“Kathryn, you need to be careful. You don’t want to present the wrong image,”
so advised one of my friends. I couldn’t disagree. He went on to say, “Be careful you’re not coming across as untidy or disorganized or chaotic or…” Umm, where was he going with this?
Then “The image you want,” he continued “is of the well groomed woman, sitting with a drink in her hand, beautifully dressed…” I could understand what he was getting at. That I needed a certain look, a look that conveyed the successful, affluent career woman. At least, I think that’s what he meant.
Yes, but I’m not like that! I’m not arguing against the successful and confident. I’m questioning how that’s presented. And I’m questioning that whole idea of choosing a deliberate “image”. I want authenticity. I want whatever I write or present to come from my heart, to be as authentically me as I can. I want you to see me as I truly am, not some manufactured version.
And I’m not always well-groomed. I’m seldom dressed in leisurewear, lounging somewhere picturesque, sipping a drink. I’m more often grubby, dirt under my nails because I’ve been working in the garden; or it’s mid-afternoon and I’m in my pyjamas- or what passes for my sleepwear; or I’m wearing my oldest, daggiest and favourite clothes (often hand-me-downs from this friend).
A Blogging 101 prompt is to write a post to my ideal reader. I’ve been thinking about that. My ideal image of myself? My ideal reader? The introduction to blogging workshop I went to, advised us to have a narrow focus. This makes sense. It’s easy then to imagine my ideal reader- someone who shares that narrow focus. I would know who to aim at.
You know, I’m not sure I want agreement always. I want to encourage discussion, I want to swap ideas and experiences. I want to encounter mentors, people who will challenge me and I want to connect with people who may have shared similar experiences. I find it difficult to narrow my focus. When I think about doing that I can’t choose what to focus on. Country living? Sustainable lifestyle? Co-housing? Illness? Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Insomnia and continual exhaustion? Life with a stoma? Joy? Gratitude? the issues facing older, single women? Fun? Books? Whatever it is I’m thinking about at the time?
I want to share my life, my thoughts, the insights I’ve gained along the way. I want to connect with others who live with a stoma or with insomnia so we can support each other, whinge to people who will understand and share any wisdoms we may have. I want to talk with older women who worry about facing a future alone or fear homelessness because I understand and share these anxieties.
And I want to share my co-housing adventure with you, the gardening challenges and attempts to live a simple lifestyle. I might learn something from you and I hope that sometimes you might learn something from me.
Ideal image? I know some of the qualities I want to have. I want to be compassionate and kind. I’d like to be a wise elder, but I also want to be funny and silly and passionate and intemperate. I want to live every moment of my life with gratitude and be fully present, no matter what that moment may be. I want to be me.
Image? Who cares? Let’s just get on and live.
14 thoughts on “Image? What image?”
I am reminded of the quote ” why be happy when you could be normal?”
whatever happened to mountain goats? and who wants normal?
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good on you for being steadfast in your authenticity and for honouring Self!!!! Xo ________________________________
I have very good role models, some of whom are much younger than myself. You will be tres formidable when you reach my age!
A lovely post. You are not alone. We are all multifaceted so go with whatever feels right at the time. I’m enjoying reading about your journey, all aspects.
Dear Kathy, Bravo !! Love and stuff…. Terry
It’s lots of fun! and challenge.
Finding your true self is art. Creating a successful image, whatever that is, is artificial. Keep on being you!
And refusing to bow to the stereotypes. I’m fascinated as to how us baby boomers change the face of ageing as we age. We are not going to sit down quietly and become sweet little old ladies. I’m thinking retirement villages and nursing homes also must change- to what? Remember grey power?
I think you were born to write and share Kathryn. Love your blog.
Judy, what a wonderful thing to say! I couldn’t receive a greater compliment.
I’m older than baby boomers. My hair turned gray quite early and has been completely white for about ten years. I’m impressed with how much I can get away with.
A beautiful, grey headed friend was saying recently how much she can get away with! You sure you’re older?!?! you have a youthful attitude.
I think I’m going to take a while to become grey, although I have a brother with gorgeous silver-grey hair. Sigh!
You are not destined to be a sweet, little, old lady. You will always be Kate and the world will be a better place for that! Keep sharing…. Clare