Monday, January 14, 2008

it's personal, myself & I, we've got some straightening out to do...

I've been thinking a lot about the idea of persona. Or, more accurately, personae. I can't speak from anyone else's experience, so I'll just tell you about my own.

When I first started blogging on a regular basis, I was mostly doing it because I was lonely. I had just gone through a breakup that I knew was for the best, and yet I found myself really missing having someone to tell my stories to at the end of the day. I am an extrovert, after all, and if I think of something funny or see something ironic, I need to share it. That emphasis is no accident. Extroverts need the sharing. I'll give you an example -- one time I was watching TV and I saw the Swiffer commercial where they play "One Way or Another" by Blondie and all I could think was "I wonder if when Blondie was playing CBGB's back in the 1970s when they were on top of the punk world, if what they were really thinking was 'Man, I hope someday this song is used to sell overpriced cleaning products to the Volvo-driving Soccer Moms!' and 'Yeah! Like for a duster that can only be used once and will then sit in a landfill forever! That would be way cool!'" So you see, I needed someone to share these sorts of things with. Blogging filled this need.

It has never occurred to me to be anyone other than myself here. Neither in the beginning when no one read it, and certainly not now that it's read by my BFF's, both LesleySisters, LesleyMom, a few LesleyCousins, a co-worker or two, and of course some blogfriends, natch. Even for those of you that I've met through blogging and have never actually met In Real Life, it never occurred to me to present a different version of myself to you.

And why would I, anyway? I realize that I am not perfect and there are certainly things about myself that I would like to change, but I am comfortable being myself. If you know me, or if you want to get to know me, this is the me that I want you to know. Plus, people, let me just tell you that it takes enough energy and brainpower just being myself, why would I want to use up any of my energy and brainpower being who I am not?

And so I have this little blog. It's just me, sitting down at my keyboard and typing. I think it's quite fabulous of you to stop by and read it, honestly.

Because I'm Lazy Like That, I looked up "persona" in the Wikipedia. They cited some examples of personae in literature, one example being Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho. Quoth Wikipedia: "The work is one of social satire, and as such may well reflect a good deal of authorial intention, but the persona of Patrick Bateman (the novel's first-person narrator) ought not to be conflated with the novel's author."

Hold on, because I am going somewhere with this.

The internets is a big big place. It's possible for one to invent a whole new persona -- a mask to present to the world -- and no one would be the wiser, since they do not know this person in real life, in real time and space, in three dimensions. That is, one may do this if one so chooses. And perhaps when this is done, in whatever format it's done, that persona ought not to be conflated with the author/ blogger/ myspacer/ online dater.

I mean, it's possible. Although it occurs to me that if one chooses to go the multiple persona route, they would do best to just not meet others In Real Life. Not until they're secure enough to just be themselves, sans mask.

As for me, well... I've said it before but I'll say it again: I am the Lesley. And that is all I know how to be.


Jenn from WA said...

Interesting topic. I think something might be in the water because I've been thinking about who I think I am and who others think I am and then trying to live up to that "other" person. Or even deciding if I WANT to live up to that person. Either way, I love me and clearly you love you. And that, my friend, is how it should be.

Personally, I look forward to my Daily Dose of Lesley.

Lisa said...

Who else would you even want to be when you already rock the house as yourself? ;)

Freak Magnet said...

I completely and utterly adore you just the way you are. Don't EVER be anything different.

That said, I'm really digging this blogging every day!

Lesley said...

jenn - Aw, thanks! And I look forward to my almost-daily dose of Jenn, of course!

lisa - Yeah I do! Thanks!

freak - Thanks hon. I won't go changing. And I am digging the daily blogging too!

Snooze said...

I don't mind if bloggers are fake, but only if they stay in the virtual world. It's kind of like online dating.

(and echoing the others - you're cool as you are. Glad you realize it and don't feel the need to create a persona)

Tiffanie said...

Wow Leslie, this was a good post.

Stewie said...

I'm giggling because not only do I know it's all you, but I know fake blog personawhateverthefucks, too and I wonder why bother?

I mean, why be someone you're not, when eventually you could be very well called on it.