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?

The Circle of Change

As America celebrates Thanksgiving, I can’t help but reflect from the Antipodes the way in which the blogosphere is changing us.

The moment we arrive in this brave new blogging world, the landscape is vast and unfamiliar.  There’s so much to see, so much to read, where do we hope to begin?

Yet, as we sit there, staring into cyberspace, someone takes us by the Avatar and bids us, “Don’t be Lost!”  They welcome us to Twitter, and their sacred Facebook spaces, and pretty soon we find we’re on the inside, looking out.

This place is home.  And our family is diverse.

There are women who explode into our living room – worlds apart and, yet, singing the same tune.

There are men, so kind and brave in their humility, searching for their place on this unravelling path.

There are boys who beam at you from their corner of the globe.  Others who paint moonbeams in the sky.

There are those we cry with, and others we get high with.

And then there are those precious souls who, despite their own tragedy (or perhaps because of it), are always seeking ways to make us smile.  Again.

This is just some fantasy.  It’s not real – they say.

But at the blink of a button, someone close bids us farewell.  And we know that they are more than just an Avatar.  They are people who reached through their world and touched ours.  Uplifted and changed us.  Made us strive for better than we are.

This is real.

This is the stuff they don’t teach you in writing school.

This is the ancients, who by moonlight wrote their futures in the stars.

It all starts with a dream.  And you know that dream is real when it brings you back in touch with people from your past who say, “So glad I found you here”.

But where is here?  It is everywhere and nowhere.  It’s a place where what we have in common is greater than our individual parts.  It’s one looking glass, with a million different points of view.

This place has changed me.  YOU have changed me.

I was that person, at a dinner party, who’d take a breath to say something, and find the moment missed.  Spend the rest of the night clutching my drink and watching other people’s mouths move.

I didn’t believe in the goodness of people or the universe.  Almost never accepted a gift or a compliment.  Even less knew how to say Thanks.

Maybe I’m less afraid to make my voice heard these days.  Or maybe people are listening more.  I don’t know.  But one thing’s for certain – things are different now.

Now I can speak.  Now I have faith.  Now I believe in the principles of give and take.

So today, I’m giving thanks to each of you…

For listening, for sharing, for daring to dream.  And, most of all, for being the change.

Has blogging changed your world?  How?  Or is this just some wild fantasy?