|Run, Just Run|
Arazni wrote:For personal reasons I don't feel like sharing but probably will anyway (poor self image and low self esteem), I would like everyone on the boards to post a reply in this thread. At least one word. But two or more would be better.Ack
Great Island .. alot of fun ACK is.
|Lance Bombardier Orthos|
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On Being an Attention Whore
I can’t dance, don’t ask me.
I’m not certain when it began, for me, but I suppose it was sixth grade. I would have been 11 years old at the time. This is the earliest that I can remember noticing that some kids were recognized for their talent, their charm, their studiousness, or their skill. Being recognized, being singled out for praise, for some has almost no allure, no real value, they take it in stride, with a shrug and a nod of the head. I envied those people. I envy them still today.
When it came to being praised, being rewarded or even acknowledged, the kids around me that I can remember fell into three general groups; those that deserved it and took it well, those that earned it and tended to over indulge in the experience, and those that struggled to posses it at all cost and also lacked the emotional or psychological tools that would enable them to recognize their out of control behavior. Okay so I really meant to say there were two general groups, and then there was me.
I suppose it all comes down to this. Why is it that attention, getting the attention we want, or crave, can be such a driving force in our lives that it can literally shape our very beings? There were, and I’m sure there still are, those kids who misbehave, to get attention, strive to excel, to get attention, perfect their talents, to get attention, or in my case, talk, talk excessively, use words they don’t really know the meanings of, and manipulate language as if it were a rubber ball on an elastic band sending conversations here or there with a turn of phrase or fallacious argument in some deluded belief that if you can hold someone’s attention, hold a crowd’s attention, that this is, in some perverted way, acknowledgement, recognition, approval.
When I was very young I could distract an entire classroom, agitate a teacher, and obfuscate a situation so well that by the time I was in junior high I had a reputation that preceded me. You would think this would make me happy, and I suppose there were times when it did, but looking back on those times my strongest emotional reaction, that I can recall now anyway, was one of terrible loneliness. It seemed that I could easily get attention, but it never came from the ones I always wished it would.
I learned to play a few musical instruments, learned to draw, learned to get up on a stage and play at being an actor. All through my high school years I pursued, one after another, and endless chain of talents, and behaviors in the fruitless hope that one of these things would be the one that I would be so good at, so amazing in my effortless display of prowess, that praise would flow from every lip and admiration would shine in every eye, and that of course would include hers.
Because you see in the end, looking back now with the twenty-five or thirty years of separation as a filter, I understand a couple of things that make it very clear how foolish and wrong I was about so many things when I was young. It was always a girl, one girl, though she changed from time to time, first it was Monica, then it was Shelly, then Stacy, the names, the faces, changed, but it was always her. For whatever reason, it was the attention of a girl I craved, and for the obvious reasons it was always that attention that eluded me so well. After all, the truth, as I see it now, is that I had, have, no real talents, I’m not an artist, I can’t sing, and I have no physical abilities of any worth, not an athlete I could say, and most importantly of all I never had a talent for being kind to others. What I lacked then, and what now is a challenge to keep within my grasp, is the simple understanding that giving admiration, honestly and with a loving heart, is more powerful, more rewarding.
Yes, certainly, there are times when I just wish, wish very desperately, to know what it feels like to be adored, to be singled out by that person in my mind that I have keyed upon as the one whose attention I crave. I have, at least at this point in my life, come to see that it is not going to happen that way, that the attention I crave is still as elusive as it always was, is not as painful as it has to be, and that a little bit of sorrow, a little bit of regret is not debilitating. I can get over it, or so I like to tell myself. So I write, I write stories. And I lie. I tell myself and I tell others, that the stories I write are for no one in particular, that I write for myself, but let’s be honest. I am an attention whore.
I crave it as much now as I ever did. Age has done little to cool my desire, if only to temper my reaction to its elusive charm. I read the other day a comment here about an individual who, perhaps in one way or another, craves attention as well. But it was with sadness that I read that comment, knowing that I am not different, ultimately, from that individual and that my behavior here is no less ridiculous.
We all, I imagine, have had times, experiences, where someone has told us, recognized in us some quality, that we are special. And it wasn’t the comment, the acknowledgement, the recognition, that made us feel so good inside as much as it was that it was the person we hoped would see this in us. That one we spend day after day telling ourselves, if only she, or he, would notice me.
As children we might annoy or aggravate this person, as adolescents we might pursue this person with disastrous results, as adults we might find ourselves pining away in quiet solitude hoping that something will change and that someday it will be different, and that one will notice us, even if that one sleeps right next to us every night, maybe that one will notice us in a different light, and that feeling of being admired, adored, and appreciated will be there once again.
Dancers have a special place in my heart. I can’t dance, don’t ask me, but when I watch someone dance, a pretty girl, a strong man, I can’t help but wonder if they know how beautiful they are when they dance, and that it is the greatest talent of all, the talent of keeping the secret, of not letting anyone know if you dance because you love to dance, or because you love to be watched while you dance, and that in the end perhaps after all there really isn’t any difference between the two.
I wrote this in 2009, and it first appeared at DNDonlinegames.com, a place I believe no longer exists.
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|Humphry B ManWitch|
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|High Pontiff of Canon|
|Tristan the Waif|