March 10, 2010

Feelin' rather famous?


"People put you on a pedestal when you become famous, in their eyes, or if they really respect your work, they might put you on a pedestal..."
~Herbie Hancock

In the circles I travel, I have built a reputation. Not by accident, I might add, but by careful attention to being a kind, generous and helpful friend and by sharing my knowledge, work and talent. This has not been a fabrication, as I make every effort, striving, to be friendly to those that cross my path. I have made and met commitments, sometimes beyond what others would consider doable, and have kept my word diligently. I have been driven to befriend the not-so-popular and champion their cause, finding time and energy to make them feel justified outside the norm, to be sure. To this end, I think I have crafted an image. Unfortunately, it may be an image that lacks a certain amount of humanness, weakness or reality.

“A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space.”
~Gloria Steinem

It just keeps coming up that I'm somewhat 'famous' in these various circles - invincible, thick-skinned and adept. I'm getting a bit, just a bit, of a taste of what it must be like to be a celebrity. Not the paparazzi part of celebrity, but the image part. This image, held up as a standard of what is aspired to be or become, is not based in reality, but in what they perceive or want to see. Expectations are formed based upon limited information or interaction. Definitions of how I'm to act, say and think are set in minds, in stone. How shocking it must be when I deviate from these parameters.

...you are just not acting like yourself...
I didn't expect you to (write, speak, think) that way!
...are you feeling alright? You seem a bit sharp...
~caring onlookers

Unfortunately, this has happened enough now that I'm needing to think through the phenomenon a bit.

Everybody is complex with many different faces. It takes a quite a lot of conversation and time spent together to really get to know someone on an intimate, or even just friendly, level. How can we even begin to think that we know someone just from limited online interaction? As we see their posts to a forum or even chat with them on a board, I propose that we still don't know them, we just know what they say, how they present themselves. Moreover, we don't even get the advantage of hearing them speak; we miss the subtle intonations of their intentions. We just get the type-written words, which can be easily misconstrued.

Don't hear me saying that I'm unhappy with being considered somewhat 'famous' or that I have a 'weighty voice'. I present myself in the way described above for a reason; I want to have a good reputation and strive to be respected. There is something exciting and humbling about meeting people personally for the first time and seeing the admiration in their eyes and hearing praise for my efforts. It warms my heart to be accepted as a respected and valued member of a group. However, I find myself greatly bothered by the reactions at times when I say the harder things, make a stand, or throw my lot to one side or another. Somewhere inside of me I refuse to water down my opinion, be politically correct or down play what is right, good or just. And sometimes I am just plain ole human and say stupid things...is that OK, too? I hope so, because there are times when I can't help it, times when I'm not undisciplined - I'm just angry (or hurt, which happens, too).

Pedestals usually include a fall at some point, I have found, and I really hate to let people down. I will do my best to fulfill what is expected of me and I do not take lightly the responsibility of being a 'big voice'. However, I hope that the image that is seen of me, the one that's attached to this persona or that, is one of someone who is simply trying to do her best, attempting to do what is right and being helpful, kind and available to as many along the way as possible.

4 comments:

Mama Cache said...

Beautiful job translating your heart into words here.

I wish I could do the same for you as well as I'd like in this little box.

Love you!

Ari C'rona said...

I know it's a challenge, my friend.

Of course, I'm sorta biased, but I think you present yourself just that way - kind, caring, responsible, and all that goes with it.

Not everyone gets it that you really have to be consciously aware to build a good reputation...

Hmm... that time thing - yep, it's important all right!

:o)

SQUIRREL! said...

You mean your just human???!!!! I love you dear one and think that the world would be a better place if more people strove to be a good person the way you do.

Jedi-J said...

Simply put: YOU ROCK! :D