Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

While the difference between real-life Tom and the Tom-that-blogs is not as marked as Dr Jekyll and his evil alter-ego, they are by no means the same person. I mean I am one person but, like everybody else, I'm made up of a multitude of different identities*. To my parents, I'm a son. When I'm with them, I behave in a way that's completely different to the way I behave with my friends. Without meaning to, I assume a different manner depending on who I'm with. The same applies to my online persona.

Firstly, like Allison, my blog is a secret from all but two of the people I know in real life. Initially, I kept it under wraps because I wasn't sure if I'd keep it up. As if I were pregnant, I left it precisely three months before telling anyone. I have to say, I don't think this secrecy is good for me. I feel like a spy, doing all I can cover my tracks and avoid discovery of the virtual skeleton in my virtual cupboard. The other day the girl that sits next to me at work created a Twitter account. I went into meltdown. "If she finds my twitter, she'll look at my followers. She'll see that I follow 20sb. She'll find...oh my God, I can't even say it. I CAN'T EVEN THINK IT." After the panic dispersed and I regained my sanity, I asked myself why the possibility that she could stumble across something I'd written bothered me so much. And I couldn't really think of an answer.

Looking back at my (embarrassing) first post, I described three reasons for starting a blog;
  1. To help me remember the interesting things that I do.
  2. To remind me that my life is interesting, no matter how bored I may feel [This seems incredibly similar to point 1, and why it's a separate reason is unclear even to me. Hey ho, you live and learn.]
  3. Something about London, which, again, is complete nonsense and doesn't make sense.
Fortunately, my blog took on a life of its own. It evolved. It acquired a purpose I hadn't considered; it now enables me to communicate the thoughts I have that I'd never drop into conversation with friends or family. Either because I'd be embarrassed to, or worried I'd cause offense or because it would be out of character, I suppose.

In real life, I don't come across as a thoughtful person. I doubt you'd think I'd have anything interesting or unusual to say if you met me on the street, or drinking in the kitchen at a house party. I'd say the first impression I give off actually veers dangerously towards vacuous and shallow. And I don't mind that really, mainly because I now have somewhere that reminds me that there is more to me than what people usually see.

But the best bit, as Allison has already mentioned, is the people who read what you write and write what you read. I love the fact that after a day of mind-numbing dullness in the office I can come home and read about tempests in the Philippines or rude Canadian coffee-drinkers, blossoming romance and embarrassing drunken antics from all of the world. I can be transported to other countries, read about other highs and other lows, and that's a great thing. It never fails to make the world seem a more colourful and exciting place than the grey, monotonous one I'm sometimes convinced I live in.

In conclusion, I would say that my blog persona is most similar to the patient and long-suffering Dr Jekyll; a respectable, thoughtful and quiet individual engaged in constant a battle with my far more raucous and far less interesting real-life self. Unfortunately, it's normally the stupid drunk one that wins. That's all from London. Now for a few words from our American correspondent...

This is 'Work-Tom'. Please note bags under eyes, pale skin from too much time indoors, and look of despair.

* I would pretend that this is a theory I was the first to expound, but I know you'd see right through it. I've read about it somewhere, I just can't remember where. If you're desperate to find the answer, I'd ask Rachel; the fountain of all philosophical knowledge.


  1. It seems you've fallen victim to the time difference as well...I wish Blogger would allow us to each us our own Time Zones.

    And I'm sure you're not dull in real life. You're too hard on yourself. It's funny how different our blogs started out as, and what they've become.

    I started mine because I had just turned 25 and was unhappy with my current position in life and wanted a place to talk about that without whining to my friends and family.

    See ya Friday (hopefully) Lauren!

  2. I love this topic!

    You guys are all amazing...seriously, I'm obsessed.

  3. Oh, and Tom - Your photo is fantastic! Work Job does look bored with it all. Good thing you have Blog Tom, and Pub Tom to help you through it.

    Adria - It's nice to have fans.

  4. I had to remove the above post. There was a typo and it would of bugged me for years. Anyway, original post:

    My blog took on a life of it's own as well. And thank crap for that. It was rather boring at first. I didn't quite know what I was doing. And the title had the word 'lethargic' in it, so you know it was super active and full of progress.

    Also that photo truly sums up all working days ever. I felt like that today. I wasn't in work; but it was as good as. Let me tell you, changing your blog name is not to be messed with. It's TOO hard. I didn't consider ANYTHING. I just sucked in all of my capriciousness and let loose. And now I've lost access to some stuff. My god. It's 2am here and I am ranting to myself in a comment on this lovely blog. Must. Stop. Self.

    Let's move on shall we:

    Thank you for the linkage there. But it's the old url! The new one can be found at Life with coffee spoons

    OH YEAH. I'm whoring around. (but legitimately, making it fine.)

    I've probably undermined my whoring up there^ by my rant above.

    Also by using the '^' symbol I didn't mean to imply my whoring up there was to the power of my rant above.

    That sounds pretty cool actually.
    Oh God. Make me stop typing.

  5. It's cool Rachel - I deleted it :)

  6. Thank you! :) Is there anyway you can edit my reference to a deleted post? Otherwise I may look mad. Although, I should probably let the madness stand; give people a good hefty warning.

  7. I don't think I can edit comments.

    Attn: Readers - Rachel is awesome and fixed her comment's grammar error. Don't be alarmed and confused by these comments.

    I love people who care about spelling and grammar!

  8. Add glasses and maybe a more female look and that's me at work in the front of the computer all day too...plus windowless box office and stiff neck! Enjoying reading your guys different views.

  9. @ Allison - I know, time zone fail. I thought I was 8 hours ahead, meaning posting it at 6 in the evening should have been alright. Who knows. I'm not very good at maths, or telling the time for that matter.

    Haha, and I'm not exactly dull in real life. I have a laugh and plenty to talk about, only none of it is different or unusual, you know?

    @ Adria - that means a lot coming from someone who writes so well and leads such an interesting life! Cheers!

    @ Rachel - what in God's name are you talking about? I think you may be mad. You definitely look it.

    I'm joking - the pursuit of good grammar is an admirable one (just don't pay too much attention to my posts because there are some howlers in them!). I'm sorry I linked the wrong blog - GOOD PEOPLE OF THE WORLD, PLEASE VISIT RACHEL'S NEW BLOG (linked in her comment above) BEFORE SHE GOES ALL MAD AGAIN. It is worth it. I thought I couldn't get on it the other day. I think my reader in Blogger was linking to the old one. I'm there now though, I think? Am I there?

    @ Amiee - Ah, at least my office does have a window, and a view over miles of train track and a car wash. Nice. The people on the other side can see the London Eye; how unfair is that? They get a world-famous landmark, I get Kings Cross.

  10. I love your Dr Jekyl/Mr Hyde analogy. It's funny to think of you being "vacuous and shallow" in real life because I am so used to your intelligent, witty, and well-cultured blog persona. I think Allison is right and you're being too hard on yourself. :P

    I will be putting my post up very soon. Look, it's still Friday - I don't fail at life this week! Unless I get caught in a transatlantic time warp...

  11. If you get caught in the Time Warp no one will blame you - we've all done it.

  12. I love Allison's Rocky Horror reference. Nicely done, lady.

    I would much prefer a Tempest in the Phils to a rubbishy typhoon.

    Re: bloggers (and this blog in particular), I'll steal a quote from the Tempest:

    "O wonder!
    How many goodly creatures are there here!
    How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world
    That has such people in't!"

  13. Time Warp? We were joking in emails to each other because we each live in different time zones our posts go up with the wrong time stamp on them, and in some cases, the wrong date.

    I wasn't consciously thinking about Rocky Horror. My brain works in strange ways.

  14. @ Lauren - yes, maybe I was being a bit harsh. And thanks for your kind words regarding my blog persona :) What I mean is, I think I'm less interesting, I suppose. Or at least I have less interesting things to say.

    @ Risha - I've been humming Rocky Horror since the Transatlantic Time Warp came into being. And trust you to get all cultured! I love that quote *makes mental note*. You know, I've only ever read one Shakespeare play. Shocking no? I am ashamed, so I purchased a huge anthology.

    @ Allison - Your brain works in AMAZING ways.