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My Life is not a Performance Piece - an If collab

2001-04-29

feeling kinda how a girl feels

this month's collab for If...:

If you knew that someone was watching your every move, how would you react? To what lengths would you go to prevent your secrets from being exposed?

My Life is Not a Performance Piece

i couldn't live with someone watching me all the time. besides the overwhelmingly creepy Orwellian notes, it would make it impossible for me to be myself. have you noticed that you behave differently when others are around? you perform, you put on a face, you modify yourself, wittingly or not.

this has become even more apparent to me lately. i live alone. the only people who see me when i'm home are my cats. i can let go and let my mind wander in that space in ways not possible when others are present. there are no distractions. i can set aside the mundane, and allow myself to be at peace. i have the time and wherewithall to read or think or nap, to pay attention to the moment, to follow the rhythyms of my body. i can give my self, my body, what it needs.

the presence of another changes that dynamic. even if it's just my friend coming over to watch a movie, i suddenly become overly aware of the lint on the couch, the dishes in the sink, the way the place looks, the way i am in that space. i stop seeing things as they are and see them as they should be. and it's not my space anymore. i am not myself then. i am pushed into otherness.

it's not a bad place to go sometimes, this otherness. a change of perspective is refreshing. and i am a whore for attention. this journal alone is witness to that fact. i like to perform. i do have a bit of the exhibitionist in me. but the appeal of exhibitionism, in any sense, is in being able to control the events, to choose what you show, how close you want to get to the audience, to define the boundaries. having someone watching all the time, no matter how neutral, robs the spark of that urge.

and how far would i go to guard that space, that sense of person? to the ends of the earth. as the Dalai Lama points out, we should at least wish no ill to anyone, and if possible, work positively to help them gain happiness. any threat to that happiness i would work to stop. our essential beings are too precious to risk damage.

yesterday :: tomorrow

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