I acquired a new reader over the weekend.
How do I know? Not because I obsessively check my stats (I am so over that), but because she mentioned it to me at work today. She's likely to be reading this, I suppose, so I'd better give her a name, otherwise it's a bit rude isn't it? Let's call her Rufus-Fan.
It's my own fault really. Rufus-Fan and I were chewing the cud on Friday afternoon, and when she asked me what I was up to at the weekend. I said that I was doing a 50km walk, and when she then asked why, it just seemed easier to show her the Ultimate Olympian's blog, as that would explain everything. Being a curious sort, and because it's a ridiculous challenge and a very well-written blog, she read a fair bit of it. Somewhere in there I'm mentioned by name and there's a link here. A curious Rufus-Fan clicked the link, and found this blog, and then read on with interest.
There is something mildly disconcerting about discovering that a colleague from work is reading this. I think it's got something to do with the protection of my anonymity.
Believe it or not, SwissToni isn't actually my real name.
That's pretty much the entire extent of the figleaf protecting my identity on this blog though. My real name is fairly readily available if you wanted to find it, you know I live in Nottingham, and as if that wasn't enough, I quite often post pictures of myself (sans moustache). Alright, I don't talk much about my job, but that's mainly because it would probably be as boring for you to read about as it would be for me to write about it. I also don't think I've ever mentioned the name of the company I work for, although it wouldn't be terribly hard to guess it. If you asked me what it was, I'd probably tell you anyway.
Nah. It's not my anonymity on the internet that I'm worried about protecting; I want to protect some of my real identity from work.
I'm sure to some extent we all do it, no matter how much we may try not to. We all have a work persona that is different from the way we are when we are amongst our friends. My dad is certainly like this: I have always struggled to reconcile the grumpy and impatient man that I know (especially when I'm ill), with the caring and expert doctor that the majority of his patients clearly see.
Whilst I try to be myself at work as much as I can, I just can't be entirely me, and actually I think I quite like it that way. I don't live to work, and although I get on really well with a lot of people in the office, I can count the number of real friends that I have at work, friends who I would happily spend some time with voluntarily outside of work, on the fingers of one hand. If I meet colleagues from work out of the context of the office, say at the supermarket, I am almost always entirely stumped for words. Part of it is my natural shyness, but some of it is because I just don't have anything to say to them away from work. I don't really know what my colleagues think of me, but I'm pretty sure that they don't really know me all that well, and that's fine. I like keeping something back.
I am pretty honest on this blog, I think. Whilst I don't talk about everything that's happening in my life here, I do talk about a lot of things. You know a lot about my politics. You know about my schooling. You know what kind of music I like. You know what kind of books I read. I've been telling total strangers things about my life that I've never told anybody in the whole world about before. C. sometimes says that she has to read this blog to really know what's on my mind; to know what I've been thinking about.
So how do I feel about some of my colleagues at work having access to these insights? Will it begin to constrain some of the things that I talk about?
Nah. I don't think so.
What you read here is basically what I'm like. These are the things that I really think about, the things that I really care about. Anyone who is interested enough to read these ramblings, is welcome to them, and that certainly includes Rufus-Fan (who, incidentally, has an excellent taste in music, and is thinking of starting her own blog.... I think she definitely should. I'd read it.)
Now, it might be a bit weird if absolutely everyone I worked with read this, but I don't think I'll ever have that many readers, and I'm not all that sure that everyone I work with has the requisite concentration span to plough through my overly verbose ramblings.
I'm constantly amazed that anyone does.