Tuesday 13 November 2012

What can half a pigeon tell you about the life you've created?

Hi, hi.

I've got a question for you ...

What does half a pigeon have in common with a 3rd year Psychology degree lecture I was note taking in last week?

[I'm just wondering here how long I should give you to answer this ... how about now? Are you finished? Any guesses?]

It's actually this quote:
A quote which, although blog layout and headers and colours have come and gone, has remained in my blog sidebar ever since I started a blog.

[Strangely enough last Thursday, 8th Nov 2012, was my 4 year blogging anniversary and also the very day I was note taking in that Psychology lecture ... but I digress ...]

Now, I'm not saying this is my personal creed or anything as strong as that, but the quote, credited to George Bernard Shaw, first appealed to me as it implies that we are in control of what we do and who we are. We get to create things for ourselves, rather than just hope that they were there all along.

Of course, I do also believe that we can 'find' ourselves ... and much of what we do need really is there ... it's just that we usually discover it after we've actively done something to find it and searched hard enough, with the right tools and the right experiences.

Anyway ... back to this lecture ... it was all about how, in the Facebook / social media / blogging age we're doing exactly like the quote says: we're creating ourselves.

With every photo, status update, tweet, list of interests, quotation, playlists that we share online we're actively creating the version of ourselves which we want others to believe that we are.

[It's during lectures such as these that I almost forget to take notes as I just want to sit back and absorb what's being said. Except I'm not paid to do that!]

Anyway ... while no doubt this act of creating our online persona can in some cases go wrong and take some people far off into a fictional life I think we can learn a lot about ourselves by reflecting on what we've chosen to share and how we've presented ourself online.
As every single thing we've shared online got there via a deliberate decision by us ... surely a close look at it all will reveal our priorities, our philosophies, our personalities?

Surely they can't help will bubble to the surface? We'll recognise what we feel is important [like me hanging on to my sidebar quotation for 4 years ... it must say something!]. We'll recognise those parts of us we were happy for others to know about us. We'll see the areas we wanted feedback, comments, sympathy, recognition form.

And, at the same time, we can also learn by realising the parts we didn't share! What do those say about us? Which status updates never reached your FB wall? What does that deleted tweet tell you about yourself? Why did you choose one photo over another?
A quick look at my 'created' online life might reveal:
  • that I want to share interesting craft projects;
  • that I want others to know there's no such thing as getting creativity wrong;
  • that I'm happy to pass on tips, tricks and lessons I've learned;
  • that I don't blog angry / upset / stressed but that I don't sugar coat everything either.
  • that I listen in to other people's conversations. A lot.
  • that I like to make people laugh;
  • that I like to pause to notice and document the unexpected, everyday, 'found' joy / comedy / stories and treasures of life.
There's certainly more to my online life than those [a quick look at my Pinterest boards will reveal I also present my self as something of a clothes fiend] ... but they're pretty representative I think.  And, fortunately ... I don't think they're that far away from the 'real life' Julie either. But you'd have to ask someone who knows me for a more objective view!
And, as for that half a pigeon I mentioned at the beginning ... it was the bottom half to be precise ...
... it came from the reverse side of a page I'd chopped up and put into a Plundered Pages pack and, despite it being headless, I couldn't bring myself to throw it away. I just kept it in the box with all the other plundered pages I fall in love with and plan to use ... at some point.
And in this case, I did. I created a page especially for it in my newest journal ... and then ... rather than find it a new head  ...
... I created one for it instead:  


Thanks for stopping by to read me today.

Have you ever thought about what it is you've created as your online persona? Or even the 'real life' you?

What do you give yourself credit for creating and making happen in your own life?

I'd love to know ....


p.s: I originally made this page as a guest contribution to Bernice Hopper's 'Attitude of Gratitude' blog.


  1. Such a lot to think about in this post, and I am going to have to get back to you! But I didn't want to leave without commenting on both your thoughtfulness, but also your great originality (e.g. what a great post title!) which is what shines out everytime I visit. And your pigeon picture is lovely - I always come away wanting to grab some paper and paint and make something :).

  2. Your pigeon picture is great, I love that she has a 'what you looking at' expression on her face! Love the bed of leaves too.

    Cool quote. I'm a great believer in making things happen for yourself rather than waiting for it to come along. I think I've achieved quite a few things through hard work and/or determination. I hope people see me as the 'me' that I imagine I am! x

  3. Pigeons scare me, so I scrolled down with a little trepidation - which, of course, was entirely silly because as usual you had something lovely for us!

  4. I think this is one of my all-time favorite pages you've shared here. The half pigeon sketch looks really good. And it's an interesting topic to think about--how we choose to represent ourselves. I know I get a little self-conscious considering it all, and then I tend to freeze with my online actions.

  5. Love this post - love the pigeon page, love how you get my mind ticking over.

    Also - you've made me miss the pyschology course I was doing with the OU, had to drop out when my Mum was ill but loved how that made me think and get my brain working...

    I would like to think my online persona is pretty much true to the real me, especially as I share such a lot of myself in Rocking Fridays... except my online self isn't blighted by shyness when she meets you :)

  6. Wow, there's some food for thought in this post Julie & it's certainly got me thinking. I am quite careful about what I post online...mainly so I don't embarrass my family, but occasionally I do just flip out & let it all go :D anyhow, another great post from you & love the way you rescued the pigeon by drawing in his top half.
    C xx

  7. I love the pigeon! Though in this house pigeons are associated with the Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and other books. :)

    I am me online and off, though my offbeat & sarcastic sense of humor gets more of an airing online because I'm less comfortable sharing it in real life unless I know people really well.

  8. Wonderful post, and I love that page, too! I've recently been told a couple of times that my life seems "perfect". For people reading my blog, it seems that I'm always on vacation, or I have endless time to create art, have the best husband and child (well, that part IS true! ;-))). Anyway, clearly we choose what to share, but it's also in the eye of the beholder. So if I post a picture of my terrible terribly messy studio-room, other people will only see the fact that I have a studio! ;-)

  9. Identity, online and 'real' has been a massive topic in my life this past year. I give myself credit for looking hard at myself and learning to accept who I think I am, and them slowly express that in my new blog... And then allowing it to evolve into my real life.

    Love the quote.

  10. Wonderful post, and great timing for me. I'm still wrestling with what I want to present and who I want to be online. I want to be myself, but there's always that little voice telling you to be who people want you to be. Like I have a clue what that really is.

  11. Ooh, what an interesting and challenging post! Got me thinking....

    Love the pigeon, by the way :) Most fabby! x

  12. I love this post julie! So many things to think about. The longer I blog the more the real life me and the blogging me become one.
    That's a lot of different pigeons! yours is wonderful!

  13. Love your post! This is something I've been thinking about too, how and what I want to share. Often I just throw things up on my blog in a 'here is a picture' kind of way. Sometimes through lack of time and sometimes just because I don't think I have anything interesting to say. But it is something I've been thinking more about, creating my online voice, what I want it to say about me and my work and being brave about what I express.
    I shall be back to re-read this to help me in my journey so thank you for the share!
    Love the pigeon and the page too

  14. Very thought provoking and so true! Especially the facebook bit. Thanks for sharing your insight and also the fabulous pigeon page :)

  15. Such a rich share. I thought you created the other half of the pigeon. . . (how fun to type that sentence).

  16. ummm!! interesting reading. Sometimes I think I worry/think too much.

    It could be so easy to be something we're not in the blogging world!

    a brilliant work of art x


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