I lead several lives:
- Private life
- Personal life
- Family life 1
- Family life 2
- Online life
- Work life
- Anonymous life
And I play many other roles such as citizen and consumer.
On the list above, they might go from “the most me” to “the least me.”
I suppose there is even one more level at the beginning, and that is “what I know and I don’t want to admit even to myself.” But I am relaxing on a Sunday evening so let’s not go there 🙂
Private Life – This is how I am when no one else is around and I don’t play to any audience whatsoever. It includes my thoughts and feelings, and what I do when no one is watching. Something I would do privately would be eating half a bag of chocolate chips and throwing away the wrapper. Rom would watch the Box of Corgi Puppies video 3 times a day on YouTube (but that’s no longer private because I watch it with him now!)
Personal Life – This is how I refer to my domestic life and married life, and it incorporates everything I do that isn’t in the public realm. Eating, sleeping, housework, health, fitness, etc. Not all of this is private, but it’s not usually noted by anyone else (unless one is a blogger, ha!)
Family Life 1 – My first family life is everything that concerns me, Link and Rom as a family unit. We have our own lifestyle as a family of three, and certain ways of being and communicating when we’re together and when we’re not. We have shared values and traditions and a feeling of solidarity.
Family Life 2 opens up to include our parents, in-laws, Link’s dad’s lovely family, and our whole extended circle. One thing I really like about our family is that everyone is labelled as a full person – no one is a half-something or a step-something or an ex-something. They are all called just by their names. And every side of the family has been really welcoming of guests at holiday gatherings. I can’t claim jolliness all around, but we do have quite an encompassing clan!
You would think that an online life could be very impersonal, or even completely fake. But I don’t have another persona that I use for gaming or flaming! As I’m sure you know, Ms. Exacting is an exaggeration of my meticulous side, but I am not that person all the time, only 98.43% of the time…
Sometimes it is easier to share stories or worries with an online community than with real life friends and family – the partial anonymity makes it feel safe. It is freeing to share ideas “out there” on the Internet and then adapt them for “real life.” By the way – you guys are real too, aren’t you?
In some ways, work life is the real-est life of all. If I spend 8 hours a day at work, my personality is going to show – how could I hide it for that long? Yes, I need to behave in a professional manner and always be aware of the code of conduct. But for me there is no big disconnect there. One thing I love about working at a public library is that the staff discuss books, movies, music, food and news all day, so we make our own cultural community.
Finally I have a life in which I’m unknown – when I go shopping, or wait in an airport, or go see a fireworks display. I do see people I know, but mostly, I am just a face in a crowd. I don’t mind that at all – I have no need to be recognized or acknowledged. (That would be why I don’t act or sing for a living – well, that and a lack of talent!)
I suppose my goal in life is to be my same self all the time, and you know what? I think I’m getting pretty close.
Do you have more than one life? Which is your most authentic?
See also: my About page