Today’s guest post is more of a ghost post, in that the writer wishes to remain anonymous. And let me just say thank you to Anonymous; this is a special post.
Confessions of a Closeted Everything
I’ve been asked to write this sham of a post by Chloë because she thinks I like to write. Unfortunately for me—and for you—she’s right. I love to write. I also love to play music, to sing, to dance, to bake, to take photos (but not to draw/paint/sculpt), to play sports, and to do some other things that would probably make most “artists” cringe with disgust if they were to find out, but which might make others laugh when they consider the theme of this blog!
At a wedding shower I attended recently, the host made the bride and groom play a game where they had to answer questions about one another. If my family or friends were to play that guessing game about me, I doubt that they would list any of the aforementioned as “interests” of mine.
Why don’t I share my interests with anyone? As a child it was because I found myself described in certain ways to other people, and I took those descriptions to heart. I was not very assertive, so I never wanted to tell anyone what I felt when I wasn’t described as having an aptitude for such-and-such. I was also very afraid of judgment, and I lacked friends to support me and parents who understood my thought patterns, so I never admitted to any of these interests. In fact, as I got older, I developed a very useful skill: deflection. As it turns out, I am able to joke my way out of any situation by making fun of it (you should add “telling awesome jokes” to my list of interests!). So: if anyone were to ask me to do (x), I would joke about how it would be ridiculous to conceive of me doing such a thing, that I wasn’t good at it anyway, in fact… etc. etc. (I can’t tell you more; these are my patented trade secrets…).
Over the years, I’ve managed to pursue some of my creative interests to a certain degree. I played music for a while. I take photos. I wrote for a bit in both high school and university. In retrospect, what strikes me most is how little even those closest to me realize that a few of these interests are deeply rooted passions, and that when I remove them from my life, it is detrimental to my mental, spiritual, and physical health. Why do I share all these personal details with you?
It’s very simple. I read blogs like this with a critical, slightly jaded heart. I love that Chloë shares her artistic side with us; I love following this blog and reading the guest posts. But what about the rest of us, those whom life has not given the confidence to pursue their true interests? People are still just as harsh on these folks as their parents, teachers, and friends were when they were young. As adults, they’re even less likely to pursue these things, because the fear of (x) is now really primal. In fact, I regularly get misjudged in public. I go home devastated and the feeling stays with me for days. Often, I feel it’s because my “establishment” career path doesn’t fit with terms like “free spirit”, or whatever others would rather I be (usually it’s someone who is super creative, someone I actually respect and envy). So, I write a guest post on my friend’s arts blog completely in personal essay format; I’m too afraid to try any other style.
The take-home message is: thank you to Chloë and co. for giving me something new to think, learn, and laugh about. And: the next time you see some corporate type on the street or anywhere, please, please, please don’t explain to him exactly why the arts are important and aren’t ever taken seriously. He or she already knows, is very likely already on your side, and probably would rather do what you do than do what they do. Sheesh.
P.S. I love you all.