A persona of myself

selfie01aA year ago, I had this crazy idea of creating an online persona. I was going through one of these phases where I hate myself and wish I was somebody else, when I realised that with the internet I could be someone else. Nobody would know it wasn’t true.

I’d create a character for myself, the person I’d love to be. She’d be beautiful, stylish, elegant, classy, smart, sensitive… I could dye my hair, photoshop my face, use a pen name. There were no limits to whom I could pretend to be. I mean, obviously I couldn’t pretend to be famous or anything, but… I wouldn’t want that anyway.

Hannah Jane McMurray 03
Ida would look more or less like Hannah Jane McMurray

The name I chose for her was Ida. It’s made up the 3 central letters of my full name. If I was to make it big or get found out as a “fraud”, I could say cool stuff like “Ida is my core self”.

She would be a writer. Not a famous one, just… a surviving one. Ghostwriter, maybe? That would explain why her name couldn’t be found anywhere. She’d be driven, she’d know how to get things done, unlike me. She wouldn’t bother with countless hobbies like I do, either. She’d be writing, reading… maybe just… playing piano in her free time (I do play a little).

She’d be 30 something and have written several books. She wouldn’t let herself get sidetracked. She’d be quite assertive, too. And a businesswoman, out of necessity.

Her beauty routine would be psychotically perfect: she’d exercise 6 days a week, eat healthily, keep a steady weight all year long. She’d take excellent care of her skin, paint her nails, go the beauty parlour every week. Her house would be clean, her garden well-groomed.

Belle 03
Art by Arisbeth Cruz Hernandez

Oh, but she’d have to have a few faults, or else she’d look superhuman. So… I guess… uh… well, she’d be a perfectionist like me. And then… wait, I gave her too many qualities, she looks like a freaking Disney princess. She wouldn’t be assertive; she’d be a shyish introvert like myself. And she wouldn’t be so pretty. It’d be a bother to heavily photoshop all of my pictures anyway. There is no need for a writer to be model-pretty.

That’s when I realised the beauty to die for was the only unachievable characteristic – that is without surgery and time-consuming daily routines. Nothing was keeping me from becoming that person. I could take better care of myself. I could give up those hobbies that didn’t make me feel like I was doing anything of value.

Ida became me. I was fine with it; I was good enough. I already was who I wanted to be, all that was missing was a clear path to follow.

DIGITAL CAMERAThen, gradually, I became more like the original Ida. I became more driven; I wrote two first drafts; I gave up all the extra hobbies I could; I even started going to the beauty parlour every few weeks. I still gain weight in the winter to lose in the spring; my house is still messy most of the time; my lawn is half grass, half dandelions. It’s fine. People gotta have faults, hey?

Becoming a surviving writer might never be possible. It doesn’t matter, being a struggling writer is good enough.

Who would have thought I’d have to create a fake identity to find my true identity?

Just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful, magical person that your are.
– Mandy Hale


21 thoughts on “A persona of myself

  1. Easy for you to say 😒 You’re pretty!
    You don’t need to look like a model, because you’re already beautiful the way you are!
    That isn’t particularly the case for the rest of us, ‘wannabe writers’.😅
    But that being said, I agree with everything you mentioned.🤗
    Ps, this is the best thing I read on the internet today ❤️️ Thanks 😋

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I loved your post, especially how it ended on a positive note. You became what you always wanted to become or at least came close to it, but hey! that’s no less than an achievement right..?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is so relatable! I thought I was the only one going through that phase, but turns out there are many like me! (although my alternate persona would be Camila Mendes)
    But this is well thought out, and sharing it with everyone requires courage. You go!
    Check out my blog as well 🙂 I write poetry, travelogues, theories and reviews.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. So many of us probably want to be a different and better person, I know I’ve had my moments. And you are right, we can become the our best versions of ourselves if we only love and value ourselves more

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think you’d be surprised how many people find themselves by living through a different identity. I too write under a pseudonym and although it started as a way to share my writing anonymously, the pseudonym has now become part of me, and in many ways, closer to my true identity than I realized.

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I look forward to reading your work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thanks for sharing! Glad to know I’m not alone… I guess creating a persona for ourselves is a way to learn how to really *own* who we are… or even dare to be ourselves and not be sorry about it. ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

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