This week's #NZBloggers Blog Greatness Challenge word is "Contrast". It is a day later than I usually post , but for some reason I had a little bit of trouble coming up with a topic to go with this post. For each of the words , I try and find a topic that is inspiring to me and something that means something.
As I have always been a fan of Superhero's and Geek Culture , I thought of how I could join the two topics together . It got me thinking about the definition of "Contrast". The definition of "Contrast" is the state of one thing being completely different and in a way contradicting itself. As I thought deeper about it , it reminded me of the state of Superheros.
Think back to all the Superhero's you know - Spiderman, Batman, The Phantom , Arrow, Supergirl and Superman, even WonderWoman and Spider-Gwen.
What do they all have in common ?
Each of these heroes have a different life that they live or their lives in everyday world is different than what others might percieve of them. Peter Parker for instance was a geeky wannabe newspaper photographer and then on a field trip he was bitten by a spider which turned him into Spiderman - the thing was though that during the day he was still the geeky guy , and nobody noticed that he was a Supehero or the guy who everyone was in love with.
The same in a way goes with Bloggers, most of us live in this world online - we create an alter-ego for ourselves , a place where we can be ourselves and express to the world what we might not be able to do at home or in our "everyday" lives. I think that's why blogging and social media has become such a massive thing these days as it lets users all around the world, from the comfort of their own bedroom or kitchen or their favourite spot in the local coffee shop - become whoever they want to . A contrast of their actual selves.
When I first started blogging and writing online for different magazines, I wrote for an online men's magazine and I was a little nervous and self-conscious of others reading the pieces and knowing that it was me who wrote it , so I had a pen name and then as I became more confident I started writing under my own "real" name. The thing is though, there is not a lot of people who know me as The Phantom Paragrapher. They have heard of The Phantom Paragrapher and know it's a book review site, but they don't in fact know the girl behind the reviews - the "real" Paula Phillips.
On May 21 2011 , I entered a guest post Blogging challenge Competition where the topic was "Who Am I " and I thought today , so that readers may see the contrast between the online persona I have created - which if you were to Google "The Phantom Paragrapher" or even head to Paper Droids @ www.paperdroids.com and check out their Lifestyle Section and The "Real" Me. Who Am I?
Who am I, you may ask – I am I. I
am a granddaughter, a daughter, a sister, an acquaintance and a friend. I
am the type of person who wears many different masks. These masks come
adorned in different shapes and sizes. Tuesday through Saturday, I am
Paula Phillips – Community Librarian specialising in Children’s and Teen
Services. Sunday and Monday, I am Paula Phillips – relaxed, chilled
out, working hard, reading and most of the time doing my assignments. We
each have hats that stay with us for the rest of our life –
granddaughter, daughter, sister, acquaintance and friend, but underneath
those hats are the masks that hide us away, hide our true selves from
the world. My masks contain a reading mask – I am addicted to books, I
find within the pages – a whole new world of comfort, experience, joy as
I relate to the characters and can find myself imagining what my life
would be like If I lived in that story. I have a writing mask – where I
find comfort in writing, it is my passion, something that I could enjoy
forever- It is a mask that I have come to love and rely on so much that I
would not know what to do with myself if it was to one day disappear,
it would be like a part of me was missing. I have the “I’m alright”
mask, this is the one where we hide all our insecurities, our hurts and
pains – the one where we are so afraid of being hurt that we hate to
show the world, so we paste a smile on our face. I have the nightly mask
of “The Phantom Paragrapher” – a mysterious world of reading, writing,
meeting new authors and discovering new books. This is the mask that I
thrive on, it is what keeps me entertained and keeps my writing and
reading mask going forth. I have my “dark mask” , it’s the mask where I
like supernatural’s especially Vampires and Demons , it’s the mask that
keeps my head in tuned with books like Vampire Diaries, True Blood. It
is the side of me that loves Horror movies and Crime Shows. I have a
slight spontaneity side, it’s the side that I can go with the flow, a
side where I can be me and I don’t have the slightest care in the world,
though that side is hardly ever shown as my side of rejection
overpowers it – it hinders me as I make it hard to make friends, go on
dates, it’s the side that needs encouragement and the side unfortunately
that lets itself get hurt over and over again. It’s the side that
where’s its heart on its sleeve. Who Am I really, nobody knows and if
they thought they did – then they only know the side I want them to see.
Whenever, I think about Who I Am? There is a poem that comes to my mind
written by Charles C. Finn, I read the poem in a Chicken Soup for the
Teenage Soul Book.
Please Hear What I'm Not Saying Don't be fooled by me. Don't be fooled by the face I wear For I wear a mask, a thousand masks, Masks that I'm afraid to take off And none of them is me.
Pretending is an art that's second nature with me, but don't be fooled, for God's sake don't be fooled.
I give you the impression that I'm secure, that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without, that confidence is my name and coolness my game, that the water's calm and I'm in command and that I need no one, but don't believe me.
My surface may be smooth but my surface is my mask, ever-varying and ever-concealing. Beneath lies no complacence. Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness. But I hide this. I don't want anybody to know it. I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed. That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind, a nonchalant sophisticated facade, to help me pretend, to shield me from the glance that knows.
But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only hope, and I know it. That is, if it is followed by acceptance, If it is followed by love. It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself from my own self-built prison walls from the barriers that I so painstakingly erect. It's the only thing that will assure me of what I can't assure myself, that I'm really worth something.
But I don't tell you this. I don't dare to. I'm afraid to. I'm afraid you'll think less of me, that you'll laugh, and your laugh would kill me. I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing and that you will see this and reject me.
So I play my game, my desperate, pretending game With a façade of assurance without And a trembling child within.
So begins the glittering but empty parade of Masks, And my life becomes a front. I tell you everything that's really nothing, and nothing of what's everything,of what's crying within me.
So when I'm going through my routine do not be fooled by what I'm saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying, what I'd like to be able to say, what for survival I need to say,but what I can't say/
I don't like hiding. I don't like playing superficial phony games. I want to stop playing them. I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me but you've got to help me.
You've got to hold out your hand even when that's the last thing I seem to want. Only you can wipe away from my eyes the blank stare of the breathing dead. Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you're kind, and gentle, and encouraging, each time you try to understand because you really care, my heart begins to grow wings -- very small wings, but wings!
With your power to touch me into feeling you can breathe life into me. I want you to know that. I want you to know how important you are to me, how you can be a creator--an honest-to-God creator -- of the person that is meif you choose to.
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble, you alone can remove my mask, you alone can release me from the shadow-world of panic, from my lonely prison,if you choose to.
Please choose to. Do not pass me by.It will not be easy for you. A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls. The nearer you approach me the blinder I may strike back. It's irrational, but despite what the books may say about man often I am irrational. I fight against the very thing I cry out for. But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls and in this lies my hope.
Please try to beat down those walls with firm hands but with gentle hands for a child is very sensitive.
Who am I, you may wonder? I am someone you know very well. For I am every man you meet and I am every woman you meet.