would truly become the person I want to be, and I hate that thought.
The person I want to be is selfish, arrogant, thoughtless and conceited. I display some, or all, of these characteristics in hazy form at times, and as soon as I realise that I reel them back in. Without the buffer of friends and family, I wouldn’t have the need to control those traits and they would push to the fore, twisting me into what I don’t want to be. With family and friends I catch them and force them back, hoping to gain integrity, generosity and more.