I had a strange thought the other day, granted that’s about all my thoughts. This one though was interesting to me. What if I’m already dead and I’m now a haunting presence. What if that’s how being dead works. You think you’re still alive and you’re going through the motions of your former life. I may not believe in ghosts, but I do find the idea intriguing.
This all started when I started to reevaluate my social presence lately. I don’t mean social networking statistics, I mean how people see me when I’m out in the world. There is lies the problem: I don’t feel people actually see me anymore. In the past I felt that way, hence the creation of my character The Bowler, who borrows some inspiration from The Invisible Man. My younger self deliberately did things to prevent people catching notice. Standing out just meant that I was more likely to be caught in the lies I weaved of my cover life. Not dissimilar from Witness Protection, except you are hiding from yourself.
That is my past, though. With only a few exceptions, my real self loves the attention. Don’t really mind where it comes from or for what, it means being seen – appreciated. That can be dangerous to embrace, but I cannot deny how I feel. If you have the mark on your soul of an artist, it’s more than likely you want all the eyes on you or your creations. If we’re being transparent, us types have to purse the arts for creative fulfillment and for the attention. Just don’t go expecting those things to make you feel complete or fix other issues in your life.
Feeling rather positive I’m not trying to blend in, I now have to wonder why it is that in 2019 I am once again feeling see through. Am I not pretty enough, am I sending out vibes, or are there rumors afloat around me? After careful introspection, I certain it’s not any of these things. So why is that I can’t get people to engage with me, much less look at me?
My conclusion: I’m a ghost. I Bruce Willis in the Sixth Sense, when I would rather be Haley Joel Osment.
If you are reading this, then maybe I picked up a few pointers from Patrick Swayze and learned to materialize just enough to strike the keys on my computer. Or, maybe, my entire spectral theory is wrong and I better start looking deeper.
I know I still have insecurities from childhood that I don’t believe will ever go away. There is always going to be a version inside me of the small bullied child I was, who will never be fixed. My effort now has to be in recognizing that and understanding I’m grown now and mature…ish. I’m literally the person my 12 year old self needed. With that in mind, when the social situations pop up and that little child pops up with their fears and anxieties, I have to take them by the hand and reassure them that I’m there and it’s going to be okay. And when need be, stand up for that child when the bullies come. Helpful tip, when you are dealing with toxic assholes in real life, it’s useful to see them as children, because that kind of behavior comes from immaturity and arrested development. Now if they try to assault you physically, that’s another story. Aim for the shins.
One thing I do have to realize as well is that this is Los Angeles. The land of rejects and misfit toys, at least the scenes I hang out around. The cliques are impenetrable and the social disorders flourish like pollen in the spring. Also, in this crowd, you have to be especially wild to really stand out. I’m not even sure if 70s era Elton John would get attention on the street. That special place of honor is reserved for the homeless fellow taking a shit at midday on a busy intersection. True story, literal shit you can’t unsee.
So, I guess what’s happening is that I’m going through growing pains once again. Once I decided not to try to become my glorious 2014 self, but instead just become the best future version of myself I can be, it’s made me open my eyes, or more like removing an Instagram filter. My perception of reality has shifted to where I’m actually seeing somethings about the world and myself that I wasn’t prepared to see before. Part of that is admitting that I don’t need validation from others to make me happy, then truly believing it. It’s also about time to setup in my mind a mental perception of myself that is so strong, no ones opinions or criticisms about me can affect that. Knowing yourself, rather than asking people, “Who am I?” That’s essentially what many of us do.
The only haunting happening around here is my past rattling chains and whispering into my ear. I don’t need to exercise it, but accept that the things in my past are real, they happened, they can’t be fixed, but I can still live a better, happier life in spite of what I’ve come through. As long as I can see my own reflection, I have no need to be concerned.
Escape The Ordinary,