I’m back from my vacation and attempting to “re-enter” my life. Not an easy task, I’ll tell you that. A lot of the usual work and chores seem harder because I only want to write my blog and read my books, dontcha know? But I did sneak in a few minutes of reading this morning- I’m back to (re)reading the Dragon Kin series and today I was struck by what happens when the persona we project isn’t actually the one we wanted out there representing us to the world. Sometimes, as they say, no one can hear us over the noise of our actions.
Have you ever had the experience where someone calls you on your stuff, and it doesn’t make you angry, but genuinely hurt? What do you mean, I’m no fun? What do you mean I have no idea how to play? Are you saying I’m a stuffed shirt?! I’ve had this said to me on more than one occasion, and it stings. Inside, I think of myself as a fun- loving, tripping-the-light-fantastic kind of girl. I danced on the speakers of Studio 54, for the love of Pete (granted I was a mere babe at the time- literally and figuratively, so don’t spend too much time doing the math)! I’m fun! I am.
But, it’s possible that not too many people these days (or even for more than the past few days, truth be told) really see that side of me anymore. And, to answer the question definitively, if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, it doesn’t make any noise.
If all of my crazy fun-filled antics are taking place in the privacy of my mind or when I’m alone in my kitchen rocking out to loud eighties music, it doesn’t count.
Turns out, while I’m busy thinking of myself from the perspective of my rich inner life, everyone else is basing their perceptions of me from the view they get outside of my head. Put another way, while I am busy defining myself by my thoughts, others are defining me by my deeds— and only the ones they know about. As Joan Cusack says in the classic movie Working Girl, just because I like to sing in my underwear doesn’t make me Madonna.
In The Dragon Who Loved Me, Gwenvael the Handsome is so sad that no one can see the real him—the serious, dedicated soul who gets the job done. Others only see his drinking and womanizing and therefore don’t take him seriously. This wounds him. But poor Gwenvael’s experience makes me think about my own. Maybe I should pay attention to how others see me and ask myself if the view from outside of me might not be more accurate than the one from inside my head.
Maybe I could stand to rouse my inner disco queen again and spend some time dancing somewhere other than alone in my kitchen. Maybe a little less work and a little more play will make Anne a less of a dull girl. Maybe I need to lighten the hell up already. Intensity is highly overrated.
Maybe “the real me” needs to be excavated a little and let out a bit. Maybe I’m making a mess inside and nobody even bothered to put down pee-pee pads.
Maybe I need to think more about what I do and less about what I think.
I’ll let you know when I get home from the disco.