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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

A Dissection of Me – Exploring what makes me, “me”

Image: Picture of Me (Mark Hanlon)
Picture of Me (Mark Hanlon)

Who are we? What makes us, us? How would you describe yourself to a stranger? How honest would you be with the response? Today’s challenge, lets explore a dissection of Mark Hanlon and try to answer the question of “what makes me, “me”?”

Overcoming Writers Block

I was speaking to a friend the other night and noted that I have had a bit of a writing block when it came to my blog — what inspires us can vary, what we are passionate about changes over time, and then again there is always the age old question of “Who do we write for?” I have never wanted the site to be a chore, never writing because I felt I was obligated to.  I suppose that is one reason why I am fortunate not to have a regular following, then again I can attribute a portion of that downfall to the lack of exposure in WordPress Reader for those of use with self hosted sites.

When I was taking the Blogging 101 I noticed that dailypost.wordpress.com had a Post a Day section, and something that is a little more my speed, a Post a Week from which to seek some writing inspiration so off I went.

Digging for Roots – In this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge, tell us about what makes you, you.

Answering the Question: What makes me, me?

As I sit back and try to break topic down in my head,  it quickly occurs to me how muttled the discussion could be.  How can you stand back and look at ourselves objectively as we begin to peel back each layer of our being?  Where to start, what would interest our audience?  Are you curious about what happened in our life that shaped and mold us into the people we are, did our parents divorce at an early age, was there a defining moment, were we were the over weight kid that was always picked up, the jock whose dreams of a career in special sports was crushed at an early age do to an injury and never recovered?    On the flip side, we could look at the here and now – if we stood back and asked ourself, “Who is Mark, how would someone describe me”, how would we describe ourselves is equally as relevant to answering the questions?

I was curious about the later, and to be honest, looking deep into my soul was something that I needed to build a little confidence to tackle the question of who I really am in such an intimate environment as this.   What was equally as interesting, and at the same time scary, was wondering who others viewed me.  So off I went in search of some answers and here is one one friend said:

You are  neutral with others.  You don’t share anything with others and reluctancy say anything about myself.  But when they get to know you, tou are fun and whitty, smart, with a stupid morality and can be a right pain in the ass sometimes.  Generous and really really patient.



For me, I am just me. I am that guy that has never been confident enough for his own good, a wallflower, that hears all, sees all.  I probably spend far to much time evaluating every option and outcome then just saying screw it and jumping in with two feet and treading my own path.  My friends have always been few and far between, however, for those I have let in, I could not imagine them as anything less then lifelong partners in crime, the type of people that if either of us needed anything at 3 a.m. we would open our doors, turn off the coffee maker or open a bottle of wine and tackle life together. In many ways I am very private – keeping everything from having a child, to challenging relationships to myself.  Why is that you ask?   A very good question — and could not really answer that mystery.  I suppose in many ways I do not want to be a burden to my fiends, yet again, isn’t that not what friends are for?  As I said before I look at every side of every situation, which also helps me relate to experiences others are going through — or atleast try to relate, and rarely judgemental of peoples choices as I know there are many sides to every story.  At the same time, I put everything, and I mean everything before my own happiness – selfless comes to mind, however, stupid morality probably fits equally as well.

Dissecting myself has become an intriguing idea, one that I think I may explore at a deeper level. At times, I think there is a benefit of having an anonymous blog, being able to write without concern what what friends or family would think or how they would react. However, a few words at a time, peeling away those layers of my opinion, may help me understand myself a little more.  Looking back on my life, it is interesting the path we have taken to get were we are, looking at ourselves now, we can ask, “Why are we content being a wallflower”, and where do we want to be in the future.   I am no longer that person that has very little to say, that had trouble holding up his end of a conversation, I am certainly not the person I was ten years ago.  People change, we grow, we evolve, some times out of choice and hard work, but most of the time just moulded by time and experiences.  No matter the motivation, one thing is for certain is that change will continue — after all, even the grump old man around the corner, could have been some young hip gangsta in his time.


  1. I didn’t realize that your posts don’t show up in the Reader, Mark, so thanks for explaining that: I’ll try to make sure that I get an email notification when you post.

    You are braver than I am to take on self-analysis, but it would be interesting to know how many bloggers share those characteristics of being somewhat reserved with others? I certainly do.

    • Ahh yes good ol’Reader. The only downfall of self hosted websites. I have been considering moving my url over to WordPress.com to be able to jump i to the Reader universe, however, know i would miss out in the control of my custom theme and plugins. However, something I want to explore more fully at the same time.

      I admit, i did turn off my automatic Facebook and Twitter broadcast for that post so was a little shy with hitting post. Even what i though i coukd put into thr bloggin univese when i first choose thr topic compared to hitting save was not as bold as well. Baby steps.

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Mark Hanlon


Mark is an avid photographer, Starbucks addict, motivated cyclist, struggling runner, and rocking single parent living outside of Toronto, Ontario. Living with two chronic ilnesses, Crohn’s Disease and Diabetes, life for this Transportation Planner and Registered Professional Planner (RPP) can be an interesting mix.