Keep Art Alive :: Art by Blueabyss
“And, imagine you’re a girl,
just trying to finally come clean,
knowing full well they’d prefer you were dirty and smiling.”
In the search of self, the precarious archeological dig within to determine self-actualization, and frankly, who the fuck we are, is often shadowed by persona, expectation and desire. We put ourselves out there, into the world, in so many venues and outlets, each one starring a different shade of ourselves, some more vibrant than others, some more black-and-white and surface reflecting, and then there are some that are filled with invented color combinations, made up of the stuff of our imagined ideal self that we choose to throw out for all to see.
Which is truly us, though, and which is some cracked mirror reflection of some other person, a stranger to ourselves, a conceptual lie to everyone else, more fiction than the characters we devour?
I used to think that the self I shared online was my most authentic self, and maybe at the start that was true. The platforms provided were made up mostly of words expressed and shared, sometimes in a confessional nature, other times in a diary style, and somewhere in-between the words turned into conversations, which grew into connections. But then things started to shift as the advent of Social Media came into play and words shared fell under imposed constraints, images became part of the “story” told, and our current “status” became more the priority to our current “thoughts”. Sure, we were all more strung together, connected on the surface, but there was quite lot lost in the transition.
For me, I went from sharing my struggles and challenges, dreams and desires, and personal daily diatribes and random (and yes, often trivial) obsessions, alongside of my creative art (poetry, short stories, prose, writing-in-progress), to having one space to share all the creative work, and another space to share resonated quotes and top line details of moments (and yes, often only the big and happy stuff, or the big and worrisome – surgeries, marriages, engagements, anniversaries, moments of pride about my kids), “selfies” and photo essays, and then this other space where everything was blink and you might miss it, short attention span things I was into at the moment.
Along the way, my creative output did increase, and I’m proud of that, and embrace and celebrate that part of the outcome. But, the personal stuff, the stuff that makes up under the surface, not just an artist, me, well it started to shut down and burrow in deep inside of me. The introvert of my youth had open arms for all my inner thoughts, worries, wonders and dreams, she tended to them, baked them cookies and made them elaborate forts made of sheets and pillows and cereal boxes, but I became more and more withdrawn, lonely, misunderstood, and invisible. I started hiding behind quotes from other people, music themes and fandoms, and amateur filtered photographs, and while all of those things have their place, and certainly have merit and joy attached to them, there are only part of who I am.
And, maybe my creative output, my “writing”, has improved and increased because I have poured all the things stuffed inside of me into fictional characters and poetic incidents, but where does that leave day-to-day me? I have become a concept, a fictionalized version, a filtered and in the perfect light side of me. That reflected half-self (or maybe she’s even half of a half) is often misunderstood, and in that misunderstanding people make determinations and proclamations and advances that belong to another girl, because what I show barely scratches the surface. I’m complicated, messy, chameleon-like, and changeable, and sometimes I feel younger than my almost forty-five years would suggest. I chose this, though, these space to hide and control, but I am feeling it, the need to knock it all down, stir some shit up, peel back the surface and find a way to share more of me again.