Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Cheese Grates the Crazy Creatives Cheerleading Camp: Stranger Thoughts

Image by Chris Van Allsburg

Prompt Used:

Isn’t it odd that sometimes a stranger’s words mean more than those around you?

Everyone goes through it to a degree, but for people living with certain kinds of mental illness, it can be even more pronounced. I will tell it from my perspective.
I create what I think is an inspired bit of writing or artistic piece, or a blog post with fantastically fascinating information--and it's utterly ignored. If I'm hypomanic, I say, meh, who gives a shit, people have sawdust for brains if they can't see the greatness in my work. I go on and create something else, happy as a hypomanic lark, and everyone else can go fuck themselves if they are unable to get on board with this thing of beauty.
If I'm euthymic (alas, how seldom that happens) I may find myself wondering why I'm not getting any responses, but I don't really let it bother me too much. I have something to say, so I'll say it, even if the only ones listening are a bunch of lonely ghosts. Lonely ghosts need something to listen to, after all.
If I'm depressed, I start thinking "I should stop writing. Nobody cares. I just suck."
If I'm experiencing suicide ideation, I add to that "I should probably kill myself. I'm worthless."
If I'm paranoid, there's a whole 'nother level of shit that starts happening.
What this all boils down to is, why the hell do we care so much what strangers think about what we do?
Practically everyone born human has a desire for approval. If you don't get appropriate levels of attention as a child, you start to seek approval outside the family. I come from a family which was very perfectionistic, and I was an absolutely imperfect specimen. I could never do anything well enough. I began seeking approval outside the family, often from very toxic people.
The problem is, most people don't actually care, they're simply curious. After they've sated their curiosity, they move on. They're looking for the next big thing.
Any popular thing can be compared to a big banquet. Once everyone has taken a piece, the feast is over. The populace moves on, looking for a fresh feast.

The words of wisdom that we unpopular folk need to try to keep close to mind and heart are these:

"Better to write for yourself and have no public than to write for the public and have no self." --Cyril Connolly

Being popular can be a double-edged sword. People tend to say cruel things about those celebrities who somehow disappoint them. It really never surprises me when I hear about a celebrity being addicted to a substance or ending up dead from suicide or an overdose. Such levels of public scrutiny may initially feel like one has found the acceptance they were craving but often prove to be a curse rather than a blessing. Once the public appetite has been sated, they will be off looking for a fresh feast. All that may be left following their feeding frenzy is a skeleton.
Craving approval from strangers never leads to anything positive. 
If one has something they wish to create, they should create it, and the public be damned.
Create for yourself. If anyone else gets on board, great. If not, do it anyway.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

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