Friday, 14 August 2009

Am I?

My tall boy, 15 on Friday, told me a few days ago,

'No one is themselves online.'

Mmm...I have been thinking on that, and then I read a very heartfelt post from Erin in the window...I have been on my holidays from work since 28th July and although I have been busy and away from the laptop I have been pondering and contemplating my navel wondering on the subjective nature of blogging, our perceptions, our expectations and how actually does anyone know us. Really? Does it matter?

Whether here on my blog or in daily life...

I am what I am, wherever I am, you see me, you judge, that is the way.
I am what I am, for me that is an internal whirl of decisions, mistakes, compromises and consequences.
I am what I am, on the outside the make up I paint on to cover the blemishes, the scars, the fears.
I am what I am? The facade or the whirl.
It is what I am. Me. What you see. Understand. Like or not.
I can hide from the touch. The nails in a bed of words, I lie upon. I write. I feel the truth. Not the whole. But the sum or the some.
A lions roar masks the skitty cat.
Is what I see, what you see?
I am a lion, 5' 7", 200+lbs, 51yrs and 5 days, arghhh! I am sitting at MY window, fluttering and second guessing each day. Who am I? Is this me. Who knows.

41 comments:

  1. I don't know Saz, I think we may be more who we are on line than we are at any other time...we have no masks to wear and no airs to put on...we can finally be ourselves come hell or high water...at least those of us that are grown ups can...with children it works differently I suspect!
    Sandi

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  2. Saz,

    I am one who can not fake who I am. I am who I am. I don't wear makeup (even though I should). I don't get my nails done. I dress very casual. I don't like presenting myself in such a way that I would have to re-do everything two or three times a day i.e. check my makeup and my hair. Make sure my clothes don't get dirty.

    I am who I am. I believe in being honest but with respect and consideration for the other person's point of view and their feelings.

    Whether online or in person, I am who I am. I try not to judge others. People are who they are for whatever experience they have encountered.

    I like you entry. Very eye opening.

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  3. Precious- lovely new photo- and thanks for the comments. I do thin we all have a single veneer, but online we are fairly open its true.. think its in th ebig bad world I hide and hold back more...

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  4. Sandi- we have no masks to wear ad no airs... l like that...it is true also..
    thanks

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  5. Remember that Billy Joel song, I think it was titled The Stranger? He said we wear masks for different people. Kids act one way around grown-ups, another way around kids. We act one way at work, another way at home, etc.

    I try to be genuine, but I do reserve the right to have a private side. Not everything is revealed. Great post.

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  6. I agree with sandi, great post and so insightful!

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  7. I don't think I know who I am half the time so what you see is what you get.... for that moment anyway....

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  8. It depends on the person and the type of blog, I guess. I am what you see, (I think).

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  9. I am who I am whether in person or online. I make no pretenses; what's the point? Maybe it's an age thing; maybe the younger generations need to FIND who they are, and so, pretend to be anything other than their true selves online. Maybe they're disatisfied with the person they see in their mirrors. Maybe it's not an unhealthy thing for them to pretend, unless, of course, it's a case of a twelve year old flirting with a forty year old, etc. Maybe we all learned who we are by picking personality traits from those we admire, by pretending to be someone else. Who among us didn't want to look like some glamorous movie star when we were younger? I know I did. Who among us didn't want to experience life on the other side of the fence? I know I did. Who among us didn't dream of a life other than our own?
    And if I'd had internet access back in the 60's...who knows? Instead of being holed up in my bedroom, reading, watching Here Come the Brides and Lost in Space, and playing myself game after game of Scrabble, I may have presented myself as part Melanie Wilkes, part Atticus Finch, part Lucy Ricardo, and part Olivia Newton-John! But today, whether you meet me online, at Kroger, or waiting in the line at Disneyworld, I'm just me. And quite satisfied with that.

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  10. Interesting take. We are many layers, many textures. We adapt to the situation, fitting in as needed. It is not about being real or not; it is understanding what is most appropriate for the situation. We might feel a bit freer to express our opinions because nobody knows who we are; but, ultimately, our true nature, the center of our values guides our thoughts, our words, our actions.

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  11. I'm with Lakeviewer. We complicate our lives trying to seek 'ourselves'. What we do for and with others, how we respond to events, world affairs, the minutiae of daily life, the mundane and the profane illustrate our characters.
    You are a daughter, a wife, a mother, a friend, an artist, a writer, a poet, a humanist and a dreamer. And so much more.
    And who you are shines from your posts.

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  12. I am afraid not everyone are as they portray themselves to be on-line, I have first hand experience of this.

    I met my first and only fellow blogger earlier this year. I had known her for many months and truly loved her writing and humour. "She" turned out to be a transvestite who believed himself to be a female lesbian (with romantic leanings in my direction).

    Shame some of our best stories turn out to be so totally unbloggable, isn't it?

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  13. oh I like this- this reminds me of a poem my brother wrote - Who Am I - I am me!

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  14. I was trying to remember the details of something about people having 3 images and found the following on the net:

    Did you know that you have three “selves”? According to DISCinsights™ Personality System, we all do! We each have a public self (mask), a private self (core) and a perceived self (mirror) that makes up who we are as a whole. Let’s look at three key questions to gain more insight into you!

    1. What do others think and expect from you? That’s your public self. For example, if you're a motivational speaker, others might expect you to be high energy, positive and upbeat. The face we show to others is often dictated by their expectations of us. Sometimes we protect ourselves by wearing a mask to fit in our environment.

    2. How do you respond to pressure? That’s your private self. This part of you comes out strongest when you face challenges, obstacles and difficulties and reveals your “instinctive” nature. I’ll use myself to illustrate the point. When I feel pressure, I am prone to become more introverted and quiet, which is quite opposite of my outgoing “public” self. Some people may become more aggressive, combative, use humor, or become more talkative.

    3. What is your self-image? That’s your perceived self. Your self-identity. How you see yourself is a mix of your past experiences and what others are expecting from you within your current environment. Unfortunately, sometimes this view can be distorted, which can cause us to be down on ourselves, especially when we make mistakes and have regrets. Regardless of what others think of you, it is important to see your own worth and value. If you don’t, others won’t.

    Research evidence shows that the most effective people are those who know themselves. People who remain the same in all three areas seem to be those who know themselves best. Being able to recognize and change behaviors that keep you from becoming your best self is extremely important.

    Remember, you are unique for a purpose! There are no right or wrong personalities—just different ones. Loving and accepting yourself is the first step to loving and accepting others.

    © 2006 Heart Tones


    I think it ties in nicely with your theme here.

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  15. I'm pretty much who you see online, and in my experience, most people are ... or is that just because I find I have an affinity with people who are also fairly transparent?

    I don't tell everything online, it's true, but neither do I pretend. If I tell you something, it's what I truly think or feel. I don't see the point of making friends if you're not honest.

    I think Ethelmaypotter might be right - I think it's more likely that youngsters will invent a facade online, although I have to say that I've seen my son's website/blog and he is exactly the same online as he is in life.

    So .. the question is this: is it the writer who is putting on a facade, or is it the reader who sees what s/he wants to see?

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  16. I believe that as multi-faceted people, we show different aspects of our personality to those we feel/know will be receptive to them.

    For instance, I think of myself as somewhat artistic and fairly adept at the creative things I do.

    When I am (physically) around a person who also views themselves as artistic, I downplay my abilities so that the other person can 'shine'. I don't want to come across as competitive or needing praise, so I keep my mouth shut.

    I also never share these abilities with friends who have no interest in those subjects.

    I have best friends who have NO idea what I do for hobby, what I enjoy reading, etc...

    However, here on a blog, I don't have to worry about looking better or worse than anyone else, having an interest in common, and I view this as a 'safe' place to play 'show and tell' as it were.

    Kindred spirits will find me and I find the same!

    Love your blog, by the way!

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  17. Wow- some good stuff in these comments.
    Transvestite eh!!!
    I think you are great Saz... and even if I never met you, you occupy a space in my life that I am grateful for, just as you are. I don't care how you look, sound or cackle. You write about things that interest me and you entertain me and make me think. Meeting you might even spoil it.

    I do think that Facebook might be making us more honest.. I have to be myself because the people who read my blog know me and I can't fake anything... but I too would probably not blog about the transvestite lol.

    I was online dating for a while.
    After a few months of crap experiences I decided that online chit chat leads to false expectations. There was usually disappointment. Finally I decided that there would be no chat, no lies or masks. The next man introduced himself... we met casually that week; I even took a friend as we were on our way to somewhere else later. From his not-so-good photo I recognised him approaching and, amazingly, I felt the world tilt a little. That was over four years ago and now we live together... I guess I will never know what masks we might have put on for each other online... but I am so glad we never got the chance :)

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  18. Good post - I agree - possibly sometimes we are too honest - that is no doubt different for the younger lot who are way too cool to expose themselves (not literally we hope!) ... v interesting Lx

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  19. Hiya Saz - I'm always myself on line and I'll tell you why. I originally met Mr French Fancy in a chat room and lied about my age. He was 15 years younger than me and I let him think we were the same age - never thinking that it would lead to anything and that we would meet up.

    Of course I had to come clean in the end - I mean when you marry someone they need to know how old you really are :). Since then I've never told one lie or exaggerated anything - in case it comes back to bite me on my (ample) bum.

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  20. If I knew who I was I probably wouldn't like me! As it is I'm the same person on-line as off it but whether that's really me or not is anyone's guess.

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  21. -heart freaken bursting-
    -SPLAT!-

    and so appreciating lack of link. speaks volumes of you.

    For me, Saz, it's more than just what we are on and off-line. For you, too, I think. I don't think it's as easy to even know the self, as some think. Yes, so many layers. And sometimes we hide things even from ourselves. Sometimes we have ideas of selves that we believe before we see what it is that we really are. All we can do is receive and accept as we go along and try our best. But even that, trying our best, that is a complex notion.

    On the quest...right along side of you.
    xo
    erin

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  22. VERY interesting. Most of us - those who frequently read and comment on each other's blogs - are ourselves.

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  23. I am not faking who I am. I am telling the world about my life and my actions and feelings in this life. To fake identity is for me a way of not accepting who I am.

    Of course I could blog artificial, but what would be the aim for such activity.

    Be yourself. love living, Life is great

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  24. Beautifully written Saz. You are definitely who you are and I wish you lived closer :)

    (Back in the land of blogging!)

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  25. I think I agree with Sandi because on line we tend to more like ourselves & reveal more of ourselves than if we met face to face.
    I don't know about you, but I tend to let my mask slip more on line.
    I did love this post & congratulations on POTD!

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  26. thank you everyone, too many to mention individually, its wonder-full when I am in company of those who understand and who continue the post with their own words...and comments.

    It fills me up...and overflows...

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  27. I think your son meant to say that people are not what they really are on MySpace. I blog and I love to read other blogs and for me I agree with you. I am what I am too. I leave an honest comment. I do not expect anything beyond the fun of leaving the comment. I write a post and it just for the fun of writing since I am NOT a good writer. It just feels good to get some things out there. Like this post.

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  28. If I'm not who I am on my blog, then I'm shortchanging myself. I could have made myself appear so much more civilized.

    Congrats on the POTD mention at David's!

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  29. Great post! Congrats on the Post of the Day Award!

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  30. I visit some blogs and forums where people over-sell themselves. Then again, I personally know some, so it's obviously easier to come to that conclusion!

    For the best part I believe blogfolk are genuine - even if there is a bit of exaggeration from time to time. Some are here to release their passions or just reach out to the world.

    I always seem to choose pictures that are more flattering to let others see. I'm still me, though, but boy, do I have some beauties that will NEVER make it out the album!

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  31. i think the nature of blogging is such that we can reveal sides of ourselves that don't find expression elsewhere. at the same time we are limited to the words or images we present on the screen.

    are we ourselves on our blogs? i think unless our intent is to deceive, we can answer yes. it just may be that no matter what the format is, 3D life or blog life, it is rather like the blind men exploring the elephant. they only knew the elephant as the single part within reach of their hands so each blind man described the elephant quite differently than the others did.

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  32. We are all multi-faceted people...

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  33. I like to think I am who you'all 'see' when you read my blog .. I dont write much so I suspect you might not know me as well as I think .. I never pretend to be anyone other than I am ... and recently after leaving a comment on a blog which I felt was honest, I got the snidest email accusing me of being mean .. well, hello .. when did I ever say I was nice?

    You, OTOH, always write and I may not have pictured you as you are but I think I 'had' you pretty much pegged as being just what you were showing/saying in your blog ... and I like that person

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  34. Newbie visiting from Crystal. I'm pretty much myself on-line although I do edit out the bad bits, and the grey bits, and the wrinkly bits....
    Cheers

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  35. This is weird. For two days I have been pondering these self-same questions and as soon as my thoughts are in the right order shall post on the result.
    It is the middle of the night, i can't sleep and I'm blog-hopping, it is pure serendipity that I hit on your blog. I shall put you in my bookmarks and visit when I am fully awake.

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  36. What a great post. It has really made me think. Thank you. I know I don't know myself because i constantly behave in a way that I don't understand. Writing my blog though has made a difference I think - forced me to think about my actions.

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  37. I guess we can be anyone when we're just talking to a monitor. Words are often heard differently when written.

    Lovely post,
    CJ xx

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  38. There are so many great comments to a great post! I've thought the same as your son at one time. That was before blogging. Sometimes I find blogging reveals more truth of myself than real life. But always my true self is brought forward whatever the circumstance. Now the question is, what is my true self?

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  39. Thanks for the ocmpliment on the photo...:) I tend to be a bit modest and find taking compliments a tad difficult :).

    Thanks again.

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  40. Sandi has a good point. And probably your boy does, too, but then we also have to remember how old our kids are. Are our kids "themselves" anywhere? Do they even know who that is?

    Maybe it takes us a few more decades to realize the utter urgency of being who we are, using words and technology and whatever means we can to work our way through or back again to who we once were or believe we can be. We've done a lot of living since the years when we were "defining ourselves."

    Thank you for your honest and heartfelt and lovely post--which I'm clearly quite late to.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Take the weight of your feet, draw up a chair and pour yourself a cuppa. Leave your troubles at the door and together we shall ride out the storms.
I will walk a while in your shoes...

Saz x