Sunday, January 30, 2011

Putting Yourself Out There

For all my big talk and attention-seeking, I really am quite a chicken, and I know I can be ridiculously over-sensitive, and, even more ridiculous, it's mostly with things that I actually think I'm good at, or put a lot of myself into. For example, I'm willing to give almost anything a go and I don't care (usually) if I look ridiculous. But I learnt piano for about five years, and even now if I am going to play for an audience - which I sometimes really want to - they have to be in another room or I just can't play properly. I've never let anyone other than my teachers read my writing, even if I wanted to share it, and, perhaps the stupidest, once I had been told I have a particularly nice singing voice when I was about twelve, I stopped singing properly aloud. I either sing funny or I'll only do it if there's music playing; if someone asks how a song goes I'll even pretend I don't remember or put on this stupid humming voice. I've been doing it so long I don't even know now if it's a fear of being perceived a show-off (penalty of death in both my cultures), of maybe not being as good as I think I am, or of being criticised (which I deserve, being very critical myself, although I flatter myself my criticisms are pretty funny).

Nonetheless, tomorrow I am being brave and allowing some little brooches I am making to be sold at a friend's stall at a market (well if you want to be pedantic, yes she's really the one allowing it). She asked three of us if we would like to be part of it, and when I heard, I was so chuffed, I blushed and giggled and said "Oh my goodness" over and over (when I'm really taken aback by something I forget my swears). She is extremely clever and creative, and when I heard she had been seen wearing a brooch I gave her, I was extremely flattered... until I realised she had been on a hen's night (although I was assured by my source that she was not wearing a feather boa or lace gloves and that it wasn't that kind of hen's party). I'm completely prepared for no-one to buy any; I'm truly just so pleased she thinks they're good that I don't care if anyone else does. But it's gotten me thinking. We don't grow by doing things we don't want to do. I think we grow by doing things we're afraid to do. Often those are things we really want to do, and we might be scared because they're different to what anyone else is doing, or maybe they're already being done well by people we know. I have a bad habit of doing things anonymously (hiding behind groups and pseudonyms), but I'm really going to try to put myself out there as myself, and see what happens. I might end up crying into my pillow, or getting very very drunk at a bar. But I also might find myself feeling very very good, and with lots of exciting little roads opening up in front of me (and I can always run away down one, change my name, whisper this song, and never been seen again anyway).

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