Yes, I know I posted like an hour ago. But then I did some more thinking.
When I was younger and I lived abroad, I used to get a kids’ magazine in French to help me learn. One week they were explaining the French version of April Fools’ day and had this joke – There’s a piece of paper with the word Attention! written on it (which in French translates as ‘watch out!’). Then on the other side is written Merci pour votre attention! (Thanks for your attention).
It’s a fun play on words, and it also describes something I’ve realised about myself. I want attention, but I also don’t and so once I’ve got it, all I want is to deflect it away.
Here’s an example. I have all these thoughts swirling around in my head and I want to share them. But I’m too socially inept to actually talk to my friends about them, because I have no idea how to begin the conversation, or if I’d even want to have it once I started, which is why I have a blog. A blog is a beautiful thing because as I know I’ve mentioned before, you can say anything you like in the knowledge that someone will probably read it, but you just don’t have to know who.
Second example. I love my friends and family and having people around me, to the extent where I have spent a week blogging about how I’m struggling with feelings of isolation. All I want is to have people with me and engaging with me constantly. But, I hate being the centre of attention. I don’t like being sung happy birthday, and the most dreaded part of any after-show party I’ve worked on is the bit where people get thanked. I don’t know how to react, and I don’t really know how you’re meant to react. For someone who is a self-confessed extrovert, I have very little idea how you’re really supposed to behave around people. I am totally fine stood in front of an audience acting, or speaking about experiences, or presenting facts. But dear God save me from having to accept any kind of praise.
So, now I suppose all I need to do is find the middle ground, where I have the attention I crave but none of the pressure that I buckle under.
That decision alone feels like walking out onto quicksand.