“I am so sad. I’ve been sad for months, maybe years. I cannot seem to get engagement from the world. I cannot seem to effectively engage. I thought I was one thing, but it turns out, I am not a very good one of that thing, mainly because I never learned to quite sell it or to make it pay off. I am capable of pouring all my time and efforts into compelling work that never goes anywhere and is only seen by 3 people. Anyway, I believed that I was headed for greatness. I didn’t want to be great for it’s own sake, but I did long to feel the joy of being a valued, contributing member of society and, I admit, I wanted to be seen as more than competent; I wanted to be seen as talented… extraordinary… something special. I hoped for a place in the world. I wanted to be met with the same enthusiasm I’ve always felt for doing cool stuff with other interesting people. Yes, I’m interesting. Except, I’ve lost my interest in myself. Oh, Q of D! I have always been on fire with ideas and hopes and love, and I’ve never been a slacker (well, not since my teens). I’ve made all kinds of difficult and worthwhile things happen. But, not really all that much lately. I’ve mostly been told by the indifferent universe, “Ok, that’s enough; what you’re doing is of no consequence.” It’s true, art is not of any consequence. But, neither is anything else. And, oh, and I work with a completely dysfunctional group of people who can’t seem to effect any kind of productive or positive changes, much less have an authentic conversation about anything important or meaningful. They are super-committed to avoiding any form of conflict. But, that is not particularly relevant to my story, except what the hell? I’m losing my sense of invulnerability. Help. Signed, Listless.”
Dear Listless: Oh, come on. You’re alive, have lots of friends and family you care about, are needed by many, appreciated by the ones who count, and you’re well-fed and healthy, right? And now you’re just whining.
First of all (on point) about people recognizing you, seeing you or even noticing your existence in passing: who needs some narcissistic prince-ass, the company President or some pathetic, terrified little manager to bolster your freaking self-confidence? Ok, that’s not what you are asking, and the fact is, you don’t want them to bolster your self-confidence; you just want someone to actually play with, but with intellectual vigor, genuine humor, and commitment to quality. So, I get it.
But I’m just saying, a cheerful, relaxed attitude and good bourbon goes a long way. You sound smart, creative, lively, funny and good-looking. Take a break from trying to change things; take a clue from John Lennon and let it be.
Oh, and the performance aspect of this? Which, I presume, is why you wrote to me? You wanted to be seen as this, or that, or the bees knees. Even by yourself, you wanted to be “seen as.” You have been your own audience, but you know what? You suck as an audience. You’ve forgotten all the courageous, creative, successful, even thrilling– and talented, extraordinary, something-special parts and all you remember is the moment where the set fell over. Well, who are you to criticize? YOU get up there and do it.
Love, Q of D.