Realizations about Selfishness, Not Taking things for Granted and Needs for Validation
I’ve been having an enlightening time since last I wrote.
I’ve had some kind of catharsis. A realization. A growth. A deepening of knowledge of self. I have many short comings. Many faults. I am not perfect. I am not a selfless, pure soul, always giving and never taking. I have a need to be my rawest, truest, most fucked up self and for everyone to embrace and understand me. I want to be able to expose myself emotionally to everyone. I want to be naked, figuratively, to the world. Yet I also fear that. I fear that people will see what I truly am; a deeply needy, obsessive, doubtful and sensitive human being like anyone else. I fear people’s judgments.
No one owes me praise or compassion or love, or anything for that matter. I don’t deserve constant attention just because I’m talented. Hard work is a given. It is necessary and expected in order to create anything greater than myself. I don’t want to be someone who is selfish and constantly needing outside validation for every small thing I do. I want to be a strong, hard working, creative, inspiring, productive and self motivated person. Also compassionate, sensitive to others and giving. The truth is that sometimes I am not. I can be selfish, inconsiderate, full of myself, needy, lazy, greedy, etc. That is what I can fall back on with such ease if I don’t work every day to combat it.
My deepest fear is that I will turn into my mother. I’ve been watching her and how sick she is for this entire month. It tears at my heart and shakes the core of my soul. It makes me doubt all the positive things I see in myself. It makes me wonder if I am doing the right thing. If everything will be ok. If I will die all alone and unloved. If anyone loves me at all and if I’m not just a bother to everyone around me. I can also doubt myself in a deeply disturbing way. To the point that I wonder if I made the right choice to make a life commitment to something when I was just 21 years old. If I’m following the right path. If it will make any difference for my life or for other people. If it’s worth it. I have been talking to a few close friends over the last few days about my doubts, which have been coming up while we’ve been in Nashville this month. I’m finding that I am not alone in my feelings. A friend last night said “You feel as much trapped with a house then you are without it.” Since both my parents own a home, cars, and have all the trappings of a normal life (even though they were both freaks like me at one point), I wonder if I shouldn’t have the same. I don’t want to settle down though. I want to be free. I need to me more grateful for what I have. I need to remember how blessed I am and I shouldn’t give myself such a hard time.
I am an artist. I’ve always been an artist. I can’t be anything but an artist. I live my life as art. All I do is art. I have needs. I need support. I need love and understanding and friendship and unconditional love for who I am. I need to be able to tell people what I need when I need it, even if they can’t give me exactly what I need. I have people who give me that. I can’t take that for granted. I need to be vulnerable and open and raw and honest in my interactions with the world. That’s how I’ve gotten everything in my life. My friends, my husband, my lifestyle. That’s how I play music.Sometimes I feel like I’m invisible, like I’m an island unto myself. Like no one can relate to me because I am so uniquely me. I have friends though. Talking to my friends has really helped me realize I am not alone and that my problems and fears are not unique. Everyone has the same fears as me, no matter how much they have. The grass is always greener, right? “But you need to remember that for some people you are the greener grass.” a friend said last night. I am living a blessed life with a beautiful husband and some really amazing friends. I can’t forget that or take it for granted.
I don’t talk to many people about my feelings because I fear judgment and rejection and denial. We all do. The beauty of life is to be open and exposed and vulnerable. That’s why certain actors move me and certain singers touch me. It’s as if I can see inside them. The barrier that people usually put up to protect themselves in daily life isn’t there. That’s what I strive for in my work. That’s what I’m striving for in my videos. That’s what I am. I am a vulnerable human soul longing to be accepted and understood by other human souls. I am so blessed that some people do truly understand me. I want to be an inspiration to others, not someone who constantly needs validation from other people. I want to be strong, but sometimes I’m just not. I am weak and vulnerable, open to attack or judgment. I take it hard too. I don’t do myself any favors by writing and performing and living the way I do. I make myself incredibly vulnerable every single day and I get hurt very easily. I can over think people’s words and actions to a highly debilitating degree, especially when I’m not prayforming.
I want never to shut down my feelings because I’ve been hurt too much. I have everything because of my openness. I have gained so much because I have been real with my needs and wants. I face myself every day and try to work through my short comings and faults and make myself a better person. I am thoughtful and pondering and brooding. I think a lot. I question myself. I am honest with myself. I am honest with others. I try not to hide what I feel and think and believe for fear of being misread. I always try to give without expecting anything in return. Sometimes it is impossible! Sometimes I just need someone to listen to me. A shoulder to cry on. Someone who really cares about me and sees me for who I truly am. Someone who can love me for who I am, flaws and all. Thoth gives that to me every day and I give that to him. My friends give me that. I am blessed.
The world is very cold and uncaring. It is easy to cut ourselves off from love. It is easy to be cruel and hateful and incompassionate. It’s easy to build walls around our hearts and our feeling and our emotions. If everyone said what they meant, told people what they needed, loved and gave and cared more fearlessly, the world would be a truly beautiful place. We need to be more loving, more deeply open to each other, especially during these times when the world is slowly caving in on its self. Instead of clicking “like”, I talk to our friends face to face or write to them and tell them we care. We show people and tell people what we truly feel.
On Theater as a Vehicle for Compassion
I have always been obsessed with Phantom of the Opera. It is the ultimate tale of obsession. What has struck me recently is just how f’ing obsessed Erik is with Christine, in the musical especially. Up until the first moment of contact, when he brings her down to the lair, he has only taught her voice lessons. He has never had a conversation with her, or that’s what I’m led to assume. He has only been able to coach her from behind the mirror. She doesn’t even know he’s a real person yet. So for all these months that he’s been coaching her, he’s been lusting after her endlessly. Fantasizing about her… And all this time he’s been designing a lifelike doll that looks exactly like her, which he reveals to her when she first comes to his lair. I didn’t realize how f’ing creepy that is! He’s probably been masturbating to the doll, sleeping with it, maybe even having sex with it. When he finally has her, he shows her this doll in the wedding dress and of course she faints! What Erik wants, more then anything in the whole world, is to marry and be loved by and have sex with Christine! That’s all. That’s his motivation from before the musical started until it ends. Clear, simple, and really, reeeeeeally creepy.
Obsession, lust, desire, revenge, murder has been the subject of so many great musicals, opera, books and movies, yet these are characteristics we as human beings don’t look upon favorably. Isn’t that funny? All the fictional characters I love in theater are characters I’d be pretty creeped out by in real life. I wouldn’t find it endearing if someone made a mechanical doll of me, kidnapped me, hypnotized me, killed people for me, blackmailed me or threatened to kill my fiance. Nor would I like someone who grounded me up into a meat pie or transformed into a murderous maniac. Even gentler creatures who were immensely deformed would probably frighten or sicken me in real life. The arts transform these twisted characters into people we can feel for. That’s the beauty of theater and books and films. We can feel for those we probably wouldn’t in real life. Compassion. Empathy. That’s why I love theater.
I can create and play a character who in real life no one would like, yet through the medium of theater or music or art, you can get to know them and maybe even grow to love them. Same as why I love Erik. He would be an immensely unpleasant person in real life, yet I love him because the works created about him give me a look into his mind and his heart. I can see and understand why he does what he does and feel for him when he looses the only thing that matters to him. Michael Crawford said in his final performance speech:
“It’s wonderful to play a man that you can *care* about him loosing, and if we all cared about each other in that way, it would be a terrific place.”
That’s the beauty of theater, it brings deep compassion, care and understanding out in us.
On Long Term Creative Commitment
I’ve been avoiding social media since Christmas. I’m trying to teach myself to work on things that take long time daily commitment to accomplish. I’m good at things that take a day or two (a vlog, a blog, a sketch, a prayformance, a makeup look) but I struggle with things that take a long time. A play, an opera, a book, a painting etc. Things that can take many weeks, many months, or even many, many years. I tell myself I need to get things done fast, or I won’t get them done. I have only been able to complete an opera because we were commissioned to complete it and Thoth was always there. I have never finished a project on my own. I am refocusing my life to be able to do that. There are many things I want to do in my life. Write a book, a play, another opera, etc. I’d also love to paint a finished canvas. All these things take longer then a day. I must find a way to work incredibly hard without needing any outside validation or anyone seeing what I’m doing. I get so much praise when we prayform. I’m used to that, but it can be debilitating when creating without it feels impossible. I must. It is the only way to create the great work I have in me. I know I have something truly great in me that I can’t even imagine now.