It seems odd, after so many years on the planet, to not have a real sense of what I am. Except, if I’m honest, that’s not true. I know EXACTLY what I do best. The problem is, knowing myself then becomes a problem.
In my youth, my speciality was causing trouble. I wasn’t a setting fires or starting fights kind of girl, I did it with words, plus ‘versions’ of the truth. It took a few years to realise that this was a surefire way to end up friendless, and so it mostly doesn’t happen any more… who am I kidding. I know what words can do, and on many occasions in the recent past I’ve wielded them to do just that. The problem with truth is that those who love to wield it often can’t cope when it’s used against them. I love the truth. It’s inescapable and brilliant and often just the best way to show up stupid people for what they are. The caveat however at this point onwards is that nobody gets hurt. You don’t trample on individuals to get what you want. You only fire back if attacked first, and only if the result’s worthwhile. This is never about showing people that you’re smart and they’re dumb. That’s never the point of anything. That arrogance starts wars and divides the Internet and other people can just dig those holes alone.
Except, to succeed in the modern world, at some point to have to believe your own hype or it doesn’t work. Nobody else will believe in you first thing in the morning or last thing at night. However great your support network might be, being able to function alone, independently and with confidence will be one of the best lessons I ever teach my kids. All those seemingly hollow affirmations I often hear from American friends aren’t, I’m the one who can’t grasp their sincerity. This is a real issue with being a Brit: I’m constantly being told I’m not good enough. In this current climate of fear and xenophobia, it’s all the more difficult to maintain a decent sense of self. Being ‘different’ is scary enough, without having to then worry you’ll one day be on a list of ‘people with mental issues’ and when the Government I didn’t vote for have excluded everyone else they think are undesirable, I’ll be next. Because it won’t just be non-natives after a while: then it will be those without an acceptable sexual orientation, or faith. That’s the problem with making lists: it isn’t just the ‘bad’ people you end up identifying, but everyone who doesn’t fit the profile.
That’s why deciding to ban people from forums or withholding their comments on posts is a path to ruin, because removing the undesirables makes you no better than the people who claim to be ‘protecting’ your rights. It is one step away from total control. That’s just wrong and bad, and if someone like me sees someone trying to isolate others because they’re female, or because they won’t pay them the attention they demand? You become the very thing that you seek to destroy. It’s that whole Yin and Yang thing the Chinese love to wave around as evidence the Universe demands all things in balance. That’s bollocks too, all the Universe does is generate chaos and Dark Matter. Don’t get me started on that, but the fact remains that if I’m the kind of person who will call people out for being twats, I’m as much a problem as the twats to themselves if you happen to be looking from their side of the fence.
I scare people because I won’t be intimidated any more. I am difficult and awkward because I know my own mind. I am confrontational because I see people talk when they think nobody is listening, and then use this as a basis to stimulate debate. I am actually none of those things in reality, until it suits me to bring them out to use. In essence, I’m just a collection of random thoughts and ideas, just like anyone else, I simply choose to do that process of exploration and understanding partially in public. It’s hardly a diary, more a series of thoughts and connections. However, and this is crucial, what this now does is form a foundation on which I can work towards being a better person. Because I am no longer afraid to share feelings? They have no power over me.
I am, in essence, a series of cleverly constructed photo backdrops. Only if you take the time to put everything together does this whole make sense. However, when you do that does not give you the full picture. Yes, I may be honest, but even that version of the truth is edited and censored. Then what matters most is whether the person reading can grasp this truth, or simply sees what they want. If I really craved success I’d be posting superficial crap and wearing lots of v neck t-shirts that accentuated breasts and cleavage, because like it or not that sells. If my avatar was my picture and not a logo? I’d probably have twice the Twitter followers I currently possess. The fact I’ll never do either?
That’s probably the most important aspect of me to take from this whole blog post.