Fine, I’ll write. What with all the coaxing and the encouraging I am constantly getting from you people. In real life, I am a wuss. When I write, I employ the online world’s most attractive attribute: facelessness. I am not anonymous to my good readers. But I am not saying all of this to your face. This has a dual benefit. One: I can say what I really think and feel without getting any immediate reading from you. Two: Due of this lack of feedback, I can continue on my original thought, instead of wussing out, noticing your body language is getting rigid and ending up agreeing with you, condoning what you do or just trying to make you accept me. Here I can be my true self. I don’t say my thoughts out loud before I write…so in a way you are getting the original thought, untouched by any kind of middlemen that may enforce filters on it.
Now enough about me….ha ha, who am I kidding? There’s no enough about me. That’s why I love this unidirectional transmission of ideas. I write you read. I write about myself, you comment on me. Its all about me and it stays that way. There is nothing more narcissistic than a blog post on my blog. The fact that you guys can actually read about me every month without wanting to punch me is something I will always love you for.
I am also a long winded writer. I don’t get to the point, take up too many sentences and buzz around a theme for quite a while. But that is not for the lack of trying. I just don’t seem to have a point. The things I feel strongly about fly in the face of…well, you. And I don’t want to antagonize you, my sweet reader. So I tread lightly, tip toeing around real issues, cloaking them in humor and presenting them in a frothy sauce of whipped mirth. Maybe I am a wuss here too.
The fact is that I am not too keen on you seeing the real me. That woman scares me a little. So I wouldn’t want to thrust her on you, gentle folk. I mean I have separate blogs for that me to opine on. I often wonder what life would be like if I could be less of a doormat and just stand up straight. That would defeat my goal in life and I feel I have undergone way too man goal setting exercises to change it now. ( I learned goal setting when I was 23 and ever since have been doing it every six months). The result is always the same: I want to be a nice person.
Now the concept of nice is not in a vacuum. One cannot think and act nicely, only according to themselves. It is one with many shades of relativity. I might think I am being nice, but unless others think so, I am not. So I guess that would make my goal ‘To be perceived as nice’. And who does not like nice people. So in the end it just becomes the most universal of all goals, ‘To be liked by all.’
In this pursuit of being likable, I grow more and more distant from the real me. This promotes false impressions, self loathing, shallowness and lack of strength of character – all the things I do not stand for.
The more unlike myself I become, the more unlikable I become.
When you get older and realize that the goal you have been setting for half your life is just a lofty dream with no returns, it stings. You feel helpless, like an employee who hit the glass ceiling just after taking out a third mortgage on his house. You have two ways out here. Continue on the same path, stick to the notion that all your sunk cost like efforts will pay off eventually. The definition of insanity is doing the same things again and again and expecting a different result.
And then there is the other way out. The way that looks you boldly in the eye and asks in a female African American accent, ‘How’s that been workin for you, sister?’ So I wonder if it is worth it after all this time and effort. Is it worth reinventing yourself because you feel you deserve better? Is it ok to put on hold all your beliefs of being genuine just so that you can enjoy a better group of acquaintances? Is it alright to dream up a more efficient version of yourself and reenter your world like some company launching a previously malfunctioning product as ‘Under new management?’ Will it be ok for me to antagonize someone knowingly? And then when i get comfortable, will i take pleasure in putting someone down. Will I become that person?
The secret lies in knowing your limits. In a purely black and white world like mine, there are no such limits. You are either good or you are bad. If you even choose one degree of bad (to protect yourself even), you are crossing over to the other side! Yeah, it’s a “fun” place to be in, my mind. Do I start seeing these shades of grey that everyone else can see? Or should I find my kind of people and try to build on my strengths? It’s a classic strategy problem almost every organization has in marketing. How to play down the negative and play up the positive. But which one would you do if you had to pick one?
Now, unless you are in the firefighting mode, you will pick the positives. So then in personal life, why would I try to hide my qualities just to blend in, when I can play up my ‘weird-in-a-nice-way’ quirks and maybe in the long run, get rewarded for it?
PS- That was not a rhetorical question. I would really like to know. It might be a little uncomfortable for you to comment on such a personal matter, but don’t worry, I won’t bite. I am too far away and remember, I am nice. I’ll find a way to spin even the most negative comments about me into nice observations. Also since I am narcissistic, I depend on your feedback like I depend on oxygen. Sure, I can do without it for a few seconds, but then I am only gonna need more.