"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

the joy of being listened to.

Now Playing: All Too Well by Taylor Swift (you call me up again just to break me like a promise, so casually cruel in the name of being honest)

I firstly must apologise for my apparent lack of blog activity - as it always is, my periods of low productivity are always during the times when I put the most work into my blog, just that nothing comes into fruition or I run out of steam. There are times when I can reel off post after post without even stopping to eat but writing has its own kind of exhaustion. I'm also in a kind of moody, melancholic, metaphysical kind of mood and so my posts have a kind of moody, melancholic, metaphysical edge to them - these are my most favourite posts to write, but are also the hardest and most taxing. 


I know my blog is not the most high-traffic blog; there is no fanbase, there is no community, I can barely coax my readership to comment, much less command big fantastic projects like the vlogbrothers can. But my blog has its own brand of awesome, if I may say so myself; the majority of my readers are people I know or have known in reality, and a lot of them have the benefit of conversing not only through my blog, but through actual physical contact; or, at least, more intimate forms of virtual communication. This has created for me the most rewarding and the most addictive part of being the kind of blogger that I am - I have the exquisite joy of being listened to.

Nobody listens to anybody anymore, which I think has led to the rise of celebrity culture; we are so desperate to be heard, so desperate to be looked at, so desperate to be listened to, that we have made an industry of it. We have also made a taboo of it; just like sex is a taboo despite the majority of people loving sex, attention has become a taboo despite the majority of people enjoying attention. 

I'm an introvert, but I'm also something of an attention seeker. Introverts are attention seekers in a different way; people think that our quirkiness is our way of grabbing attention, but it's not; people read far too much into deviations from normal than is, well, normal. I crave attention that is genuine and sincere and engaged in a world that is becoming increasingly fake and insincere and distracted. People like me are provocative, and we know we are provocative because we like the visceral, raw, real, even sometimes violent response to exposed flesh or suggestive innuendo or blisteringly controversial political rhetoric. I have never been as interested in the popularity of my blog in terms of how many random strangers stumble across it, leave and then forget all about it; I like that my blog is provocative and engaging and, for some people, uncomfortably honest. I like that. I like making people squirm. I like making people feel warm and fuzzy. I like the knowledge that people are aware that whilst I may appear to be the kind of person they can push around, when push comes to shove I'm the one who writes the story of us, and in the end that's all that matters. My readers read something on my blog and that becomes our conversation the next time we meet up for coffee; my readers read something about them on my blog and feel elated, loved, or ashamed. I like knowing I can provoke that kind of reaction. 

I have always been the kind of person people don't listen to; it's not even deliberate, they simply cannot or will not hear me. A blog is not a networking site by any stretch of the imagination; it requires you sit down and shut up, and then your turn comes after mine. I know I am listened to, on my blog; I can say things that I want to say but can't without being cut off, I can say things I would not dare say to that asshole who is nonetheless twice my size and double my weight, I can say things to the people I love and I know that they are truly, genuinely listening. And that is such a rare pleasure, in this day and age, especially when you are someone like me. I had a certain savoir faire, a certain infamy, at high school but that is long gone now - at uni I am a rookie, and a rookie that not many people have the time to listen to. My only arrogance, I think, is the unshakable knowledge that I am the kind of person with things to say that are worth listening to; my only indulgence is that I have found a place where people listen. I would not give up these luxuries for anything in the world. 

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