Showing the real it fades

I was choosing the latest picture for my writing blog and realised that when I choose pictures of adult women for it, they are usually atmospheric, unsettling and with smooth, calm, but unnerving expressions. In contrast, when I choose the pictures for this blog, well, you know how that turns out.

For some reason, once I had decided to seek out pictures of engaging little girls (and sometimes boys) to illustrate my posts, I was able to find ones which really emphasized the feel of each post. Mostly, I'm looking for an expression of emotion, sometimes the setting is more important.

I have great fun choosing them and often get a buzz from finding the one that fits, just right. Some of the girls are familiar to me, as I go back to the same photographer, finding their little models encapsulate the essence of my blog. Yes, like a bad parent, I have favourites.

And then, back to my writing blog, where it's mostly pictures of adults and away go the smiles, draining off the emotion, taking away the open honesty in the faces. Is this what it's really like in the adult aspie world?

It struck me that part of my reason for choosing girls for the aspie blog was because their expressions are often more free than an adult model. Children express themselves much more openly - and then, sometimes, learn the hard way and become more reserved.

As adult aspies, how many of us walk along with a happy smile, open to the world? Not many, I bet. And yet, if I meet children, I am open and can be myself much more easily than with adults.

What worried me more than this split in the pictures was that when I choose the writing blog pictures, I often reflect a part of me that has to do something, right here and now, in my creative world. It has a specific remit, to show the writerly side of me, including the practical aspects.

If I follow this logic, then the creative side of me is tortured and needs help expressing itself to the world. Whereas the aspie side is a bundle of energy and expression, shown in the pictures chosen over the lifetime of this blog.

The aspie blog deals with a wide range of issues and life situations. If I have lived it or tried to live it, then it will make its way into this blog. It encompasses lots of different issues and emotions too. The writing blog goes to the side a little and settles in one area of my life. My writing is obviously affected by being an aspie, but I think it's a more specific effect.

For instance, if I don't sleep then real life gets pretty difficult and weird. In terms of my writing, though, no sleep, at the right level, can stimulate the sort of creativity I only see once in a while. As I go off madly into the distance, I take the pen with me. Real life is in tatters, but the writing grooves on.

I think we all have very separate parts of ourselves, especially if we feel the need to protect the inner person from the outer world. I just hadn't realised how much of this is shown in choices we think are about something else entirely. While choosing pictures for two separate blogs, I have discovered a side of myself that I hadn't considered.

In other parts of our lives, what do we separate without even realising? How often do we turn away inside, then on the outside show people what they expect to see? How often, my friends, do we keep the blank face for the world and protect our inner child, full of nuance and expression, inside of us?

Like holding hands with our little selves, do we go through life with our faces ready to ward off dangers and make sure our smaller companion can go on being happy and carefree? Do we only show our true brightness when we turn to face ourselves and can be open and safe?

I have to say, I don't know if this is a bad thing. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that some people would dearly love me to show the real me always. The problem is, as a lot of you know, we have more than one 'real' persona. What the world sees is what we have learned to give, but it is also what we know we can cope with. If we were to be completely open, like children, even a kind world would be too much.

I'm sorry for any readers who think I'm in a quandary here. I'm not. I feel quite shocked that these different people within me have such a separate attitude to life, but I'm not looking to change it anytime soon. People I count as friends get to see the inner child and dance with her, hands clasped together as we giggle at nothing. The rest of the world can have the side of me that is able to be there. Sometimes, there is still dancing and laughter, just not as often.

Readers, say hello to your inner selves for me. From my jolly little girl to your true self, I can wave hello and know we see each other, truly, as friends across a distance.


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