Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Who Are We Really Anyway?

This is a post about writing a certain kind of blog. Specifically, the kind of blog I write. The kind of blog where a lot about family and life is shared. I talk a lot...too much I've been thinking as I reconsider what direction this blog will take in the future or, for that matter, if it will take any direction at all. On the other side of the coin, I don't talk about many, many things.

Perhaps it is for that reason — the fact that I am so acutely aware of all that I am not saying, all that I won't say, that I forget how much I am discussing. What I do share is enough for some readers to feel as if they know me. And, in fact, I believe that there are those who know me very well indeed. At least to the extent that I allow others to see who I am. To toss another cog into the wheel, I lie a great deal; I call it "poetic license," but the fact of the matter is that unless you know me in "real life," you'd not have a clue what I am lying about. On the other hand, unless one knows the sound of the voice, the subtle expressions that flit across the face, the heart, the mind...well, how well do we really know one another after all?

This goes back decades with me. As a child, I would sometimes ask my mother who I was and she would describe who I was in terms of the place I held in my family. Thankfully, I found my ultimate answer at the age of ten when I discovered myself to be a child of the King, if I wanted to be. I wanted to be and haven't changed my mind since. My entire life is based upon it.

Others have talked about the whos and whats more eloquently and cogently than I. Suzanne discussed it recently on a post titled Anonymity or Not. And I so well remember a beautiful post that Terri at Windlost wrote on this topic. I wish that I could find it again.

What are your thoughts? Oh, and do check out the comments at Suzanne's post. Commenters are always so astute.

Back to regular Blogdom next time...whatever that may be. ;>

A cool Tuesday to you!

Edited to Add: Linds has written so well about this topic today. We must be running on the same track. Her post is titled Different Windows.

28 comments:

  1. Hmmmm....what I do know is that my blog probably does not even come close to the real person that I am. The person that writes that blog is a well-adjusted human being, happy as a lark on any day and probably does not have a problem in the world. And that writer definately does not have the trials I have had my whole life. If I were to put the 'real me' in any part of the daily writings I do, there's not a soul that would read it or want to. Don't you think that all of us have a personality we put 'out there' and one that is kept for inside the house only? I think I do. Deep thinkin'. :)

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  2. Great minds and all that - I have just posted on vaguely similar lines today. It is a challenge, Vee. And sometimes, I am not sure which direction I would really like to go from here. More posts brooding in the mind as I speak. I know who I am, I am just not sure I can BE who I am on the blog. There are those who do know me, of course. But........

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  3. I know that the subjects of my blog are limited. It's about my home projects and my cats. Mention is made of family as well.
    I do not talk about my work at all. My blog is aboug house and home, not about work. I am blessed with a wonderful career that God called me to, but this is a place that is like a restful retreat to me, like my home is. At least that is how it is for now....!

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  4. Does anyone do "Dear Diary-type" blogs, in Pretty Blog Land?!? *Mercy me*, I don't think so.

    Live Journal has many "Dear Diary" LJ's. In fact, some LJ people feel it is a chronicle of their day to day life, over the years. One gal even said that she was doing it, in case she couldn't remember as well, when she got older... And she could go back and read any/all of her numerous LJ entries. :-)

    Me? "Dear Diary" type entries on LJ? Nope! Me? "Dear Diary" type entries in Pretty Blog Land? Nope! I'm *kinder* than that, to readers in Pretty Blog Land! -grin-

    Plus, they say a woman should have some mystery about her. ,-)

    In the end, don't we all pick and choose, what we "tell," on a daily basis? In Pretty Blog Land? And in Real Life too?

    Don't we judge our audience, on an individual basis? And show each of them, the "ME," which we know each of them, can handle? I do. It's the only way I can traverse the Net. And Real Life too! ,-)

    Keep cool hugs to all!

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  5. Vee, I understand where you are coming from. While I do not know you personally, I have always felt that you blogged from your heart. I guess with me it's what you see is what you get. I do talk about my family, my faith, my flights of fancy probably more than most want to read, but that is my life and why I started blogging. It is my outlet to "talk" about what is pressing on my mind. With the way we have moved around people I have met through blogging have been the "friends" that are always with me. I know "neighbors" take a peak at my blog now and then so I do try to keep the gossip at bay .... lol ....

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  6. Oh Vee, you've taken what I tried to say and clarified it. Yes! Poetic license, that was the idea I was trying to explain. And like you, there are many, many, many things I do not, cannot for the sake of being kind, discuss on my blog. We share some of those same challenges but some things are best left unsaid. As with my online friend Dicken, when someone has been stripped of everything else we can allow them their dignity.

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  7. I am a child of God which allows me to be whomever I need/want to be when it is appropriate. We all wear many hats, some of which we cannot see. I am happy to just be.

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  8. It is funny. I read Suzanne's post and loved it. It does give me pause sometimes as I am writing and trying to skip around an issue here or there to wonder what how our friends IRL interpret what they read. I do have many local readers, though, and am fairly transparent at Hospitality Lane.

    What I have to be ever vigilant of is getting permissions to show photos of friends or tell stories about them. This has bitten me...big time in the past!

    Becky K.

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  9. I don't like to get too 'personal' in my blog because anyone can read it. i would never write about work for example.

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  10. I agree with everything Lucy (the sweet cat) said (I love that she has a cat picture).

    I think our blogs are a very small slice of our lives. We often project what we want people to see. We can't or dont' want to share the pile of crap we are really feeling inside.

    I do struggle greatly with my blog identity as well. I am a very deep thinker, a very conscious and conscientious person, and I am also deeply critical and equally thrilled at the world around me. I hate pretense and vanity and boy, I see a lot in the decorating world, but I never say a thing. I am often very conflicted about who gets presented on my blog. It seems to be I present a fun-loving, happy person when quite often I am conflicted, cynical, and unhappy with my world. I have problems like everyone else. Some days I long to blog about things like "do you love your husband or hate him like I do mine?" when I am having a bad day. Or sometimes I long to blog about the unrelenting loneliness I feel. Stuff like that. But I don't do it for various reasons, although I get TONS of comments when I tell the truth. People just know, and more people relate that we can ever imagine. Life is painful. Life is also blessed and good.

    Sometimes choosing to write about the pretty bits really tires me out, isn't really "me" and feels trite and nauseating. But then the next day I am in a happy space and thrilled about something new and that's when I write.

    I struggle also. Daily. But I do in life also - people know different aspects of us, particularly if you live in a city and don't see your family (who know much of you, if not all). You can project anything, be anything. What is genuine??

    I hear you sister.
    xo Terri

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  11. Happy 6th of July, Vee!

    My blog started as a journal to myself. I'm fairly transparent, too, but your post has given me something to think about for the future. Perhaps I should just put it all out there like I do sometimes. I feel safe in bloglandia, usually, and always with my regular blog buddies.

    I think we all write what we want others to know and see about us, but what about the things that we let slip out and just don't think about?

    I tend to read and follow the blogs that come from people's hearts and lives. I like getting to "know" others and where they're from.

    I did not tell anyone about my blog for a long time - especially my family. I don't know why - fear of rejection or being made fun of? Well, maybe a little. But now it's been out there for nearly 3 years. I just shared it with my mom and sister this spring.

    Why did I do that? I don't know. I've always felt a great freedom in blogging and not having to live up to anyone's standard - just to "be ME". I know who I am - I am a child of God, too.

    Another thing is that the older I get, the more free to be the real me I feel & the less I care about what other people think - perhaps it comes through in my posts??? WHat you see here is purty much what you get!

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  12. I am a jabber-walkie - I h=jabber on and on and at times, I even get tired of hearing (reading) me..and I think like that some "I'm so much cooler on-line" and that if I actually met any of you, you'd see right through me..
    I do use creative license in my writing but I also use creative license in my life..so I guess maybe I am y blog..or my blog is me..whatever..

    But I like a place to empty my head, share fun things, give my perspective on the world, no matter how skewed it may be. And I do like to have a running total of my days - both for my "old-er" self and for my grands..my problem is that I don;t have a plan..never have..probably never will. I don;t like road maps and would happily get lost and see what transpires..in my life and my blog. But I think the only person I need to please is me..and most of the times, I do.

    Hopefully, our hearts, our spirits and our love shines through in all our posts..
    XXOO

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  13. There is nothing I would not write about in my blog, if I knew only other bloggers would read it. You have said, obviously, what many of us feel. I get nasty e-mails and calls from my grandchildren and some of my children about something I wrote or said, so I am gun shy. When I was young and they were young nothing was too great for my husband and I to overcome. Now the older I get the harder it is to rely on my faith and feel that "everything will be alright." Everyday comment from my husband. I am in a big mess now with some of my grandchildren and one daughter. As I said I would write about anything if only you 'real people' were gonna read me. I am tired and worn out and fed up with life many times. You opened up the flood gates. Blessings
    QMM

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  14. Hi Vee
    I enjoy blogs that are about people's day to day lives and their children and grandchildren, but I personally don't feel comfortable sharing so much about myself and my family. I'd rather keep my blog more about my city and less about me. But I always say we should make our blogs the way we want them them be as they are our creations and should make us happy. Do what your heart tells you is right, Vee. If you have to use poetic license, use it! If you want to share more or less, then share more or less. Make it A Haven for Vee.

    ♥ Pat

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  15. Goodness Vee, what a deep thought provoking post. I don't write about everything in my life on my blog. I agree with the commenter who said we have a blog persona and a real life persona and I guess we're lucky if they line up from time to time.

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  16. i enjoyed suzanne's post, too.

    like you, i sometimes take poetic
    license, but since my husband and
    kids read my blog, that helps reign
    me in a bit.

    i never felt that this blog experience
    was a 'diary' one but an expression
    of part of myself.

    i also never presumed that you were
    sharing everything about yourself.
    i have come to esteem and admire
    the small part you share, though. :)

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  17. Oh Vee, what's it all about Alfie?
    Blogging is an interesting thing isn't it?
    When I first began I was always baring my soul. Next, I was all sweetness and light. Then I tried to be someone else, someone like so and so. But now, I'm just plain old me.
    At times I think my blog friends know the real me, not the in-person me.
    I love your blog, and never feel as though you are deceiving me.

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  18. Hmmmm, this post has me puzzled. I will follow the links then come back and comment.

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  19. Hi Vee,
    I think we all should blog about what ever comes to mind and what ever we want to share. I enjoy your blog and I think its wonderful how you can express yourself with all the right words. I on the other hand don't feel I write well enough to express myself sometimes, so I stick to what makes me happy and that's decorating and homemaking. I hope my readers feel they know the real me,I am simple and not complex at all.Your post was very enjoyable and really made me think today.
    I Heart You!
    Have a wonderful week, Elizabeth

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  20. Interesting thoughts...makes me think about my own blog! I am usually a pretty private person and when I shared about feeling down, I thought this was very different for me and my blog. But then when I looked at my tags...I found a Pitiful Pearl tag and realized I have talked about it before! heeheehee! I always feel like you are very real! Hugs! ♥

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  21. My blog is pretty much who I am. I am a person very easy to know without many secrets. Oh I have things that I don't share which are too personal but for the most part I am happy and content with who I am.
    God has blessed me with both good and bad times and I owe all to HIM.
    I really don't know why people like to read my blog. Though I enjoy my days, its hard to believe others like to read about it! :-)

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  22. Found you thru Aunt Amelia's attic.......loved this post.

    You know......when I blog I try to make it positive and beautiful.....it is an escape for me from all "the crap" in life. I try to keep it simple and too the point. I, too, am a woman who pretty much keeps her own council so I don't get too personal on my blog.

    With that said, I do enjoy the blogs when the writer let's it all hang out, anger, sadness, frustration and all, it is just that I'm probably not brave enough to do that.

    Xo

    :Jo

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  23. This is such a thought provoking post, Vee. In fact, I read it yesterday and have been thinking about it ever since.
    I discovered the blog world by accident a few months before my mom's "ordeal" began. There were so many heavy, difficult things happening at that time that I found blog reading to be a place to escape from that for a bit every day. I had no plans to start my own and once I did I really wasn't sure which direction it would head in.
    I try to keep it light and I suppose in some ways how I would like life to be. There have been times where the stresses and sadness have leaked out into my blog. The first time I felt almost guilty. I now know it was meant to be and the kindness and support I received from fellow bloggers has been such a blessing to me.

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  24. Oh Dear Vee, you have hit the nail on the head so to speak.. I am the same way. Sooooo much of me, my thoughts, feelings, etc have to be hidden from my readers because some are my family and friends... my children occupy so much of me, but I feel very scared to show them on my blg anymore due to the heavy traffic. (I think you used to visit when I did post pics of the kids..) It's hard.. this is suppose to be YOUR haven, your place to be you, but there are sooo many sides to each and every one of us. I show one or two sides, and leave the rest for my family to deal with. :)
    I hope you are staying cool in this horrid heat. We don't have AC so it's been brutal!
    xoxo~
    Abbie

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  25. Hello Vee, Of course we are all complex but I think we can get to know someone through what we write on our blogs at least on some level. My blog is very much who I am. My life is not with out heartache much like everyone elses but I'm optimistic and believe my life is in the hands of God. I live a very simple life and small every day things make me happy. That's what I usually blog about.

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  26. Whew. I read this post yesterday...then read Suzanne's...then went away to think about it. Since my blog is sort of a journal of the goings on in my life...and since all my family knows about it...and reads it at times...I have always tried to be real. Life happens...I talk about it. And of course there are many things that I will never post out there for all to read...things that usually involve other people. Though we can't share everything...I think we can still be genuine and project the person we are.

    I have met several bloggers in person now...and I can't say there were any surprises. They were who they 'pretended' to be on their blogs.

    Next road trip...New England...to see if there really is a Vee! Smile.

    You got a good debate going with this one!

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  27. Vee someone wrote an e-mail to me the other day telling me that my blog made them realize that New York City was a different place than they thought it to be. They said they didn't realize all the parks we had and neighborhoods and so on. I told them that there was enough bad things about NYC on the news every night why would I want to dwell on that on my blog? I'd rather dwell on good thoughts and deeds and the beauty that is here.

    "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." Philippians 4:8

    With the exception of a few blogs I've come across here and there, I think most bloggers try to show the good side of life and downplay the bad. I'm sure every now and then frustrations slip through, and I've had a few moments myself, but I think blogs are a pleasant "escape" to most and on them we can show life as we'd like it to be :-)

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  28. A blog is such a personal thing. You open up your heart and share your life. But you get to choose what to share. It isn't all pretty (life, that is) so it is difficult where to draw the line. When I first started my blog, it took me a while to find my "voice". And it is changing over time as my life evolves. I don't fib on my blog, but my online journal doesn't share all the warts of real life. My goal is to share some joys and provide some inspirations. And it's funny, but close friends and relatives have actually gotten to know me better through my posts. They see parts of me that they never saw before.

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