I spent a lot of time in the car today, driving to and from people and places. I received a few compliments on how nice I looked (thank you!), which I thought was interesting since on the inside I was a bundle of nerves and anxiety. Those comments made me think about the facades, the armor we wear.
I think I come off to most people as a little aloof, in control and reserved. Maybe even regal if I flatter myself. My style is primarily classic. I’m a devoted Ann Taylor and LOFT shopper with the occasional J.Crew, Talbots and Banana Republic piece sprinkled in. I do not take fashion risks. Honestly, if it doesn’t match in some way, I shy away from it. I do not in any way mean to imply that I’m a good dresser or wouldn’t welcome tips; I’m simply sharing what I’ve identified as my style over the years. This attire makes me comfortable, makes me confident even if it is a little boring. I’m a firm believer that if you feel you look good or are at least comfortable in what you are wearing, it gives you a shot of confidence and a boost of morale.
Our big cat, Bit, has a tabby mask and markings, and we used to tease her about wearing a mask. We’d joke that when we weren’t home, she took off her mask and the real Bit was revealed. We mused about how we could sneak in without her knowing it and catch her unclothed, her snow white fur revealed at last.
Yeah, we’re weird.
I sort of feel like that, though. Inside, in places I don’t talk about at parties, I’m a mess of vulnerabilities and self-doubt. Sometimes I feel like all I am is a huge mess constrained by a suit of skin, clothes and attitude that hold it in check to the rest of the world. How strong are the stitches holding back the vulnerability and self-doubt? Sometimes I feel so brittle that I worry that one crack in the armor would be enough to be my undoing.
That’s my public facade. I hope. On this blog, I sometimes think all I do is express my vulnerabilities. Sometimes I worry that I come off as a huge mess and am exposed as someone who most definitely does not have it together. I need this outlet to be able to give voice to the anxiety, worry, crazy thoughts and doubt that swirl around my head, especially after keeping myself together all day. I worry, though, how I come across. Do I seem crazy? Trying too hard? Lacking confidence? Can I be upbeat one day and morose the next?
As usual, I’m probably thinking too much about this, but it makes me think about the personas we express on our blogs and how we are in reality and in a variety of spaces. What would the majority of my colleagues think if they read this blog and had insight into my addled thoughts? Would it soften their perception of me? Would it make them think less of me? Would they shrug and move on because they knew all along I was like this?
I think I worry that I’m too much of one thing or another in various spaces. I am allergic to personal vulnerability at work, but on this blog, do I focus too much on my worries? How do you reconcile the various personas you have in various environments? How do you be as real, as authentic (ooohhhh I used the dreaded word) as possible?
I guess the bottom line is that I believe that no one has it together, no matter how perfect they appear.