Flip sides of the same coin

Coin

He may look like me. He may sound like me. But unless you knew otherwise, you would be forgiven for thinking that I had an identical twin brother.

I don’t have an identical twin brother.

And yet people who know me in person who also read my blog tell me that it’s like knowing two completely different people.

I’m a strongly introverted person. I’m shy and frequently awkward in social situations, I draw energy primarily from my own thoughts rather than interaction with others and I prefer the written word to the spoken one.

It’s that sharp distinction in preferences that define the personality you see in my writing and the one you would encounter face-to-face. Tim the blogger is confident, energetic and comfortable in his own skin. Tim in person lacks confidence, shies away from social contact and speaks with a slight stammer.

One person, but on the surface two entirely different personalities. And yet, in reality, they’re just flip sides of the same coin.

Ask me a question in person and I will um and ah and struggle to maintain eye contact and probably either give you a one-word answer or I will babble incoherently, bouncing off the walls in all manner of random and unstructured directions. But ask me to write 500 words or put together a presentation to explain my thoughts and I can construct a tight, clear narrative better than most.

Heads or tails? One coin, two sides.

Some people are supremely confident presenting to a large audience or are able to make easy small talk in a room full of strangers, but ask them to put their thoughts down on paper and they suffer from brain-freeze. I’m the opposite: fluent on paper, incoherent in public. It’s who I am.

It’s one of the big reasons why I took to blogging like the proverbial duck to water. To me, settling down in front of a keyboard with the opportunity to craft words into something meaningful is like putting clay in a potter’s hands or settling into a steaming hot bath. It makes me comfortable, it relaxes me and it brings out a side of me that you rarely see in face-to-face interactions.

Writing this post has been easy. If you’d asked me to do the same verbally, I’d have run out of the room screaming by now.

So if you’re someone I know who is reading my blog for the first time: yes, this is still me. Conversely, if you only know me from my writing and you see me at a bloggers’ event somewhere and recognise me from my photo – I’ll be the one nursing a glass of wine in the corner pretending to be engrossed in my phone – don’t be surprised if I don’t make the first move. But do come over and say hi. I’m not being unfriendly. I’m just being me.

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