ARt iN lifE
Every once in a while, I take an opportunity to write from the heart. Not that my writings are less than heartfelt or lack in conviction or passion. Quite the contrary: writing is cathodic — a nuance that allows a release of thoughts within that generally clash with the reality of a world that is simply too real at times.
Death is all around us and every person is on a crash course with this certainty. And, there are times when the thought of not being here anymore sucks. Truth. I’m not sure how many people think about it like this and if perhaps the turmoil inside, regarding this certainty is simply my own burden to bear. But we all think about death from time to time, Don’t we?
To varying degrees I imagine…
My life is a constant conflict, contractually committed to coexisting in a commissary of a commonplace existence. Fuck, that is so stupid. I can’t believe it came off the page — but there it is. For all the world to see. Stupidity or arrogance, there are times I can’t decipher my own thoughts.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am happy. There is happiness afforded, in doses. My beautiful partner that brings day to day joy even though we both struggle with the reality of all an too unkind world that stops for no one and has no time to examine the why of it all. We put on our bravest face and announce to the world that everything is perfectly perfect — a proliferation of palatable persuasion. Alliteration is stupid yet, offers up unlimited, if not childish amusement for one that chooses to use it so recklessly…
I’m afraid of mediocrity. I can do many things, yet I’m not great at anything. I’m a professional dabbler. Life is short and at some point along the journey, it was decided that it would be neat to try everything. And, at the risk of not being great at anything — I went about my merry way.
“What do you do?” comes a frequent question that is usually followed right after an introduction at social gatherings. A mostly innocuous question that can open the door to conversation. You’ll find it on page 23 of 101 one things you can do to start a conversation for the awkwardly introverted. Which, by all accounts and from what I’ve seen on facebook — accounts for approximately 87.432% of every one of us on planet Earth.
“Take an interest in the person you have just met by asking them questions about themselves — people always warm up to the idea of talking about things that interest them and of course, themselves…”
So what does a introverted person do when faced with the reality (in their mind) that in order to be accepted, they must please all those around? The path most traveled is at times the loneliest. Especially when it doesn’t allow for truthful expression. Sometimes I want so much to be accepted that I’m not even sure who the person is on the outside, representing the person on the in.
Affable. That’s how I come across. At least that’s the perception I have of myself in regards to how others see me. Yet, what if I’m wrong? Confounding and at times painful to deal with; there’s the demon within that wants to tell you to fuck off and let the chips fall where they may. But that means casualties. And when there are casualties — it’s horrible. Nothing feels so completely devasating as when you hurt another in a moment of pure selfishness.
What right? There is no right — yet you realize that at times, the only way to quiet the demons is to take some flesh. So you do. I would guess the feeling is something like that of a crack addict yearning for a hit, realizing with every pull that the feeling will be short lived before the turmoil returns, signalling the need to poison the body again.
I am an artist. A uncommitted artist because, I simply don’t have the ability to say “Fuck you.” The will and the desire is there. I want to share my body of work and let the world judge me. I’m not afraid of criticism. If I was, there is no way I would share my inner most thoughts on the page for literally anyone and everyone to read.
But the truth behind being a legitimate artist is that you have to disregard the voices. Those around you that buzz in your ear — letting you know it’s not good enough, it’s not different enough or, it simply isn’t accessible enough.
Therein lies the quandary, especially for a pleaser. (at the time of this writing, current dictionaries don’t recognize the term “pleaser” and as such, it remains with red underline to torment me…) If you Google “pleaser” it comes up with a list of ways not to please. Pretty text book stuff and relevant to my own particular obstacles in life.
Pleaser sometimes equates to pushover and one that can easily be taken advantage of. And in turn, can easily be dismissed and or discarded. Which, as it turns out, is something that I’m familiar with.
“ You will never reach your potential as an individual if you are constantly imprisoned by others’ expectations. Eventually, when people have had enough of your services, they will not recognize you for your true worth: but for the number of errands you can do for them.”
Which is kind of how things have turned out over the years. And, the problem proliferates with each act of trying to please. Those that you want to respect you the most — respect you the least because your actions signal weakness.
And, you contemplate alienating yourself in the quest to be respected…
I knew someone like this. He died this past week. He was an asshole to those who didn’t know him personally but then I find out it was a persona and that the real him had a big heart, was generous, made a difference in the community and was also a patron of the arts. I knew him as a complete dick.
It’s a true dilemma. And then again, maybe it isn’t… my real friends know me and should I give two fucks what you think of me? As the clock ticks down on this existence I’m living, it’s starting to become apparent that I need to make a mark — before it’s too late.
Please don’t hate me but fuck you to infinity, especially those of you that thought me weak and took advantage, used me up and threw me away. You know who you are.
I love you.
I was asked for the source on the quote “you will never reach…” but as there were 84 editors on the particular piece, I leave everyone with the link. Those pleasers out there will find it useful.