Thursday, May 26, 2011
Back in the days before internet, we (well, I) culled and pulled our self-ideals from the small world around us. In school it was our friends and peers. What they had that you didn't. How they looked and how you didn't. Whether or not you were one of the popular elite, I am certain you wished for different or perceived betterness based on those who passed you by in their up-to-date fashions and convertible Rabbits. Or in my case, those few who could really knock an individual style clear out of the ballpark AND simply oozed creativity.
If you went to college, your perception(s) opened a smidge. Your bubble expanded and you were exposed to new ideas and persons of interest. If you did not go to college and immediately jumped into a work-place your bubble expanded even more due to the collected exposure of people outside your immediate social circle. People of different social-economic backgrounds, education, cultures, ages...the bigger your bubble got the more you (or at least I) compared yourself to others.
I don't know about you but as I aged and ahem...matured I grew more concerned with status of a sorts. I wanted a nice place to live in and call my own, a car that didn't break down ALL THE TIME, money to pay my bills and hopefully have some left over for fun stuff. For the most part, I was content. But...
Change happened. As it happened, the feeling of being content would shift and change. Thank goodness for BUST magazine. In my late 20s and early 30s I would swear there was something wrong with me as I didn't find the ideals of those around me appealing. I had never been a follower of the mainstream and felt more and more an outcast as Cosmo and the like were so ready to inform me. BUST saved me from myself and reassured me that I wasn't alone that there were other women like me out there. Once the internet began clicking around I immediately found a core group of fantastic women on the BUST boards. I have lost touch with most of them but that community and sense of belonging still sings in my heart. They were smart, witty and funny as hell and gosh I adored them all.
Now that the internet is what it is and our bubbles are virtually, universally ENORMOUS, I find that my small world of non-mainstreamers has become mainstream in a sense. I no longer feel alone in my wonky-dorkiness but now I feel lacking even in my comfort zone. Not anyone else's fault but my own. My perceptions of who I thought I would be by now just have not become concrete and with so many talented, creative folk out there taking the blogging/crafting world by storm, the once small fishbowl I felt kinda big in has become a full blown aquarium with tunnels and rooms and I feel lost and unnoticeable. So now not only am I dancing with a dysmorphic dance partner of perception, my wallflower ego is clinging to the sidelines toes-tapping to the rhythm hope, hope, hoping someone asks me dance.
I don't really know where I am going with this but the developmental side of me, the part that thoroughly enjoys studying human nature cannot help wonder how we all fit in. I've been blogging since 2003 and I think so much has changed since I began. The tools out there, the platforms, the business side of it all. It is amazing what one can do and I still feel that it is out of my grasp. Not in a woe-is-me sense more like a huh? I'm baffled by how it works and feel like my brain is too old or I'm too old fashioned or who knows what but how do you do it? And do I want to do it? Should I do it and if not, what then?
This may seem all over the place but I think I just want to say that I think even the most productive or accomplished of us slips and plays the comparison game and wonders where they failed or what they NEED to be valid. Validity, yes, that's it. I need a bit of validation that I AM someone. That I matter. That I am a part of something wonderful. My reality knows this but my perception is so skewed I'm feeling anything but. I know what it is (the reason), but that's a book I'm not ready to open just yet or at least read in public. So I hope that you know that YOU are valid and important and that you do indeed matter, more than you know and if we all took the time to let someone know they inspired us (not via a blogging award or huge public announcement, not that those are bad but make it more personal) I think that our hearts could sing a little louder.