being recognised in public

Being Recognised in Public

A couple of weeks ago, I organized to meet up with my grandparents at our local shopping centre. I arrived a little early with Phoebe and Maggie, so I took them to the indoor play area and sat down to watch the girls play.

As I reached down to get my phone to check on my emails, a middle-aged Asian man came up to me to say hello. I smiled at him and replied with a friendly hello, while turning my head to watch the girls.

The man then proceeded to say he recognized me as I was a ‘public figure’. He asked me to guess where he knew me from.

I had never seen this man in my life. I assumed he may have recognized me from an article in the local paper about receiving my female plumbing ambassadorship award on World Plumbing Day. He could have recognized me from my blog or he could have been an old client that I had strangely not remembered.

I asked him if he knew me from my plumbing blog or from being a plumber. He looked at me a little confused and said he didn’t read the internet. That got me thinking and I assumed he may have got me confused with somebody else.

But then he said ‘I know your last name is Senyard. And you are public figure. I haven’t seen you for long while.’

The fact this man knew my surname meant he must have known me in a closer circle. It turned out he knew me from my old church. He recognized me as a ‘public figure’ because Jacob and I would often be at the front of the church singing or performing.

The man told me that he had only been thinking about me and my husband and had commented to his wife that he hadn’t seen us for a very long while. I told him we hadn’t been to that church in a little under 3 years.

He then said that he missed seeing me and my husband at church, which had me feeling all the feels. What a lovely thing to say.

I told him what church we went to now and pointed out Maggie and Phoebe, as Maggie wasn’t even one when we left to find a new church and Phoebe… well she was just an embryo whom we had no idea about.

He gave me some parenting advice and then he went on his way, saying he was glad to have run into me, after he had thought about me.

As he walked away, I smiled and thought how random. Here I thought I might have had a reader coming to say hi because they read my blog. But I was recognized simply for attending church and serving on the stage.

This has now prompted me to send a quick text or message to a friend I haven’t seen in ages. There are plenty of times during the week that I stop and think of someone I haven’t seen in a while and wonder how they are.

An old friend from Mother’s Group or Playgroup.

A school friend.

A work colleague that went on maternity leave.

It’s a lovely feeling to be noticed, but even more so when your presence has been missed.

Have you ever had someone send a random text to say they’re thinking about you and have missed you? Ever had a reader recognise you in public and tell you that they read your blog?

After writing this post, I had a blogging friend message me to say that one of her friends from bookclub recognized me at a shopping centre and really liked the dress I was wearing which she later saw I had shared on Instagram.

It seems the world we live in is smaller than we realise!

I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

  • What a lovely story! You’re right it is a small world, after all! A reader from Melbourne once spotted me in the centre of Sydney, she called my name and of course, we had a selfie. It was so random but so funny!

    • Oh that’s the ultimate way to treat a fan – take a seflie with them. I love that you did that. x

  • I get the same feelings when a child comes up to me recognising me as the author of their books, or from presenting at their school, or as their sister’s old coach or something. It makes me very aware that I always need to be the best that I can be when out in public too because whether I realise it or not, I may just be a role model to these kids. I always say that to my own kids too. Always be your best out there because we are all role models to somebody.

    • So true Leanne. You never know who will be watching. x

  • LydiaCLee

    I had a woman come up to me at the Opera House and say “I know you! Your the lady with the kick ass stocking and the skeleton handbag!”. We were at the same kids swimming lessons. I LOVE that description of me, and I love that I had a friend as a witness!

  • How cool! I haven’t been recognised by a stranger for blogging but did a couple of times after being on sunrise a few years ago 🙂

    • What were you on sunrise for? Did you blog about this? How did I not know you were on TV?!

  • I once went on a women’s retreat where someone recognised me from my blog immediately which was a little strange. I have also had some emails occasionally from a reader saying they saw me somewhere but didn’t want to come up and say hi because they were embarrassed. Also felt a little strange to be recognised, but also nice that they did.

    • It’s nice that they still got in touch. Isn’t it strange that they don’t come say hi? We’re not celebrities. But I would probably hesitate too… not wanting to cause a fuss and what if I incorrectly recognize the wrong person? I’ve done that plenty of times before!

  • I had a reader come to the bootcamp at 5am just to say hello! That was dedication and the first time I understood how what I do impacts other people. xx

    • WOW! That is dedication. Haha. You do have an incredible impact on people. I believe we all do. x

  • I used to get a lot of random people think they recognised me when they actually didn’t. I just looked like someone else they knew – lol! I’ve never been recognised from my blog.

    • LOL. That is random. Maybe you look like someone famous?

  • Tonia Zemek

    I love this line, Bec: “It’s a lovely feeling to be noticed, but even more so when your presence has been missed.” Such a touching post and so, so true.

    • I think we can all be missed by somebody. We can never take for granted our presence and the presence of other people in our lives. x

  • Lovely story. It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life, but in this day and age it really doesn’t take much to send a quick message to a friend just to check in. Such a small thing can really brighten someone’s day 🙂

    • It really can, and he really brightened my day. 🙂

  • It’s definitely a small world! How lovely of him to stop and say hello.

  • What a lovely encounter Bec. It is a really small world, and sometimes we let it get too big. A good reminder.

    • So true. We do allow it to get too big. You have such a way with words to explain it clearly. x

  • It sure is a tiny ‘ole place. I sent 5 text messages on Sunday just to keep in touch with a few people who I have been slack with. Kindness always pays xx

  • Sarah @sarahdipityblog

    I received a message just today from an old friend of my mums. Turns out she reads my blog and just wanted to tell me she loved it and that I was making a difference. It absolutely made my day!

    • Don’t you love that! Especially when you wonder if anyone is bloody reading it. These things keep me going 😀

    • Oh that is freaking awesome. I love those types of messages. I totally believe it too. xx

  • That’s so lovely! I’m glad he came up and said hi rather than just going home to tell his family he saw you. I’ve had a few people ‘recognise’ me from blogging, but always at events where you’d expect it. No random street encounters!
    (And my hair care package arrived this morning! Thank you so much! x)

    • yay! Glad it arrived. I love seeing you at Blogging functions Em.

  • I had a man stop me in Myer and said his wife read my blog! No idea how he knew what I looked like. So funny! But you’re right, I love a little “hello” message for no reason. What a great reminder <3

    • Oh I LOVE that. Haha. I had a plumber in America tweet me a message to tell me to never stop blogging about plumbing. He started reading my blog because his wife nagged him to read it. It was so sweet. x

  • Aw, what a lovely guy. I think it’s gorgeous that he missed you at church. I am quite sure I shan’t be recognised by anyone due to my blogging but I do get occasionally emails out of the blue from old friends telling me they like “catching up” via my blog posts.

    • I love when friends mention they like catching up on my blog too. Although it is better when it’s in person.

  • Isn’t that lovely that he made himself known to you. I did this in the Supermarket recently when I was deciding on which biscuits to buy and I found myself standing next to an elderly lady who I knew to be the wife (widow now, actually) of a builder that my Dad (a plumber no less!) used to work for about about 35 years ago. When I told her who I was she was absolutely delighted that I said hello and asked after my Mum and Dad. I think it may have made her day, just like that gentlemen who spoke to you made you feel the feels. It doesn’t take much to be friendly really. Does it. And the feels work both ways! Lovely story Bec x

    • Thanks Shauna for sharing your story. I love catching up with old clients and builders or those that I’ve met in the trades. It’s lovely to say hi and reconnect even briefly. The feels can be felt by everyone when it happens. x

  • writeofthemiddle

    Such a lovely story Bec. I recently reached out to a girl I used to work with over a decade ago. We were great mates when we worked together. I do miss her and the laughs we used to have. She’s a FB friend but we don’t ever communicate. We’re going to meet up for lunch. I’m really looking forward to it! 🙂 xo

    • That’s exciting Min. You’ve reminded me to catch up with a work friend I haven’t said hi to in a while.

  • It really is a small world. Well, Brisbane is small anyway. How lovely of that man to come up and have a chat to you. At a function the other day, a woman from my daughter’s school asked me if I used to work at our local shopping centre. I told her I did – when I was 14.5 until the age of 20. She worked in the same centre and recognised me. How crazy is that?!!!

    • Wow, how random and crazy to remember all that time ago?! I want to know where you worked? x

      • I worked at Dianna Gift Shoppe. My specialties were wrapping beautiful gifts, curling ribbon, tying bows, dusting and vacuuming 🙂

        • I can imagine you doing this! Does that mean you are an expert at wrapping presents?!

          • Supposedly 🙂 I remember the first time they asked me to vacuum. I went home to mum and said ‘umm hello, they expect me to vacuum the shop at the end of the day!’ She was like, yes love, welcome to the real world 🙂

  • What a good reminder to check up on people. It’s something I need to get much better at doing.
    I don’t think anyone has ever recognised me because of my blog. I’m not quite sure what I would do it they did!

  • Natalie @ Our Parallel Connect

    Oh you are famous. Love it.

  • I haven’t had anyone come up to me in public and say they recognised me from my blog {apart from other bloggers at blogging meet ups}, but I did have a reader message me yesterday saying she found my photo challenge on pinterest and wanted to thank me for creating it because it has given her the perfect way to document her son’s first year. I thought that was lovely. Gave me a real boost thinking maybe everything that we put out in the world really does touch other people {because sometimes it can feel like we’re the only ones reading our own blogs}.

    • Aww that’s so nice. I love that she messaged you to say thank you. See, more than bloggers read your blog. I think we would be all surprised by that.

  • How sweet, you obviously made more of difference than you realised at the church.

  • How gorgeous! I blush like crazy when someone from my little town cottons on about my blog. haha! I do like to send a random text to an old friend from time to time. I once sent a message to an old workmate after hearing a song by The Cure – he loved them. It was so out the blue I think he thought I was hitting on him!! LOL!! I had to message another mutual friend to let them know he needed to calm his farm and I was still the same Jo as he’s worked with all those years ago. Just a harmless friendly workmate. Crazy town!! Lol! xx