Thursday, 26 November 2009

are there only two ways of telling the complete truth?

"There are only two ways of telling the complete truth--anonymously and posthumously."
Thomas Sowell
Do you agree?  I'm sure this topic has been discussed ad infinitum but I just feel it may help explain some things about me. These next few posts are delving rather deep into my psyche so please bear with me as I try to find the right words.

I relish the opportunity this little corner of the interweb gives me.  It allows me to speak honestly about my hopes, my desires and my dreams with a healthy dose of my everyday banality mixed in for good measure.  I find comfort in my anonymity as it has given me the chance to interact with such fabulous inspirational people (yes you!) whom I would never meet in "real life."

Yet I wonder why I feel the need to "hide" my identity. Yet hide really is not the correct word, I think protect is more apt?  I am but a normal girl, living in a normal city living a normal life.  There is nothing spectacular about me and I have nothing to hide.  However, their is always a slightly murky undercurrent to any truly anonymous exchange.  I try to be honest in all my exchanges.  Myself I have the policy of only saying something nice(ish) when asked an opinion and if I disagree I generally I do not comment.  The only caveat to this is when I actually like someone and I feel they would welcome constructive criticism.  (Yet at the same moment I hate all the the cooing and ahhing over each other.   It seems, to me as a relative novice, that to be an independently minded bride, wife, person whatever, one still must conform to the tenets advocated by certain writers.  They may deny this yet I am not buying it! I honestly love it when someone has an opinion different from me.  I enjoy the thrill of defending my views.)

Oh how I hate my internal confliction but it is who I am.  I apologise, I digress. One of the reasons I know I fear being open and honest about who I am is because of several instances of what I regard as evil.  In one particular instance, relating to an unnamed wedding forum site an acquaintance divulged all the details for her wedding.  Understandable? Of course, one is excited and wants to share the minutiae with "friends".  Unfortunately, one awful crone took it upon herself to cancel all of the bookings and then booked her wedding with the same details for the same day.  Simply unbelievable.  I realise weddings can be rearranged and it is not cataclysmic but the thought of anyone having such power scares me.  Hence my tentiveness to disclose any detailed information.  One may say she was a fool to disclose any details but in what is a supposed safe community..?

Another reason I have an issue with disclosing my true identity is because I am a doctor.  I know it sounds rather pompous yet I have an obligation to protect my patients.  Gosh, that really does sounds pompous.  Perhaps I have an obligation to myself to separate my work and personal life?

I think the main reason I use a nom de plume is due to my oft crippling low self esteem.  I read the words of others writers and whilst I see that a gloss can be brushed over the trivialities or not so trivial matters they have such a positive outlook. My favourite writers speak their mind, do not sugar coat their words and always make me want to read more.  Seriously, how do you do it?  Oh, how I love the fact I can sit here in my pyjamas and high heels (the bean is out and I am playing with some new shoes) and can write whenever I want and have a constant audience.  I love that freedom and the ability to reinvent myself.

Do not fret, I am still real!  I truly believe my interweb personality is my true hidden personality. I know I can be the sarcastic, happy, optimistic lady I force upon you everyday.  Well I hope that this is the personality I portray to you and I hope you like this person?

So how about you, do you relish anonymity or adore the opportunity to air you personal views, in person?

Sorry for the rather heavy post I hope I have given you something to ponder whilst you do or do not digest your turkey.  I wish shall offer something a little lighter tomorrow. I think.

Finally, a Merry Thanksgiving, to one and all!

7 comments:

  1. you're a doctor?!?! totally not what I imagined :) you are a wealth of surprises indeed. no-one in the real world knows about my blog, i wanted to join this lovely online community, so I started my blog. I didnt tell James for several months I think, he found me out one day cos i started grinning at something someone had written. one 'real life' friend now knows I blog, because he is a computer whizz and found me through a link to him. I enjoy that anonymity to some extent, although i use real names, and I don't write about my personal life too much because I have a paranoid fear that someone 'real' will read it. I like that I can dip into this world, i feel like I really know you all, but its not at the cost of my real life relationships either. and the fact that none of you have ever met me or know me well does mean that you get some interesting, insightful and honest feedback, which maybe people might not give if they knew you?
    The doctor bit is tricky though, although if you arent talking about your patients or your work does it matter?
    did I make any sense? its late at night :) I'm off to bed. x

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  2. ^ what rebecca said.

    few in my offline life know that i blog, but i like it that way. the anonymity gives me the chance to be as real as i only am with david on a regular basis. or sometimes, hyper-real. :)

    also, on a related note, can we see your new shoes? i really do have a one-track mind.

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  3. I love this post for a couple different reasons that I'd love to share with you. Thank you for indulging me :)

    1. Me, personally, I really love to read your blog. I think you're charming, funny and you have great taste. I like you who you are on your blog and I like what you share with us. Now, if that changed completely tomorrow, I think I'd still read your blog because, well, why wouldn't I?! I like it! I'll probably always like it!

    2. In a bizarre way, hearing you have insecurities is refreshing. And honest. I can relate. Though I try to hard to keep my blog upbeat, sometimes I'm not. I generally don't post when I'm feeling bitchy. Perhaps I use the blog to help maintain a positive outlook? Who knows. The way I view it is this: Life is short. Why in the hell should I sit and share every raw bit of myself with strangers and friends alike? Though I blog for me and for fun, a big part of me doesn't think it's everyone's business, every detail of my life. So, I keep mine light. Happy. Fun. For me, really. It just so happens that a few other folks read it (and hopefully like it), too.

    Part of me wishes I had 100% anonymity, but it's a bit late for that. Sometimes, I feel like being the snarky bitch I know I can be, but no one really benefits from hearing my rants. Maybe a few people could relate, but then am I writing for me or for them? I'm fairly certain it would do more harm than good. And I suppose, if I felt strongly about something, I'd write about it anyway, anonymity and sugar-coated loveliness be damned. Those are the things worth getting on the perverbial soap box for, I think.

    I try to be 100% honest on mine, though I do focus on the less knitty gritty side of me, though it could go either way at any time. I don't give a fiddle what readers think because it's not why I write a blog. If you are true to you, in whatever voice or means of delivery you choose, that's all that matters. Anonymity just offers you something more to hide behind (which isn't always bad thing!) A little CYA (cover your arse) never hurt anyone...and maybe it's smart to play it that way given your profession. It is what it is...no harm nor foul either way :)

    Jeez...sorry for the novella =x Forgive me!!

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  4. I had the same struggle - I think so many non-professional bloggers do. Where do we draw the line? As long as you're doing what feels right to you.
    I've avoided surnames and place names, mostly for some kind of vague security reasons.
    Gosh, that sounds terrible, what happened to your friend! it really gives me the creeps that someone could be so malicious.

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  5. I've heard of a few instances similar to what happened to your friend. Scary, isn't it? For that reason, I think it's always slightly safer to not share personal details and whereabouts.

    On one hand I love reading the real life tales - Heather Armstrong (www.dooce.com; if you don't read her, do!) blogs totally honestly. She shares everything, and she gets a lot of nasty stuff thrown her way for it. But I love reading about her life and knowing it is her real life (does that make sense?).

    On the other hand, I love the romanticism of anonymity. I could walk past you in the street and not know it was you, then go home and read about your wedding and comment on your new shoes.

    I think whichever you chose is right for you. I chose not sharing real details because, like Rebecca, I am terrified someone I know in real life will read it! Somehow I get to do exactly what I want under this guise, whereas in real life I think my friends would be a little confused as to the reasons for me having a blog and writing about weddings. Here, nobody judges.

    I love reading your blog because while in real life I will never know you, on here you are a funny, sweet person whose life I find interesting and whose writing voice is charming. Yay :)

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  6. Gosh, thank you all for taking the time to write such wonderful comments. It's so nice to know other people have similar quandaries and fears. Thank you. I may be posting more on this topic. So keep reading! Please!

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  7. I don't think you're being pompous to use being a doctor as a reason for maintaining anonymity. It's my primary reason. (That, and I'm afraid of the freaks, like the one who wreaked such havoc on your friend's wedding!)

    The idea of a patient of mine stumbling across my musings and getting to know *me* too well is, well, scary. Plus, there's always that vague GMC threat of punishment if you bring the profession into disrepute... Ho hum...

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So, I really love all the sweet and/or informative comments that you lovelies leave. Yet if you feel the need to be unnecessarily rude or offensive I will delete your comment and not feel bad about it. So just be constructive alright! Hugs to all you wondrous others.

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