There are a few things one does when coming into the line of fire. You either-
a) Fire back
b) Render yourself defenceless and curl up into foetal position
or c) You take the hit and prepare for what comes next
I’ve taken a hit lately which involves the subject of this blog, and the content of my character as a result of what I choose to write about. My first instinct was to put this blog on private and vow never to show it to someone I newly meet ever again.
I felt perfectly vulnerable.
It’s one thing when someone turns you away because of a physical attribute, but when its your insides..that just really hurts. I can’t get a haircut or put some concealer over my experiences and the choices I’ve made, nor can I suddenly change my mentality overnight. Those things require a lot of soul-searching and a lot of time, and I’ve never been overly patient with self-development.
So given all of that, what I wanted to do more than anything was to turn away and to DENY DENY. And yet for some reason, running away and assuming the role of the victim, didn’t sit well in this instance.
See I’ve done that a few times before, even if I haven’t realised it. I’ve taken hits in the form of bad choices and allowed myself to be eased by the melody of my own soothing justification. Because if I wrote about it, put it out there in the open and formulated a comfortable analysis that made sense to those who read it, then I didn’t really have to deal with the cause itself.
It has always been far more convenient to write about the symptoms, as was recently made apparent to me. My issue with this and my issue with my blog which I had never properly taken into consideration, is that it’s largely self-depreciating. I have to be honest here and say that reading back and actually piecing together each post, for the most part I seem to repeat myself but in the form of different narratives. And in each of those narratives, I rarely come out the hero of my own story and instead I’m further kicked around and made to feel small. And while I want to deeply believe that I am helping someone even if it’s just one, by writing about my experiences, for the most part I feel like I’m hurting myself.
These sentiments were recently echoed by Comedian Hannah Gadsby whose Netflix special ‘Nanette’ addresses her own issues with her style of comedy.
‘I do think I have to quit comedy though.’
I have been questioning this whole comedy thing you know, I don’t feel very comfortable in it anymore.
Over the past year I’ve been questioning it, reassesing it and I think it’s healthy for an adult human to take stock, pause and reassess. And I when I first started doing the comedy over a year ago, my favourite comedian was Bill Cosby. There you go, it’s very healthy to reassess, isn’t it?
I have built a career out of self-deprecating humour, that’s what I’ve built my career on. And I don’t want to do that anymore. Because do you understand what self-deprecation means when it comes from somebody who already exists in the margins? It’s not humility, it’s humiliation. I put myself down in order to speak, in order to seek permission to speak. And I simply won’t do that anymore, not to myself or anybody who identifies with me. If that means my comedy career is over, then so be it.
What she said that resonated the most was this..
‘I need to tell my story properly because you learn from the part of the story you focus on.’
Whether it be about boys or mental illness, choosing to focus on the same characters and the same dialogue, in many ways I am not helping myself as I should. Because I do believe I’m an extremely strong person and I know I have a lot to offer and I’m tired of talking about all that ails me as though it was some kind of badge of honour. Yes I am so proud to be open enough as a person to feel comfortable talking about these things, but I can’t continue to let it define me in such a way.
What does this mean for this blog and for my future as an extremely up close and personal person? Well, there are some aspects of my personality that will never change and I would never want to be someone who doesn’t share when they feel inspired to. But in the name of evolution and of moving in a direction that is more conducive to where I want to go, I’m going to tweak the subject matter of Her Mati. I hope you will still find something useful and something that will inspire you to think more deeply, it maybe just won’t always be about me (I can hear my Mum quietly rejoicing).
This website is going to go through a slight overhaul especially in appearance, and I’m really excited to see where it will all lead. Now, in true Maria style to wrap this up nicely and to relate the conclusion effectively to the introduction, I will say this..
Taking a few bullets to the old ego and to the version of yourself to which you’re most familiar and comfortable, is very necessary sometimes. I can’t sit here, write about whatever I want to write about and think that everyone will throw petals at my feet. Accepting personal criticism is something I need to get more comfortable with and while i know it will be very difficult at first, I know it’s happening at this moment for a very important reason. Get used to hearing no and even better still, get used to doing something about it.