I wrote a couple of things today. Totally not appropriate to post here, so why even mention it? Because I’m holding myself accountable. I said I would write every damn day and I am. Not all of it is going to be intended for public consumption. I struggle with that. With the notion that if I’m going to be a writer (like I’m not already) then everything I create belongs to the world, for the sake of posterity.
Ha! You can kiss my squishy posterior if you think every part of me belongs to anyone other than myself. Regardless of what I share and what I don’t, it’s still me. My words, my insanity, my rambling brain that comes up with this stuff. Yes I riff on themes I’ve encountered before, styles I admire, but I owe nobody nothing.
That said, I love to consider that the things I create stimulate a reaction. Which tends to result in a propensity towards over sharing, in the hope that more content generates more reaction. But that’s a good way for quality to be lost.
I’m super wary of the over share. I think I do it a lot and I think other people do it a lot too. I strive for the balance between closed off and too open. There’s a delicious mystery in there somewhere. Hearts on sleeve, cards close to chest. If I had to give it a personality, I would say it’s a character in a Dashiell Hammet story. He sees much, he reveals little. He understands the motivations of both the alpha and the underdog and manages to walk a path, not always uninvolved or unscathed from the effort, between the two.
But this post tonight isn’t about me. (they’re all about me to some extent, that’s unavoidable) Regardless of the oversharing there seems to be a tendency towards, I find at times, I still rarely identify with humans on the other side of the screen. I rarely identify them as humans, which is unfair.
I read a lot of stuff on the internet. Some resonates and some percolates and some aggravates and some just makes me smile. How often do I consider the person on the other side of the words? Almost. Fucking. Never.
This is my attempt to remedy that.
I try not to apologize. It suggests that I’m sorry (I’m not).
Or that I made a mistake (I didn’t).
Or that I’m Canadian (I am, but not that kind).
But in this instance, I am sorry. Because I forgot you were a person, that you have days where you look in the mirror and think…whatever it is you think, I don’t know, I’m not there.
I can project all day long what I believe you would think, that wouldn’t make it true. I can read your blogs and stories. I can look at your pictures and follow threads on various sites and infer all kinds of things about your character. But that doesn’t mean I know sweet fuck all about you. I can rejoice or envy or snort derisively or laugh until I fall off my damn chair or discover that I’m about 3 inches away from the screen drooling on my keyboard and wishing you were close enough to do that thing you wrote about to me, just once…at least until I catch my breath. Then I’ll probably want you to do it again. Goddamn are some people good at writing smut. Yum.
But you’re not here for me. And that’s a good thing, when I remember that. Because it reminds me to be here for myself. To find the things that make me happy, fulfilled, complete, without concern for what may or may not be right for anyone other than me.
So I search and I read and I watch and I learn. Lucky enough to stumble across intelligent, eloquent people who are on varying stages of the same journeys of self-discovery. It helps. So much. The hard part comes when I find stories that resonate so deeply with the places I want to be already. I’m impatient, I’m eager, I’m excited. I forget that the journey others are on, while beneficial to my own evolution, are not intrinsically tied to my own explorations. I forget that, while the most important person in my narrative is me, the same is true for them.
We all (yes, I’m generalizing, it happens, get over it) want to be seen, to connect, to find those of like mind and appetite and share parts of ourselves without concern for shame or judgement. We are social creatures, humans are. Even those of us who are firmly entrenched in a happy medium of gregarious loner. (it’s not that I don’t enjoy being social, I’m just so damn happy to socialize with books, just as, if not more readily) It’s intoxicating to imagine that someone I see as delicious, brilliant, creative, stimulating, as attractive, would see me the same way. I start to think about what I might do better, how I might look and sound more appealing, in order for that to happen.
And I stop being here for me. I’m attempting to create a likable character that might fit in some way with the dreamy personality I’ve imagined you to be. I don’t consider that there might be days when you don’t see yourself as likable, as attractive, as brilliant or delicious because I’ve stopped ascribing the qualities of being a human (who has good and bad days) to you.
I’ve stopped thinking of you as a person. You’ve become something for me to react to, whether good or bad.
I read something someone posts that is hateful and angsty and I don’t think about the possibility that they’re having a terrible day and this is how it manifested. Maybe they stubbed their toe running to get a phone call where they were told that their mum was really sick. I take the words at face value and I write them off as a compassionless douchecanoe. (maybe they just are though, I’m struggling with the reality that some people are just jerks. Which I really don’t want to believe is true.)
I read words that seem effortless in their cohesion and speak truths I’ve waited all my life to hear someone say and I think, wow! They fucking get it! We’re obviously meant to be friends. Forgetting that there are seven billion people on the planet. Odds are a good proportion of them are going to say things I agree with, that doesn’t mean we need to hang out. Appreciation can happen from a distance just as sincerely as over drinks.
I think sometimes I see fragments of you and I want to fit those pieces into my own narrative, hoping to complete the picture I have of myself. Hoping that picture will be something glorious as a result.
I forget that the picture is already glorious. As is the whole of your humanity. Good days and bad. From my perspective anyway, because honestly? It’s the only one I have.
I’m just glad you’re in it.