Faking It for Real

My favourite thing about going to the hairdresser is reading my stars.  I usually try to act cool, and flick through the rest of the magazine first, but really all I want to do is navel gaze a while.

Mirror of Venus

The Mirror of Venus (Edward Burne-Jones)

So when a post promises to ‘Type’ my blog personality at the click of a button, it’s hard to resist.

If you haven’t heard of it already, check out Susie Lindau’s post, where she explains all about the research, the creator, and where you go to find out your ‘Type’.

When I first keyed in my web address and pressed ‘Typealyze’, it came out with ‘Inspirer’.

I’ll admit, that sounded nice.  Not that I set out on my blog to be an Inspirer – I had no idea what my purpose should be when I started blogging.

But as I read through the profile, I started having this uneasy feeling it was describing someone else.

In real life, I have to tell you, I’m not all that inspiring.  I’m mostly quiet and dishevelled and roaming about the house wondering, “Why do I ask why?”.

Until recently, my whole reason for being was “Expect the worst, and you’re never disappointed…”

Yeah.  That’s inspiring.

So a couple of days later I went back to Typealyze myself again.  Incidentally, it was after last week’s performance anxiety post.

For some reason, it decided I’m now a ‘Performer’!

Wow.  That was easy.

The thing is, the last time I did anything close to perform was when I was about five years old.

My sister had this bright idea to dress me up in an angel costume and make me perform at the local Christmas carols.

For extra cuteness, I would sing “Away in a Manger“, accompanied by big sis on the piano.

All I remember is a sea of faces.  Missing the cue to the start of the song.  Twice.  And then somehow quivering my way through the rest of it until I could run away off stage – a perfectly fine carol now dead to me.

Nope.  I’m definitely not a performer.

cupid-at-the-masked-ball

Cupid at The Masked Ball (Franz Stuck)

But the whole exercise reminds me of an issue raised in Coleen Patrick’s recent post on blog optimism.

As bloggers, we have the privilege of controlling what people do and don’t see about us.  We project an image of ourselves – is it really us, or are we just a bunch of posers spouting empty words?

Sometimes I feel like I’m faking it.  I strive to inspire when I feel anything but inspired myself.  And that’s when I realise something.

From the start of each week to the end when I put out my next post, I’m just a little bit different than I was the week before.

Maybe we have to fake it a little bit, to make it real.

Maybe it’s not even about what’s real or what isn’t.

Maybe this is just us – on the way to being who we want to be.

How much of you is in your Avatar?  Do you sometimes feel you’re faking it?  Does it even matter?

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the linkage and the shout! Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage.” I think we act in our own plays. I have changed since I started blogging. I am far more confident and don’t care what other’s think like I used to. I guess you are right that we are always evolving! Love your post!

  2. says

    I really do love the way you think sister… I guess it doesn’t really matter if we’re faking it or not… it’s what we can live with that is our ultimate truth. Blogging/writing is powerful, almost like a meditation with an audience. Just keep doing it… like the yogis encourage, enlightenment is in all our reach.

  3. says

    Love it – yes, I’m a sucker for the horoscopes and the quizzes on what sort of person you are.! Lovely blog, Alarna, and what a heavenly Pre-Raphaelite pic… Burne-Jones is one of my favourites.
    Yes, isn;t it interesting how our our thoughts and writing shift us along imperceptibly… Keep on being who you are…
    PS I’ve never looked at your Avatar – I must to find out who you are!!!!

    • says

      Valerie, you make me smile always! Burne-Jones’ art is beautiful, isn’t it?

      In this case, my Avatar is fairly close to the truth… me, looking kind of camera shy! It’s everything else I’m not sure about ;)

  4. says

    Oh you are reading my mind Alarna. Each week I feel a bit of a poser and so I imagine writing a post about the “disappointment for the week” to round out the full picture of ME (ha ha). Well, that lasts about a hot minute. Sure I am not immune to the lure of a “train wreck” post but they are not what I look for when I’m trying to crawl out of the hole. Inspiration, laughter, smiles, thoughtfulness, sparkly pictures, endless photos of food–these are the stuff that I search out when I need a boost. I so agree with what you wrote about on the way to being who we want to be. Each week I”m reaching for that me. Love your posts Alarna, they make my brain and my heart feel smiley.

    • says

      You always make me feel smiley and thoughtful, Coleen! If we’re not reaching for better, what is there, right? But it’s a fine line I guess… Sometimes when I go around reading, I’m actually refreshed by posts that tell it like it is – deal with the grit of life. So maybe its that transformation we are looking for? Hope you have a great week… no train wrecks ;)

  5. says

    When my students walked through the door I would smile and think, “show time.” We are always on the stage, evolving and involving ourselves in the pursuit of truth, inspiration, and some fun along the way. Just be you…whatever that is, weekly…which keeps me coming back for more Alarnaisms. Great post!

  6. says

    My avatar is definitely faking it, but my blog is authentically me. I’m an insecure, petulant writer-geek in glasses and a nappy cardigan. Is there a type for that?

  7. says

    Hi Alarna, I too checked out “Typealyze” and was “typed” as a performer – which, for the most part, describes me pretty accurately. But it made me wonder about what I was putting out there for the world to see. It’s true that I don’t write much about the mundane parts of my life. I deliberately avoid sharing too much about my kids, but that’s to protect their privacy. I don’t write much about my work, but that’s because I want to keep my job :) Which leaves my love life and my weekend fun…

    It is interesting, though, to think about these things. I suspect that I’ve deliberately sought more interesting experiences in part to have something to blog about :)

    • says

      It’s perfectly valid in the online world to keep parts of your life hidden… for privacy and, of course, professionalism! Plus, your love life and weekend fun keep us very entertained ;)

      Having said that, I like what you say about deliberately seeking out more interesting experiences! Writing a blog has made me aware of the fact that I’ve been living a pretty unbalanced, hermit-like lifestyle – that certainly doesn’t leave much to write about :)

  8. says

    Dearest Alarna… I love the blog but what really interested me was your last response. I have found that I keep parts of my life hidden… for privacy and, of course, professionalism,,, except for this one person. I tend to tell her everything. Especially, on the weekend… do you think this might mean that I love & trust her?

    Thank you! xxxxx

  9. says

    Interesting. I did that typealyzer thing and wound up getting the performer one too — which is soooo not me. It made me think about how my posts might not truly reflect me, that I’m writing words more for entertainment. But then as I look at my posts, I’m still stumped at how they could be construed as ‘performance’ based. They’re about how I’m struggling with writing! Very weird. I think that typealyzer doo-dad hasn’t had all its kinks worked out. :)

    Regardless, I agree that we are not completely ‘out there’ on every single level. We are not buck naked, sharing every bit of pain, regret, shame to the world. We all stop at some point before we really hang it all out there.

    If we were writing about fictional characters I’d say that’s not good enough, that we need to dig deeper. Seeing as how for the most part we blog about ourselves, I can understand why we might keep up at least one wall.

    • says

      It is strange, I wouldn’t have pegged you for a performer, either – you strike me as more introverted (on your blog and in RL). You could be right about the ‘typealyzer doo-dad’ ;)

      I find it interesting to think about what kind of writing blogging actually is… I guess if we let it all hang out, it would be the equivalent of reality tv for bloggers? So maybe it’s a good thing we don’t!

  10. Rita Azar says

    I”m pretty sure I’m the same on my blog and in real life. When I look through my posts, I really think it’s a reflection of myself. I think it is very important to keep it real. This said, I do understand what you mean. Sometimes, I really want to write something and I think, oh, hang on a second, I can’t write that, it’s too private or any other reasons. Sometimes, for some subjects, it’s hard to find the right balance between keeping it real and privacy.
    I told you that before but I say it again: I love reading your posts. They are always so well written and you have a beautiful way to say things. I like coming over here and for these reasons I do think you are very inspiring.

    • says

      Thank you so much, Rita! It’s lovely to hear that my words might inspire in some way.

      Your blog does come across to me like the real you! You are very warm, down to earth, and honest about the things you are dealing with. I truly respect that – I think that’s what also got my attention on Twitter, too! The balance is tricky, but I think you find it :)

  11. says

    That was a bit of fun, Alarna. I came back as an Idealists (via typealyzer), but that’s just the writing world of me. My other worlds would probably balance out and I’d be sitting on a fence somewhere off the North-West Shelf.

    Fake, real, different ratios for different worlds, but find myself being most real/open to the strange/unknown worlds’ of different people, where with those closer, I’m a little more shy to their perspective on me as a person.

    Thanks for the post, Alarna, always a good read.

    • says

      Thanks Sean! I love how you say there are different ratios for different worlds, and you are shy with those closer… That’s a pretty neat description of the way it is for me, too!

      I can see how your writing fits the Idealist profile. There is a dreamy quality about it, which is very unique and undoubtedly influenced by your beautiful surrounds :)

  12. says

    It was interesting to me that, in response to whatever this thing was that told you that you were a performer, your mind flashed back to an embarrassing incident at five years old. I would wager that there have been other times since you were five when you did something that could be fairly described as “performing” and people loved it. I imagine there are times you’ve played the “inspirer” as well, and that you’ve got all the facets this program can identify and more.

    • says

      Chris, what lovely kind things you say! You may well have found a little bit of my own fiction woven in here, too ;)

      Though there have been other times when I did something that may be described as ‘performing’, none are so vivid as the 5 yo incident! As for people loving it… of that I would not be so sure. It certainly isn’t a natural fit :)

  13. says

    Alarna we love how real you come across on your blog. I think it’s the reason you have so many that enjoy your posts and respond to you. They can tell your authentic as we do. Loved this post!! We gave it a try and it said we were INFP or Idealists. Sharing this post with others now.

    • says

      Thanks so much for your kind words – and for the share! I guess I try to be authentic, but truth and fiction are slippery ;)

      I love a bit of idealism – and your blog definitely has that quality about it. But you are both very real to me too – and that’s what connects me most to other blogs. The bit where I meet the real people :)

  14. says

    I think we’re probably more real in our blogging life than even in real life. I think we are all here to support one another, instead of the judging and criticising which can go on in every day life. Interesting post. :)

  15. says

    “Maybe this is just us – on the way to being who we want to be.”

    Love that line. And you’re right. We’re constantly evolving as people. Which explains why we may be different from post to post, week to week.

    Online, I sense that some people are as real as they can get. But I think there may be some who are slightly pretentious as well. So far I’ve met very nice people here on WordPress though.

    • says

      There’s definitely a wide range of variation on the blogosphere, that’s for sure. But I love that there is room for everyone, and we can write a blog on just about anything, take a line of thought and follow it. And others come with us for the ride!

  16. says

    Oooo. So many good questions! You say, “is it really us, or are we just a bunch of posers spouting empty words?” I have to say of course, we’re posers, but the words don’t have to be empty. I’ve been thinking about the same kind of thing lately and stumbled across a social scientist who has proof that it’s true,”we have to fake it a little bit, to make it real.” We create ourselves every day, every moment, in person and in writing, and I love my gravatar because it illustrates this idea precisely. (Delicious post, Alarna!)

    • says

      Oh, I love your gravatar – it’s wild! Yes, the whole mind-body interplay fascinates me, and how one influences and changes the other. Looks like we’re on a little wavelength at the moment – and glad to know I’m not the only one faking it (a little bit). :)

  17. says

    hello, Alarna… hey, i tried the typealyzer, as you recommended. it says that yours truly is an artist, ahaha. boy, was i glad… i’ve never been called an artist before, ahem, ahem… thank you for this post. keep well… :)

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